Friday, January 4, 2013

Apple Lattice Galette

As much as I love testing all kinds of new recipes, it seems the pastries that are consistently favored most at the table are those that are the simplest compositions based on buttery pastry dough.  Whether they are pies, galettes or flaky Eastern European pastries, they are inevitably scooped up and consumed with unbridled enjoyment.

This apple galette is one such pastry.  It begins with a very delicious and easy dough.  I love the way it shatters into crispy shards when you bite into it.  The simple mixture is from Jacques Pepin and is an iteration of what was called "crunch dough" at Chez Panisse and other area professional kitchens.  I have taken to making it in a food processor and if you're careful not to overmix, it comes out beautifully.

The apples are sauteed in butter and sugar with a spritz of lemon juice and a slight pinch of cinnamon.  Since I had a bit of cream cheese left over from some holiday experiments, I added a thin cream layer underneath the apples.  It's just enough to round out the flavors and textures.  I used the technique of a Danish braid for a different presentation and a more pastry-to-fruit ratio.

A Happy New Year to all the wonderful readers of Pastry Studio.  Lots of great pastries and desserts in the year ahead!!

Bench notes:
- Make sure the butter and water for the pastry dough are very cold, which is what makes the pastry flaky.
- I used Fuji apples, which are quite sweet.  If you use different apples, add sugar, to taste.
- I searched for an illustration for how to achieve the Danish braid lattice effect and found this pretty good one.  Scroll all the way to the bottom.

Apple Lattice Galette
Serves 6 - 8

1 C flour
1 1/2 t sugar
1/8 t salt
3 oz (6 T) cold butter
1/4 C cold water

2 apples
1 T butter
2 T sugar
1 t lemon juice
pinch cinnamon

3 oz cream cheese @ room temperature
1 T + 2 t sugar
1/2 t lemon juice
slight pinch salt

For the pastry dough, place the flour, sugar and salt in the bowl of a food processor and process to combine.  Cut the cold butter into 1/2" pieces, add to the flour mixture and process for 5 seconds.  Add the cold water and pulse about 15 times.  The dough will look a bit lumpy, like cottage cheese.  Gather the dough and place on a piece of plastic wrap.  Shape into a flattened rectangle and wrap.  Chill the dough at least 30 minutes or overnight.

For the apple filling, peel, core and cut the apples into 1/4" slices.  Melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat.  Add the apple slices, sugar, lemon juice and a slight pinch of cinnamon and toss well to combine.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until most of the liquid has evaporated and the apples are tender, about 15 minutes.  Set aside to cool.

To make the cream filling, combine the softened cream cheese, sugar, lemon juice and a few grains of salt until smooth.  Set aside.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Remove the dough from the refrigerator and rest on lightly floured parchment paper.  Let it sit for a few minutes to soften enough to be able to roll it out without cracking.

Roll the dough out to a 14" x 11" rectangle, gently lifting and moving the dough after each roll and lightly flouring as needed to prevent sticking.  When you have the desired shape, brush off excess flour and lift the pastry along with the parchment paper onto a baking sheet.

Spread the cream cheese filling down the middle third of the dough with the shorter 11" end at left to right.  Layer the cooled apples over the top of the cream cheese mixture.  Using a sharp knife, cut the outer thirds of dough on each side into 3/4" strips at about a 45 degree angle to the filling.  Starting at the top, fold over the top piece of dough onto the filling and then, alternating sides, fold the strips of dough over the filling, crisscrossing over the center, until the entire surface is braided and the bottom piece of dough is tucked in over the filling.  Brush the surface with melted butter and dust with a light sprinkling of sugar.

Bake the galette until the dough is crisp and browned, 35 - 40 minutes.  Place on a wire rack to cool.


Kate said...

What a grand first post for 2013.
Thank you for not swearing off delicious pastries in lieu of a dry , crackly healthy muffin ;)
All things in moderation... especially crazy notions of cutting back on Holiday indulgences by forfeiting this masterpiece.
This type of fruit pastry is what I crave anytime someone says dessert, treat or tea time.
Thank you for another artistic and beautiful presentation, :ps!

pastry studio said...

Kate, yayayay!! I see we're in this together. While I do try to lower sugars and fat, it's never at the cost of super deliciousness, I swear!!

Thanks for stopping by and Happy New Year!!

Challahgirl said...

We had with homemade vanlla ice cream was Perfect!!

pastry studio said...

Soooooo glad you enjoyed it, Challahgirl. It's hard to beat apple desserts, especially when they hook up with fabulous homemade ice cream!!