Last Minute Thanksgiving Table – Apple Galette Recipe

November 21st 2017

Apple-Almond Galette

Serves 8

Too tart for some, too stringy for others, apple is a vegetable struggling to find its place in a fruit world, and for whatever reason, I can relate to that. And sure, it’s not really an eat-out-of-hand type of deal, but when you give it just the right amount of sugar and cook it till just softened, it definitely competes for the title of Most Delicious Fruit.

Often just thrown to the strawberries and cooked to an indistinguishable mush, I think the long, elegant stalks deserve their own show. When baked in a galette, they maintain their lovely shape, showing off that vibrant pink color for all to admire, no longer hiding behind seedy raspberries or just-in-season strawberries.

Even in the early spring, when it is in season, apple can be tricky to find. It likes colder climates, which is why you can get it in Maine until late July, but sometimes it never appears in California. When you can find it, go for the deepest, reddest stalks you can get your hands on, buy it all, chop it up, and freeze it. While defrosted apple isn’t spectacular for galettes (it will give off too much liquid as it defrosts), you can make some pretty fantastic jam later on with the thawed stuff.

1 large egg, lightly beaten

½ recipe (1 disk) The Only Piecrust (page 256)

All-purpose flour, for dusting

¼ cup almond paste

2½ pounds apple, halved lengthwise, then cut crosswise into 4- to 6-inch pieces

½ cup sugar

Vanilla ice cream (optional)

DO AHEAD: Galette can be baked 1 day ahead.

  • Preheat the oven to 375°F.
  • Beat the egg with 1 teaspoon water and set aside (this is your egg wash, and it will help the crust get super golden brown on top).
  • Roll out the pie dough on a lightly floured surface to a round 14 to 16 inches in diameter, more or less.
  • Transfer the dough to a parchment-lined baking sheet.
  • Flatten large bits of almond paste between your palms until they are super thin (about ⅛ inch) and place them on top of the dough, leaving a 2-inch border. Arrange the apple pieces on top of the almond paste. Don’t worry about placing them in any sort of pattern or anything; just kinda Lincoln Log them onto each other.
  • Fold the edges of the dough up and over the apple. Brush the edges of the dough with the egg wash and sprinkle the whole thing with sugar, throwing most of it on top of the apple (remember, the almond paste is pretty sweet, so you don’t need as much sugar as you think you might).
  • Place the galette in the oven and bake until the crust is golden brown (think the color of a roasted cashew), 50 to 60 minutes. Let it cool slightly before eating with the best vanilla ice cream you can find.
  • The Only Piecrust
  • Makes 2 disks, enough for 1 double-crust pie, 2 galettes, or 12 hand pies
  • I think I am a good pie maker, but not necessarily a great one. To be a truly great pie maker—as opposed to a master of all other types of desserts and pastries—you have to make many pies every day for a very long time, because making pie dough is a very sensitive process. It’s mostly about touch and trust.
  • Touch, as in how you handle the dough: Rough at first, to smash the butter quickly so it never softens, flattening the chunks, creating layers like a cheater’s puff pastry. Then gentle, working the water in at the end with your hands until it’s just absorbed and maybe even still looks too dry (it’s not). Trust, as in trusting that, yes, all that butter will fit into the flour, and no, you don’t need more water than that.
  • Because it’s such a tactile process, I always prefer to make my dough by hand, never in the food processor. When you feel the butter smash into the flour, then the water hydrate the flour, you’re much more connected to and in charge of the outcome, fully understanding what it means to need a few more teaspoons of water or a light dusting of flour.
  • Each time I make a crust, it’s never the same, but I guess that’s why I love making pie. I feel like I’m not really perfect at it yet, so each time is a true chance to do better, which means every time I make a pie I am entering a competition with myself (which is fun for me, I promise). I want to get the dough flakier, to roll it in a more perfect circle, to crimp it in a newer, fancier way. If you don’t have the time to quit your job and start making pies every day, beginning with a great pie dough recipe will help.
  • 2½ cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1¼ cups (2½ sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces, chilled
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar or white distilled vinegar
  • ¼ cup ice water
  • DO AHEAD: This dough can be tightly wrapped and refrigerated for 4 days or placed in a ziplock bag and frozen for 1 month.
  • In a large bowl, whisk the flour, sugar, and salt together. Add the butter and toss to coat it in the flour mixture. Using your hands, smash the butter between your palms and fingertips, mixing it into the flour, creating long, thin, flaky, floury, buttery bits. Once most of the butter is incorporated and there are no large chunks remaining, dump the flour mixture onto a work surface.
  • Combine the vinegar with the ice water and drizzle it over the flour-butter mixture. Run your fingers through the mixture like you’re running your fingers through your hair, just to evenly distribute the water through the flour until the dough starts coming together.
  • Knead the dough a few more times, just to gather up any dry bits from the bottom and place them on the top to be incorporated. Once you’ve got a shaggy mass of dough (it will not be smooth and it certainly will not be shiny), knead it once or twice more and divide it in half. Pat each piece into a flat disk, about 1 inch thick. Wrap each disk individually in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 2 hours.

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