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Rustic Pear Cardamom Apple Galette

When it comes to desserts, we're all about minimum effort and maximum flavor and presentation. Thanksgiving doesn't have to be an ordeal; save that energy for ski burning offerings to Ullr.

This pear-apple galette is the perfect easy dessert for a holiday dinner since the whole thing comes together in under an hour; it's perfectly reasonable to stumble in from a day on the hill, whip up a galette, and show up to your in-laws looking dialed as ever.

Galettes are a dessert I turn to year-round, in part because they’re so quick and easy to make (despite their impressive presentation), and also because I can adapt them with whatever fruits or berries are in season. Rhubarb and strawberry galettes in the spring, peach and nectarine topped with vanilla ice cream on hot summer evenings, and apple, pear, and plum treats as the days get cooler.

Whether I’m making a galette or a pie, my go-to pastry recipe is adapted from the Joy of Cooking’s All-Butter Pastry Dough. I like to add a little whole wheat flour and subtle warming spices to my dough, which comes together in less than 10 minutes for a spontaneous fall dessert. Pie crusts can seem intimidating, but label something as “rustic” and you can get away with just about any final product.

Ingredients Pastry dough (adapted from the Joy of Cooking)

  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour

  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour

  • 1/2 tsp. granulated sugar

  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

  • 1/2 tsp. ground cardamom

  • 1/4 tsp. salt

  • 1 stick (½ cup) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1 Tbsp. cubes

  • 3 Tbsp. ice water mixed with 1/2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar


  • 4 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted and divided

  • ¼ cup apple butter, homemade or store bought

  • 1 large apple, sliced ⅛-inch thick

  • 2 medium pears, sliced 1/4-inch thick

  • 3 tsp. corn starch

  • 1 Tbsp. lemon juice

  • 1 Tbsp. maple syrup

  • 1 tsp. vanilla

  • 1 tsp. orange zest (optional)

  • 2 Tbsp. white sugar

  • 1 tsp. cinnamon

  • 1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg


  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F.

  2. In a food processor, pulse together the flours, sugar, cinnamon, and salt.

  3. Add the butter, and pulse until butter is pea-sized (this takes about 5-10 seconds in my food processor).

  4. Sprinkle the dough with the ice water/vinegar mixture and pulse again until the dough sticks together. If it’s still too crumbly, add ice water 1 tsp. at a time.

  5. Shape the dough into a disk and roll out on a counter or cutting board dusted with flour. You can also make this dough ahead and wrap the disk in wax paper and store in the fridge or freezer.

  6. Roll the dough out until it’s about 12 inches in diameter and place on a large baking sheet.

  7. Brush the pastry dough with 2 Tbsp. melted butter and spread apple butter across dough, leaving a 1-inch border around the edge.

  8. In a small bowl, stir together the apple and pear slices, corn starch, lemon juice, maple syrup, vanilla, and orange zest until everything is just coated. Do not over stir.

  9. Layer the pear and apple slices onto the pastry dough, slightly overlapping.

  10. Fold the edges of the dough around the pears and apples.

  11. Stir together the sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg.

  12. Drizzle the remaining butter over the edges of the dough, then sprinkle with sugar/spice mixture.

  13. Bake for 16-18 minutes, until the pastry turns golden brown around the edges.

  14. Cool and serve warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

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