Maple Bourbon Pear Galette

I looked at the calendar this week and realized that Thanksgiving is about a week sooner than I thought, which got me plotting potential holiday fall treats!

I’ve discussed my love for pears in fall desserts multiple times, but I need to reiterate that when combined with bourbon and maple, pears may beat out your favourite apple dessert.

Galettes are also great for last minute gatherings when you need a delicious dessert, but you don’t want to deal with the hassle of a lattice or prebaking crust. Perfectly simple and rustic yet completely delicious!

I’ll be on The Morning Show on Global News this Tuesday at 7:50am making this galette, tune in to see how you can make it too!

Crust Ingredients

• 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

• 1/2 tsp sea salt

• 1 1/2 tsp sugar

• 1/2 cup butter (straight from the fridge, cut into 1 inch pieces)

• 1/2 cup cold water

• 2 tbsp vinegar (I use cider vinegar, mix it in the water)

Filling Ingredients

• 3-4 pears – peeled and thinly sliced

• Juice of 1/2 lemon

• 1 tbsp granulated sugar, plus 1 tsp for bottom of pie crust

• 1/4 cup plus 1 tbsp packed brown sugar

• 1 tbsp flour, plus 1 tsp for bottom of pie crust

• 1/4 tsp ground ginger

• 1/4 tsp cinnamon

• Pinch of allspice

• A few grinds of pepper

• 1/4 tsp sea salt

• 1 1/2 tbsp bourbon

• 1/2 tbsp maple syrup

• 1/2 tsp vanilla

• Egg wash to coat (1 egg and 1 tsp water mixed) and raw sugar for sprinkling

Steps

To make the crust, mix together flour, sugar and salt.  Using a pastry blender, “cut” in the butter. This means you’re almost mashing the butter into the flour with the blender, ensuring all butter is covered in flour until the butter pieces are about the size of peas or a bit bigger.

Then, splash in a bit of your water mixture (2-3 tablespoons) and mix it around with your hand.  Continue to add a little at a time and mix and squish with your hand until a large dough ball forms.  If you need to get a bit more binding, add a bit of water to your fingers to help it along.  Don’t feel compelled to use all the water, mix it in until just combined and the dough is holding together. Flatten dough into a disk and wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour.

Roll out pie dough to about 13 inches in diameter and carefully transfer to a parchment lined baking sheet. Refrigerate while making filling.

In a large bowl, toss together pear slices, lemon juice and granulated sugar with your hands and let the mixture sit for 20 minutes.  In another bowl, mix together brown sugar, flour, spices and salt.  Drain excess moisture from pear mixture and sprinkle sugar mixture on top.  Toss with your hands until pears are evenly coated.

Sprinkle bourbon, maple syrup and vanilla on top of pears and stir gently with a wooden spoon until incorporated.

Arrange pears as desired onto rolled out pie dough, ensuring there are 1-2 inches between the pear slices and the edge of the dough.  Fold crust edge over the pears, pinching the bottom edge of the galette to make sure it all stays together.  Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Brush with egg wash and sprinkle pastry with raw sugar for garnish.

Bake at 400F for 20-25 minutes, until pastry is set and beginning to brown.  Reduce heat to 375F and bake for 30-35 minutes until pastry is brown and juices are bubbling.  Allow to cool for 1-2 hours.

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Wild Blueberry Scones

The few overlapping weeks of summer transitioning into fall are always a funny time when it comes to baking.

People are already plotting their apple/pumpkin/pear creations, yet I go to the market and all the late summer fruit is at its best and ripest (seriously, the peaches right now are PERFECTION).  My feelings on this are that (in Toronto at least), we’re going to have at least 6 months of all the cold weather baking sessions, so let’s go right to the bitter (sweet?) end with the summer fruit.

This was essentially the inspiration behind these scones.  I had a bunch of wild blueberries begging to be used, but not a lot of time.  Therefore – scones.  Better than the Starbucks ones, full of fresh blueberries and crumbly goodness.

If you have other summer fruit begging to be used, check out my recipes for Peach Ricotta Scones and Strawberry Scones!

Makes 8 large scones

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, cold
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup whipping cream, plus extra for brushing
  • 1.5 tsp vanilla
  • 3/4 cup wild blueberries
  • Raw sugar for sprinkling

Steps

Preheat oven to 400F and line a baking sheet with parchment.

Whisk together flour, brown sugar, baking powder and salt in a large bowl.  Using a pastry cutter, cut the butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture looks like rough crumbs.  Some pea sized pieces are okay.

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In a small bowl, whisk egg, sour cream, cream and vanilla until combined.  Add in two parts to butter and flour mixture, mixing until just combined after each addition.

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Add blueberries and stir until just incorporated.

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Turn dough onto floured surface and press into a disk about a half inch thick, don’t worry if it’s not perfect.  Cut disk into 8 pieces and using a spatula, transfer to prepared baking sheet.

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Brush lightly with cream and sprinkle on raw sugar.

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Bake at 400F for 17 minutes, or until just golden.

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Bourbon Browned Butter Tarts

I feel like as soon as I got back from Boston, fall unceremoniously came and knocked us off our feet.  No more easing into September with warm days and nights where bare legs are still ok, but “bring out your leather jackets and tights because fall is here” weather.

So what better way to stay warm than toasty brown butter and bourbon in butter tart form!

This was my first foray into butter tarts (I don’t know how that happened either) and they turned out MARVELLOUS!  I used my typical pie dough recipe for the crust, which creates a beautifully flaky crust and doesn’t require any messing around with lard or eggs.

For the filling, I texted my Grandma as she is the butter tart lady in our family and she sent me two recipes.  Both were from old-school recipe books, and one mentioned adding another egg to have a firmer filling (aka my preference).  I fiddled with both, and ended up browning the butter (adds a delicious deep, nutty component), used maple syrup along with corn syrup (duh) and added a splash of bourbon (why not).

The end result?  Deliciously flaky tarts with a filling that is soft but not runny, sweet yet complex and ends with the subtle warmth of bourbon.  Canadiana, perfected.

Makes about 16 tarts

Crust Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 cup cold water
  • 1/4 cup vinegar

Filling Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup corn syrup
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tbsp bourbon
  • Squeeze of lemon juice

Steps

To make the crust, mix together flour, sugar and salt.  Using a pastry blender, “cut” in the butter. This means you’re almost mashing the butter into the flour with the blender, ensuring all butter is covered in flour until the butter pieces are about the size of peas or a bit bigger.

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Then, splash in a bit of your water mixture (2-3 tablespoons) and mix it around with your hand.  Continue to add a little at a time and mix and squish with your hand until a large dough ball forms.  If you need to get a bit more binding, add a bit of water to your fingers to help it along.  Don’t feel compelled to use all the water, mix it in until just combined and the dough is holding together.  Cut the dough ball into two halves and flatten into disks. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour.

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Remove from fridge and let sit for 5 minutes so the dough doesn’t crack. Roll out each disk on a floured surface until about 1/8-1/4 inch thick.

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Using a circle cutter (mine was 3 inches and I cut around it, 4-5 inch cutters are ideal), cut as many dough circles as you can, re-rolling and re-cutting scraps once (anymore and the dough will be tough). Line a lightly buttered muffin tin with the dough rounds, gently pressing into the bottom of the tin.  Refrigerate for 20-30 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the filling.  To brown the butter, place butter in a pan over medium heat and allow to melt, bubble and foam, stirring occasionally.  Once the butter starts turning a dark golden brown and smells nutty, remove from heat and pour into a large bowl.  Whisk in brown sugar until incorporated.  Add corn syrup, maple syrup, vanilla and salt and whisk until smooth.  Add eggs, bourbon and a squeeze of lemon juice and stir until the filling is smooth and uniform.

Preheat oven to 375F.

Spoon filling into chilled tart shells until they’re about 2/3-3/4 full (it was a scant 2 tbsp of filling per shell for me), being careful not to get filling between the shell and the pan as it will stick.

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Bake for 20 minutes, until the filling has puffed and the shell is lightly browned.  Allow to cool in pan for 5-10 minutes then cool on a wire rack.

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Dough recipe adapted from Four and Twenty Blackbirds

 

Nectarine Blackberry Pie

Until this summer, I had always been very methodical with fruit pies, overthinking flavour pairings and different spices.

The last few months, I’ve changed my mindset and started putting most of my focus on the fruit itself. I’ve always believed local and seasonal produce was the key to a perfect pie, but this summer, I’ve played more with mixing fruits (while not overthinking it) and reducing spices to let the fruit really shine through.

I think this pie emphasizes my new mindset. I took two delicious, local and in season fruits, threw them together, added an acid, binder and a couple of simple spices and salt and voila, a delicious summer fruit pie with minimal intervention.

I say this as we go into fall where warming baking spices reign supreme, so let’s see what happens next.

Crust Ingredients

• 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

• 1 tsp sea salt

• 1 tbsp sugar

• 1 cup butter (straight from the fridge, cut into 1 inch pieces)

• 1 cup cold water

• 1/4 cup vinegar (I use cider vinegar, mix it in the water)

Filling Ingredients

• 5 medium nectarines, sliced

• 1 1/2 cups blackberries

• 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice

• 1/4 cup sugar

• 2 tbsp ground arrowroot

• 1/2 tsp cinnamon

• Pinch of ground ginger

• 1/4 tsp sea salt

• Raw sugar, for sprinkling

• Egg wash (1 egg whisked with 1 tsp water)

Steps

To make the crust, mix together flour, sugar and salt.  Using a pastry blender, “cut” in the butter. This means you’re almost mashing the butter into the flour with the blender, ensuring all butter is covered in flour until the butter pieces are about the size of peas or a bit bigger.

Then, splash in a bit of your water mixture (2-3 tablespoons) and mix it around with your hand.  Continue to add a little at a time and mix and squish with your hand until a large dough ball forms.  If you need to get a bit more binding, add a bit of water to your fingers to help it along.  Don’t feel compelled to use all the water, mix it in until just combined and the dough is holding together.  Cut the dough ball into two halves (for a herringbone crust, make one half slightly larger, about 60/40) and flatten into disks. Wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour.

Remove the smaller half from fridge and let sit for 5-10 minutes so the dough doesn’t crack. Roll out the disk into a circle on a floured surface until about 1/4 inch thick (it will be about 12-13 inches in diameter).

Fold the rolled out crust in half and set into a buttered 9 inch pie pan.  Unfold gently and settle the bottom of the crust into the pan and place into fridge.

Remove the larger disk from the fridge and roll into a 10 by 15 inch rectangle and place back in the fridge while you make the filling.

To make filling, mix sliced nectarines with blueberries, lemon juice and sugar until combined. Add arrowroot, cinnamon, ginger and salt and stir with a wooden spoon until the fruit is evenly coated. Set aside.

Remove the dough rectangle from the fridge and place on a lightly floured surface. Cut out about 20 even 10×3/4 inch strips. Place in the fridge until ready to use (can you tell keeping the herringbone strips cold is key?).

Sprinkle 1 tsp each of flour and sugar on the bottom of the pie dough lining the pan (this keeps the crust crisp) and scoop filling into the lined pan with a slotted spoon.

For a herringbone lattice, instead of reiterating the Serious Eats tutorial, check out the link here!

Once you’ve made your desired lattice, slice off any excess dough along the sides of the pie pan using a paring knife and seal the strips to the crust edge using a fork.

Refrigerate the pie for 15 minutes and preheat the oven to 425F.

Remove pie from fridge and brush with egg wash and sprinkle with raw sugar to your liking.  The egg wash ensures the pie is nicely browned.

Place the pie on a baking sheet on the bottom oven rack and bake for 20 minutes until the pie crust is starting to set and brown.  Reduce the oven heat to 375F and bake for 30-35 minutes until the crust has browned and juices are bubbling throughout the pie.  Let cool for 2-3 hours and enjoy!

Mini Blueberry Galettes

After making that peak summer Blueberry Pie (see previous post), I was anxious to make another Blueberry focussed summer treat.

I decided to whip up these mini galettes for a variety of reasons:

  1. They're adorable
  2. Easy to eat (fork free if needed!)
  3. No sharing

But seriously, any pie style recipe that results in a more efficient manner of transporting buttery crust and blueberries to your mouth is a massive win in my book. Bonus points for no cutlery needed.

I am obsessed.

Crust Ingredients
• 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
• 1/2 tsp sea salt
• 1/2 tbsp sugar
• 1/2 cup butter (straight from the fridge, cut into 1 inch pieces)
• 1/2 cup cold water
• 2 tbsp vinegar (I use cider vinegar, mix it in the water)

Filling Ingredients
• 2 cups wild blueberries
• 1/4 cup blackberries
• 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
• 1/4 cup sugar
• 1 tbsp packed brown sugar
• 1.5 tbsp ground arrowroot
• 1/8 tsp cinnamon
• Pinch of allspice
• 1/4 tsp sea salt
• Raw sugar, for sprinkling
• Egg wash (1 egg whisked with 1 tsp water)

Steps
To make the crust, mix together flour, sugar and salt.  Using a pastry blender, “cut” in the butter. This means you’re almost mashing the butter into the flour with the blender, ensuring all butter is covered in flour until the butter pieces are about the size of peas or a bit bigger.

Then, splash in a bit of your water mixture (2 tablespoons) and mix it around with your hand.  Continue to add a little at a time and mix and squish with your hand until a large dough ball forms.  If you need to get a bit more binding, add a bit of water to your fingers to help it along.  Don’t feel compelled to use all the water, mix it in until just combined and the dough is holding together.  Flatten into a disc and wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour.

Meanwhile, make your filling. Combine berries with lemon juice and sugars and gently stir to combine. Add arrowroot and spices and stir.

Remove dough disc from fridge and let sit for 5-10 minutes so the dough doesn’t crack. Roll out each disk on a floured surface until about 1/4 inch thick (it will be about 12-13 inches in diameter). Using a guide or going freehand, cut four 4-inch circles from the dough and place on a parchment lined baking sheet (I cut 3, then rolled my scraps into another round).

Sprinkle the middle of each round with a bit of sugar and flour to ensure a crisp crust. Evenly spoon the filling onto each round, leaving at least a 1.5 inch border around the edge.

Fold up the dough edge over the filling, pinching the bottom edge of the galettes to make sure it all stays together.  Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Brush with egg wash and sprinkle pastry with raw sugar for garnish.
Bake at 425F for 20 minutes, until pastry is set and is beginning to brown.  Lower oven temperature to 375F and bake for 15 minutes until pastry is brown and juices are bubbling.  Allow to rest for 10 minutes and dig in!

New and Renewed Blueberry Pie

Blueberry pie comes in many varieties.  Some people add lavender, some people like it jammy, some people (me) like it juicy.  I’ve started to be a pie purist – I want the summer fruit to shine through because it feels so fleeting.

Last year, I posted a blueberry pie recipe and when revisiting it this year, I revamped it to let the berries shine.  I toned down the spice profile and also added a few blackberries for some varying texture (and because they’re delicious).

After trying the pie post-tweaks…. I’ve gotta say I think it’s one of the best pies I’ve made all summer. No lie.  You simply cannot beat a juicy, deliciously simple blueberry pie.  I hope you’re all taking advantage of whatever berries you can find!

Crust Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 cup butter (straight from the fridge, cut into 1 inch pieces)
  • 1 cup cold water
  • 1/4 cup vinegar (I use cider vinegar, mix it in the water)

Filling Ingredients

  • 4 cups wild blueberries
  • 1/2 cup blackberries
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tbsp packed brown sugar
  • 3 tbsp ground arrowroot
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • Pinch of allspice
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • Raw sugar, for sprinkling
  • Egg wash (1 egg whisked with 1 tsp water)

Steps

To make the crust, mix together flour, sugar and salt.  Using a pastry blender, “cut” in the butter. This means you’re almost mashing the butter into the flour with the blender, ensuring all butter is covered in flour until the butter pieces are about the size of peas or a bit bigger.

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Then, splash in a bit of your water mixture (2-3 tablespoons) and mix it around with your hand.  Continue to add a little at a time and mix and squish with your hand until a large dough ball forms.  If you need to get a bit more binding, add a bit of water to your fingers to help it along.  Don’t feel compelled to use all the water, mix it in until just combined and the dough is holding together.  Cut the dough ball into two halves and flatten into disks. Wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour.

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Remove from fridge and let sit for 5-10 minutes so the dough doesn’t crack. Roll out each disk on a floured surface until about 1/4 inch thick (it will be about 12-13 inches in diameter).

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Fold the rolled out crust in half and set into a buttered 9 inch pie pan.  Unfold gently and settle the bottom of the crust into the corners.  Refrigerate while making filling.

Roll out the other dough disk into an 11×14 rectangle.  Cut 3 strips about one inch in diameter and set aside (this will be your braided rim) and cut the remaining dough into 16 even strips (This will be your lattice).  For the 3 one inch strips, cut each into 3 even strips and braid each one.  Place strips and braids in fridge.

To make the filling, mix berries with lemon juice and sugar, stirring gently together.  Add arrowroot starch, spices and salt and stir gently to combine.

Remove pie shell from fridge and sprinkle 1 tsp each of flour and sugar on the bottom to keep the crust from getting soggy (this is an important step for juicy fillings like this).  Scoop in filling with a slotted spoon.

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Take the lattice strips out of the fridge and arrange 8 of them horizontally. Peel back every other strip and place a strip vertically close to the middle, on top of the strips not peeled back.  Put the peeled strips back down, and repeat peeling back and placing a vertical strip with the other strips (alternating which 4 are peeled back) until you reach the end of the pie, then repeat on the other side.  It will look like the photo below.

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Slice off excess dough around the edge of the pie with a paring knife and seal the lattice strips all the way around with a fork.  Set the braids on top of the pie edge, gently pressing them down to seal them in place.

Place the pie in the fridge for 10 minutes and preheat the oven to 425F.

Remove pie from fridge and brush with egg wash and sprinkle with raw sugar to your liking.  The egg wash ensures the pie is nicely browned.

Place the pie on a baking sheet on the bottom oven rack and bake for 20 minutes until the pie crust is starting to set and brown.  Reduce the oven heat to 375F and bake for 30-35 minutes until the crust has browned and juices are bubbling throughout the pie.  Let cool for 2-3 hours and enjoy!

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Apricot Crumble Tart

I feel like with half my posts I provide a St Lawrence Market update. This week, berries and cherries continue to dominate the landscape, but two new players have arrived: apricots and peaches.

I was so excited to see apricots as I had been flipping through David Leibovitz's My Paris Kitchen the previous evening and there was a delicious looking recipe for an apricot crumble tart. I promised myself that if I saw apricots at the market, it would happen.

And here we are.

I love this tart because the crust is crunchy (but not too crunchy) and caramelized and buttery – perfect for containing the juicy apricot filling. As for crumble, I'm sure you all are like me and could eat whole batches raw or cooked.

I ended up buying a springform pan for this recipe and I'm glad I did because it made everything easier. Although if you have a 9 inch tart pan with 2-ish inch sides, you could definitely use that.

Crust Ingredients

  • 6 tbsp salted butter, slightly softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1 1/4 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Crumble Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup whole almonds
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/3 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 6 tbsp salted butter, chilled and cubed

Filling Ingredients

  • 2lb ripe apricots, quartered and pitted
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp arrowroot starch
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • Pinch of allspice

Steps
To make the crust, mix butter and sugar in a stand mixer until fully incorporated and there are no streaks of butter. Add egg yolks and mix until smooth. Add flour and salt and mix until dough comes together.

Butter a 9 inch springform pan and press the dough into the bottom of the pan and 1-2 inches up the side. Ensure the dough is evenly spread, using the bottom of a cup to smooth if needed. Place in freezer for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the crumble. In a food processor, combine almonds, flour, sugar, cinnamon and salt and pulse until almonds are in small pieces. Add butter and pulse until the mixture turns sandy, then starts to stick together in parts. (I did this by hand – chopping the almonds finely and mixing with the dry ingredients, then cutting in the butter with a pastry blender. I then used my hands to pinch and mix until a crumble formed). Chill until ready to use.

Preheat oven to 375F. Remove crust from freezer, line tightly with foil and place pie weights/dried beans/dried rice on the bottom. Bake for 20 minutes, then remove weights and foil and bake for 5 minutes, until beginning to slightly brown.

To make the filling, mix apricots with sugar, starch, vanilla and spices. Don't make it too far in advance, or it will be too juicy.

Pour filling into shell and spread evenly. Sprinkle crumble on top.

Bake at 375F for 40-50 minutes until crumble is browned (it only took me 40 minutes). Allow to cool a few minutes and run a knife around the edge of the tart and let cool for 30 minutes before removing from springform pan.

Adapted from My Paris Kitchen