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Thanksgiving Dessert Recipes: Pear Galette & Pate Brisee

If you're looking for some new desserts to try this Thanksgiving, try out these from Gretchen McKay!

Pear Galette

  • All-purpose flour for work surface
  • 1/2 recipe Pate Brisee (recipe follows)
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 4 large ripe pears, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (I sliced them into 1/4-inch wedges)
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1 large egg
  • Sanding sugar, for sprinkling (optional)
  • 3 tablespoons apricot jam

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a nonstick baking mat.

Sprinkle work surface with flour. Roll out dough to 12-inch round, about 1/4-inch thick. Transfer dough to prepared baking sheet and refrigerate until ready to use, up to 1 hour.

In small bowl, mix together corn starch, sugar and salt. In large bowl, gently toss together pears and cornstarch mixture until evenly coated. mound pear mixture on top of dough, leaving a 4-inch border all the way around. Fold dough over pear mixture, overlapping when necessary and gently pressing to adhere the folds. Transfer galette to refrigerator and let chill  20 to 30 minutes. (I skipped this step.)

Meanwhile, preheat over to 400 degrees. In small bowl, beat egg. Brush edges of dough with egg and sprinkle edges with sanding sugar. (I skipped this step, as well.) Dot top of galette with butter. Transfer to oven and bake until crust is golden brown and juices are bubbling, about 1 hour.

Meanwhile, place apricot jam in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook until heated through; strain through a mesh sieve set over a bowl. (Yep, I skipped this step, too.) Remove baking sheet from oven and transfer to a wire rack; brush heated jam over pears. Let cool briefly before serving warm or at room temperature.

Makes 1 galette.

-- Adapted from

Pate Brisee

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter chilled and cut into small pieces
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup ice water

In the bowl of a food processor, combine flour, salt, and sugar. Add butter, and process until the mixture resembles coarse meal, 8 to 10 seconds.

With machine running, add ice water in a slow, steady stream through feed tube. Pulse until dough holds together without being wet or sticky; be careful not to process more than 30 seconds. To test, squeeze a small amount together: If it is crumbly, add more ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time.

Divide dough into two equal balls. Flatten each ball into a disc and wrap in plastic. Transfer to the refrigerator and chill at least 1 hour. Dough may be stored, frozen, up to 1 month.

Gretchen McKay:, 412-263-1419 or on Twitter @gtmckay

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