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Rhubarb-Pear Cajeta Galette Part 1

April 26, 2010

The very first time I tried cajeta was about close to seven years ago when my husband (then boyfriend) prepared a snack of toast drizzled with cajeta. It was love at first bite. Silkier than caramel and cinnamon-scented, this gooey goodness made of goat’s milk has more depth of flavor, it has a slight burnt but not bitter taste. I made a batch a few weeks ago that my husband and I have lavishly drizzled on waffles, raisin bread, apples and of course toast. With leftover cajeta still sitting pretty in my fridge, I decided to make a rustic fruit galette (but enhanced) using this Mexico originating caramel sauce.

Cajeta Galette

At the market, I saw bright red stalks of rhubarb. As I got closer to the vibrant pile of produce, I automatically thought of my cajeta. How about putting them together in a free-form tart? Click. So I grabbed a few stalks and roamed around to find another fruit that could complement the rhubarb. I picked some organic Bosc pears because it will also pair nicely with the caramel sauce.

rhubarb

The tart dough that I made is a simple flaky tart dough containing flour, cornmeal, butter, sugar and salt (and ice water of course). Sometimes I like to add cornmeal to my dough for texture. But that’s just me, you can omit this if you are not a fan.

Dough

The rhubarb and pears were cut-up in small 1-inch bites and I macerated them for 15 minutes in 2 tablespoons of sugar with lemon juice from half a lemon. In the meantime, I rolled and portioned my chilled dough into small circles, about the size of an appetizer plate. I put a teaspoonful of cajeta on top of the dough and topped it with the rhubarb-pear mixture, leaving about an inch border and pleated the dough closed.  Make sure to use a slotted spoon when piling the macerated fruit so the dough doesn’t get drenched with the extra liquid. The galettes were also dotted with a bit of butter before baking.

Pear in the Dark

Everything was going so well until I put the galettes in the oven. After 20 minutes of baking, I checked my oven door and saw that the cajeta started to ooze out of the dough. I left it to continue to bake for another 15 to 20 minutes. My heart sank to see that the cajeta was on the baking sheet and not the galettes themselves.

This explains why there’s a Part 1 in the title of this blog. I will re-test this recipe again this week but with slightly improved steps. Instead of macerating the rhubarb and pears with sugar, I will sauté them very quickly in a pan with the cajeta. The pros: (1) the cajeta flavor stays with the fruit, (2) the dough will not get soggy, (3) it enhances the flavor of the cajeta even more and, (4) I don’t have to stand on the sink scrubbing the edges of my baking sheet trying to get rid of hardened cajeta. Why haven’t they created parchment paper or Silpat that goes up the sides of a baking sheet? I would need one in this particular situation.

The Creme Fraiche Shot

The other thing I would do differently is to sprinkle some turbinado sugar around the crust after the egg wash. I just missed this step last time so I am writing this down so I don’t forget. Despite the cajeta oozing out, the galettes were wonderfully good. Crust was bomb. A tart, or pie, or galette ain’t good with a crummy crust. The crust makes or breaks a tart, or pie, or galette. Did I already mention that the crust was bomb? Yes, it was. The combination of the rhubarb and pears was also spot on. And the cajeta… yes, it escaped the borders of the dough but it imparted such a beautiful flavor on the dessert that I know the next time I make it (using what I just described above), it would be even better.

So on to my next batch. Look out for Part 2 of this post, possibly with the recipe. Okay, spill the rude comments now but I am on the fence publishing my recipes since I hope to sell all my goodies one day in the future bakeshop. Got any thoughts?

Kitchen Notes:

Goat Milk

I made my cajeta with pure goat’s milk. If you don’t like the taste of goat’s milk, you can do half goat’s milk and half whole milk. Rick Bayless‘ book Mexico, One Plate At A Time has a really good section on cajeta. His book actually has a recipe for an Apple Tart with Cajeta. His recipe inspired me to make this version.

Canela Sticks

In the same book, he recommends using Mexican canela or cinnamon. I used regular cinnamon. But had I swung by mother-in-law’s house,  I know I would have scored a handful of the legit version.

Serve with sweetened crème fraîche or plain creme fraîche.

***

Cajeta recipe from Rick Bayless here.

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. Cristina permalink
    May 13, 2010 9:11 am

    I love Rick Bayless. I think I would eat anything he put down in front of me, including meat!

  2. May 13, 2010 10:55 pm

    I heart Rick Bayless! So agree… from conchinita pibil to flan to carnitas, I’ll eat anything he makes. He’s God in Mexican cooking.

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