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A couple of weeks ago I had an unexpectedly terrible day. I woke up feeling good and had a lovely morning. I was planning on doing some bakes and working on some blog posts, so I headed to the grocery store early in the day.
As I was going through the produce section, I saw a mom with her son, probably aged 2 or 3, standing in a shopping cart. They were interacting and he had the most beautiful smile while looking at her with all the love he had in his little heart and soul.
It sent me spiraling. As I walked the aisles of the grocery store, I fought and lost a battle against tears. I thought of all the things I’d never see my Christian do. That he would never give me that smile. That the only time I ever saw him smile was a fleeting little grin while he slept in my arms. I barely made it through checkout and into the car before dissolving into a hot mess of warm, salty tears.
I sobbed in the car and continued to fall apart in the car. Sometimes the sadness is hard to subdue, and that day was one of those times. Once I calmed down with the help of loving and empathetic pups, I was faced with another dilemma.
Curious as to Christian’s story? Check out this post on my grief blog, Christian’s Story: Born with Terminal Illness.
How Does This Relate to an Apple Galette?
What I really wanted to do was curl up on the couch, nurse my grief with something funny on TV to distract myself. But I thought that baking might be more soothing and at least keep me moving. Plus I keep a tablet in the kitchen so I can watch shows while I bake. Best of both worlds, amiright?
And that’s what I did. I thought the green apples I had unloaded and placed on the counter looked so cheery and bright. So I began working on this lovely and incredibly easy apple galette.
Bringing It Together
I was most nervous about the crust. But it came together so easily. I put it in my Ninja Blender/Food processor (which I love and use just about everyday!) and pulsed it for a few minutes and it was perfect. The only thing I wish I had done differently was rolling it out thinner. But it is tasty and buttery, and a perfect base for this apple pie-like dessert without the pie plate.
The most work intensive part of the whole dish is the apples. I don’t have a fancy peeling and coring kitchen gadget, though I wish I’d had. So I used a peeler and a couple of knives. It took a little time but the final baked results spoke for themselves. And since it’s only 3 apples, it’s not a big undertaking.
To be honest, I thought the whole thing would be a little harder than it was. It was almost sinfully easy. It came together with minimal effort. Other than baking time, the chilling time takes the longest. But it’s imperative to chill it before baking so the butter doesn’t melt before it goes in the oven.
My easy apple galette turned out great on the very first try and the Hubs was delighted to see and smell it when he walked in the house after work. He has been begging me to bake him an apple pie for years and so far this is the closest I’ve gotten.
This easy apple galette is a perfect dessert for any time of year, but it really just says “fall” in both flavor and smell. Maybe it’s the caramel color of the cooked apples coated in cinnamon and brown sugar. Maybe its the golden brown and crispy crust. Or maybe its the warm apple-cinnamon smell that permeates the house as this gorgeous centerpiece dessert is baking. While it looks pretty rustic, the taste is anything but.
How Cold? Ice Cold
One thing of note, however. Make sure you use ice cold butter. Like I would recommend putting the butter in the freezer for about 10 minutes before using it immediately. Also, if you are using a food processor, only process it until it’s combined. If you overwork it, the dough won’t be right.
You can also cut the butter in as would be the norm. I just like the food processor because it’s faster and less messy for me. But the dough can come out a lot wetter, which means you have to mix in extra flour when rolling out the dough.
If you like this recipe, try out my Cinnamon Caramel Pear Crisp, fall favorite baked fruit dessert! What is your baked fruit dessert? Are you an apple pie fan like the Hubs?
Easy Apple Galette
For the Crust
- 1½ cup all purpose flour
- ½ tsp salt
- 2 Tbsp granulated sugar
- ¾ cup very cold butter (12 tablespoons) cut into ½ inch pieces
- ¼ cup ice cold water
For the Filling
- 1¾ lbs apples (3 large) I used Granny Smith
- ⅓ cup granulated sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 2 Tbsp melted butter
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1 Tbsp all purpose flour
- 1 large egg beaten
- 2 Tbsp coarse sugar
- 1 Tbsp apricot jam (or other favorite jam) for glaze optional
- 1 tsp maple syrup for glaze optional
To Make Crust
- Line a large flat baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
- In a food processor, put flour, salt, sugar. Pulse briefly to mix together.
- Quickly cut butter into chunks and place in food processor. Pulse everything together briefly until butter has been broken down into small bean-sized pieces. Do not over process.
- Take the dough out of the food processor and place in a bowl.
- Pour ice cold water over the dough and mix in either usuing your hands or a scraper. The dough should be moist and crumbly. It should begin to look like a ball of pie dough.
- Dump the pie crust onto a floured surface. I suggest a mat. Roll out the dough, using enough flour to keep it from sticking to everything. Dough should be about ⅛ of an inch thick. If you're not good at eyeballing that sort of thing, I suggest using a ruler.
- Place pie crust onto a piece of parchment paper or leave on mat and put into the freezer while you work on the apples for the filling.
To Make Filling
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Peel all three apples and then core and slice them into thin, bakeable slices.
- Put apple slices in a large bowl. Pour cinnamon, sugar, butter, salt, and vanilla on top. Using a large spoon, toss apples until fully coated.
Assembling and Baking the Galette
- Take pie dough out of freezer and sprinkle flour on top of the dough.
- Begin placing apples in a spiral. You can start from either the outside or inside, just have fun with it. Make sure to leave about 2 ½ inches around the edge to be able to fold the crust up.
- Fold the sides of the dough up over the apples, creating pleats every few inches.
- Put the dough back in the freezer for about 10 minutes. While it's in the freezer, beat an egg in a small bowl.
- Take galette out of the freezer. Then generously brush beaten egg onto the galette crust. Sprinkle a healthy amount of sugar onto the beaten egg.
- Bake for about 55-60 minutes, or until fruit is soft and the crust is crisp.
- Allow galette to cool at least 30-45 minutes before cutting and serving so that juices settle into the crust.
- While the galette is cooling, combine the jam and maple syrup and heat in the microwave for about 15-20 seconds and then stir. Brush glaze onto the exposed apples.
- When the galette is cooled, carefully use two large spatulas to move galette onto a serving dish.