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Culinary Spotlight: The Galette

Pie crust is not everyone’s friend and that is OK. Work it too much and it madly springs back and pulls away from the edges of the pie tin making for a sad, shrunken version of what was supposed to be a beautiful display of your newly found pastry talents. Add too much liquid, fail to let it rest or work with it when it’s too warm, it becomes your enemy by sticking to every surface and refusing to cooperate. Let’s try something different this holiday season.

The galette is our friend and is here to allow us stress-free creative freedom in the kitchen this holiday season and beyond. Galettes can take many different forms but they are all freeform – meaning no pie or tart tin to contain their delicious ways. All you need is a rolling pin and a sheet pan. This specific recipe is similar to pie crust, comes together in minutes, and is even flakier than your friend who bails on all your scheduled virtual get-togethers.

A food processor is going to make this a breeze to pull together but if you don’t have one, do not fret! A classic pastry blender or a fork will do the trick. Butter bits are very important when your goal is to create something flaky (think pie crust, scones, biscuits). By not pulsing or blending the dough to smithereens you maintain coarse visible bits of butter, that when melted in the oven, create the mouthwatering flakiness that we very much desire with this dessert.

Pie crust has gotten the best of many of us, nearly bringing us to tears with its finicky ways. The galette is a forgiving friend and a shoulder to cry on when the pie crust is being mean. It’s dependable, versatile and makes for a beautiful, rustic display of freshly baked greatness.

This holiday season, fire up the oven, grab your apron and enjoy making this delightful dessert that will fill the room with the warm smells of autumn. Or maybe toss one together quickly and share it with your neighbor. Spread love through good food and stay safe.

Apple Galette Recipe

Ingredients for the crust:
1-½ c. all-purpose Flour, spooned into a measuring cup and leveled
1-½ sticks cold unsalted butter, cut into ¼” cubes
1/4t. Salt (omit if using salted butter)
1/3c. Ice water

Ingredients for the filling:
5 medium apples (approximately 1-¾ pounds but doesn’t need to be exact), cut into ¼” thick slices
1/4c. Maple syrup
3T. Almond flour (or finely ground almonds)
3T. All-purpose flour
1 Heaping Tablespoon Mulling Spices (measure, then grind finely)
1 generous pinch of salt
1/4c. (4T.) cold unsalted butter, cut into ¼” cubes
2T. turbinado/ coarse sugar (granulated sugar would work, too)

Optional additions:
Fruit preserves to brush on top of warm pastry
Ice cream!

Steps:

  • Preheat oven to 400°F
  • In a food processor (if you don’t have a food processor a pastry blender or fork would work) combine 1-½ c. flour and 1/4t. salt (omit if using salted butter).
  • Drop ¼” cubes of cold butter into the food processor. Process for 5-10 seconds until mixture becomes coarse in texture but you can still see bits of butter. If mixing by hand, cut with a pastry blender or fork until the mixture becomes coarse in texture.
  • Add 1/3c ice water (strain ice out to measure 1/3c. Do not add ice to the dough). Pulse 5-10 seconds until mixture resembles grains of rice. You don’t want to over mix. These little butter bits are very important.
  • On a lightly floured surface, dump out the dough and, using your hands, form into a disk. Roll out the dough into a roughly 16”x 16” circle. It doesn’t need to be perfectly round. Oval/oblong is just fine! Be sure it is rolled out to about an even ⅛” thickness though. Too thick and it won’t be flaky. Too thin and your filling will seep through the bottom.
  • Once rolled to desired thickness, carefully roll the dough onto your rolling pin and unroll onto a large baking sheet.
  • Refrigerate for 20 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, add your sliced apples and maple syrup to a large bowl. Stir to coat the apples. Sprinkle the flour, almond flour, salt, and mulling spices over the apples and toss to coat evenly.
  • Remove chilled dough from the refrigerator and arrange fruit slices (can place in a special layout/design or simply toss them in the center and spread them out) being sure to leave a 2” gap between the fruit and the edge of the crust.
  • Place the cubes of butter evenly onto the apples.
  • Fold the crust over the edge of the filling. If it starts to crack, let it sit for a few minutes to warm up a bit more. After the initial fold, I put one hand on top of the folded dough and gently fold the next section of dough over my fingertips to create a clean fold. Then repeat your way around the entire perimeter of the pastry. If cracks occur, use excess dough to patch them.
  • Sprinkle the filling and crust with the coarse sugar and place on the center rack in a preheated oven.
  • Bake for 45-60 minutes until the crust is a deep golden brown but making sure not to let it burn.
  • Let cool on the baking sheet. If any filling leaked out, using a thin blade or offset spatula, run it between the bottom of the galette and the pan to prevent it from sticking.
  • Best enjoyed fresh and flaky—either at room temperature. Add ice cream = perfection.

Casey Steele

Written by Casey Steele

Casey Steele helped found Square One with a vision to offer professional commercial kitchen space to up-and-coming food businesses. Casey teaches several classes at Square One while managing the facility, making her quite the foodie pro.

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