Quarantine Cooking: Mini Apple Galettes

Sweet and simple like life should be

A+better+way+to+keep+the+doctor+away.

MINDY MALONE

A better way to keep the doctor away.

MINDY MALONE, Evergreen columnist

My best friend just got back from almost two years of living in Norway, so we decided to get together and try this apple galette recipe from Williams-Sonoma.

This recipe is a bit complicated, mostly because there’s a lot I feel should be changed.

I want to point out we only had salted butter, so we forwent adding any salt in order to compensate but it still ended up too salty. I’m not sure how to correct that with the regular salt amounts and unsalted butter, but I think you’d be safe not adding salt at all.

Ingredients:

Dough

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 1/2 cup ice water, plus more if needed

Filling

  • 4 apples, preferably Crispin or Pink Lady (we chose Honeycrisp), peeled, cored and sliced 1/4” thick
  • Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Salted Caramel sauce

  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons dark rum

Directions:

  1. In the bowl of a food processor, combine the flour, salt and sugar. Sprinkle the pieces of butter over the top and pulse for a few seconds, or just until the butter is slightly broken up into the flour but still in visible pieces.
  2. Evenly sprinkle the water over the flour mixture, then process just until the mixture starts to come together.
  3. Dump the clumps of dough into a large zip-top plastic bag and press into a flat disk (we recommend using a rolling pin). Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes and up to 1 day before using.
  4. In a large bowl, toss together the apples, lemon zest, lemon juice, 1/4 cup sugar, the cinnamon and a pinch of salt.
  5. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface and cut into 6 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a round about 1/8” thick. Transfer the dough rounds to the prepared baking sheet, spacing them evenly.
  6. Divide the apples between the dough rounds, spreading them into an even layer and leaving a 1-inch border of dough uncovered along the edge. Fold the edge of the dough up and over the apples, loosely pleating the dough and leaving the galettes uncovered in the center. Refrigerate the galettes for about 30 minutes.
  7. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Bake the galettes until the crust is golden brown and the apples are tender, which is about 40 minutes. Let cool on the baking sheet on a wire rack.
  8. In a saucepan, combine the remaining 1 cup sugar and 3 tablespoons water. Cover and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Once the sugar starts to melt, uncover and swirl the pan gently until the sugar is dissolved, about 5 minutes. Simmer, uncovered, until the sugar turns deep caramel brown, 3-5 minutes.
  9. Remove from the heat, add the cream (the caramel will bubble vigorously) and whisk until smooth. Whisk in the butter, rum and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Let cool slightly.
  10. Drizzle the galettes with the caramel and serve.

I’m not a fan of sugary desserts, but I felt this recipe could’ve used a lot more sugar. The finished product bordered between bland and bitter and didn’t taste much like a dessert. I recommend doubling the sugar in the dough. I also recommend changing the caramel sauce entirely, but we’ll get to that.

When mixing everything in the food processor, it’s good to look after every couple seconds of blending to check how far along it is. The butter chunks can be hard to see in the flour mess. When the chunks are smaller but still visible, add the water.

A half-cup water doesn’t seem like enough, but let it mix for 30 seconds to a minute and you’ll see it’s just right. The dough will form small clumps – once it does, move it into the zip-top bag.

For the filling, we added closer to 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon and I think it worked better than 1/2 teaspoon would’ve. It’s also good to let the apples soak in the extra lemon juice while you work on the galette rounds so the taste is stronger.

Once you’ve shaped and rolled the rounds, I recommend making an egg wash (1 large egg yolk and 1 tablespoon heavy cream whisked together) and painting the wash onto the center of each galette. This will keep the apples from making the dough soggy. After folding the dough, paint the top for a shiny finish.

Cooking the galettes took just under 30 minutes because we chose to half-bake the apples earlier. After slicing the apples, we lined them on the baking sheets and cooked them until they were soft, about 20 minutes. This ensured our apples would cook at the same rate as the dough later, so nothing came out over- or under-cooked.

The sauce is troublesome. I hate the sauce the recipe suggests. Granted, we used spiced rum because we couldn’t find dark rum, but I think omitting it entirely is best. I don’t even think the salt is necessary. A plain caramel sauce would’ve been perfect, especially considering the apple mixture is more tart than sweet and the dough is either neutral or salty depending on how much salt you add.

Be sure to take the sauce off the heat before it turns dark caramel brown, or you might end up with burnt caramel sauce. It’s not worth cutting it that close.

Overall, I wasn’t pleased with how the mini galettes turned out, but I think the recipe can be salvaged with some tweaks.

This recipe makes six servings and is best served with vanilla ice cream.