Simple Apple Galette or Rustic Tart

I was inspired to make this simple apple galette after picking up my very first order from la Ruche qui dit Oui, an amazing service that connects locavores to farmers and other food artisans in…you guessed it, their area. Since moving to Brussels, I had struggled a bit with finding a grocery store that I really liked since I had been spoiled by the wonderful farmers markets and cooperatives of my previous homes. But the selection and quality of the products available through this service are amazing and exactly the kind of inspiration I need for this blog.

But, anyways, back to the tart.  For this recipe I used a pâte à foncer, which is basically a pâte brisée, with the addition of an egg yolk. Either one is fine and, quite confusingly, you can often find recipes that mistake one for the other. (*No shame version: If you don’t have the time or are just plain lazy, you can usually find a ready made dough at the supermarket.) Choosing the right apples is also key, but of course should be according to your own preference and what is available in your area. Key: what is local for you! As is the case with everything, local, fresh (and seasonal!) ingredients give the most delicious results. Here in Brussels, I’ve found elstar apples to be wonderful, which are a cross between a golden delicious and ingrid marie. In the US, I typically used (or made a combination of) cortland, jonagold, macintosh, honeycrisp, or anything more on the tart, but still sweet side. Golden delicious are another option, but I find them to be a bit boring as well as very juicy, so I would typically mix them with something else, like a macintosh or cortland.

  • 250g flour
  • 125g unsalted butter, cold (it should be rock solid, so keep in the fridge until you are about to use it)
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 1 egg yolk
  • cold water
  • apples (I used about 3)
  • sugar
  • cinnamon
  • 3 tablespoons of melted butter, plus more for brushing on the dough.

Sift the flour and salt into a large bowl. Cut the cold butter into cubes and add into the bowl.  Rub into the flour with your fingertips until it is completely incorporated, but not overly “rubbed” because you don’t want to warm it up too much (Until I start making my own, this video should give you a good idea of what the consistency should look like). Make a well and add the yolk and a little bit of water. With a fork, slowly start to incorporate the flour in, then, start bringing it together with your hands. Again, make sure to not overwork the dough…lucky you, really no kneading! You just want to make sure its packed together, so when all the flour is incorporated, as long as the dough doesn’t fall apart or crumble if you smoosh a little of it together between your pointer finger and thumb, you should be fine. I find the easiest way to do this is to incorporate the ingredients by simply packing the dough together into a ball towards the end, but you could knead it a few times as well. Store in the fridge for at least 30 minutes, but an hour is best.

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius.

Remove the pastry dough from the fridge and roll out about 3 or 4 mm thick. Place onto a cookie sheet lined in parchment paper.

Slice the apples (I leave the skin on when I buy them from local farms that don’t use harmful pesticides, but I would first peel any that come from the supermarket) and arrange in the middle of the dough. I like to fan them out, but you could just as well simply dump them into the middle. A galette is basically a rustic, free form tart so be creative! Sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon then drizzle all over with the melted butter. Next, fold the edges of the dough up over the apples. Brush with the additional melted butter, then bake in the oven for about 45 minutes or until it is nicely browned. Make sure to check on the galette every 15 or so minutes to make sure that it is evenly cooking. You may have to rotate it depending on how your oven is.

Enjoy!

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