The French term ‘galette’ is used to describe round, flat, baked ‘stuff.’ The description runs the gamut from pancakes all the way to flattish pies like galette des rois. Somewhere in the middle of this continuum is a delightfully rustic pie/tart hybrid that makes a mockery of any sort of difficulty or precision in pastry cooking. Shortcrust pastry is half wrapped over sugared fruit, and the whole mess is baked off for half an hour.
The recipe given here is about as French as my big toe (which is not very French). The inclusion of apples, cinnamon and nuts gives away its origin as American. The recipe we have here is adapted from that of Sally’s Baking Addiction, where the eponymous Sally McKenney claims to be a huge fan of ‘sprinkles.’ There are no sprinkles here aside from the walnuts, but there is some joy in a ludicrously simple family dessert dish.
Apple and salted caramel galette
- For the pastry:
- 200g plain flour
- 100g cold unsalted butter, cubed
- 1 egg
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 tbsp caster sugar
- 1 pinch salt
- About 1 tbsp ice-cold water
- For the filling:
- 3 Braeburn apples, cored and cut into wedges (if using Bramley's or other common cooking apples, increase the sugar quantity by 50%, i.e. 3 tbsp)
- 2 tbsp caster sugar
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- A grating of nutmeg
- Juice of half a lemon
- 6 walnut halves, roughly chopped
- For the salted caramel:
- 175g soft brown sugar
- 300ml double cream
- 50g butter
- Half a tsp of salt
- For the icing:
- 3 tbsp icing sugar
- A small amount of warm water
To make the pastry, combine everything but the water in a food processor, and then gradually add the water until the mixture comes together. Ball the dough, wrap in cling film and refrigerate for an hour. You can leave this overnight, and it will store in the fridge for 3 days.
To make the filling, combine the apples, sugar, spices and lemon in a bowl. Mix thoroughly and cover for an hour. Like the pastry, you can leave this overnight if you like, leaving you very little to do the next day.
While the filling is infusing, and the pastry is chilling, make the salted caramel and the icing garnish. To make the caramel, heat all the ingredients in a pan until the sugar is dissolved. Bubble until syrupy.
To make the icing, Place the sugar in a bowl, and gradually add teaspoons of warm water until it reaches drizzling consistency.
To assemble the galette, set an oven to 190˚C, and roll out the pastry on a floured surface until about a foot round. Trim the edges to be tidy. It does not matter if this is perfectly round or not. Transfer the pastry to a baking try lined with baking parchment. Drain the liquid off the apples an arrange them in the centre, and drizzle over some of the salted caramel. Fold the pastry edges up to form a rough, open pie. Brush the edges with egg, sprinkle over the walnuts and bake in the oven for 35 mins.
Once cooked, allow the galette to cool before drizzling over with more salted caramel and the icing sugar. You need to let it cool a fair bit, or the icing will just dissolve. Dust the crust with a little more icing sugar.
Warm a little to serve if needed, but this is perfectly nice cold too. Scoop some vanilla ice cream on the side.
You will end up with more salted caramel then you need. Store it in a jar in the fridge and use it for all sorts of desserts. Having the caramel pre-made makes the galette even easier to do. You can also use shop-bought, pre-rolled pastry to make this simplicity itself.