I had been meaning to make an apple galette for quite a while now. I must be this specific– apple galette. Nothing else would have done it for me. Just… Nothing. I had to, and the urge was running wild; coursing hot through my blood. I had looked at quite a few recipes, and surprisingly most required the dough to be set in the fridge for at least an hour or so (understandably), and for the apples to go through a caramelising or some other cook-through method beforehand. Not that I would have minded so terribly… But sadly I am a creature of convenience. Stark laziness, even, sometimes. I’ll be honest. I was really pleased with how this turned out, even after making the radical adaptations. I like those burnt edges. Kill me if you wish. I do. The buttery, caramelised apples with a tender bottom crust go wonderfully with a generous scoop of vanilla ice cream. I paired a slice with some leftover salted caramel sauce, because I didn’t have any ice cream lying around and yes, that was enough to break my heart. The flavours are simple, wonderful, joyful.
As a student, I don’t have hours and hours to play around with recipes; words like ‘proving’ and ‘resting in the damn fridge for 40 hours’ just don’t cut it most of the time. I came across smittenkitchen’s recipe for the ‘simplest apple tart’, and thought it just perfect to play with. My own adjustments were pretty radical, so I’m going to re-type everything I changed. I swear, dough making in this bloody Singapore heat is a right pain, so I suggest only using things like butter and cold water right when you need it, and straight out of the fridge. Blast the air con and get to work!
For galette dough:
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 and a half tablespoons sugar
- pinch of salt
- 80g cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes (I used half salted, half unsalted, just because I love a little extra)
- 2 tablespoons cold water
For apple filling:
- 3-4 small apples, sliced into thin slivers
- 30g melted butter
- 3 tablespoons brown sugar (preferably dark muscovado, if you have that sort of thing lying around)
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- half teaspoon nutmeg
- a quarter cup of your favourite jam (I used marmalade), warmed for a couple minutes in the microwave
Slice the apples and mix with the sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg in a large bowl. Set aside. Preheat your oven to 200 degrees C.
In a food processor, blend the flour, sugar, salt and butter. Pulse until the biggest pieces resemble medium-sized peas. Slowly add in the cold water, continuing to pulse at a moderate speed. I only needed around 2 tablespoons. Grab a handful of dough and squeeze to see if it holds together. If it does, then it’s fine. Tip the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and gather into a round and slightly flattened ball. Wrap in cling film and refrigerate for 10 minutes (Yes! 10. Praise the Lord).
Take the dough out from fridge and using a floured rolling pin on lightly floured surface, roll out until it’s approximately 11 inches wide. Place dough onto a greased, large baking dish lined with parchment (VERY IMPORTANT STEP HERE. DO NOT be like me and do this only after painstakingly placing the apples on top. Please. Learn from my mistakes. Or I will cry for you.)
Take your beautiful cinnamon and sugar-crusted apples and layer them, one by one in a ring spiral, with the outer edges 1.5-2 inches away from the edge of the dough. Continue layering in a ring, working your way to the centre of the circle. Once you reach the centre, you can bend a few slices to fit the very middle, like a rose. If you have extra slices, place them in random nooks around the ring, so they all fit nicely.
Now, this is my favourite bit: Take the outside edges of dough and fold them over, in sections around the ring of apples. Let it be loose and rustic and messy. Enough with the neat crimping. That’s for the uppity. Now brush the melted butter over the edges you folded over and the exposed apple slices. Yum yum. Sprinkle the sugar over the whole thing. Free and easy. Footloose and fancy-free. The joy, the joy, I tell you.
Bake in preheated oven on middle rack for 40 minutes. Leave it in the oven to cool before taking out.
Warm your favourite jam in the microwave for a few minutes, and using a pastry brush, brush all over that beautiful little rustic thing. Galette. The word makes me swoon. The gazelle of all tarts. The almighty apple galette.