Thursday, 29 December 2011

Rustic Pear and Chocolate Cream Galette

Kitchen Play List: Bowes and Morley ~ Illogical Love
                                     Bing Crosby ~ I Love You Samanta
                                     Bowes and Morley ~ Dancing the Night Away
                                     Terra Naomi ~ Not Sorry
                                     The Kinks ~ Tired of Waiting for You
                                     Jace Everett ~ Bad Things

A request was made from My Love for an alternative Christmas Day dessert. Usually we keep to tradition and enjoy a Christmas Pudding filled with dried fruits, alcohol and nuts. But as dried fruits are now on My Loves 'Death Foods' really wasn't going to work. Pears are Low on the Salicylates list and my initial thoughts went to little pastry tarlets with a dark chocolate creme filling with a poached pear cut and splayed decoratively on top of the creme. Then I was capitivated by this recipe whilst leafing through Kris Holechek's cookbook 100 Best Vegan Baking Recipes

Rustic Pear and Chocolate Cream Galette
I really enjoyed making this galette...I usually make my own pastry using my preferred recipes but this time I made the pie crust recipe that was suggested. It came together very simply and I left it in the fridge whilst I made fillings. Again this was very simple too...peeling and slicing gorgeous dessert pears and leaving them to sit in a spritz of lemon juice and a tsp of sugar. The chocolate part comes from melting down 1/2 cup of dark of a minute! The cream comes from a cornflour, milk, sugar and vanilla extract mixture which comes together and thickens more quickly than you would The assembly is just as easy. 

Rustic beauty! lol The Galette straight from the oven..
The results were just awesome...we were both bowled over by this galette. It's suggested that you leave it to cool and then chill which is exactly what we did. The pastry is melt in your mouth heaven. The chocolate layer gives it texture and bite..the vanilla cream blends into the cooked pear and the three elements all come together to make one heck of flavour. It's not too sweet and it's light so you can enjoy it without feeling too full. I know I'll be making this again and I'll be playing with the recipe and trying out other variations. But this is one great recipe and I'm very pleased I found it. Thank you Kris. 

Succulent cooked pear infused with the vanilla cream, sat on dark chocolate and surrounded in 'melt in your mouth' pastry...what's not to love??
Rustic Pear and Chocolate Cream Galette Serves 10
(Recipe from The 100 Best Vegan Baking Recipes/Holechek)

Pie Crust
2 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1 cup cold margarine, chopped into chunks
1/4 to 1/2 cup cold water

1/4 cup plus 1 tbsp sugar
1 1/2 tsp cornstarch
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup plus 1 tsp milk
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp lemon juice
4 peeled firm pears, cut into 1/4 " slices
1/2 cup dark chocolate, melted

Milk for brushing
Sugar to sprinkle

Using a food processor pulse together the flour, salt and sugar to mix and then add the margarine and pulse until you have a crumby texture. With the motor running add cold water until it clumps together and you have a large dough. 

On a floured surface mould the dough and then cut it into two pieces...cover one and place in your freezer for future use! The remaining half cover in cling film and place in the fridge for at least one hour. 

Pre-heat the oven to 375'F/190'C/Gas Mark 5 and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Set to one side. 

In a small saucepan, combine 1/4 cup plus 1 tbsp sugar, cornstarch and salt. Whisk in milk and cook over a med-high heat, whisking constantly, until mixture begins to bubble, approx 7 minutes. Lower heat and continue  to stir. Let simmer for 4-6 minutes, until mixture thickens and coats the back of a spoon without just dripping off. Remove from the heat and whisk in the vanilla. 

In a medium bowl, sprinkle lemon juice over the pears. Add sugar and gently mix to coat. Cover until ready to use. 

On a lightly floured surface, roll out the chilled dough to about 10-11 inches in diameter. Transfer dough to the prepared baking sheet. Spread the melted chocolate in the centre of the dough, leaving a 2 " border around the edge of the crust. Pour the vanilla creme mixture over the chocolate and smooth over. Layer the pears on top of the filling (Don't panic if there seems to be a mountain of pears...they cook down beautifully ~R~) Gently begin to bring the edge up and over the edge of the pears. Crimping to secure the pastry crust. Brush the edges with a little milk and then sprinkle over with a pinch of brown sugar. 

Bake for 40-45 minutes, until the crust is golden. Remove from the oven and let cool at least 25 minutes before serving. Best if cooled completely. Store leftovers covered in the fridge. 

The galette gets better and better with time so it would be great as a forward planned dessert. We served ours with Vanilla Soya Ice Cream but it would work well with cream...or just on it's own with a dessert fork! lol.