I am sure what the story arc of a blog looks like but I do know that I’ve been feeling like I’ve outgrown my shoes on the Internet. For the longest time, I thought I could get away with all of the slick free themes on WordPress and then for the longest time after that I would spend occasional moments looking at menus(!) on other websites and wishing I could have my own so I could keep my silly doodles separate from the rest of what I do. This time last week, I did something about it and the week since, I’ve spent what feels like both of those earlier “longest times” put together with a thought bubble over my doolingass head that says “wtf was I thinking”. Clearly, not so much. I’ve been googling Adam J Kurtz motivationals on Design*Sponge and harassing my friend Jeanne (who has been so gracious with her expertise. No birthday twin comes closer) so I think I’ll be okay.
Voila! Here is a spruced up egeedee.com, that friendly neighbourhood blog you have no idea how to pronounce. It’s me! It’s my initials spelt out! Say it like EGD! I’ll come back to this later.
What’s different is that I now have a menu (yay), a recipe index (working on categorising everything but yay, still!), and a place to put all my silly doodles when I feel ready. There is also an email subscribe link on all the pages and many, many things I’m still discovering behind the scenes. This blogging stuff is hardcore and I have this new respect for all these other bloggers who’ve made their first impression seem so effortless, especially without the megabucks. I’ve been dwelling a lot on how I don’t know what I’m doing but really all I have done is opened up a lot of possibilities for myself and this tiny broom closet. Comfort zone schmfort zone, as we say at rock camp.
There are still a few glitches to fix and you might see one when you try and leave a comment on any of my posts. I get comments but the transition from “type type type” to “post” to whatever happens next seems like your comment hasn’t gone anywhere. Please leave comments anyway. Thanks for pointing that out, Sofia (who also migrated her domain recently so she knows exactly what I’m talking about. It looks wonderful, S). Another thing I am working on – as I pointed out earlier – is putting the posts in categories. I don’t think of myself as a super successful blogger with coveted recipes in my archives so I have that going for me. Still, I use my blog as a reference as well so making it work well for me is important. I found this recipe I made a while back while digging through my archives and I patted myself on the back for the writing. The recipe was GREAT too and from a book that’s in the garage (come out come out). I love that book and so it was a great reminder to change my priorities bookshelf-wise. Back to the garage “Your Money or Your Life”, a book I did not pay money for. I am learning so many things.
I don’t know if I’m using this term correctly but I hope the “user experience” is friendly. I will continue to shout out the good things (seafood, feminism, bathroom acoustics) and the shit I don’t like (bigotry). If you’re visiting for the first time or the 1000th, my motto will always be “write your feelings and eat everything”. It’s so great to have you here. Today, we’re eating a galette.
PS: If you notice stuff on the blog that’s not working the way it’s supposed to like the “comment” thing, please point it out and I’ll try to fix it as soon as I can.
Notes: There is only one secret to pie crust and to keep all the ingredient cold. Butter? Cold. Water? Cold. Dough? Cold. I also have more luck when I measure out my ingredients instead of using a cup measure. Though I’ve provided the cup measures, I have no guarantee that they are accurate. I hope this doesn’t deter you. If you don’t have a scale, try it anyway and find the best way that works for you.
I have found that the bottom of the crust tends to get soggy depending on the filling and the juiciness. 1) Lightly dusting the bottom of the rolled out crust with semolina or all-purpose flour 2) Pre-heating the baking sheet for 15 minutes at a higher temperature, say 400 degrees F – before putting the galette on top of it. This helps the bottom cook immediately instead of at the usual pace which allows it to soak in the fruit juice.
The best way to core a pear without any of the fancy tools is to slice it along the bottom about 3 times and then using a pairing knife or a tbsp measure, scoop out the core in the centre. If you don’t want to do this, you can leave the core in, slice it and then when you reach the part with the seeds, just push them out.
For the dough
- 125 gms (1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour)
- A pinch of salt (1/2 tsp)
- 113 gms (8 tbsp) cold unsalted butter, diced
- 4 tbsp (1/4 cup) ice cold water
For the filling
- 2 firm but ripe Bosch pears, cored and sliced into 1/4 inch rounds (see note)
- 1 vanilla bean, seeds removed or 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 + 2 tbsp sugar, divided
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- A pinch of salt
- 2 tbsp fig preserves
- 2 tbsp rum
- 1 egg, beaten
- Whipped cream, to serve
Whisk flour and salt in a large bowl to combine. Work the butter into the flour until the cubes are pea-size. My technique is to press the butter into the flour. Spoon the water a table spoon at a time into the flour and work it in with your hands to combine. Turn the mixture on a work surface and bring it all together, barely kneading it until it turns into a messy dough. Make sure there are no dry flour spots. Form the dough into a disc and wrap in plastic wrap. Chill until firm, so for 2-3 hours or overnight if making a day ahead.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Place the cut pears into a medium-sized bowl and add the vanilla bean or extract, 2 tbsp sugar, lemon juice and a pinch of salt. Toss gently to coat and set aside for 10 minutes. Once the dough is firm, roll it out into a circle-ish shape on a floured surface. Roll it to about 1/8 inch thickness and then carefully place it on the parchment paper. An easy way to do this without tearing the dough is to loosely roll it around your rolling pin and the unfurling it on the baking sheet. You can place the baking sheet back in the freezer to firm it up slightly while you perform the next step.
Warm the fig preserves and rum over medium heat until it forms a loose solution. It’s okay if the preserves are still a little chunky. Pull the dough out of the freezer. Leaving a 1 inch border along the edges, arrange the pear slices on top of the dough. Fold the edges of the dough over the pears. If you feel like the dough is too soft, place it in the freezer for 10 minutes or so until it firms up. Take it out of the freezer and brush it with egg wash. Sprinkle the dough with the remaining sugar. Dot the top of the galette with the fig preserves and bake for 45-50 minutes or until the crust is deep golden brown. Let it cool once ready and serve with your favourite whipped cream or ice-cream.