I first saw Alice Waters speak at Scripps College when I was in my senior year of college. I was mesmerized by the way she talked about food, her twinkle in her eyes when she talked about the kitchen and nourishing people and her evident passion for food. She talked about her belief in feeding people good, wholesome food that was real and fresh. I was so enamored with her. That year I asked for a few of her cook books for Christmas and this apple galette is one of the first things I made out of her book, “In the Green Kitchen”. I loved how it was rustic and beautiful, but not fussy; a wonderful dessert to bring to a dinner party. I have been making this galette ever since. Fall is the perfect time to learn how to make it and use it for easy entertaining or a cozy night in with someone special.
Apple Galette by Alice Waters in the cookbook, “In the Green Kitchen” – Recipe: Serves 8
*This recipe makes enough dough for 2 tarts. Juicy stone fruits such as peaches, nectarines, apricots, and plums make wonderful galettes. To help absorb the juices and keep the pastry bottom crisp, sprinkle a mixture of 2 tablespoons of sugar, 1 tablespoon flour and 1 tablespoon of ground almonds on the pastry before topping with fruit. After baking, brush the apples with warm apricot jam for a beautiful glaze.
I found that the ground almond mixture definitely helped with soaking up the juices, so make sure to add this before the apples. I only use 3 medium apples instead of 4 or 5, which still makes a pretty full tart. Don’t start this recipe if you are in a rush. The dough needs to rest and there is a bake time of at least 45 minutes. I don’t peel my apples because I think the skin is pretty and it still works great.
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon of salt (omit if using salted butter)
12 tablespoons (1 ½ sticks) cold unsalted butter
1/3 to ½ cup ice cold water
4 or 5 medium apples (Gravenstein, Fuji, Pink Lady or any flavorful variety)
Whipped cream (optional)
1. Measure the flour and salt (if including) into a bowl. The butter should be cold and firm, but not hard. Cut into ¼-1/2 inch cubes and put about half of it into the bowl. Work it into the flour with your fingertips, lightly rubbing and breaking the flour-coated pieces of butter into small bits, until the mixture is roughly the texture of oatmeal or cornmeal. Add the rest of the butter and work it quickly into the dough until the pieces of butter are about half their original size.
2. Dribble the water into the dough while tossing the mixture with a fork. Keep adding water only until the dough begins to clump and hold together when you squeeze a handful. You may not need the full ½ cup.
3. Divide the dough into two and gather each part into a ball. Wrap each ball in plastic wrap and flatten into a disk. Let the dough rest, refrigerated for an hour or so. You may want to freeze the second disk of dough for future use.
4. When ready to make the tart, let the dough warm up at room temperature for 15 minutes or so and preheat the oven to 400. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface into a rough circle about 12 inches in diameter and about 1/8 inch thick. Transfer the pastry to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and refrigerate while preparing the apples.
5. Peel, core, and slice the apples and toss with 1-2 tablespoons of sugar. Arrange the apples on the pastry, in overlapping concentric circles or freely piled on top, however you like, but leaving 1 ½ inch border of dough around the whole circumference. Fold the dough up over the apples, and brush the rim of dough lightly with beaten egg. Sprinkle sugar over the dough and apples; use more or less, depending on the tartness of the apples. Bake in lower part of oven for 45-50 minutes, until the fruit is tender and the pastry is golden brown and slightly caramelized at the edges. Slide the tart off the pan to cool on a rack. Serve warm or at room temperature with softly whipped cream, if you like.
Written and photographed by Jacquilyn Anderson of Jacquilyn in the Kitchen.
Jacquilyn is a full time chef who through her blog shares what it means to live a balanced life with healthy eating, indulgences, exercise, love, adventure, and conversations with other foodies and health enthusiasts.