There are very few cooking techniques or skills that I don’t feel confident about. I can read through pretty much any recipe, and feel like I can accomplish it no problem. My only cooking “hang ups” are deep fat frying – not for any health reasons, but I just don’t like the idea of that much hot oil in my kitchen – and making pastry. I know, pastry? Really?! But it’s true. I just never feel like I get it quite right. And I know it’s because I don’t actually practice making pastry all that often, so it turns into this vicious cycle – if you don’t use it, you lose it. I have been challenging myself recently though, making things like quiche more often (although, I feel like you can kind of get away with subpar pastry in a quiche…or at least that’s what I tell myself). So when Pi(e) Day happened back in March, I was determined to make something worthy of sharing to celebrate the day. And you know what? I think I did it!
I know what you’re thinking (other than “hey Marianne, Pi(e) Day was 2 months ago…get with the times!) – those don’t exactly look like pies. But here me out – I made galettes, which are just a fancy name for flat, free form pastries (aka – pies). There are 2 reasons I went the galette route – I wanted to make individual pies, and I just love the rustic nature of them. Their imperfections are what make them so appealing 🙂
I decided to fill my galettes with a simple apple pie type filling, because who doesn’t love that smell of cinnamon filling the house as they bake in the oven? That, and the boyfriend is a little picky when it comes to fruits. I must say, they turned out amazing – just sweet enough, nicely caramelized apples, with the right balance of spicy cinnamon. And I must say, they paired quite nicely with a little salted caramel ice cream.
I now know my pastry fears were silly. And as I look at this picture, I’m pretty sure I need to make some galettes again ASAP!
Rustic Apple Galettes
makes 4 individual galettes
Beautifully rustic, galettes make an impressive but simple dessert to serve at any dinner party – or just because you feel like some pie. The cinnamon speckled apple filling is comforting and delicious. Top it with your favourite good quality ice cream for an extra special treat!
For the pastry:
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup butter
- pinch of salt
- 3 – 4 tbsp water
For the filling:
- 3 – 4 apples, sliced thinly (depends on the size of your apples – if they are very large, you may only need 3)
- 4 tbsp cornstarch
- 6 tbsp brown sugar
- 1 tsp cinnamon
For the egg wash:
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 2 tbsp white sugar
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.
2. Mix flours and salt together, then cut in butter with 2 knives or a pastry blender (you can also do this in a food processor, but I think it’s cheating). You want to have small pea sized clumps.
3. Add water, a little at a time, using just enough so the mixture sticks together and you can form the dough into a ball.
4. Divide the dough into 4 equal pieces, and set aside.
5. Combine the apples, cornstarch, brown sugar, and cinnamon in a bowl until apples are evenly coated.
6. Roll out one piece of dough into a round shape (no need to worry about it being perfect). You can make it any size you want, but you don’t want the dough to be too thick – it should be around 1/8th of an inch (or 3 mm if you want to work in metric).
7. Place 1/4 of the filling mixture in the centre, leaving a 2 inch boarder around it. Since your fruit will be showing, you can choose to arrange it nicely, or not. Fold up the sides so they cover part of the fruit, pinching as you see fit. These are rustic, so it’s up to you how many folds you want to have. Just make sure to pinch them well so the filling doesn’t leak out the sides.
8. Repeat this with the remaining 3 pieces of dough, and place them 2 to a baking sheet.
9. Brush the pastry with the egg wash, and sprinkle lightly with the white sugar. Bake for 17 – 20 minutes, until the crust is golden brown and filling looks caramelized.
Note: I never peel apples, but you can if you wish. I think it looks prettier with the peels on, and it takes less effort.
Apple pie – do you prefer it as is or à la mode? Or does anyone out there like their apple pie with cheddar cheese? I have to say, I’m a fan of the cheddar cheese.