Nick and the cat are fighting over bedtime (they holler at each other while he completes his nighttime routine), and she needed to have her claws trimmed a week ago and now it’s his problem, and it’s laundry night but the sheets came out damp, and we’re all out of Glee episodes to watch and books to read and original thoughts to think. But the apartment is clean, scrubbed down to its grout even, and we have a week of relaxation planned, of catching up on lost sleep and homemade dinners and digging in the garden. We’re not driving places or spending money. We’ve booked ourselves an entire weekend of going nowhere and doing nothing but slow-cooking beans and brisket for Sunday dinner. I’m looking forward to it.
Every so often it becomes urgent to not do anything for a week or two, to be very boring until the bags disappear from under our eyes for awhile. We generally eat well during these lulls, because we are not always worrying about what to wear before dashing frantically off to some thing. It’s during these breaks that we sometimes get to eat pie for dinner, so even if the lulls sound terribly dull, at least there is pastry. And that is a thing to look forward to in itself.
Pear galette with rosemary
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 1 1/4 tsp. salt, divided
- 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper, divided
- 1/2 cup cold unsalted butter, cubed
- 5 tbsp. ice water
- 1 lb. firm-fleshed pears
- 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- 1/2 cup crumbled Chevre
- 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
- 1 egg white, beaten with 1 tsp. water
Make your dough. Combine flour and 1/4 teaspoon of salt, and drop each cube of butter in, squishing them between your fingers. The end result before you add the water should be a crumby mixture with larger chunks, some as large as kidney beans or peas. Stir in water, a bit at a time, to form the dough – you may not need all of the water; the dough should be just moist enough to hold together. Press into a disk and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate until pears are done.
Quarter pears and remove centres, and cut each quarter in half. You can peel them if you want to but I didn’t feel like it, and it didn’t make a difference in the end. Place pear pieces into a saucepan and pour over balsamic vinegar, maple syrup, and enough cold water to just cover the pears. Add the remaining salt, 1/4 teaspoon of black pepper, and the sprig of rosemary. Bring the pot to a simmer over medium-high heat, reduce heat to medium, and simmer for 30 minutes.
Roll pie dough onto a sheet of parchment paper to a thickness of 1/4-inch. Place parchment with pie dough onto a sheet pan.
Place pear slices in the centre of the dough in a circle. Sprinkle Chevre and remaining pepper over top, then fold the edges of the dough over the pears. It will be rough and rustic-looking, but that’s perfectly all right, because who wants to make a perfect pie after working all day? Not me. Place the remaining sprig of rosemary over top, paint the edges of the pie with egg white, and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until golden.
Serve with gently dressed greens and hot black tea.