By Alexandra Stafford
*Alexandra uses a Baking Steel, instead of a sheet tray or pizza stone, to help with the browning of the crust
For me, the most fun part about making a pie is trimming the overhanging dough with scissors, bundling the scraps into a ball, and after sneaking a bite or two, rolling those scraps into cinnamon snails. But when a recent pie-making session yielded more scraps than ever as well as several cups of diced cinnamon-spiced apples, I decided to make a rustic apple galette instead, a simple way to make use of both the leftover apples and dough. Dotted with butter, just like a pie, glazed with an egg wash and a sprinkling of sugar, the apple galette baked beautifully directly on the Baking Steel at 350ºF for 45 minutes. Never has the galette crust been so flaky and crisp. And as much as I love my cinnamon snails, that evening not a snail was missed.
Notes: If you have leftover diced and seasoned apples that couldn't quite fit into a pie, use them here. And the same goes for the dough — just re-roll those trimmings. But if you are starting from scratch, use the recipes below. Also, if you are starting from scratch and are making two large galettes (which the tart dough recipe below yields), you may need more apples.
1-2 apples, I like Cortland, but use whatever you like best
2 tablespoons of sugar
1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon
a squeeze of lemon (optional)
1 tablespoon butter diced into small cubes
1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon of cream (or whatever egg wash you like)
sugar for sprinkling
pie dough scraps or pie dough (recipe below)
vanilla ice cream for serving
1. Place the Baking Steel in your oven and preheat it to 350ºF for 45 minutes.
2. Peel the apples, and slice into half-moons or cubes or whatever shape you like. I used cubes because I had leftover from a pie, but if I were starting from scratch, I would cut the apples into half-moons. Season with a tablespoon of the sugar and the cinnamon. If you have a lemon on hand, squeeze a little over the apples and toss. Taste. If the apples taste too tart, add a sprinkling more sugar. Set aside.
3. On a lightly floured work surface, roll the scrap dough into as large a circle as possible without it tearing or sticking to your surface — the round pictured here was 11 inches. Place a piece of parchment paper on a pizza peel. Fold the dough in half and half again, then place it on the Steel and unfold it.
4. Pile apples into center (or arrange in concentric circles if you've cut the apples into half-moons) leaving a 2-inch border. Fold the dough over the apples, making pleats as you fold. Dot the apples with the butter. Brush the crust with egg wash. Sprinkle the entire galette with a few more teaspoons of sugar.
5. Shimmy the galette, parchment paper and all, onto the Steel. Bake for 45 minutes of until nicely golden.
6. Let cool briefly, then serve with vanilla ice cream.
Yield = Two 9-inch rounds (enough for 2 large galettes)
Note: Tart dough can be made up to a week in advance and stored in the fridge or made weeks in advance and stored in the freezer. If you store the dough in the freezer, thaw it in the fridge for a day or so before you plan on using it.
2½ cups (11.25 oz | 320g) all-purpose flour
2 T. sugar
½ tsp. table salt
16 T. (8 oz | 227g) unsalted butter
½ C. + 2 T. (4 oz | 114 g + 1 oz | 28g) ice water
In a large bowl, whisk flour, sugar and salt together (or pulse in food processor). Cut butter into flour and using the back of a fork or a pastry cutter, incorporate butter into flour mixture until butter is in small pieces. (If using food processor, pulse at 1-second intervals until butter is the size of peas.) Add ice water and continue to stir with fork until mixture comes together to form a mass. Add more ice water if necessary, one tablespoon at a time. Gently form mass into a ball, divide in half, flatten each half to form a disk and wrap in plastic wrap. Chill until ready to use.