Always fretting your home made apple pie never looks like the ones in the magazines – with those cunnin’ little leaf cut outs and perfectly crimped edges?
Well, fret ye not!
A galette, simply put, is a pie with most of the fuss taken out of it – no pie pan, just a flat, parchment lined baking sheet. Irregular edges? Perfect! The powers that be have declared this a ‘rustic’ dish, so a bit messy is good! Mebbe even artisanal (shudder).
Before the conversation gets into curating or something; let’s get back to the pie, ermmm, galette.
Feel free to use any pie crust recipe (or pie crust) you prefer – I prefer a French-based shortcrust made with kindofa heckofalotof butter (yes, that is two and a half sticks of unsalted Wisconsin’s finest in that bowl, but don’t worry, that last half of the third stick of butter is used to dot the top of the galette).
Hey. It’s a galette, not a diet cracker.
•5 apples, peeled, cored and sliced
•1/2 cup sugar
•1 tbsp flour
•1 tbsp + 2 tsp ground cinnamon
•1 tsp ground clove
•1/2 stick butter
•1 beaten egg white (save the yolk)
Pâte à Foncer (Shortcrust Dough):
•2-1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
•1-1/2 tsp salt
•1 tsp sugar
•1 egg yolk
•3/8 cup milk
•3-1/2 cups flour
Note: one of the main differences between pâte à foncer and regular pie dough (other than all that butter) is the fact that you make it with warm room temperature ingredients; no ice water or little beads of chilled butter cut into the dough with a blade.
For this dough, you want the butter to be very, very soft, and even then, you’re gonna want to soften it a bit more with the paddle attachment of your stand mixer before adding the rest of the ingredients.
Add the salt, sugar, egg yolk, and milk to the softened butter, then the flour and mix just until the dough comes together. Try to get everything mixed in, but stop as soon as everything is gathered into the dough. It’ll be a bit crumbly, but will come together when you gather it together and enclose it in plastic wrap.
Here’s the deal: lot’s of folk say to gather into a ball, but I find that makes for one tough dough to roll out after chilling, so I go for more of a large disk, which fits nicely into my nine inch quiche pan.
Refrigerate for at least 4 hours (overnight is fine, don’t fret, remember, this is rustic, no pressure).
When ready to make your galette, remove the dough from the fridge, set your oven to 375º, and line a flat baking pan with parchment paper.
Peel, core, and cut the apples into thin slices, then toss in a large bowl with the sugar, flour, cinnamon, and cloves until nicely coated.
Set aside while you prepare your dough.
Roll your dough out on a prepared surface – I prefer waxed paper taped to a pastry guide. You can choose to roll it into a rectangle or circle, I went with about a twelve inch circle this time.
Give your spiced apples another couple of tosses in the bowl. While you’ve been rolling out your dough, the flour and sugar and spices will have started to draw a bit of liquid out of the apples, this is a good thing, and you’re gonna want to spread it around.
Arrange the apple slices on the dough as you like, leaving a border of dough on the edges. I went with a kindofa sunflower pattern for this circle, and you could choose even rows of apple slices for a rectangular galette, or you could just chuck the bowl into the middle of the dough and even it all out.
Fold the edges up and over the edge of the apples, pinching together any cracks and, if needed, evening up where pieces of the dough have cracked or fallen off.
Dot the apples with that remaining half stick of butter, then pop into the hot oven for 15 or 20 minutes.
Give the egg yolk leftover from making the shortcrust a little bit of a whisk with a teaspoon or so of water, then brush it over the exposed shortcrust and return to the oven for another ten minutes, until the crust is nicely browned, and your galette looks something like this.
Allow to cool for at least ten minutes before serving.
By the way, I know my dough here looks even a bit on the edge for rustic, but here’s the thing: same shortcrust recipe, same kitchen, same cook, different day. I will admit I was just coming down with the flu while I was making this one, but it was also cold-ish and damp. Check out this rectangular version from this past summer; still rustic, but I was obviously having a very good dough day.
Wishing you and yours many very good dough days! See you again in the new year!