Meet a galette. It is a flat round, open face type of pastry or pie popular in French cuisine. It can be filled with fruit — apples or berries — and made sweeter with a glaze. A rustic apple galette has a mountain feel to it — and I finally fell into making it during the process of creating a tart. The pie crust called out to me, “I’m free form…I want to be a galette.” And I decided to go with the flow and made my first one for May.
Once living in Santa Cruz Mountains during the spring I was busy tending to my champion yellow Lab’s dozen puppies, and commuting twice a week to San Francisco State University. At home when meeting a prospective puppy buyer, she asked, “Are you all right?” As a raccoon-eyed sleep-deprived “mom” and creative writing student I said, “No, I’m not. I don’t know how to use the kitchen grill or wood burning kitchen stove.” The mature woman put her hand on mine, and said, “Dear, in time you will learn how to do these things and accomplish more.” Decades later, today I am now the confident older lady, an author amid nature with two warm-hearted dogs, lying by a toasty fire and savoring a fruit galette.
Rustic Apple Galette
1 store bought premium pie crust (or make your own basic pie crust)
4-5 Granny Smith apples, sliced
1/4 cup granulated sugar (you can use less)
2 tablespoons cinnamon
2 tablespoons European-style butter, melted
¼ cup organic apricot preserves
Whipped cream (heavy whipped cream)
Fresh strawberries, sliced (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Take out refrigerated pie dough, unroll the circle on a parchment lined cookie sheet. Fold edges over so it looks like a swimming pool liner. Fill with apple slices. Sprinkle with sugar, cinnamon, and dabs of butter. Brush edges with half-and-half. You can add leaf-shaped pieces of dough to place on top for a pretty look. Bake for about 50 minutes till filling is bubbly and pie crust is golden brown. About 10 minutes after the pie has cooled, nuke preserves in microwave till warm; spread on top of apples. Cut like a pie. Serves approximately 8-10.
No, this wasn’t an apple tart, it was a galette with creative flair. With a spatula I scooped it off the pan and placed it on a white plate. The flavors of apples and apricot complemented each other. While a pie crust from scratch could work, the store bought one won me over. This charming pastry is fit to serve friends, family, and you. It’s sweet warmed up for breakfast as well as dessert after dinner or enjoyed with afternoon tea. Served with whipped cream or topped with blueberries or plain will make your day or night in the sierra an unforgettable experience.
Motto: You don’t have to travel abroad to enjoy French cuisine. Use your imagination and to make, bake, and enjoy a sweet delight right at home.
Cal Orey, M.A. is an author and journalist. Her books include “The Healing Powers” series (Vinegar, Olive Oil, Chocolate, Honey, and Coffee) published by Kensington. Her website is www.calorey.com.