Apple-and-Pear Galette with Walnut Streusel

I made mini brown sugar pumpkin cheesecakes with oreo crust this past Thanksgiving as one dessert per my uncle’s request for something with pumpkin. And my mom wanted something fruity, so I figured it would be great to take advantage of pears being in season.  However, I don’t like it when cooked pears get mushy.  I came across this recipe on Food & Wine magazine, and thought the addition of the apple and streusel would keep the galette’s texture interesting.

I was also super excited to roll out the dough on our gorgeous new countertop!  Thanks Johnny and the Expert Hardwood Flooring team!  These small joys are what life is all about.  At our old apartment, Kev and I didn’t have a lot of kitchen counter space and what little we had was right next to the sink and really the only prep space we had.

On the New Countertop!
On the New Countertop!



  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 sticks cold unsalted butter, cubed
  • 1/2  cup ice water

    Crust Ingredients
    Crust Ingredients
  • 2/3 cup walnuts
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cubed
  • 2 Granny Smith apples, halved, cored and thinly sliced lengthwise
  • 2 firm Bartlett pears, halved, cored and sliced lengthwise 1/4 inch thick
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar, plus more for sprinkling
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 large egg beaten with 1 teaspoon water
  • Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting (optional)


  1. MAKE THE CRUST In a food processor, pulse the 2 cups of flour with the salt. Add the butter and pulse until the pieces are the size of small peas. Sprinkle the water on top and pulse until the dough just comes together. Turn the dough out onto a work surface, gather up any crumbs and pat into a disk. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate until well chilled, 1 hour.

    Crumbly with Pea Size Clumps of Butter
    Crumbly with Pea Size Clumps of Butter
  2. MEANWHILE, MAKE THE STREUSEL Preheat the oven to 400°. Spread the walnuts in a pie plate and bake for about 8 minutes, until lightly browned. Let cool, then chop.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk the flour with the brown sugar and salt. Add the butter and, using your fingers, pinch it into the dry ingredients until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Add the walnuts and pinch the streusel into clumps. Refrigerate until chilled, about 15 minutes.
  4. MAKE THE FILLING Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large bowl, toss the apples with the pears, 1/4 cup of granulated sugar, the salt and lemon juice. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the dough to a 19-by-13-inch oval. Ease the dough onto the prepared baking sheet. Mound the filling in the center of the oval, leaving a 2-inch border. Sprinkle the streusel evenly over the fruit and fold the edge of the dough up and over the filling.

    Ready for the Oven
    Ready for the Oven
  5. Brush the crust with the egg wash and sprinkle evenly with granulated sugar. Bake the galette for 45 to 50 minutes, until the fruit is tender and the streusel and crust are golden brown. Let the galette cool. Dust with confectioners’ sugar, if using, before serving.
    Apple-and-Pear Galette with Walnut Streusel
    Apple-and-Pear Galette with Walnut Streusel



This was a big hit at Thanksgiving.  The tart crispness of the apple really complimented the sweet pear. My aunt hosted this year, so I had to let it cool and bring it over at room temp, but I would definitely recommend serving it a little warm with ice cream if you make it at home!

Bittersweet Chocolate and Pear Cake

It’s pear season!  Ok – yes, it’s pretty much always pear season.  Thought I’d share this slightly outdated post from our housewarming party that happened…last February.

I’m not a big candy person, despite my sweet tooth.  But there is a dark chocolate pear & almond bar made by Whole Foods Market that I have been crazy about for years.  The mild acidity of the pear really balances the rich and bitter dark chocolate, while the crunch of the slivered almonds adds some great texture.  I’m craving it as we speak!  I always see so many great recipes out there that are perfect for serving hot out of the oven, but I usually bringing desserts  over to other people’s places.  With us hosting, I really wanted to take advantage of the opportunity to serve a freshly-made dessert.  I came across this recipe on good ol’ Smitten Kitchen and it really reminded me of the Whole Foods chocolate bar I love so much.  Here’s the recipe as adapted from Smitten Kitchen!


  • 1 C all-purpose flour
  • 1 TBSP baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3 eggs, at room-temperature (room temp is important!)
  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 3/4 C sugar
  • 3 pears, peeled, in a small dice (I used ripe anjou pears)
  • 3/4 C bittersweet chocolate chunks (60% – on the brink of dark!)


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.  Butter a 9-inch springform pan and dust with breadcrumbs (leftovers from the kale salad ingredients?) and set aside.
  2. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt together, and set aside.
  3. Using a mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the eggs on high speed until pale and very thick. (In a professional Kitchen Aid, it takes at least five minutes; on a home machine, it will take nine minutes to get sufficient volume)
  4. While the eggs are whipping, brown the butter. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan (to prevent splatters outside the pan) and cook it until the butter browns and smells nutty (about 6 to 8 minutes). Be sure to keep an eye on it.  It helps to frequently scrape the solids off the bottom of the pan in the last couple minutes to ensure even browning. Remove from the flame but keep in a warm spot.
  5. With the mixer still on, add the sugar in a slow steady stream to the eggs and whip a few minutes more.
  6. Just as the egg-sugar mixture is starting to loose volume, turn the mixture down to stir, and add the flour mixture and brown butter. Add one third of the flour mixture, then half of the butter, a third of the flour, the remaining butter, and the rest of flour. Whisk until just barely combined — no more than a minute from when the flour is first added — and then use a spatula to gently fold the batter until the ingredients are combined. It is very important not to over-whisk or fold the batter or it will lose volume.

    Fold the Batter
    Fold the Batter
  7. Pour into prepared pan. Sprinkle the pear and chocolate chunks over the top, and bake until the cake is golden brown and springs back to the touch, about 40 to 50 minutes, or til a tester comes out clean. Let cool for 15 minutes and serve warm!

    Place Chopped Goodies On Top of Batter
    Place Chopped Goodies On Top of Batter

This cake was STUPIDLY delicious.  It is not, however, a cake I would recommend making while you’re entertaining a lot of people after all.  It requires a lot of attention, and there’s nothing really other than dry prep (pre-measuring all of your dry ingredients) that you can do ahead.  It’s also not a cake that is great for taking somewhere as you want to serve it warm while the chocolate is still gooey.

Bittersweet Chocolate and Pear Cake
Bittersweet Chocolate and Pear Cake

I’d definitely make this again.  However, I’d time it so that I’m throwing it in the oven when guests arrive since the bake time is long.  That way, we still benefit from a freshly baked cake!

Vanilla Roasted Pears

Kevin and I hosted a fun Saturday evening in Los Feliz for Tony and Julie a few weekends ago, basking in the warm afternoon sun cocktail in-hand on the outdoor patio of Katsuya at the Americana followed by a fun four-course homemade dinner courtesy of Kevin and yours truly.

The Capitellis!
The Capitellis!

Apologies in advance for the poor photo quality and plating, as I used my phone’s camera and only briefly had the food on a plate before we shoveled it down our throats.  Classy bunch, I know.  No time for fluff and positioning when there was food to be eaten!

First Course - Cheese & Charcuterie
First Course – Cheese & Charcuterie

To start, we put together a simple cheese and charcuterie board with Supreme brie (my fav), a gouda-cheddar blend, red wine (chianti) salami from Trader Joe’s, and a Trader Joe’s prosciutto (my absolut fav storebought prosciutto).  We threw in some granny smith apple slices, and wheat and flax crackers.  Tony apparently is a big chocolate beer guy, so Kevin decided to pick up a couple of chocolate stouts for the boys to try.

Second Course - Arugula Salad
Second Course – Arugula Salad

For the second course, we made a simple arugula salad topped with homemade candied walnuts, julienne fuji apple, and shaved (not grated!) parmesan cheese, all drizzled over with a homemade brown sugar balsamic vinaigrette (1/4 C balsamic vinegar, 1 chopped shallot, 1/2 C olive oil, 2 tsp brown sugar, 1/4 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp fine black pepper – whisked together and sitting for at least an hour).

I didn't remember to take a photo til midway through eating this dish...
I didn’t remember to take a photo til midway through eating this dish…

For the entree, we did a wheat rotini pasta dish with simple grilled shrimp, pan-friend kale, and Trader Joe’s sundried tomato.  We also added a touch of Trader Giotto’s Organic Vodka sauce to add a little bit of moisture to the dish – Kevin’s genius idea.

And now for the real subject matter of this post – dessert!  I wanted to make something that we could make and eat right away, rather than the types of things I typically make in advance (i.e., cupcakes, cookies, bars, etc.).  Also, baking at Kevin’s means either needing to be self-sufficient as far as not needing the typical tools and machinery goes, or bringing all the machinery myself.  We settled on a vanilla poached pear recipe (below) as adapted from one I found on Smitten Kitchen.


  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 4-5 slightly-under-ripe, fragrant, medium pears, peeled if desired, halved though the stem and cored (I used Bosc)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 tablespoon unsalted butter


1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Place the sugar in a small bowl. With a thin, sharp knife, split the vanilla bean lengthwise in half and scrape out the seeds. Stir the seeds into the sugar.

2. Arrange the pears in a large baking dish, cut-side up. Drizzle the lemon juice evenly over the fruit, then sprinkle with the sugar. Nestle the vanilla pod among the fruit (I first slit my halves lengthwise into quarters). Pour the water into the dish. Dot each pear with some butter.

Pears, Vanilla Sugar, and Butter - Easy!
Pears, Vanilla Sugar, and Butter – Easy!

3. Roast the pears for minutes brushing them occasionally with the pan juices. Turn the pears over and continue roasting, basting once or twice, until tender and caramelized, 25 to 30 minutes longer. A paring knife poked into the thickest part of one should meet with no resistance.

Slightly Blistered Pears
Slightly Blistered Pears

4. Serve warm, spooned with the caramelized pear drippings from the pan over vanilla ice cream.

Vanilla Roasted Pears
Vanilla Roasted Pears

I LOVED this recipe – it’s a nice light dessert that I could eat probably every day.  When (not “if”) I make this again, I might substitute the white sugar for a little less than the same amount of brown sugar just to get a little more of a molassesy-sticky texture to the glaze. MMM

Pear and Arugula Salad

Pears and arugula were on sale at Ralph’s, so I decided to make a pear and arugula salad.  However, I hate crumbly cheese… goat, bleu, gorgonzola, feta…  If it comes in crumbles, I hate it.  Since most pear and arugula salad recipes incorporate some form of crumbly cheese, I decided to make my own version.  I love me some shaved parm, so I used that to give the salad the salty kick.  I threw in some avocado because… well… I throw avocado on everything.  I’ll definitely include some candied walnuts the next time I make this!

Pear and Arugula Salad with Shaved Parmesan Cheese

With the leftover bacon from the Shrimp and Spinach Salad that I made and the aforementioned arugula salad, I made a tasty BLTA using argula instead of lettuce.  Arugula and salty things go so well together!  NOM!

BATA (Bacon Arugula Tomato Avocado) is the new BLTA