Sunday, April 17, 2011

Apple Galette

For the dough:
  • 1 cup (120 g) unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons (3 oz., or 84 g) unsalted butter, frozen, cut into 1/2″ pieces
  • 3 1/2 tablespoons chilled water

For the filling:

  • 2 pounds apples (I used one Fuji, one Braeburn), peeled, cored and sliced (save the peels and cores)
  • 3 tablespoons sugar

For the glaze:

  • 1/2 cup (100 g) granulated sugar
The procedure:
Make the dough first: sift together the flour, sugar and salt in a large bowl. Cut in the frozen butter cubes with your preferred method of choice; I used a pastry blender, then my fingertips (though a food processor or two knives would work just as well). Make sure that you do this rather quickly, you want to keep the butter as cold as possible to insure a light, flaky pastry dough. No need to blitz the heck out of the butter; just cut it in until the biggest pieces are about the size of large peas.

Add the chilled water one tablespoon at a time, stirring with your other hand, just until the dough just holds together (you might not need all the water, depending on your flour and the humidity of your kitchen). Dump the dough out on a mat and pat into a circle about 1.5″ inches thick. Double-wrap it in plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes (or up to 2 days).

After the chilling period, take the dough out and let it sit on the counter for 10 minutes; this allows the dough to soften slightly so that when you roll it out, it doesn’t break into a million pieces on you (trust me this has happened to me and it’s not fun nor pretty). Roll out the dough on a lightly floured mat into a 14″ circle, about 1/8″ thick. Using a pastry brush, dust off the excess flour. Carefully transfer the dough to a sheet of parchment paper-lined baking sheet.

Preheat the oven to 400 F (205 C).

To fill the tart, overlap the sliced apples on top of the dough in a ring 2 inches from the edge and continue towards the center. To complete the tart, fold over the edges of the dough. It doesn’t have to look perfect, the beauty of a galette lies in its rusticity.

Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of sugar over the dough edge and 2 tablespoons of sugar over the apples. Use more or less sugar to your preference.

Place the baking sheet in the center of the oven and bake the galette for 45 minutes, or until the apples are soft and have slightly browned edges. Try to rotate the tart every 15 minutes to ensure even browning of the crust.

While the tart is baking, you can work on the glaze; place the reserved peels and cores in a large saucepan with the sugar. Pour enough water into the saucepan just so it barely covers the peels and sugar and simmer for 25 minutes. Strain the apple-infused syrup through cheesecloth and set aside. Your kitchen will smell amazing at this point.

When the tart is done baking, remove from the oven and slide it (parchment and all) off the baking sheet and onto a cooling rack. Let it cool for at least 20 minutes before brushing glaze over the tart.

Slice and serve immediately, alone or alongside a scoop of vanilla ice cream if you’re feeling decadent.

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