Lydia has mastered the art of the galette and we are all enjoying her culinary skill. Last night when Michael came in the door he took one look and noted she was wearing an apron, and declared it 'a very good sign'. He was right, as three galettes were baking nicely in the oven. We have decided apple galette is even better than apple pie as the bottom crust is crisp and flaky and doesn't get soggy like a pie does. The boys like them as they think they look medieval, and Josiah wants some for movie props. The galette is less juicy than pie and not overly sweet, so you can pick up a wedge and eat it like a heathen if you are a teenager, or have it proper on a plate with ice cream if you are a civilized sort. I am.
As written, the recipe makes one galette which we say serves four - the recipe is easily doubled or tripled. These are very quick and easy to make, and by baking them on parchment paper cleanup is a breeze.
For the crust:
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt*
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 cup butter
5 tablespoons ice water
Toss dry ingredients together in a bowl. Rub in butter with your fingertips until blended. Sprinkle with water and mix gently until dough comes together into a ball. Roll out on a floured surface until you have an approximate 14" round.
Transfer the round to a piece of parchment paper on a cookie sheet. If you do a good job rolling the dough and don't have any tears, all the juices will stay nicely (and deliciously) contained in the crust.
Peel, core and slice 2-3 large apples. We have been using 2 1/2 huge Stayman apples per galette. Slice the apples into thin wedges and arrange them in an overlapping circle on the dough, leaving a rim of about 3" of dough.
Keep adding apples, filling in the center with another smaller round of slices. Sprinkle the apples with 1/4 cup sugar mixed with 1 teaspoon cinnamon. Dot with about a tablespoon of butter on top of the cinnamon sugar. Fold up the edges of the dough making little pleats as you go around.
The galette should be about nine or ten inches in diameter.
Bake the galette in a preheated 400 degree F oven for approximately 35 minutes. I start checking it after about 25 minutes. It should be nice and golden looking and the apples fork tender.
Best served warm with ice cream, a cup of tea on the side, of course.
Edited to add: * If you are using salted butter, 1/4 teaspoon salt per galette is adequate. Of course salt in pastry is a matter of personal taste, so adjust accordingly.
Lydia is still making, and we are still eating, lots of galette. They also make a lovely gift to pass along to a friend as well. We've found that they are best when baked to a nice golden color (not underdone), and eaten right out of the oven. The crust is really superb - crispy and flaky and oh, so delicious when it's hot and fresh - and you don't even think of putting ice cream on such perfection.