galette [gah-lette] noun
Originally a flat, round cake in a range of sizes made from rye, barley, wheat and oats and sweetened with honey. This baked good dates back to ancient times. In the European Middle Ages, more refined regional varieties arose, some with chestnuts, some with candied fruit, others with marzipan. A version found in Normandy during the Middle Ages most closely resembles the galette of today. It was made from puff pastry and filled with sweet jam and cream. Today, the galette is recognized as a rustic, free-form tart made with classic puff pastry or pie dough and filled with a sweetened fruit filling of some kind.
Instead of being molded in a tart pan, galettes are made by placing the filling directly on top of a piece of rolled-out dough, and then the edges of the dough are folded up and over in order to keep the filling from overflowing. The center is left open.
The term galette is sometimes used to refer to other baked goods as well, including the Breton Galette, which is a large buckwheat pancake-type pastry with a savory filling, or in French Canada where it references a large cookie.