Once Upon A Table

Once Upon A Table


I’m not a pastry person. I mean, I love ‘em but I am completely intimidated by the baking process. Which is why I’ve never bothered to learn. Wasting so much yummy butter seemed the sin of all sins to me.

Leave it to 7 tomato plants ripening at the same time to launch me into the scary world of crust. Tired of roasting and stewing and salsa’ing, I needed something shiny and new by Day 4 of “putting up” tomatoes. I turned to my trusted friend, Google. Google totally gets me. No matter how cryptic or profane my query. In this case I think I typed, “what’s the easiest freaking crust recipe you got?” And voila! Within seconds, right before my eyes, was a beautiful image of the most perfect tomato pesto galette I’ve ever seen. It was glorious. Mouth-watering. So freaking mouth-watering. “Must try,” I stammered, drooling. “I can do this. I CAN do this. I can DO this. This I MUST do!” And off to the kitchen I went.

Seriously, it’s one of the easiest things I’ve ever tried. I think I’ve made at least 48 since. That’s about 10 per week, and somehow that doesn’t seem like much of an exaggeration. Tomato and pesto. Apples and brown sugar. Potatoes and wonderfully silky gruyere. The options are limitless. I’m cocky enough now to toy around with the crust’s ingredients: almond flour, corn meal, parmesan, and good ol’ bacon grease have all taken their turn and not a one was wasted.

Here’s my most favorite of the combinations I’ve created. Well, maybe. It’s hard to say, they’ve all been so spectacularly delicious. In truth, it doesn’t matter which one I share because all of them are the gateway drug. Seriously. Be prepared to make this your go-to dish for every single freaking occasion in your life for the next year.




1¼ cup Flour

¼ cup Cornmeal

¼ cup Sugar

¼ tsp Salt

½ cup Butter, COLD, cubed

¼ cup Buttermilk, COLD (see note below)

1 Egg (for Egg Wash)

1 Tbsp Milk (for Egg Wash)


3-4 Pears, sliced lengthwise

4 oz Mascarpone

3 Tbsp Sugar

¼ cup Heavy Whipping Cream

2 Tbsp Black Strap Rum


  1. Make the Crust: in a food processor, add flour, cornmeal, sugar, and salt and pulse 3-4 times until combined. Add the cubed butter and pulse 3-4 times until mixture resembles coarse, pea-sized crumbs. Add the buttermilk and pulse again until mixture is evenly moistened. Lightly flour a work surface and turn mixture out onto flour. Scrunch the crumbly mixture together and shape into a flat disk about 1½” thick. Wrap in cling wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes (Note: can refrigerate up to 3 days or freeze up to 3 months).
  2. Prepare Filling: Slice pears 1/8” thick and set aside. In medium bowl, mix mascarpone, whipping cream, sugar, and rum until creamy and smooth. Set aside.
  3. Preheat Oven: 425 deg F.
  4. Roll the Dough: place a sheet of parchment paper on work surface and lightly flour. Remove dough from wrap and place on paper. Lightly sprinkle flour (or cornmeal) on dough and roll into a 12″-14” circle (perfection isn’t necessary; the appearance of a galette is rustic, so don’t sweat it if your shape is less than circular).
  5. Fill Dough: spread mascarpone mixture in the center of dough, leaving a 2″ crust border all around. Layer the pear slices on the mascarpone in any pattern you choose. Next, gently fold the exposed crust edges over the pears, overlapping the dough as necessary. The crust will cover only the pears on the outside edge, leaving the center exposed. Press the dough gently to seal the edges.
  6. Egg Wash: combine the beaten egg and milk, then lightly brush the dough edges. This will give the dough a nice golden sheen when cooked.
  7. Bake: carefully move the dough w. parchment paper to a baking sheet and place in oven (middle rack). Bake 25-30 minutes, or until pears are soft and the crust is golden brown.
  8. Cool: remove from oven and cool on baking sheet for 10-15 minutes before slicing and serving.

NOTE: Buttermilk can be made by adding 1 tsp Apple Cider Vinegar to 1/4 cup milk. Stir, then let sit 10-15 minutes before using, giving it proper time to sour.