The morning began with the realization that the littlest one of our family had been struck with the latest virus, and our hopes for a family hiking trip were thrown out. I selfishly felt a little frustrated because I was hoping to escape the city for the day and breathe in the crisp mountain air while wandering among the tall trees. Once I adjusted my expectations for the day (and realized how silly I was being), I settled for snuggling in on the couch with my sweet girl. We waved goodbye to the guys as they headed out the door for a shortened hiking trip. We passed our time reading, watching a few old Julia Childs videos, and cheering on our beloved Seahawks. Once she passed out on the couch, I slipped away to the kitchen. As I cut the butter into the flour, I looked outside to see the warm sun shining bright on the frost covered ground. A few hours later, I was greeted with warm sweaty hugs by the returning boys as I cut the pears and placed them in the center of galette. Everyone was cleaned up as I finally pulled out the finished product, hot from the oven. We sat down to enjoy it as an early happy hour, looking through the “House of the Week” – a Sunday tradition.
My son and I went out just as the sun began to fall, casting the most beautiful light on the Cascade mountains, making them nearly mistakable as pink cotton candy. I listened contently as he laid out his life plans for when he grows up, not leaving out a single detail.
After a few extra snuggles and bedtime for the youngest members of the family, I ended the day with an impromptu dinner date with Chris of pistachio crusted salmon, sweet potatoes, and garlic green beans. We sat in near silence as we savored the flavors of our meal, happy to just be in each other’s company.
At the end of a day that didn’t go quite as planned, I couldn’t be more grateful for a different turn of events. I wish my daughter hadn’t been sick but I am grateful for the quiet moments at home and the time away.
Today was brimming with goodness. I want to remember today when the next day is full of chaos and feels anything but wonderful.
Pear Caramel Galette
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, chilled in the freezer for 30-60 minutes
1/4 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoons sugar (feel free to omit if you making a savory galette)
8 tablespoons butter, unsalted
2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 c. ice water
2 medium, firm pears (I used Red Anjou here)
1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
1 tablespoons water
Combine chilled flour, salt and sugar. Add the butter using a pastry blender. Blend until the largest pieces are the size of small peas. Add in the water and lemon juice. Combine until the dough starts to come together. Pat the dough gently into a ball. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for 1-2 hours. While the dough is chilling, thinly slice two pears and season with cinnamon and freshly grated nutmeg.
Once dough is chilled, roll into a rectangle. Transfer to parchment paper. Place pears on the dough in a pattern leaving a 2 inch diameter around the dough. Fold the corners around the filling. Combine the egg and water to create an egg wash. Spread the egg wash on exposed pastry. Cook in a 400 degree oven for 25-30 minutes until golden brown. Drizzle caramel sauce (recipe below) over cooked galette. Let the galette cool for 5-10 minutes before serving.
Caramel Sauce :
Adapted only slightly from Ina Garten
1 1/2 cups of sugar
1/3 cups of water
1/2 teaspoon of lemon juice
1 1/2 cups of heavy cream
1 vanilla bean
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
Make sure you use a heavy pot and it’s completely clean! I usually wipe mine down with vinegar and rinse it out with hot water before starting to make sure I’m starting off on the right foot.
Begin by scraping out the inside of the vanilla bean and placing it in the cream. Gently stir it and set it aside. Combine your water, lemon juice, and sugar. Stir together only until the sugar dissolves. Once the sugar dissolves, stop stirring. If you see crystals forming on the sides, you can use a wet pastry brush, to push it back down. Bring the mixture to a boil. Occasionally swirl the pot. As the mixture boils, it will darken in color. Once it reaches an amber color (5-7 minutes from the time it begins boiling) , remove from the mixture and pour in your heavy cream. Whisk until well combined. Set aside for 2-3 minutes to thicken. Use immediately or store in an air tight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days (warm before serving) .
Drizzle prepared sauce over cooked galette.