Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Apple Galette with Brown Butter & Sage

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I usually prefer my share of fall's apple crop processed and bottled into hard cider instead of pastries because a.) it makes long cold nights cozier, and b.) I'm not a baker. I'm the kind of cook who likes to experiment with ingredients and just throw things together...a habit that usually doesn't lend itself well to baking. Who knew confectioner's sugar wasn't the same as regular sugar? I do - but only after using it in an extraordinarily inedible batch of cookies I once served to a friend's family after Christmas dinner, subsequently destroying any goodwill I had earned with my Christmas roast leg of lamb.

Galettes changed the way I felt about baking. Since I lack a sweet tooth, a buttery, flaky cross between a pizza and pie filled with savory ingredients seemed like a baked treat I could wrap my mind (and mouth) around. I've made tomato galettes, galettes with summer squash, and galettes using frozen pie crusts on days I was too lazy to be bothered with making my own. In honor of our transition into fall, I thought nothing sounded more appealing than sweet-tart roasted apples drizzled with bits of fried sage and nutty brown-butter. Leave the confectioner's sugar in the pantry.

Ingredients:
Prep Time: 2 hours
Makes one 12" galette | Servings: 8

Dough:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (or 1 c all-purpose and 1/2 c pastry flour)
1/2 teaspoon sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 lb unsalted butter, chilled and cut into cubes
1/2 cup ice water

Filling:
1/4 lb unsalted butter
3 tablespoons fresh sage, chopped
3 tablespoons sugar
4 med apples, peeled, cored, and sliced lengthwise into 1/4" pieces

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

The Dough:

To make the dough, combine the flour, sugar, salt, and cubes of butter (in batches, if necessary) in a large mixing bowl and mix into a sloppy pile. If you use a hand mixer, like I did, and succeed only in making a dusty, floury mess of your apron, dump the contents of the bowl out onto the table and proceed to roll the butter into the flour with a rolling pin. Or, in my case, a floured wine bottle (pro tip: lighten the bottle by pouring yourself a glass). Once dough is sloppy, scrape into a pile, roll out, and scrape together again. Make a well and pour ice water into it. Mix with scraper and roll out again. Scrape together one more time, form into a ball, and chill until ready to use.

The Filling:

Melt remaining 1/4 lb of butter in a small saucepan over medium heat, swirling occasionally to ensure it cooks evenly. While the butter is melting, throw the apple slices into a large bowl, toss with 3 tablespoons of sugar, and set aside. Once the foam turns from lemony-yellow to tan, add the chopped sage and fry until the butter progresses to a toasty-brown and the aroma is deliciously nutty. Remove from heat, and resist the urge to immediately pour this on everything edible within arm's reach.

Assembly:

Roll out chilled dough into an approximately 16" circle and place in 12" cast iron skillet, or on a baking sheet. Arrange the apple slices in overlapping concentric circles starting from the outside, leaving a border of 2"of dough. Eat any leftover apple slices, because let's face it: by this point, you're probably starving. Fold the edges of the dough over the outside ring of apples, creasing every couple of inches. Spoon the brown butter and sage over the apples and the folded-over dough. Bake in the oven for 45 minutes or until the apples are tender and the crust is golden brown. Serve at room temperature, ignoring the nutritional info below. 

Nutrition Info (1 Serving)
Calories 457, Total Fat: 35 g, Sat. Fat: 22g, Cholesterol: 92mg, Sodium: 465mg, Carb: 36g, Fiber: 3g, Sugars: 15g, Protein: 3g 

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