Over a year ago, I made my very first galette. It was a deliciously sweet blackberry concoction – I still taste the jam-like center and flaky pie dough, the flavors of my unrepentant breakfast that week. Upon the last bite of that first galette, I thought, “Apples. Do this with apples. As soon as possible.” One year and 22 days later, I have fulfilled that dream.
By default, I used to categorize apple desserts in the “ho-hum” category of lackluster sweets. But as I get older, I find myself craving and contemplating simpler, mildly more wholesome desserts… a complete 180 from the penchant of heavy cakes and custard-based treats from when I first started baking back in college. Maybe it’s wisdom, or maturing taste buds, or an increasing awareness of my health, but I now welcome apples as my sweet-tooth-stabilizer.
These apples are wrapped in a decadently buttery and flaky dough, so don’t assume I’m calling this healthy. But it is a perfectly light, sweet, and satisfying dessert, especially when topped with an inappropriately large heaping of freshly whipped heavy cream.
The dough is my favorite and all-time go-to recipe from Rebecca Rather’s recipe book, The Pastry Queen. Perfect slivers of apple wind round and round inside the dough like eye candy, and are then brushed with a beautiful brown sugar and honey mixture. I adore the sweet and earthy taste of honey, especially when coupled with the flaky flavors of dough. I just heated equal parts brown sugar and honey, zapped it in the microwave, stirred it, and dabbed it all over the apples with a pastry brush. The caramel-like flavors are simple, but perfect.
The apples bake to a crisp yet tender consistency in the oven, and the pie dough does what pie dough does – taste freaking awesome. I whipped up some heavy cream with an ample dose of vanilla and a hint of sugar for subtle sweetness. The end product lasted less than 24 hours, dominated by the boy, myself, and several girlfriends who agreed it was sinfully sweet, but not so much as to make them hop into spandex and plan a workout for the next day.
Serve it as a warm and fresh breakfast treat, evening dessert, or just as an afternoon snack with fresh coffee. I did all three and can affirm it’s delicious at any time.
- For the Dough:
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 11 tablespoons chilled butter, cut into ½″ cubes
- 4-5 tablespoons chilled water
- For the Filling:
- 3 Gala apples, peeled, cored, and sliced thinly
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 egg
- 1 tablespoon water
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- For the Whipped Cream:
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream, chilled
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, mix the flour, sugar, and salt on low until combined. Then, one piece at a time, add the butter and continue to mix until the dough looks like coarse meal. Add the ice water a tablespoon at a time with the mixer running until the dough comes together in a ball. Stop the mixer. Shape the dough into a disk and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll out the pie dough into a thin layer, about a 10"-12" circle. Cut a circle out of the rolled dough with a sharp knife (use a large plate as an outline, if you like).
- Starting about 2"-3" away from the edge, layer the apple slices circularly until it reaches the center. Place the brown sugar and honey in a microwave for about 20 seconds, then mix with a spoon or fork. Use a pastry brush to dab the mixture over the apples (it is a thick and sticky mixture, so it won't spread easily - just dab it over the apples).
- Fold the edges of the pie dough over the apples and fold/crimp to create a tight galette. Mix the egg and water together in a small bowl, and brush the dough with it. Sprinkle the tablespoon of sugar over the crust and the filling.
- Use a large spatula or bench scraper to release the galette and place it on baking pan. Bake in an oven heated at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 27 - 30 minutes, or until the crust is golden.
- To make the whipped cream, whip the heavy cream in the bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment on medium/high speed. Once soft peaks form, add the sugar and vanilla. Continue to whip until stiff peaks form.