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Apple galette is easy as pie for Thanksgiving

Plums, apples, peppers, I want to galette you all up.

Pate brisee, the French version of classic pie or tart pastry, and I are going to be friends for a long time. The thing is it's just so easy. A few whirls in my stand mixer, and it's done. How could I not keep rolling out this dough?

Used in a quiche, this dough bakes up beautifully flaky and crisp, even on the bottom.

Galettes, flat round cakes of pastry, are pie-ish without having to deal with lattice or crimped corners. I'm taking good fruit, slicing it and tucking it into slabs of dough. Rustic, I suppose — simple and beautiful without being perfect.

The plum galettes coming out of our kitchen lately are juicy and vibrant shades of purple and red. A savory galette for lunch is happening soon, but until then, I have a very seasonal galette for you with apples, brown butter and thyme.

I came across an apple galette (also known as a crostata) in my collection of old Gourmet magazines, which Danny gave me as a gift a couple of years ago. This recipe came from a 1994 issue and called for a glaze, which felt a little dated. I wanted to make a simpler version, and once I got the idea of apple and thyme together there was no separating the two. Brown butter? Don't look back now.

When baking with apples, you usually want a combination of varieties. I used a couple of Jonagold apples and one Fuji. Pears would also work well. Serve this for breakfast or dessert. Let's keep pate brisee on speed dial. Berries. Ham and cheese. Squash. Galette it all up.

Ileana Morales is a writer who cooks in a small apartment kitchen in Tampa with boyfriend Danny Valentine, an education reporter for the Tampa Bay Times. For more adventures, visit Ileana's blog, alittlesaffron.com. She can be reached at alittlesaffron@gmail.com.

>>MODERATE

Apple Galette With Brown Butter and Thyme

For the pate brisee:

2 ½ cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon sugar

1 cup (2 sticks or 8 ounces) cold butter, cut into small cubes

¼ to ½ cup ice water

For the filling:

3 tablespoons butter

1 bunch thyme

3 apples (any combination of Jonagold, Fuji or Honeycrisp would be good)

Juice of half a lemon

1 egg, beaten (or melted butter)

Sugar

Flaky sea salt

To make the dough — the pate brisee — combine flour, salt and sugar in a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment or in a food processor. Add the butter and combine at slow speed or pulse until the mixture resembles coarse meal with different sized pieces of butter, including some larger pieces. Add in ¼ cup ice water to the mixture. Mix or pulse until the mixture just starts to hold together. Add up to another ¼ cup ice water, a tablespoon at a time, if the mixture is too dry.

Divide the dough in half and place each on a sheet of plastic wrap. Wrap loosely with the plastic and press into a disc using a rolling pin. Refrigerate until firm, wrapped well, for at least 1 hour and up to 1 day.

While dough is resting, make filling. Heat oven to 400 degrees.

Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring once or twice, and wait for the butter to foam, crackle and go quiet, about 3 minutes. The brown butter is done when you can see brown bits and it gives off a nutty fragrance. Remove from heat and carefully stir in 3 sprigs of thyme. The butter may splatter at first. Let butter cool for about 5 minutes as it infuses with thyme.

Slice the apples into ¼-inch-thick pieces. Toss the apple slices in a medium bowl with the juice of half a lemon and the leaves from a couple of sprigs of thyme.

Roll out the rested dough onto a floured surface to a ¼-inch thickness. Lightly flour the rolling pin and carefully roll the pie dough around the pin so that you can lift it and roll it out onto a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

Remove the thyme and pour the brown butter over the apples, including all the brown bits. Gently toss to coat.

To lay out the apple slices, start an inch away from the edge of the dough by overlapping apple slices in a circle around the border. Repeat with the rest of the apple slices, making concentric circles until the center of the galette is filled. Fold the edges of the dough over on the apple slices. Brush the folded-over edges of the dough with the beaten egg and sprinkle lightly with sugar.

Bake until the edges are golden brown and crisp, 35 to 40 minutes. Let cool for 5 to 10 minutes. Sprinkle with flaky sea salt and slice into 6 wedges. Serve warm or at room temperature. Any leftovers will keep for a day or two wrapped well in plastic.

Serves 6.

Source: Inspired by Gourmet magazine and Martha Stewart's Pies & Tarts

Apple galette is easy as pie for Thanksgiving 11/04/13 [Last modified: Monday, November 4, 2013 4:43pm]
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