Friday, November 9, 2007

Pear-Cranberry Galette with Blue Cheese, Hazelnuts and Agave Nectar

Today I made a most delicious galette--which is really just a fancy name for a very rustic tart.

Really just a glorified pie--sans top crust, of course--this is the perfect balance of sweet and salty, ideal for the individual who likes a dessert not too sweet. A small slice is just right with a glass of wine.

Make this for a holiday party this year--you won't regret it!

Pear-Cranberry Galette with Blue Cheese, Hazelnuts and Agave Nectar
12 slices

pie crust for a single-crust pie (I made mine very quickly and by eye--shortening, all-purpose flour and cold water--so you'll have to use your own short pastry crust recipe)
1/4 cup salted butter
1/4 cup fresh cranberries
2 large bosc pears, cored and chopped (I left the skin on)
1 tablespoon agave nectar
1/4 pound blue cheese, crumbled
3 tablespoons chopped hazelnuts
additional agave nectar for drizzling

Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Turn heat to low and let butter brown--watch this carefully so it does not burn. When the melted butter has become brown in color, add fresh cranberries. Saute until they pop--then mash lightly with a potato masher so they're broken up.

Add chopped pears and 1T agave nectar and saute lightly. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.

Roll out pie crust in an oval--this need not be perfect. Transfer to a greased foil- or parchment-lined cookie sheet. A galette is a rustic presentation. Pour pear-cranberry mixture onto the center of the dough. Spread, leaving about a 2-inch border all around. Top with crumbled blue cheese and chopped hazlenuts.

Fold the crust border up and over the perimeter of the filling. You should not cover it completely--just enough to hold the filling in place. Fold crust decoratively, as desired. Brush exposed crust with an egg wash or milk, if you want a nice sheen on your crust. I actually just spray it with Pam spray and it works for me--and a real shortcut.

Bake in the center of a preheated 350*F oven for about 30 minutes, or until crust is golden brown and filling in bubbly.

Remove from oven and gently slide galette to a rack to cool thoroughly.

Serve wedges with an extra drizzle of agave nectar.

I served this at room temperature with extra agave nectar drizzled decoratively over the slice.

This is my entry for "Waiter, there's something in my... topless tart!" hosted by Jeanne of CookSister. What a fun event this month! See all the clever topless tarts submitted for this event--visit the roundup here.

And again, please do accept my apologies for less-than-ideal photos... with Mr.W galavanting all over God's Green Earth with our digital camera, I am limited to my wee cell-phone camera.


chemcookit said...

Wow, this is a really inventive combination! In Italy gorgonzola cheese and pears is like a hidden delicacy. But I never had it baked or with cranberries and agave nectar! Is it a traditional recipe or did you make it up? In both cases, congratulations, and if I find the ingredients I'll definitely give it a shot!!
PS - I saw the list before-- I hope you can get some rest and enjoy the holidays in the middle of all of that!! Best wishes in advance. :)

Mrs. W said...

I made this up. It was all a set of strange circumstances... planning for one type of thing but availability and price of ingredients made a whole other thing emerge. I'll call it a wonderful accident!

Anyone could use honey instead of agave nectar--I only use it because it is lower glycemic-index than honey.

My holiday list looks busy, but I think I'll manage it. After all, I don't work (except at this blog), so my days are fairly free.

Carrie said...

I LOVE using agave nectar! This looks absolutely wonderful!!

Mrs. W said...

Carrie, if you subsitute a GF pie crust recipe this would be great for you, too! It's dee-lish. I even served it to a man who *hates* blue cheese, and he liked it.

Jeanne said...

Wow - what a wonderful combination of flavours!! Thanks so much for daring to "bare all" this month in WTSIM :)

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