To make the pie crust:
In a food processor, pulse together the flour, sugar, and salt until combined. Add the cold butter and continue to pulse until coarse crumbs form about pea-sized in shape (you still want small pieces of butter throughout the dough - it’s what give the dough its flakiness). With the food processor on, add the cold water, one tablespoon at a time, until the dough comes together. To check if the dough is ready, take a piece of the mixture and press it between your fingers, if it sticks together, you know its ready! Transfer the mixture onto a work surface and form the dough into a disc. Wrap in plastic wrap and place in the fridge for at least an hour or overnight.
Preheat over to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
To make the filling, in a large bowl, toss together the pears, lemon juice, lemon zest, granulated sugar (sugar quantity depends on ripeness of fruit and your taste), flour, cinnamon, vanilla extract and salt. Set aside.
Remove the dough from the fridge. Let it sit at room temperature for 10 minutes, or until it’s ‘workable’ (don’t let it sit for too long, otherwise the butter will melt and you’ll loose the delicious buttery flakes). On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough into an 11-inch disc. Transfer to the baking sheet. Add the filling onto the dough, leaving a 1 1/2inch border. Arrange the pears in any design you like (keep any remaining juices from the bowl and set aside). I like to add the figs at this point, because they are so delicate. If you try to toss them in with the pear mixture they would easily fall apart. Slice the figs into 1/4 inch slices and add to the tart in any design to like (I interspersedly wedged them between pear slices). Pleat the dough every 2 inches until all sides are folded and the galette has formed. Pour the remaining juice from the pear mixture bowl over the galette. Place the tart in the fridge for 30 minutes to chill.
To make the egg wash, beat the egg and heavy cream until thoroughly combined. Remove the galette from the fridge, brush with the egg wash and place into the oven for 40-45 minutes, until the filling is bubbling and the crust is golden brown. Let cool at room temperature and serve with whipped cream and/or ice cream. Enjoy!
Yields: 1 galette (4-6 servings)
Total Time: 2 - 2 1/2 hours