A galette is my go-to dessert when I’m craving pie, but don’t want to go through all of the work or be left with an entire pie begging to be eaten. Here I have taken a traditional apple galette and added ginger for a spicy spin. It is a simple and rustic dessert, but pretty enough to serve at your next dinner party. Plus, the ginger ensures it’s not “just another apple pie.”
A galette is a flat, free-form pie. Its name is derived from gale, which means flat in Norman, where this tart originates from. Normandy also happens to be the apple growing region of France.
Galette dough needs more structure than a pie dough, but should still be buttery and flaky. Adding cornmeal, while not traditional, adds the needed structure and does not inhibit flakiness.
For the filling, use tart apples that hold their structure when baked. I used a mix of Granny Smith and Pink Lady apples. Often, apples baked in pies and tarts are undercooked and still a bit crisp, so I prefer to pre-cook the apple filling before baking. Adding cornstarch to the filling keeps the moisture in check and prevents a soggy crust or overflowing.
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
115g cold butter
45g crème fraîche
80ml ice-cold water
Ginger Apple Filling
2 teaspoons grated, fresh ginger
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon cornstarch
Zest of 1/2 lemon
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Prepare the crust:
Slice the butter into small cubes and reserve in the freezer or refrigerator.
Mix the crème fraîche and ice-cold water together in a small bowl and reserve in the freezer or refrigerator while preparing the dry ingredients.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, cornmeal, salt and sugar.
Cut in the butter with a pastry blender (or with the tips of your fingers), until the mixture resembles crumbs and the butter is cut into pea-sized pieces.
Pour in the reserved ice-water mixture one tablespoon at a time, stirring with a fork after each addition, until the dough comes together into a ball. You may not need all of the water and crème fraîche.
Shape the dough into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap, and let it rest in the refrigerator for at least a half hour before rolling it out.
Meanwhile, make the ginger apple filling.
Prepare the ginger apple filling:
Peel, core and thinly slice the apples.
In a small bowl, combine the sugar, grated ginger, cinnamon, cornstarch, lemon zest and salt.
Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Sauté the apples until slightly softened and browned at the edges, about 10-12 minutes.
Add the sugar mixture to the apples and stir until syrupy and bubbly, about 5 minutes.
Take the apples off the heat, stir in the vanilla extract and let cool slightly while rolling out the crust.
Assemble the galette:
Preheat the oven to 190°C (375°F).
Remove the dough from the refrigerator, remove the plastic, and dust both sides of the dough with flour.
Dust a work surface lightly with flour and using a rolling pin, roll the dough out to a 15 inch (40 cm) circle, working from the center outwards.
Carefully transfer the dough to a baking sheet lined with parchment.
Arrange the apple filling in the center of the dough, leaving a 1-2 inch (3-5cm) border. Gently fold up the edges of the crust over the apples, overlapping every couple inches to create a decorative border.
Brush the dough with some whole milk with a pastry brush, and sprinkle with granulated sugar.
Bake the galette:
Bake the galette for 40 – 45 minutes, until the crust is a deep golden brown.
Let the galette cool slightly and serve warm or at room temperature. A scoop of vanilla ice cream or a dollop of whipped cream would not be injudicious.