Apple Galette

I love having a stash of all sorts of food items squirreled away in my freezer. Not just any old things, but homemade edibles safely packed and put down for a chilly nap, to have on hand for any emergency, and to be woken up when needed. Different kinds of stock and soup, cookie dough, small batches of b├ęchamel, meatballs and burger patties already formed, apportioned tubs of slow-cooked meat sauce, pie dough, and anything else homemade and freezable.

Oh the smug contentment of knowing you have these nourishing provisions at the ready! Set to be whipped out at a moment’s notice. Perhaps when you are too busy to get a proper dinner on, or you have sudden surprise visitors….or you are just in the mood for some pie.

Apple Galette
(pie dough recipe adapted from Dorie Greenspan’s Baking: From My Home to Yours as adapted by Cenk of Cafe Fernando, filling adapted from Cenk’s recipe)

For the pie dough:
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 3 sticks of butter, cut into small chunks and chilled in the freezer for about 20 minutes
  • 1/3 cup ice water
    • For the filling:

    • 2 – 2 1/2 apples (approximately 500 grams – I used Fuji apples), peeled, cored, and cut into eighths
    • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
    • 1/4 cup sugar, plus more for sprinkling
    • Juice of half a lemon
    • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
      • 1 egg, slightly beaten (for assembly)
        • - Pulse flour, sugar and salt in a food processor using a metal blade.
          - Remove butter from freezer, add it in the processor, and pulse until it resembles a coarse meal. Do not over mix! The pieces don’t have to be uniform. Dorie says some can be the size of fat peas and some the size of barley.
          - Add ice water little by little, pulsing once in between each addition, until the dough forms clumps and curds (I lessened the water from 1/2 cup to 1/3 due to the moisture already present in my air). Again, do not over mix! Chunks of butter in the dough are fine (yum!) :)
          - Turn the dough out onto a work surface and very lightly and sparingly, knead just to incorporate dry ingredients.
          - Divide the dough into two even balls. Flatten balls into disks and wrap individually in plastic.
          - Refrigerate dough for at least an hour (at this point you can stash one disc in the freezer for future use if you are not going to use all the dough).
          - Remove the dough from the refrigerator. Using a rolling pin, roll out the dough between two sheets of baking parchment (you can roll dough directly on a floured work surface or between two sheets of plastic wrap but parchment works best for me) into a rough 11-inch circle. When rolling, turn dough over frequently and lift the parchment so it doesn’t form creases. Trim the edges to form a clean circle (I didn’t, oops!).
          - Place your flattened dough (covered in the parchment) back in the fridge for about 20 minutes to chill again.
          - Remove dough from fridge, peel of top layer of parchment, and transfer the dough, on the bottom layer of parchment, to a sheet pan or pizza pan (I used one of those pizza pans with holes on the bottom).
          - Mix 1/2 tablespoon of the cornstarch and 2 tablespoons of the sugar in a bowl and spread on the bottom of the dough.
          - Toss apples with the rest of the cornstarch, sugar, lemon juice, and cinnamon.
          - Arrange the fruit on the bottom of the dough, leaving 2 inches of dough left outside.
          - Fold up and pleat the dough (as best you can) over the top of the fruit, leaving the center uncovered.
          - Lightly brush the top of the pastry with the beaten egg and sprinkle both the dough and the fruit with sugar (I used Demerara sugar with large crystals).
          - Place the galette in 400F oven and cook for 40-45 minutes until golden brown and bubbly.
          - Remove from oven and transfer to a cooling rack immediately.

          This isn’t a pie per se but a free-form tart, or galette if you want to sound cute and French (which I must admit I sometimes do). Unlike a pie you don’t need a special tin or even a top crust to make this. Just roll out the dough, nestle the fruits in the middle, pull up the edges (as neat or as messily as you want), and place on any flat baking pan. Pop in the oven and that’s that!

          I have made this before using plums and nectarines and it is just as charming with apples, although of a different charm altogether. While the plums and nectarines were bright and tart and cheery, the cinnamon-perfumed apples are pure cozy comfort. I like both and I’d be hard-pressed to choose one over the other but I think it does say something that both C and my mom liked this one better.

          I didn’t peel the apples when I made this as I thought it would add some color, and, truth be told, I was lazy. I do recommend you peel them though (and have indicated peeled apples in the recipe) as it can be a bit awkward when trying to cut your slice with a fork.

          I used the Good For Almost Anything pie dough from Dorie Greenspan’s Baking: From My Home to Yours, as I did in the plum and nectarine version. I have typed out the recipe again here because this pie crust is truly so wonderful that I do believe it deserves repeating. For this galette I used some dough that had been sitting in the freezer for (the shame!) months. Aside from its old age, it was extremely hot in my kitchen making the dough too soft…I was sure it would be a disaster. But Dorie’s crust must be imbued with magical powers because from less than promising conditions it still emerged golden and flaky and absolutely delicious!

          One batch of dough will give you enough for two galettes, so you can store one in the freezer for the future. And as far any homemade-goods-freezer-stash goes, this is definitely an excellent addition!