Friday, November 9, 2007

Apple Rosemary Galette

It hardly seems like fall until the sweet aroma of apples baking in a hot oven wafts through the neighborhood. There’s something about the sensory combination of a crisp breeze, a dust up of autumn leaves and the sight and smell of a warm apple dessert that quintessentially inaugurates the arrival of autumn. Whether it’s a quickly devised apple crisp, an old-fashioned apple pie, classic French apple tart, Austrian strudel or European apple cake, apple desserts are among the most ubiquitous and satisfying pleasures in just about every region of the world. They are the reliably delicious staple that gets us through these long winter months before spring arrives with its grand palette of fresh color and succulent sunshine flavors. When the kitchen is full of the fragrance of apples baking, we know we are in for supreme comfort.

I love baking all the traditional apple desserts, but today I’m thinking about a free form apple galette that delivers a slight herbal note to pique our interest and remind us that a tiny bit of savory is more than welcome in the apple kingdom. The smell of a fresh rosemary sprig can lift our spirits just by merely showing up. One bite of this dessert and you’ll see what I mean. Tender apples, just a slight hint of fresh herb and a pinch of sweetness, this is a truly satisfying celebration of fall.

Bench notes:
- This recipe calls for a bit of rosemary sugar that is made by simply grinding fresh rosemary and sugar together to get a fragrant blend. Use a clean coffee grinder that is used for spices only or your food processor. Although only about a tablespoon or so is needed, to get a good blend you’ll need to do a slightly larger batch. The remainder can be used on toast or mixed into hot oatmeal or a good pound cake recipe.
- This dough recipe makes enough for two galettes. You can freeze half the dough for later use if you’d like.
- I used Fuji apples but choose your favorite baking variety. Keep in mind that sugar levels vary greatly in fruit, so always taste the fruit to gauge the desired level of sweetness. You’ll often see that my recipes include the phrase “to taste” to accommodate personal preferences. So taste, taste, taste.

Apple Rosemary Galette
Serves 8

Galette Dough
2 C AP flour
1 T sugar
1/4 t salt
6 oz butter, cold and cut into small pieces
1/2 C cold water

4 apples
juice of 1/2 lemon
2 T sugar
1 1/2 T rosemary sugar

2 T butter, melted
sugar to sprinkle

To prepare galette dough, whisk the flour, sugar and salt in a bowl to combine. Cut the butter into the flour mixture until you have mostly small pieces the size of tiny peas and some just a bit larger. You can use your fingers to do this or a pastry blender works well. Be sure each piece of butter is coated with flour. Add the cold water and mix gently with your fingers until the dough just starts to come together. Gather the dough on a work surface. Use a pastry scraper or metal spatula to fold the dough back onto itself and gently pat down with your hands into a loose disc. Repeat this process again once or twice until the dough looks like it’s coming together. Place the dough on a piece of plastic wrap. Gather tightly and chill thoroughly, preferably overnight.

When you are ready to roll out the dough, remove from the refrigerator and rest on a lightly floured board for a few minutes so it can soften just a bit to prevent cracking. Then roll the dough out to a 14” circle about 1/8”thick, moving the dough after each roll and keeping the board lightly floured as needed. When you have the desired shape, lift the pastry onto a parchment covered pizza pan or baking sheet. Chill for about a half hour.

Prepare rosemary sugar by grinding about 15 coarsely chopped rosemary leaves and about 3 T granulated sugar together in a clean spice grinder or a food processor. The rosemary should be as finely ground as possible. Set aside.

Squeeze juice of half a lemon into a large bowl. Peel, core and slice apples into thin wedges. Toss in lemon juice and sprinkle with 2 T of plain sugar. Toss thoroughly to coat all the apple slices.

Remove prepared galette dough from the refrigerator and sprinkle 1 1/2 T rosemary sugar evenly across the bottom, leaving about a 1 1/2” border all the way around. Arrange sliced apples on top of rosemary sugar as you wish. Now start to lift and gather the dough up and on top of the fruit, being careful not to create any cracks. Work with both hands, pressing gently to keep the dough in place. Chill for one hour.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Brush the border of dough and the fruit with melted butter and dust the dough and the fruit with a generous sprinkle of plain sugar. Bake for about 40 – 50 minutes, until the dough is crisp and browned. Cool on a wire rack to keep the bottom of the galette crisp.


Anonymous said...

Amazing how instantly this luscious aroma crossed the whole continent. How'd you do that?

Anonymous said...

Were you at my house while I was away? I just this morning found the rosemary beside the bowl of apples!!

Thanks for the delicious suggestion, Pastry Goddess.


Anonymous said...

That is a work of art!

Amalia said...

Delicious! It looks so perfect :)