Well, I’m just going all fall on you this week, aren’t I?  First the pumpkin blondies, now this.  Let me just say that with my very serious apple orchard addiction, you have a lot more apple recipes coming your way.  This was my first time ever trying a galette.  To be honest, the first time I ever heard of one (basically a free-form pie), I was kind of turned off.  Why would you want such a non-uniform, rustic appearance when you could have a pretty, symmetrical traditional pie?  I never saw the appeal and never intended to try one until I ran across this recipe and for some reason, I needed to make it.  I’m guessing the apple-cranberry combo had something to do with it.

One great reason to make a galette is if you need to make a dessert with little equipment available to you.  In this case, I’m referring to my dad’s kitchen.  You don’t even need a pie pan – just a baking sheet.  I did use a stand mixer to make the crust, but it is easily done by hand as well.  We had a big group of friends over for a cookout and I decided to try this since it seemed simple and sounded delicious.  It was quite well received with all of our guests, and I now understand the appeal of this dessert.   I think its rustic quality actually makes it attractive – plus, I think the crust looks pretty cool folded up in pleats.  This crust recipe is unlike any I have tried before in that it contains cornmeal and sour cream (you could also use yogurt).  I was concerned about how the texture would be affected but ultimately this came out great and I thought the crust tasted fantastic.  The original recipe as printed below yields two galettes, but I think one would be enough in most circumstances.  I made two since we had a crowd.

Ingredients

For the pastry:
1¾ cups all-purpose flour
6 tbsp. white cornmeal (I used yellow)
2 tsp. sugar
¾ tsp. salt
12 tbsp. unsalted butter, cut into chunks
6 tbsp. sour cream
½ cup ice water

For the filling:
4 lb. Granny Smith apples (about 8 large)
½ cup sugar
½ cup water
3 tbsp. honey
3 tbsp. lemon juice
½ tsp. ground cinnamon
1½ cups fresh cranberries
2 tbsp. unsalted butter, cut into thin slices
Sugar, for dusting (optional)

Directions

  • 01

    To make the pastry, combine the flour, cornmeal, sugar and salt in a bowl.  Scatter the chunks of butter over the top and cut the butter into the dry ingredients until the butter pieces are the size of small peas.  (This can be done by hand, in a stand mixer, or in a food processor.)  In a small bowl, whisk together the sour cream and ice water.  Drizzle the mixture over the dough and mix just until the dough is smooth and clings together in a cohesive mass.  Pat the dough into a ball, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 20 minutes.

  • 02

    Meanwhile, make the fruit filling.  Peel, core and slice the apples.  In a large pan over medium heat combine the sugar, water, honey, lemon juice and cinnamon.  Heat, stirring occasionally, until the sugar dissolves.  Stir in the apple slices and simmer until opaque, 5-7 minutes.  Using a slotted spoon, transfer the apple slices to a bowl and let cool slightly.

  • 03

    Add the cranberries to the juices and simmer until they start to pop, about 2 minutes.  Transfer the cranberries to the bowl with the apples.  Increase the heat to medium-hight, boil the juices until reduced slightly and spoon over the fruit.

  • 04

    Position two racks in the middle of the oven and preheat to 400° F.  Divide the ball of chilled pastry dough in half.  On a lightly floured work surface, roll out each half into a round about 12 inches in diameter.  Transfer each round to separate baking sheets.  Divide the fruit filling between the pastry rounds in even layers, leaving a 1½-inch border clear.  Fold the border over the fruit, pleating the edges to form a broad rim.  Lay thin slices of butter over the exposed fruit.

  • 05

    Bake, rotating the pans 180 degrees and from top to bottom halfway through, until the pastry is golden brown and the apples are tender, about 35-40 minutes.  Transfer the pans to wire cooling racks and let the galettes cool completely on the pans.  Store at room temperature until ready to serve.  Sprinkle with sugar just before serving, if desired.

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