What is a galette?

peach galette
Galette is a French term that refers to a variety of flat, round cakes, usually made with a flaky pastry dough of some kind. The term is very broad and can actually encompass a wide variety of different desserts, including a type of buckwheat crepes popular in parts of France and even types of cookies in French Canada. More often than not, despite the fact that it can refer to a number of different baked goods, the term galette typically refers to a free form tart that is made with a flaky pasty crust. These tarts are not molded in tart pans. Instead, filling is placed directly on top of a sheet of rolled out pastry and the edges of that pastry are folded up and around the filling. The tart becomes crisp during baking and the dessert, as a whole, manages to be both rustic and elegant at the same time.

Galettes can be sweet or savory. When you fill the tart with ingredients vegetables, sausage and cheese can turn a sheet of pastry into a beautiful main course. It is more common for galettes to be filled with fruit, chocolate or other sweet elements and served for dessert, though. For a basic galette, you really only need three ingredients: pastry dough, fruit and sugar. Simply roll your pastry out onto a parchment-lined baking sheet (flaky pie pastry will work well) and pile thinly sliced, lightly sweetened fruit in the center of the pastry, leaving a border around the edges. Fold up excess pastry to cover the fruit slightly, then bake until the pastry is brown and crisp. Stone fruits, such as the peaches used in this Easy Peach Galette, make excellent galettes, but so do apples, berries and even grapes.

8 comments

  1. I have a marvellous recipe for a galette. It uses regular flour as opposed to buckwheat. You mix citrus peel in the dough and on top you place butter knobs and sprinkle with sugar. You also add some salt to the dough and the spark of flavours is just terrific!

  2. Nicole,
    I’ve been wondering what the difference is between a galette and a crostata? They both seem to be sort of the same, an open-faced pastry/pie of sorts, so I wasn’t sure if the terms were interchangeable, kind of like crisps, crumbles and streusels. :)

  3. Heather – Good question. Crostata is actually just the Italian term for tart, so the difference is that a galette is pretty much always free form and a crostata does not have to be. The most basic crostata is a simple open-faced jam-filled tart. Free form crostatas have become very popular and they are often folded over around the edges, just as galettes are.

    This means that while there is a difference between the two terms, the two tart types can look about the same and, more often than not (especially in US food media/magazines), they are used interchangeably.

  4. I found a recipe fo galette in LAtmes. Apricots perfect. Better the next day

  5. I made these (galettes) a few weeks ago with my two grandaughters, 4 &6, and didn’t know the term galettes – only I used a half of an apple – too funny I thought I was being creative. :)
    They had a great time – as did I! They were,needless to say, very yummy. Oh the fun of cooking with children. 11/4/12

  6. Thank you for this info! I was searching for galette because I found a tasty recipe but wasn’t sure if the term meant desserts only :)

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