I made apple galettes this past weekend, but before I give you the recipe, I must tell you how I came about these apples. Can you guess? I’ll give you a hint:
That’s right, from U-pick of course! I know what you’re thinking, “not again, not another post about U-pick”.
U-pick seems to have become one of my new favourite pastimes (given the many occasions we’ve done it this year). I must sound like a broken record, proclaiming my love for U-pick so often. It’s not as if doing such activities conjures up fond childhood memories. Our family did not partake in these kinds of outings when I was growing up.
But I can see why parents bring their kids to do this kind of stuff.
This particular farm (Taves Family Farms) we went to, aside from the U-pick apples, had many other attractions for the children from a petting barn to pony rides to a corn maze and pumpkin patch.
The place was packed with families and had a lively atmosphere. Definitely a fun outing for the kids and something we will probably do when we have kids of our own. But I do wonder, would I have appreciated it as a child? Do parents simply take their children to do these activities just to kill time? Do they really experience and enjoy it?
Case in point, as we were wandering down the rows of gala (the only variety in abundance) trees, trying to find the best ones, David turns to me and says, “why are we doing this? you don’t even like apples”. This is true. Apples are not my fruit of choice. On the rare occasion that I consume one, it’s usually been given to me. Sometimes when I do have cravings for them, I prefer the green ones that are slightly on the crunchy and sour side.
But I digress. I think at the core of it all (no pun intended), I am trying to live a simpler life where I don’t need to spend or consume to be happy…where I can enjoy a nice outing in the fresh air with family and friends without breaking the bank. And as I alluded to earlier, I am learning to appreciate even the small things and am trying to see the beauty in everything…including apples. I am often reminded that beauty is all around us, you just have to look. These are the reasons why I love U-pick.
Now onto the galette…
This is an easy dessert made with simple ingredients. Nothing fancy here, other than the fancy French name.
Now normally at this point, my old (more) critical self would say that my dough rolling skills need some improvement as the edges are on the thick side. I would also say that my pleating skills are not up to snuff and my knife skills are sub-par.
However, my new/would-be self would have only two words to say:
Recipe (adapted from My Favorite Things):
For the crust:
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling out the dough ( I accidentally used 2 cups, oops)
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/8 tsp fine salt
- 1 3/4 sticks (7 ounces) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces (~3/4 cup)
- 2 large egg yolks, lightly beaten (I forgot to beat before adding to flour)
- 4 to 7 tbsp ice water
- Combine the flour, sugar, salt, and butter in a medium bowl. Using a pastry blender or your fingers (I used my fingers), mix the butter into the dry ingredients until it is in pea-size pieces, about 5 minutes.
- Add the egg yolks and 4 tbsp ice water and mix just until the dough comes together. (Add an additional 2 to 3 tablespoons ice water if necessary, but do not overwork the dough or it will become tough.)
- Shape into a flat disk, cover in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. (I divided the dough into 3 to make mini galettes) Meanwhile, make the filling.For the filling:
- 3 pounds Gala apples, peeled, cored, and cut into large dice (I used 6 apples)
- 1 cup granulated sugar (I used 1/2 cup)
- 2 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 1/2 tsp finely grated lemon zest (I used all the zest from 1 lemon)
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- Combine all of the ingredients in a large frying pan over medium heat.
- Cook, stirring, until the sugar has dissolved and the apples have begun to release their juices, about 4 minutes.
- Simmer until the apples are tender on the outside but still firm when a knife is inserted into the middle, about 15 to 20 minutes more.
- Remove the pan from the heat.
- Using a slotted spoon, transfer the apples to a shallow dish to cool for at least 10 minutes.
- Set the pan with the reserved juices aside for later use.To assemble:
- 3 tbsp unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (I used 2 tbsp)
- 1 tbsp coarse sanding sugar (I used cane sugar)
- 1/4 cup Calvados or other apple brandy (I used 1/4 tsp brandy extract)
- Once the dough has chilled, place it on a lightly floured surface and, using a floured rolling pin, roll it into a 16-inch circle (about 1/4 inch thick). (I rolled each piece of dough out into ~8-inch circles)
- Transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet.
- Loosely fold in the edges of the pastry as needed to fit on the baking sheet (I didn’t do this since my 8-inch circles fit in the baking sheet, but I had to use 2 baking sheets), transfer to the refrigerator, and chill at least 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, heat the oven to 425°F and arrange a rack in the middle. (I arranged 2 racks, one on top 1/3 of the oven and one on bottom 1/3 of oven)
- Remove the dough from the refrigerator and unfold any edges.
- Spread the cooled apples in the center of the pastry, leaving a 2-inch border.
- Fold the edges of the dough over the filling, covering about 1 inch of the apples and pleating the dough every 2 inches as you go.
- Dot the apples with the butter, then brush the pastry edge lightly with water and sprinkle with the coarse sanding sugar.
- Bake the galette until the pastry is golden and the apples are tender, about 40 to 45 minutes. (Since I had two baking sheets, one on top part of the oven and one on the bottom, I switched the two in the middle of baking.)
- While the galette is baking, return the frying pan with the apple juices to medium heat and reduce to 1/4 cup, about 20 minutes. (It only took me 10min to reduce the juice and thicken it because I lost some of the juice.)
- Remove from heat, stir in the Calvados (I used brandy extract), and set aside.
- Transfer the baked galette to a rack and pour the Calvados mixture over the apples.
- Serve warm with vanilla bean ice cream.