Impromptu Apple Galette
If I stumble upon a great easy recipe, I like to share it with friends. Recently, I was very behind preparing a dinner party for friends. I had to think fast on my feet. The savory portion of the meal seemed doable but dessert was flailing around in my mind as a last minute must-do. I had just purchased a beautiful assortment of heirloom apples from the farmers market and there's always butter, sugar and flour in the pantry. An apple tart would be the perfect fall dessert with a pint of store-bought Strauss Vanilla ice cream. Quickly, I pulled out my Chez Panisse Fruit cookbook and found a favorite galette dough recipe. It called for 2 cups unbleached white flour so I opened my flour canister to find a teaspoon of flour at the bottom. Hmm, with 2 hours left until my guests arrived, my heart started to race. I went into the pantry and found a jar of white spelt flour. I put about 1/4 cup less flour than called for and hoped for the best. Whizzing it around in my Cusinart, I thought, "well, better a tough crust than no dessert at all." When you're that rushed, you don't have time to worry. I assembled the galette over my cocktail with friends, outdoors on a warm fall night, slicing the apples and creating a pinwheel of half moon slices over the suspect dough. After baking for 45 minutes it looked pretty good, especially with the pink pearl apples peeking through. When guests sat down to dessert, they all said how light and delicious the crust was. They loved it. I too was admittedly surprised and pleased. As we sipped Waterloo Sunset tea while fire lanterns floated far above our heads, I realized that finding perfection always takes me by surprise.
Here's the recipe for Impromptu Apple Galette
1 3/4 cups white spelt flour
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
12 Tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small chunks and frozen for 5 minutes until very cold
1/4 teaspoon lemon zest (optional)
7 Tablespoons ice water
About 2 pounds apples, peeled, cored and quartered and sliced into 1/4 inch slices (pink apples look stunning here)
5 tablespoons organic cane sugar
2 tablespoons melted butter
In a food processor, blend the flour, salt and sugar. Add the butter pieces and blend until small pea size piers of butter appear, about 10 seconds. Add the ice water and the dough should come together after a few pulses. DO NOT over process or the dough will become tough. Scrape onto a piece of wax paper and pat into a disc. Fold the paper over to cover and chill for one hour.
Meanwhile, prepare the apples and sprinkle the sugar over the slices. Squeeze the lemon half over and toss well. Set aside.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
To assemble: Roll the dough out to a circle about 14 inches in diameter and 1/4 inch thick. Chill on the baking sheet for another 15 minutes. Remove from the fridge and begin: About 3 inches in from the edge, start placing the slices slightly overlapping into a spiral shape, until all apples are gone, working your way toward the center. You can go back and stack on top since you will have more apples. The apple stack might look high but they will cook down and become flatter as it bakes. Pour a little of the melted butter over apples and sprinkle another tablespoon of sugar over. Now fold the dough over into a stop sign shape and press gently to glue the folds down a little. Now paint the crust with the remaining melted butter and sprinkle over the remaining sugar.
Bake for 20 minutes and rotate. Bake another 20-25 minutes, until crust is light golden brown and apples are bubbling.
Serve hot with vanilla ice cream and Waterloo Sunset Tea.