There is probably nothing easier to throw together or more impressive than a galette, which in its purest form, is really just the French version of a basic shortbread recipe (or a flat pie). It's delicious and one of my favorite things to quickly make when I have guests coming over or want something sweet that can sit around in my fridge for a week. It works great for large groups or buffets. It's also super versatile. I like to make mine in an oval shape on a simple sheet tray, but it can be assembled round or rectangular (as a pie or tart with whatever pans you have on hand).
Thanksgiving is around the corner and this is a perfect dessert to add to the table. The last of the fall season's apples and pears are here so let's use them up before they're gone! Honeycrisp apples which have been popping up recently at the Union Square Market are my favorite. In the summer, you might try blueberries, peaches, or rhubarb. Candied ginger, lemon, or orange zest would work well with all these as well. I had a few cardamom pods around and crushed them up, along with cinnamon to add to the crust for a nice subtle aromatic. I also like to cut my crust with spelt flour. I've been playing with ways to get more nutrients into my diet and spelt is a great alternative to wheat flour and is also delicious. The taste, especially when mixed with sugar is almost nutty, like pecans or cream of wheat. Spelt is a hybrid of wheat but unlike the wheat grain it has not been stripped of it's germ and nutrients. It has crazy high levels of protein (21% of your daily recommended intake) and fiber (30% in one serving) which facilitate digestion and prevent ulcers and can also lower cholesterol. It's also chock full of high levels of iron and copper. But enough about health...on to the recipe. Like I said there are a myriad of ways to spin it either by adding flavors to the crust or changing your fruit depending on the season but today I am going to do an apple galette. I guarantee, when your Thanksgiving guests start arguing about the president elect, this recipe should resolve any differences :) Happy Turkey Day guys!
for the pastry:
1 cup spelt flour
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 stick plus 2 tablespoons cold butter, cut into small pieces
1/3 cup ice water
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom (optional)
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional)
for the topping:
5 honeycrisp apples
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tabelspoon honey
1 tablespoon butter, cut into small pieces
1. First, let's make the pastry. In a food processor, combine the flour, sugar, salt, butter, cinnamon, and cardamom and process for about 5 seconds. Pour the water in and process for another 10 seconds. Transfer the dough to a work surface and form into a disk. I like to dip my hands in cold water as I pat the dough into a disk as I think a little moisture keeps the crust crisp when it's baked. Wrap the pastry in plastic wrap and pop in the freezer for 30 minutes or in the fridge for up to a week.
2. Now for the topping. Peel, halve, and quarter the apples and slice them about 1/4 inch thick. Toss them into a mixing bowl along with the brown sugar and cinnamon, making sure the slices get nice and evenly coated.
3. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees fahrenheit. On your work surface, lay out a sheet of parchment (or wax paper). Lightly flour the parchment and roll out the dough to a 12 x 14 inch oval (the dough should not be thicker than an 1/8 of an inch, basically the thicker the crust, the more gummy and less crispy it is). Transfer the parchment paper & dough to a rimmed baking sheet. Spread the apples over the dough, keeping an inch of dough around the edge. Try and keep a nice uniformity to the slices so that they slightly overlap in concentric circles. Fold the pastry edge up and over the apples, creating a 1 inch border. Dot the apples with butter, drizzle with honey, and take a good pinch or sugar and sprinkle along the border.
4. Bake for one hour, or until the pastry and apples are just beginning to brown and crisp up. Remove and let cool. When slicing, a pizza cutter comes in handy. Serve it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and tuck in!