Pear galette is a fancy way of saying “easy French tart” but it sounds more elegant. You can make this with less fuss and more fun! A galette is basically a free form rustic tart– or cake, pastry, and sometimes a crêpe. It’s a cinch to put together when you have guests arriving and you need something delicious out on the table to go with champagne.
Most galettes are either sweet or savory, so you can use the foundation of the galette– puff pastry– with a variety of different ingredients (sort of like making a pizza). Once you’ve tried making a galette, you can make any kind you want. Perfect for parties, galettes are delicious as appetizers made with savory toppings, or desserts with sweet.
Now, the main ingredient is puff pastry. Here’s where we decide whether or not we want to make it ahead or buy it pre-made. If you are strictly vegan, you may want to make your own puff pastry, which is very time consuming, but totally worth it.
Since traditional French puff pastry, mille-feuille, is full of butter butter butter and more butter, (or beurreen Française) guess what? We can change that.
Mille-feuille translates as “thousand leaves” referring to the many golden layers of buttery flaky pastry. But, we can veganize it using all vegan ingredients. The French may not agree to this, but why not?
When baking vegan, there are so many high quality products to choose from. For instance, to replace butter, you can use coconut oil or vegan butter. My most favorite vegan butter is made by Miyoko’s Kitchen. (It is nut-based, so consider that when serving people that may have a nut allergy.) You can find vegan pastry flour and make your own vegan puff pastry. If that’s just way too much for you and you aren’t super picky, Pepperidge Farm makes a vegan puff pastry that you can just buy, thaw, unfold, et voila!
However you choose your puff pastry — homemade or store bought — if you plan ahead and have it ready, it’s an easy assembly-to-oven process after that! I’ve used both homemade and the store bought puff pastry. If you have a day and some time, make you own puff pastry. You can freeze it and when you need, just thaw and use. Coconut oil instead of butter works if you want a totally vegan puff pastry without any nut allergy concerns.
I was inspired to try this from The Forest Feast Gatherings cookbook, where I adapted it further to make it vegan rather than a vegetarian recipe. The original recipe by Erin Gleeson is lovely for vegetarians– it uses gorgonzola cheese, dairy-based puff pastry, and butter.
vegan, serves 4-6, adapted from The Forest Feast Gatherings cookbook, author Erin Gleeson
1 sheet of puff pastry
fig or apricot jam
2-3 pears, unpeeled, sliced thin
melted vegan butter mixed with maple syrup
fresh thyme leaves
one large sheet pan
Heat the oven to 400°F.
Place the puff pastry sheet out on a large baking sheet pan covered with parchment paper. Trim the corners off with kitchen scissors (a knife will do). Spread a thin layer of jam all over the pastry with a pastry brush, leaving some edge of the puff pastry plain as border.
Lay out the pears in a circular pattern over the jam layer, overlapping the pears.
Paint the pears with the honey butter mixture. You can also brush the folded edges with the butter as well once you’re ready to pop into the oven.
Fold the edges of the pastry around in a circle to form a round tart.
Sprinkle with thyme leaves (optional). Brush all over with the butter mixture.
Bake at 400 ° F for about 20 minutes or until the tart is bubbling and the pastry turns golden. You’ll want to make sure the tart is crisp and not doughy (undercooked).
Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream — like some creamy vegan nice cream!