Friday, October 7, 2011

apple galette

Creativity takes over when you have to improvise, you know? When you're set on getting something accomplished, but find that somehow you don't have quite the resources you need, you have to call upon have to explore different ways to get where you're going.

This is kind of how we stumbled on the idea of galette. We had fruit, pie pastry, and ample motivation...but no pie pan. And so we discovered the fabulousness that is galette. It was one of those happy mistakes that turned out well--those are the best kind, aren't they?

 So it sounds fancy, at least I think so, but I've decided that just because the word itself is French. But the reality, and really the charm of galettes, is that they are absolutely the opposite--they are incredibly simple. Rustic, even. Yes, I think that is the perfect word to describe them... 

Rus-tic:  1. Charmingly simple or unsophisticated
              2. Having a simplicity and charm that is considered typical of the countryside.

Hmm..I think I need more rustic in my life. It sounds perfect.  

A galette is somewhere between a pie and a tart...but very free-form and easy. There is no crimping or trimming or smoothing. It's kind of a lazy way to make pie--but still every bit as delicious, and still pretty to look at, I think. Especially since I like rustic things.

Since it's the season of apples and cinnamon, the decision to use them as the filling for this version of my lazy pie was an easy one. And oh my, did it smell wonderful baking.

Simple Apple Galette

Dough: (you can use this or your favorite recipe for a one-crust pie pastry)
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, just softened, cut in 1/2-inch pieces
3 1/2 tablespoons chilled water

2 pounds apples (tart, firm, and fresh), peeled, cored (save peels and cores), and sliced
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon cloves
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
5 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup sugar

For Dough:  Mix flour, sugar, and salt in a large bowl; add 2 tablespoons of the butter. Blend in a mixer until dough resembles coarse cornmeal. Add remaining butter; mix until biggest pieces look like large peas.

Dribble in water, stir, then dribble in more, until dough just holds together. Toss with your hands, letting it fall through your fingers, until it’s ropy with some dry patches. If dry patches predominate, add another tablespoon water. Keep tossing until you can roll dough into a ball. Flatten into a 4-inch-thick disk; refrigerate. After at least 30 minutes, remove; let soften so it’s malleable but still cold. Smooth cracks at edges. On a lightly floured surface, roll into a 14-inch circle about 1/8 inch thick. Dust excess flour from both sides, and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet.

To Assemble:  Heat oven to 400°F. (If you have a pizza stone, place it in the center of the rack.)Toss apples with spices and 3 tablespoons sugar. Mound apples on dough in a ring 2 inches from edge. Fold dough up and around the mound of apples, making sure to wrap the filling snugly. Brush melted butter over apples and onto dough edge. Sprinkle the remaining 2 tablespoons sugar over dough edge.
 Bake in center of oven until apples are soft, with browned edges, and crust has caramelized to a dark golden brown (about 45 minutes), making sure to rotate the pan every 15 minutes. Make the glaze while the galette bakes) Remove from oven, and slide off parchment onto cooling rack. Let cool at least 15 minutes.

For Glaze:  Put reserved peels and cores in a large saucepan, along with sugar. Pour in just enough water to cover (not too much water!), simmer for 25 minutes. Strain syrup through cheesecloth. Brush glaze over tart, slice, and serve...probably with really good vanilla ice cream. Keep it simple, right?

 ooh, October is my favorite.


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