My mother was not a cookie-and-cake baking mother, nor was ours a household where dessert was a normal part of our daily meals. So, as a result, I don’t have much of a sweet tooth, except for one thing: ice cream. Ice cream is the one treat that stands out in my memory as my oldest food obsession. Who doesn’t remember hot summer days, ice cream trucks and drippy, sticky ice cream fingers? I just cannot resist ice cream and it’s the one treat that I can eat any day, at any time of the year, regardless of season. And of course, the perfect delivery system for any ice cream is pie! Is there anything better than a slice of pie, still warm from the oven and topped with a fluffy scoop of rich, creamy, melting ice cream? I don’t think so!
But here’s the thing. I still have yet to bake an entire pie! The mere thought of baking a pie sends me into panic-mode because of one thing–pie crust. Surely, I’ve mentioned to you before that I am no expert when it comes to pastry crust, but I keep working on it and one day I will feel confident enough to make an entire pie. But, in the meantime, I will make galettes. If you’ve never made a galette, I am here to tell you that they are the best friend of the pie-phobic! Yes, it involves pie crust, but there’s no blind-baking, no crimping (which is great because my fingers refuse to crimp properly), no lattice work! Totally rustic, yet, so very pretty. I may have told you in the past that I wouldn’t judge you if you used store-bought crust for this Heirloom Tomato and Herbed Ricotta and Goat Cheese Tart, but in this case, I’m not going to suggest that shortcut, because you would miss out on the unique opportunity to flavor this crust with fresh thyme. You will be so sad if you miss that opportunity! Trust me, in a food processor, this crust comes together in a flash and if I can do it, you can do it! It is so worth it!
What I love most about this Pear, Gorgonzola and Thyme Galette is that it is a perfect combination of savory and sweet. If you’ve ever had a cheese plate that combines crisp pears with blue cheese, then you know exactly why this combination works! There is very little added sugar–the pears are sweet enough on their own. A light glaze of maple syrup and balsamic vinegar gives them just a touch of balanced sweetness and a lovely sheen. I made this galette last year for Thanksgiving and it is a great alternative to the traditional pumpkin pie (although the Husband, who swears he could eat pumpkin pie on the daily would beg to differ on that one)!
Now, let me tell you about this amazing ice cream. Just so you know, this is not a sponsored post, but when I find something this awesome, I want to shout it from the rooftops! My good friend Lori Rice of Fake Food Free put McConnell’s Fine Ice Cream on my radar way back in February and by the beginning of the summer, I was thrilled to find it at my local grocery store! I immediately brought home a pint of “Double Peanut Butter Chip” because I knew that the Husband would flip out over that combination–he LOVES peanut butter and chocolate. One taste and we both fell in love–like an instant, deep, marriage-level-commitment love…with this ice cream! After that, I tried the “Eureka Lemon and Marionberry” and the “Turkish Coffee”–which were both beyond amazing. We’ve even gotten our friends hooked on it! In the freezer right now, we have about 5 different flavors of McConnell’s Ice Cream! Every night we allow ourselves one single scoop of ice cream so that we don’t eat the whole pint all at once! How’s that for self-restraint?
What I love most about McConnell’s is that they use local (based in Santa Barbara, California), sustainable and organic ingredients. No stabilizers, no preservatives. Their ice cream can be found in California, Southern Nevada and Southern Utah and for those of you in the Las Vegas area, they can be found at Whole Foods Market and Vons. Check their location finder for additional locations. And of all the amazing flavor combinations they have, guess which one has become my absolute favorite? The simplest one of them all–“Sweet Cream”. The flavor is so pure and simple. It tastes like cream and eggs and sugar and it is the perfect foil for this galette. I can’t recommend it enough!
Pear, Gorgonzola and Thyme Galette
Recipe inspired by: Desserts for Breakfast
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 2 sticks very cold butter cut into cubes
- Ice water (approximately 1/2 cup)
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme
- heavy cream
- turbinado (raw) sugar
Pear and Gorgonzola Filling:
- 3 red pears, cores removed, thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup walnuts
- 1/2 cup gorgonzola cheese, crumbled
- Maple Syrup
- 1 teaspoon good balsamic vinegar or balsamic reduction
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme
- lemon juice
- Combine the flour, salt and sugar and thyme in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the chopping blade. Pulse a few times to mix the dry ingredients. Add the very cold, cubed butter to the bowl and pulse until the mixture is crumbly and the butter is in pieces the size of peas. While continuing to pulse, slowly add ice water through the feed tube a little at a time. Open the lid of the food processor to test the dough. It should be crumbly, but should stick together when pressed between your fingers. If it is still too dry, add a little more ice water through the feed tube and test again. Once it reaches the point where it’s moist enough to stick together and a dough begins to form, it is done.
- Remove the dough from the food processor and press into a ball. Because I made mini-galettes, I halved the dough and wrapped each half in plastic wrap. Press the dough into two round disks and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. If you are making one large galette, then there is no need to halve the dough. I made 3 mini-galettes out of one half and two out of the other. I found that the batch of two resulted in a more manageable (fumble fingers, here) and prettier galette. So, if you are not making one large galette, then 4 mini-galettes is a great alternative.
- While the dough chills, prepare the pears by simply cutting them into quarters, removing the core, then thinly slice. Sprinkle with fresh lemon juice in order to keep them from turning brown. Roughly chop the walnuts and place them in a small bowl with one tablespoon of fresh thyme leaves. Drizzle the walnuts and thyme with a tablespoon of maple syrup and stir to combine.
- In another small bowl, combine one teaspoon of balsamic vinegar with two tablespoons of maple syrup to make a glaze.
- Once the dough has chilled, roll out into a circle to about 1/8 to 1/4 inch thickness. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Sprinkle the dough with the crumbled gorgonzola and half of the walnut and thyme mixture. Arrange the pear slices on top in a circular pattern, leaving at least a 1-2 inch border. Tuck the remaining walnuts and thyme among the pears.
- Gently fold the border of the dough over the filling and pinch the edges all around to seal. Brush the exposed edges with heavy cream and sprinkle with turbinado sugar if desired. Bake in a 400 degree oven for 35 minutes, if making mini-galettes; and up to 45 minutes if making one large galette. During the final 15 minutes of baking, brush the pears with the balsamic and maple glaze.
- Garnish with addition fresh thyme if desired and serve with a scoop of ice cream! I drizzled the ice cream with some of the balsamic and maple glaze as well!