Caramel Pecan Spelt Galette with Dark Chocolate
This caramel pecan spelt galette has to be the easiest dessert I have made. Well, okay, not the easiest, that award would probably go to my Daim and caramel cream dessert. Definitely the easiest pastry dessert I’ve had the satisfaction to create.
Not only is it easy peasy, lemon squeezy, it is sublimely delicious, too. I was so pleased with it. Oodles of flaky, buttery pastry, topped with sweet, crunchy pecans and a peppering of dark chocolate. I was actually surprised at how good it was. There’s nothing more rewarding than creating a recipe that is simple, looks good and tastes divine.
What are galettes?
Simply put, a galette is a pie without a form (not made in a dish). If you’ve wanted to make pies or pastry in the past, but felt a little daunted at the prospect, the galette could change all that. Their rustic form makes them the perfect ease into pies because they are not supposed to look perfect. Quite the opposite, actually. There’s no need to measure out a circle, or make sure it fits your tin. You literally roll out the pastry, top it with whatever you fancy, and then turn over the edges.
Originating in France, the galette can be sweet, like this caramel pecan spelt galette, or savoury. Cheese galettes are to die for. The only difference to the basic recipe is a touch of sugar in the pastry.
What fillings can you use for galettes?
As touched on above, there really is nothing off limits for a galette. Berries are awesome, but you could use any kind of fruit such as plums, peaches, raspberries, apples or even pears. This caramel pecan dark chocolate galette is a divine combo of sweet nuts peppered with chunks of good quality dark chocolate, which is not very sweet. Don’t limit yourself to using just pecans though: any nut would work well.
When it comes to savoury fillings, again, use whatever you like. Cream cheese topped with parma ham, asparagus, spinach, potato, or mushrooms would be divine. Or feta and tomato. The world’s your oyster.
The secret to making a good galette
The most important thing when making a galette is to get the pastry right. You want to use plenty of butter in your pastry, but not overwork it too much. You can make your pastry by hand, using the rubbing in method, or with my preferred method, a stand mixer. For both methods, you want to end up with a breadcrumb texture, but still have some larger pieces of butter. This is what creates a lighter, flakier pastry.
As mentioned above, your filling can be whatever you like. The only thing to be careful of is that too much liquid will spill out over the sides. And yes, I speak from experience. I made a gorgeous salted peanut caramel galette once, and by the end of baking, the pastry was completely swamped. So, leave the eggs to make a quiche.
Is there an alternative to spelt flour?
Spelt is a great flour to use in pastry. White spelt has a slightly nutty taste that works exceptionally well in this recipe. However, if you don’t have spelt flour, you can replace it with regular plain (all-purpose) flour. Because you don’t need the pastry to do very much (other than bake), gluten free flour also works well. I used a combination of gluten free flours to make my gluten free strawberry galette.
Caramel Pecan and Dark Chocolate Galette
- 2 tbsp icing sugar
- ½ tsp salt (see note 1)
- 180g (1½ cups) spelt flour (see note 2)
- 120g (¾ cup) butter (cold)
- 2-4 tbsp cold water
- 50g (1¾ oz) dark chocolate
- 65g (⅓ cup) brown sugar
- 35g (2½ tbsp) butter
- 1 tbsp milk
- 200g (7 oz) pecans
- Add the icing sugar, salt and flour to your stand mixer bowl (see note 3).
- Chop the butter into small pieces and add to the dry ingredients.
- Work the butter in until you have a breadcrumb consistency. Stop working when you still have larger pieces of butter.
- Add two tablespoons of cold water and allow the mixture to come together. It should be soft but not sticky. If you feel you need more water, just add ½ tablespoon at a time.
- Cover with clingfilm and place in the fridge while you make the filling.
- Pre-heat the oven to 175℃ / 350℉.
- Chop the chocolate into small chunks and set to one side.
- Add the sugar, butter and milk to a medium sized pan and using a whisk, mix the ingredients together as they melt. When it has achieved a rolling boil, continue to whisk for a further two minutes, then remove from the heat.
- Add the pecans and allow to cool for a bit.
- Roll out your pastry dough on a sheet of baking paper (you want the pastry fairly thin). Don't worry about an exact shape, but cut off any longer sides so that you have a rough circle.
- Pour the pecan mixture onto the middle of the circle and arrange them so they are not positioned on top of each other. Leave a good gap all the way around.
- Sprinkle over the dark chocolate chunks.
- Carefully turn over the edges a bit at a time, pushing a little to the sides. Pat down gently so that the pastry sits in place. This does not have to be perfect - galettes are supposed to be rustic!
- Carefully move the baking sheet, with the galette, onto a baking tray.
- Bake in the oven for around 25 minutes, until the pastry is golden.
- Allow the galette to cool, then sprinkle the edges with icing sugar just before serving. Eat warm or cold topped with ice-cream or whipped cream. Enjoy!
- If you are using salted butter, omit this.
- You can use regular flour in place of spelt (just use the same amount).
- I use a stand mixer to make my pastry. If you prefer to make it by hand, just rub the butter into the flour until you achieve a fairly fine breadcrumb texture.