happy birthday, to the little man ::::
This is the birthday season in our house. Our little man, the Grub, just turned 1 last week and we celebrated with pear galette. What? No cake, you ask? See, our little guy has developed an odd sense of disdain for anything bread or cake, not even testing a bite of its tender crumb or a lick of its icing. Since Grub eats his weight in fruit, I made a birthday pear galette instead. It was a big hit with Peach and Eat, served with some sweetened, spiced sour cream. Grub decided the raw pear slices that didn’t make the cut for the galette were tastier than any baked good presented that day. He’s also the kind of kid who thinks the wrapping paper is way more interesting than the gift inside.
But our kids are the real gifts, not what we buy and wrap for these special celebrations. Grub is a little guy, even at age 1, but we often call him the Big Man. He is smiley. He loves to cuddle. He loves to see what Big Sister Peach is doing, much to her dismay at times. He is constantly moving, searching for another toy, another wad of wrapping paper or box, or even finding another way to antagonize the cat one more time.
He is the kid who attracts the attention of the older couple in the grocery store with his toothy smile and urge to point at people and screech happily. He is the kid with the reflexes of Superman: I’ve witnessed him catch a fly with his bare (fat) hands. He loves kisses and tickles on his feet. He purposely waits for me to turn my head, then places random objects (i.e., paper, cat hair, beads, other small objects that easily can lodge into one’s trachea) in his mouth with a smirk, as if to say, Hey, Mom. I did it again. Now you have to hunt for it.
Happy First Birthday, Grub! Maybe next year we can move up to Pear Cake….
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 7 tablespoons unsalted butter—5 tablespoons cut into small pieces and chilled, 2 tablespoons melted
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon milk
- 2 tablespoons apricot preserves, strained
- 2 large Bosc pears (I actually used Bartlett)
- ½ teaspoon very hot water
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. In a medium bowl, toss the flour with 1 teaspoon of the sugar and the salt. Cut in the cold butter until the mixture resembles fine crumbs.
- In a small bowl, beat the egg with the milk. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of the beaten egg over the flour mixture and stir. Working quickly, gather the dough into a smooth mass, squeezing it gently. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and pat it into a 5-inch disk. Wrap in wax paper and refrigerate until firm but not hard, about 30 minutes. (I did mine for an hour and it wasn't too firm.)
- On a lightly floured surface (I used my silicon mat so I wouldn't have to transfer the rolled-out dough), roll out the dough to a 9½-inch round, turning it clockwise an inch or two each time you roll to maintain an even shape. Transfer the dough to a heavy flat baking sheet (if not using a silicon mat or parchment to roll out on). Fold up ¼ inch of the edge of the dough to form a neat rim. Using a knife, score the rim in a decorative pattern (which I did not do). Brush the rim with a little of the remaining beaten egg. Brush 1 tablespoon of the apricot preserves over the bottom of the dough and refrigerate while you prepare the pears.
- Peel, quarter and core the pears. Slice each quarter lengthwise into 5 thin wedges. Arrange all but 6 of the pear wedges on the dough in a spoke pattern, overlapping them slightly. Cut the remaining pear wedges and arrange them in the center of the tart to form a decorative rose.* Brush the pear slices with the melted butter and sprinkle with the remaining 2 teaspoons of sugar.
- Bake the galette in the middle of the oven for 25 to 30 minutes (mine took 24 minutes), or until the pears are tender and the pastry is crisp and golden. Carefully slide the galette onto a rack to cool slightly.**
- Stir the hot water into the remaining 1 tablespoon of apricot preserves and brush on the pears.*** Serve the galette at room temperature.