After clearing out the fridge, we ended up with a bag of small apples that we just didn’t have anywhere to put them. “Can you make something with this?” is a phrase that gets asked around a lot here. And sure enough I could. There’s just something about apples that make for really delicious pastries and desserts. I have a great recipe for Deep Dish Apple Pie that I follow which is incredible, but really I just couldn’t be bothered to go through all the steps in order to use these apples up. I ended up finding this recipe for a Salted Butter Apple Galette from Alison Roman back in her Bon Appetit days. It turned out to be a perfect way to use up the apples in a new way, and also an excuse to finally make a galette. If you haven’t heard of it before, a galette is just a freeform rustic pie that can be filled with just about whatever you want. The ingredient list in Alison’s recipe had me convinced that there was no way this thing would be anything but delicious.
The galette starts off with a basic tart dough. If you’ve ever made pastry before, then you’ll breeze through it. Flour, sugar and salt are whisked in a bowl before some butter is added in. You then break down the butter with your fingers until the size of small peas. A beaten egg is added to the mix and the dough is worked until it comes together. We’re looking for some of those pieces of butter to stay in tact so that way they develop a flakey crust once baked. The dough chills for about two hours which is more than enough time to make up the filling. One of my favorite ingredients, brown butter, makes a starring role here- though Alison’s recipe calls for Salted Butter. I figured this would make for a well balanced tart as we’ll be adding other sugars and sweet apples to the mix later on. After a few minutes on the stove, the butter was nice and browned with the milk solids carmelized and leaving the entire kitchen smelling like grilled cheese- trust me, that’s exactly what it smells like. I then rolled out my pastry which was a breeze to work with and then transferred it onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Galettes are great because they’re supposed to be rustic, so I didn’t fuss too much about getting a perfect shape. I then topped it with my sliced apples, forming a scalloped design, but leaving a 1 ½” border. Afterwards, I brushed on the brown butter and gave the whole thing a sprinkling of dark brown sugar. Using the parchment, I folded over the edges to form what looked like an impressive dessert. All it needed was a brushing of egg wash and sprinkling of sugar on the dough, and I was set to bake it for about 40 minutes.
When I pulled the galette out of the oven, I almost couldn’t believe that I’d made it. It was so deeply golden brown and crisp on the sides- likely from all that butter in the pastry. The apples looked gorgeous, taking on some color at the skin and forming little puddles of caramel where the brown sugar pooled. I was impressed at how, even after letting it cool, the galette sliced up beautifully and the crust retained its structure. The combination of flakey pastry with warm apples and a caramel like topping was incredible. It went perfectly with the maple whipped cream which Alison paired with the recipe- though I did double the amount of maple for more sweetness and flavor. All in all, I’d definitely make this again as it’s a breeze to put together and undoubtedly delicious. It may have just converted me from pies.
Full Recipe | Method from Bon Appetit: