This Gluten-Free Pear & Mascarpone Galette is incredibly easy to make, and looks elegant enough for a holiday dessert. It would also make a great addition to Christmas brunch!
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There's something about pear season that makes the cold transition from "glorious Autumn" to "almost-winter" a little bit more enchanting.
We live in an area that was once filled with orchards, so it's common around here to see twisted and gnarly-looking old pear trees spotted with bright yellow pears that seem to almost glow, as they cling stubbornly to the old gray branches.
I always think it seems like they're hanging on so tightly, perhaps in the hopes that little hands might once again come hunting for them. I guess that's the cold-weather melancholy dreamer in me starting to come out.
(Also, you may have to forgive the really dark images for this post...I've been studying the painting work of Vermeer, and am afraid the influence has made for some very moody-looking food photography lately.)
If pears did have a dream though, I like to think it would involve being turned into something like this simple pear and mascarpone galette. It looks a bit fancy, and could certainly hold its own at the center of a Christmas brunch table.
But - it's also deceptively easy to make, and with just a hint of sweetness, the flavor of the pears absolutely shines through.
It can be made with almost any kind of pear, and I've tried it with everything from Bosc to Red Anjou to Bartlett. Perfectly-ripe Bartlett pears are probably my favorite for this pear galette recipe, but it comes out wonderfully when made with good ripe pears of any variety.
I generally leave the skins on, when thinly-slicing the pears, so using red pears makes for an especially festive appearance.
While this galette is aromatic, soft and just decadent served hot, it also is delicious at room temperature. Allowed to fully cool, it actually holds up as a finger-food and can even be served in small wedges as part of a holiday snack table.
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Try pairing this pear and mascarpone galette with an assortment of mixed nuts and a variety of cheese chunks, as a "nibbling plate" between meals on Thanksgiving or Christmas day! You can make it a day ahead, and wow everyone by whisking it out from nowhere just as people are getting hungry for a little something. Hope your family enjoys this as much as we do!
Gluten-Free Pear and Mascarpone Galette
- baking sheet
- parchment paper
- Rolling pin
- 1 Gluten-free pie crust for a single-crust 9-inch pie
- 2 large ripe pears
- 8 ounces mascarpone at room temperature
- 3 Tbsp honey
- 3 Tbsp sliced almonds
- 1/4 tsp cardamom (nutmeg is a good substitute if you don't love cardamom)
- Pre-heat oven to 375°.
- On a sheet of parchment paper, roll out pie crust into a circle about 12" wide.
- Leaving a 2" border on all sides, spread mascarpone evenly over the pie crust.
- Cut pears into thin slices, removing and discarding the core. If pears have a thick, tougher skin, pare and discard the skin as well. If using thin-skinned pears (like Bartlett), I like to make this galette with the skins left on.
- Arrange pears evenly over the mascarpone.
- Drizzle honey over the mascarpone and pear slices, then sprinkle with almond slices and cardamom.
- Working your way around the circle, bring bare edges of pie crust up to just overlap the edge of the mascarpone and pear slices. Using the parchment paper to help lift each section of pie crust can really help keep a delicate crust from breaking as you're doing this.
- Using the parchment paper, slide the galette onto a rimmed baking sheet (or pizza stone), and bake until pears are soft and pie crust is golden brown - about 35 minutes.
- Let cool slightly and enjoy!