Have you reached that point where you no longer want or need too much stuff? Did you notice how many messages we receive at this time of year encouraging us to buy ‘the most perfect gift’? Geez! Its hard to turn around without seeing messages about getting more stuff! Stuff, I’d just like to say, that at some point someone is going to have to deal with; you when you downsize or someone else when you’re no longer capable of managing it yourself. I often think about an ocean of stuff moving around as I look around my space; the bookcase from a grandmother, the salad bowl from another. How much stuff can the world absorb?!
So, here’s my suggestion to you; stop giving stuff. Maybe a new sweater if someone requests it or needs it or a good book but after a Certain Age it might be wiser to just stop. A card, a meal together, a good laugh, a shared experience that leads to a great memory, those are things that we need to accumulate as we build our legacy.
In the spirit of the holiday and of not giving you more stuff I’m going instead to share with you this week a great recipe for apple galette. Think pie without the top or the pie pan. It looks like a long recipe ~ it isn’t! ~ I just like to explain things to you so you too get to enjoy it! Think of how making this with family and friends will give you the opportunity to make a memory, maybe a shared laugh as you peel apples.
Wishing you all the best for your holidays and week ahead!
Apple Galette – or Rustic Apple Tart
2 ½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar
8 tablespoons all-vegetable shortening, chilled
12 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
6-8 tablespoons ice water
1. Pulse flour, salt and sugar in a food processor fitted with steel blade until combined. Add shortening and process until mixture has texture of coarse sand, about 10 seconds. Scatter butter pieces over flour mixture; cut butter into flour until mixture is pale yellow and resembles coarse crumbs, with butter bits no larger than small peas, about ten 1-second pulses. Slowly dribble in the cold water, one Tablespoon at a time, just until the dough comes together. Do Not Over Work!
2. Divide dough into two pieces. Flatten piece into a rough 5-inch disc and wrap separately in wax and refrigerator at least 1 hour or up to 2 days before rolling. You will use only 1 of these for the galette so you can use the other one for your pumpkin pie if you’d like.
For the Apple Filling
7 or 8 apples, a variety of granny smith, northern spy, honey crisp – whatever your farmer’s market has or looks sturdy
1 teaspoon juice and 1 teaspoon zest from 1 lemon
3/4 cups (5.25 ounces) plus 1 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1 egg white, beaten lightly
Peel, core and slice the apples. Place into a large bowl and immediately sprinkle with the lemon juice and zest. Add sugar, flour, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice and mix well.
Place the apple mixture into a large cast iron or similar type of pan. Over low heat cook the apple mixture until it is thick and the apples are nearly but not entirely cooked to desired crispness. Be sure to stir gently with a wooden spoon or spatula to prevent burning or sticking.
Move apples off the heat and allow to cool a bit.
Remove one crust disc from the refrigerator and peel away the wax paper before it warms. Allow to sit for about 10 minutes on the counter.
Heat oven to 425 degrees while the crust is warming up a bit.
Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
Roll the crust out to an 18” circle, taking care to not allow it to stick to either your rolling pin or the counter. You can use flour at this point to keep it from sticking. When you have it in a nice, even circle roll it up onto your rolling pin as if it were a piece of paper you’re rolling around the pin. Be gentle. Transfer it to the cookie sheet, unrolling it at this point. Its OK if it hangs for a moment over the edge of the cookie sheet. If the dough has gotten too warm allow it to rest in the refrigerator for about 10 minutes to firm up again.
Spoon the apples into the center of the dough spreading them out so they’re of an even depth throughout, leaving a 2 or 2 ½” edge. Fold the edges of the dough up so that the apples are slightly but not entirely enclosed by the crust ~ think of snuggling the apples up but only at the edges.
Brush the crust with egg white.
Bake at 425 degrees for 25 minutes and then lower the oven to 350 degrees for another 25-35 minutes until it is a golden color but not even close to dark brown. Remember, the apples are already cooked so you only need to get the crust cooked.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool for about 30 minutes before transferring with a large spatula and maybe a helper to a plate. You can also transfer it if you are going to a pretty flat plate by slipping the plate underneath and sliding the galette on to it. This takes practice so you might want to try this a few days ahead of a big, fancy party!
This is an adaptation from America’s Test Kitchen Cookbook