I bought this beautiful looking box of apples the last time we were at Costco – each apple suspended in it’s own see-through segment for protection during travel. The only thing was, when we actually tried one, it was kinda tasteless and mealy; not what we were anticipating at all.
What was I supposed to do with a Costco-sized container of less than perfect apples?
Galette (basically a free-form pie).
I could up the cinnamon and add some cloves to make up for the bland apples; and as it happened, I had a new pie crust recipe to try out: pâte à foncer, a basic French recipe that calls for a lot of butter (3/4 lb) and, unlike traditional pie crusts, is made with all the ingredients at room temp.
I like it. The resulting pastry is nicely crumbly and tastes a little like a butter cracker.
Pâte à Foncer:
•12 oz butter, softened
•1-1/2 tsp salt
•1 tsp sugar
•1 egg yolk
•3/8 cup milk – I used almond milk
•3-1/2 cups flour
•6 apples, peeled, cored and sliced
•1/2 cup sugar
•1 tbsp + 2 tsp cinnamon
•1 tsp ground cloves
•1 beaten egg white
Break down the already soft butter with your mixer, then mix in the salt, the sugar, the egg yolk, and the milk.
Add the flour and mix just until it has mostly gathered together into dough.
Gather the dough into a ball, then flatten into a disk, wrap in plastic, and chill for at least 4 hours. As a side note, this gathering, flattening, and wrapping should deal with any of those errant bits of flour that didn’t get blended in in the mixing bowl.
When ready to make your galette, toss the apples with the sugar, cinnamon and cloves in a bowl and set aside.
Unwrap the dough and roll out – some folk use a lightly-floured surface, I prefer laying waxed paper onto my pastry board, laying out the dough, covering it with a second sheet of waxed paper, and rolling away.
Fresh from the fridge, the dough will be hard to work with – one reason I always flatten it before chilling – but with a little time and effort, it should roll out beautifully. I usually plan on a rectangle for a galette, and will fold any ragged edges over on top of the dough and roll it back in to the dough to make it all a bit neater.
Transfer the dough onto a parchment paper lined baking pan and arrange your seasoned apples in the center, leaving a good margin on each side for when you fold the dough over.
Fold the dough over on each side, tucking in the corners, and dot the apple mixture with butter – I used another 3 or 4 tablespoons.
Yes, if you’re keeping track, at this point, we are up to almost one pound of butter for one galette. In my defense, it is a rather large galette, and trust me, one bite and you will not regret it.
Pop the galette into a 375º oven for 15 to 20 minutes, then pull it out and brush the dough with the beaten egg white.
Back into the oven for five or ten minutes, until the dough is nicely golden brown. Remove from the oven and let rest for at least ten minutes before slicing.
Rich was in D.C. on bidness, so I served this to friends with frozen yogurt, home made ice cream, and port. Best. Crust. Ever.