Cranberry Pear Galette with Pecan Crust: juicy, plump fruit, encased in a crust where the butter, cream cheese and pecans blend beautifully. Perfect dessert for any festive gathering, so pretty and delicious!
Family gatherings have had a huge impact in my life. It's where most of my precious memories lay; Sunday lunches at my nonna, or at some aunt's house, time spent with my cousins that I've always considered my best friends. Times where family and food were intricately connected. Hours spent gathered around a table, eating delicious food, conversing on many different subjects, some more animated than others, laughing, joking around, or being more serious. Usually all happening in the same session, while dishes are being passed around, cutlery playing their tunes, and mouths busy chewing, talking, smiling.
In each one of those gatherings, that didn't necessarily happen on festivities or particular celebrations, but every Sunday, or any other day we had relatives over or were invited over, the usual 5-course meal (antipasto, primo, secondo, contorno, dolce and/or frutta), ended with a delightful dessert. We all made sure of this, me more than anybody, making sure to leave some room for the occasional sweet, often homemade, always so so good. Each of my aunts had a specialty, and we already knew which dessert would grace our tables, like, for example, my dad's sister Iride and her amazing Pineapple Upside down Cake, the wine Ciambelline from my aunt Teresa (unlike me she would add anice seeds to hers), or everybody's version of a good Crostata, surely among the most popular Italian dolce.
I like to think that this Cranberry Pear Galette with Pecan Crust would be the perfect dessert for any festive gathering, being so delicious and pretty. Pies and Tarts are my favorite desserts to make and, to eat, and although I love the intricate beautiful lattice work that some pies have, I tend to veer towards the more simple crostata or galette. Patience is not among my virtues, you can ask Loreto on that 😉 , so I guess I'm for the rustic, unrefined, no-fuss look.
This Cranberry Pear Galette with Pecan Crust has a wonderful filling and a delightful crust. You'll love the filling made of:
- cranberries and pears for the fruit,
- orange zest, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg for the spice
- demerara sugar for the sweetness
- butter and flour to hold, and blend everything together.
The crust is a tad different, featuring butter, cream cheese and pecans, among the more common flour, sugar, salt, egg and water.
The result is a beautifully crusted galette, nice and golden brown, crumbly and rich with the butter and cream cheese accents and a little nutty from the pecans. The cranberries and pears plump and full of natural juiciness. The hits of allspice, nutmeg and cinnamon, a refreshing tingling in every mouthful leaving your taste buds dancing on your tongue in delight. The juices from the sugar and fruits thickened, and caramelized giving you a richness and intense delicious flavoring with a variety of textures, from the crunchy crumbly tender pecan crust to those bursts of silkiness from the fruit and its syrup glistening in every spoonful.
If a celebration is in your schedule, or you just want to dazzle your family and friends, this Cranberry Pear Galette with Pecan Crust, will be just the perfect note to end a spectacular dinner with!
As for us, this was our finale to a family homemade Saturday Pizza Night at my in-laws.
Song of the day: "All The Small Things", by Blink 182.Print
For the crust:
- ⅓ cup pecans
- 1 and ½ cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
- 1 Tbsp demerara sugar, plus more for sprinkling
- ½ tsp salt
- 5 Tbsp cold, unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
- 5 ounces cold cream cheese, cut into small pieces
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- 1 Tbsp ice water
For the filling:
- 3 ripe pears, peeled and cut into small chunks
- 1 and ½ cups cranberries (fresh or frozen)
- ¾ cup demerara sugar
- 2 tsp all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp grated orange zest
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- pinch of allspice
- pinch of nutmeg
- pinch of salt
- 1 Tbsp cold, unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
- Position the rack in the bottom third of the oven and preheat to 350° F. Spread the pecans on a baking sheet and bake for about 6 minutes, or until lightly toasted. Transfer to a plate and let cool.
- Pulse the toasted pecans, flour, sugar and salt in a food processor until the nuts are finely chopped. Add the butter, and pulse about 4 times to coat the flour. Pulse in the cream cheese until the dough looks like coarse crumbs. Pulse in the beaten egg and ice water just until the mixture is slightly moist. Do not overwork it.
- Turn onto a piece of plastic wrap and pat into a disk.Wrap and refrigerate until firm, at least 1 hour or up to 24 hours.
- Put parchment paper on a wood surface and place dough on top.. Dust the top of the dough with flour and press and roll out into a 14-inch round. Transfer the dough with the parchment on the baking sheet.
- Toss the pears, cranberries, sugar, flour, orange zest, cinnamon, all spice, nutmeg, salt and butter in a large bowl.
- Spread the filling over the dough, mounding it slightly in the center and leaving a 2-inch border.
- Fold the edge of the dough over the filling, pleating as needed.
- Brush the edge with water and sprinkle with sugar.
- Bake until the filling is soft and bubbling, and the crust is golden brown, about 1 hour.
- Transfer to a rack and let cool completely, at least 4 hours.
- Prep Time: 30 minutes
- Cook Time: 1 hour
- Serving Size: 8 -10 persons
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I love baking and kneading dough because it takes me to a happy place in my soul.