It turns out that being unemployed is sort of boring. To procrastinate on being responsible and looking for a job, I cook a lot. (Then I eat a lot and then I work out a little. I’m gaining weight.) I’ve gotten in the habit of undertaking big cooking-fests on Fridays. For a few weeks in a row, I’ve planned and shopped for a big Friday meal, but didn’t plan anything for dessert. And I do not skip dessert. Unacceptable. I don’t keep a well-stocked pantry (not including the 7 different kinds of vinegar), so it can be difficult to find a recipe that works with what I have on hand. But I managed okay so far.
That’s how I ended up making this galette. I know, what kind of bored housewife “just throws together” a galette while also making homemade ravioli? And what kind of bad time-manager thinks that everything will still be done and the kitchen clean before her husband gets home?
But whatever, the galette was worth spending a couple hours in the kitchen after Dave was home and relaxing and probably hungry. Not that the galette was too time-consuming, so don’t worry about that. I managed to put it together in between kneading pasta dough, making ravioli filling, and roasting garlic for the leftover olive oil bread. And it was definitely worth the extra effort to make a dessert – the galette had the flakiest and most tender crust I’ve ever made, even though I didn’t use the instant flour that the recipe prefers. Plus, it’s beautiful, and can be made in advance – we ate it hours after I made it on Friday. When we finished it off the next day, I didn’t notice any loss of flavor or flakiness in the crust. It would be wonderful with vanilla ice cream, but I didn’t have any – and I couldn’t just throw that together without some advance planning!
Apple Galette (from Cooks Illustrated September 2007)
CI note: The galette can be made without instant flour, using 2 cups of all-purpose flour and 2 tablespoons of cornstarch. However, you might have to increase the amount of ice water. Although any apple will work in this recipe, we prefer Golden Delicious, Granny Smith, and Empire. If you don’t have an apple corer, halve the peeled apples and then use a melon baller or paring knife to remove the core from each half. Make sure to cut the apples as thinly as possible. If they are cut thicker than 1/8 inch, they will be hard to shingle. If the dough has chilled longer than 1 hour, let it stand at room temperature for 15 to 20 minutes to soften. If the dough becomes soft and sticky while being rolled, transfer it to a baking sheet and refrigerate it for 10 to 15 minutes. Check the bottom of the galette halfway through baking-it should be a light golden brown. If it is darker, reduce the oven temperature to 375 degrees. Serve with vanilla ice cream, lightly sweetened whipped cream, or creme fraiche.
Bridget note: I halved the recipe, and that’s what the pictures show.
Serves 8 to 10
1½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour (7½ ounces)
½ cup Wondra flour or Pillsbury Shake and Blend instant flour (2½ ounces)
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon sugar
12 tablespoons cold unsalted butter , cut into 5/8-inch cubes (1½ sticks)
7-9 tablespoons ice water
1½ pounds apples (3-4 medium or 4-5 small), see note above
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into ¼-inch pieces
¼ cup sugar
2 tablespoons apricot preserves
1 tablespoon water
1. CUT IN BUTTER: Combine flours, salt, and sugar in food processor with three 1-second pulses. Scatter butter pieces over flour, pulse to cut butter into flour until butter pieces are size of large pebbles, about ½ inch, about six 1-second pulses.
2. ADD WATER: Sprinkle 1 tablespoon water over mixture and pulse once quickly to combine; repeat, adding water 1 tablespoon at a time and pulsing, until dough begins to form small curds that hold together when pinched with fingers (dough should look crumbly and should not form cohesive ball).
3. FORM MOUND: Empty dough onto work surface and gather into rough rectangular mound about 12 inches long and 5 inches wide.
4. FRAISAGE AND CHILL: Starting at farthest end, use heel of hand to smear small amount of dough against counter, pushing firmly down and away from you, to create separate pile of dough (flattened pieces of dough should look shaggy). Continue process until all dough has been worked. Gather dough into rough 12 by 5-inch mound and repeat smearing process. Dough will not have to be smeared as much as first time and should form cohesive ball once entire portion is worked. Form dough into 4-inch square, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate until cold and firm but still malleable, 30 minutes to 1 hour.
5. CUT APPLES: About 15 minutes before baking, adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 400 degrees. Peel, core, and halve apples. Cut apple halves lengthwise into 1/8-inch-thick slices.
6. ROLL AND TRIM DOUGH: Place dough on floured 16 by 12-inch piece of parchment paper and dust with more flour. Roll dough until it just overhangs all four sides of parchment and is about 1/8 inch thick, dusting top and bottom of dough and rolling pin with flour as needed to keep dough from sticking. Trim dough so edges are even with parchment paper.
7. FORM BORDER: Roll up 1 inch of each edge and pinch firmly to create ½-inch-thick border. Transfer dough and parchment to rimmed baking sheet.
8. LAYER APPLES AND BAKE: Starting in one corner, shingle sliced apples to form even row across bottom of dough, overlapping each slice by about one-half. Continue to layer apples in rows, overlapping each row by half. Dot apples with butter and sprinkle evenly with sugar. Bake until bottom of tart is deep golden brown and apples have caramelized, 45 to 60 minutes.
9. GLAZE: While galette is cooking, combine apricot preserves and water in medium microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on medium power until mixture begins to bubble, about 1 minute. Pass through fine-mesh strainer to remove any large apricot pieces. Brush baked galette with glaze and cool on wire rack for 15 minutes. Transfer to cutting board. Cut in half lengthwise and then crosswise into individual portions; serve.