In DC, it’s easy to miss the arrival of fall. September days often reach up to 80 degrees, and it’s totally acceptable to wear shorts and flip flops outside the house.
Since I can’t count on the weather to indicate the changing of seasons, I’ve come to rely on other context clues. This year, that clue was the arrival of apples. Sometime around the middle of September, apples began to pop up everywhere, taking the place of peaches at the farmer’s market and lining the center stands in grocery stores.
And just like that, it’s apple season! Apple season is one of my favorites for the following reasons: 1) I love apple picking 2) I can’t get enough of apples with peanut butter 3) apples usher in a baking season full of spices, pumpkin, and cranberries. I decided to celebrate, searching for an apple recipe that was fancy looking but not too difficult.
Enter the galette, or what should be known as the “lazy man’s pie”. The galette still looks and tastes like your favorite apple pie, but takes about half the prep time. It also requires no special pots or pans, taking its form from the filling and sitting on your everyday baking sheet.
Despite the reduced difficulty level, the galette doesn’t lose any of its flavor. In this galette, the flavor is due largely to the combination of chopped and sliced apples. The chopped apples bake until soft and almost melted, taking on the texture of a chunky applesauce and creating a unique texture in every bite. The galette dough also browns wonderfully, producing a flaky texture that looks like it came from a bakery.
Free-form Apple Galette (adapted from Food and Wine)
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 1 1/2 tsp sugar
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 10 tbsp cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
- 1/3 cup water, ice cold
- 4 apples, about 1.5 pounds (I used golden delicious)
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tbsp honey
- 1 tbsp of cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
- In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, and salt.
- Using a pastry cutter, slowly mix the butter into the dough. Add about half at a time, mixing until butter is well incorporated and the dough has a crumbly texture (some small chunks of butter can still be present).
- Slowly add the water to the dough and mix with the pastry cutter. Once the dough becomes too sticky, finish kneading it with your hands.
- Turn the mixed dough onto a floured cutting board and form it into a small flat disk. Chill the disk in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
- Peel and core the four apples, cutting half of the apples into slices and the other half into 1/2 inch chunks.
- In a small bowl, combine the sugar and cinnamon and set aside.
Forming the galette:
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- Remove the disk of dough from the fridge and place on a large piece of parchment paper. Using a rolling pin (or a cold wine bottle, in my case), roll the dough out to a 12 x 14 rectangle. If the rolling pin sticks to the dough, rub it with flour.
- Transfer the rolled out dough to a large sheet pan. Spread the chopped apples on the dough, leaving a 1-2 inch border from the edge (you’ll need this in order to fold up the edges to form the galette). Top the chopped apples with 1 tbsp of honey.
- Place the sliced apples on top of the chopped apples in vertical lines. Top the sliced apples with the cinnamon sugar mix.
- Dot the top of the galette with the remaining butter and fold up the edges. Place the galette in the oven and bake for 45-50 minutes, or until the galette is golden brown on top and the apples are soft when poked with a fork.