Here is the perfect recipe for when you want to appear like a casually fabulous hostess who can “just throw together” a spectacular seasonal pastry dessert at the drop of the hat. This apple gallette makes such an impression, but is relatively simple to make. It also tastes amazing! I love this warm, with a side of vanilla bean ice cream after a fall harvest meal.
Adapted from Rose Levy Berenbaum’s Pie and Pastry Bible. This is the first book that I learned to bake pastry from, and it is phenomenal. If you’ve ever wondered why your pie crust is too fragile, too dry, too tough, etc, Rose explains it all. It was originally published in 1998, but truly stands the test of time.
1 recipe of Basic Pie Crust for a 9″ pie with lattice
4 medium apples (helps to have one smaller apple and three evenly sized ones), peeled, cored and sliced to 1/8 inch
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1/8 cup sugar (Rose says 1/4 cup, but I found this to be way too much)
Dash of cinnamon
1 tablespoon butter
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. (Do NOT do as I have done and wait to do this at the last minute–you want your oven good and hot so that you can get a good crust on your gallette.)
Prepare apples and sprinkle with lemon juice to prevent from browning.
Line a large flat baking sheet (preferably without a lip) with parchment paper. Alternatively, line a large pizza pan with parchment paper.
Roll out basic pie crust to a 13 inch circle. (I used a small salad plate as guide and added 4 inches to the radius.) Dough should be a little less than 1/8 inch thick.
Transfer dough to parchment paper/baking sheet. My favorite way to do this is to use a bench scraper to fold the dough circle in half, and then in quarters. Move the quarter to the parchment paper, positioning the pointy end of the quarter at the center of the parchment. Gently unfold. Position parchment over baking sheet so that dough is centered (it’s okay to have some pieces hanging off the edge at this point).
Use kitchen scissors or a paring knife to trim any ragged edges from the dough. You want your dough circle to look pretty and smooth.
Begin arranging apples on the dough. Place 5-6 slices in an approximately 8 inch circle, cored sides facing inwards. You want to have a least a 2 inch border between the edge of the dough and the apples. This will be the crust that you will fold over the apples once you arrange them.
Continue adding apples in circular layers, working your way slowly toward the center. I like to arrange my apples loosely, with a 1/8 inch space between the edges the apples. For a more formal look, you could layer your apples more closely together. As you get to the center, you may need to break a few slices in half to get them to fit together.
When apple arrangement is complete, sprinkle fruit with half the sugar.
Carefully fold the dough border over the apples. The dough should pleat neatly where needed.
Sprinkle entire gallette (including crust) with remaining sugar and dash of cinnamon. Dot with butter.
Bake on the bottom rack for 35 minutes, or until apples are tender (poke with a toothpick).
Basic Pie Crust
From Rose Levy Berenbaum’s Pie and Pastry Bible. This is my no-fail, go-to pastry recipe. The final step of kneading the dough in a plastic bag seems weird, but is worth the effort.
Makes pastry for a 9 inch lattice pie, a 9 inch deep dish pie, a 10 inch pie shell, or a 12-14 inch free-form tart
9 tablespoon unsalted butter, cold and cubed
1.5 cups bleached all-purpose flour (deep and sweep method)
1/4 teaspoon salt (note: I up this to 1/2 teaspoon because I like salt)
1/8 teaspoon baking bowser (option (if not using, double the salt)
3.5-4.5 tablespoons of ice water
1.5 teaspoons cider vinegar
Divide the butter into two parts, about two thirds to one third (6 tablespoons and 3 tablespoons).
Place the flour in a food processor with the metal blade and process for a few seconds to combine. Set the bag aside.
Add the larger amount of butter cubes to the flour and process for about 30 seconds or until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Add the remaining frozen butter cubes and pulse until all of the frozen butter is the size of peas. (Toss with a fork to see it better.)
Add the lowest amount of the ice water and vinegar and pulse 6 times. Pinch a small amount of the mixture together between your fingers. If it does not hold together, add half the remaining water and pulse 3 times. Try pinching the mixture again. If necessary, add the remaining water, pulsing 3 times to incorporate it. The mixture will be in particles and will not hold together without being pinched.
Spoon the mixture into the plastic bag.
Holding the both ends of the bag open with your fingers, knead the mixture by alternately pressing it, from the outside of the bag, with the knuckles and heels of your hands until the mixture holds together in one piece and feels slightly stretchy when pulled.
Wrap the dough with plastic wrap, flatten it into a disc and refrigerate for at least 45 minutes, preferably overnight.