Mostly I refrain from offering recipes with three parts because that’s almost a sure bet turn-off for the modern person. On the other hand, when it’s autumn harvest time, and the stolid apple, destined to become winter’s glamour-less workhorse fruit, appears newly luscious with a promise of sweet/tart, fresh, soft crunch, even the usually reluctant cook might be enticed to spend some time in the kitchen turning out an apple galette.
The word galette designates numerous incarnations in French pastry making. Galettes can be thick, like a cake, or thin, more crepe-like. They can be sweet or savory, depending on whether there is sugar in the dough and what fills the center. Savory versions include a potato galette made with no crust. Sweet variations include the buckwheat crepes of Brittany and the ritual round cake with a prize ring hidden inside for Epiphany, to today’s galette, a simple free-form, usually fruit, tart, such as this one, lightly perfumed with licorice from apple-enhancing fennel seeds. Any apple varietal will do just fine as long as it’s sweet/tart and crisp/crunchy.
Makes one 10-inch galette
Sweet Galette Dough
1 1/2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
Pinch of kosher salt
8 tablespoons (1 stick) cold butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon cold water
2 pounds (4 or 5 largish) sweet/tart apples, peeled, cored and coarsely chopped into 1/2-inch chunks
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
3 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 to 2 tablespoons water, as needed
For assembling and baking the galette
2 large apples, quartered lengthwise, cored but not peeled, and sliced 1/4-inch thick lengthwise
2 tablespoons butter, for greasing the baking sheet
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter, melted
2 to 3 tablespoons sugar, preferably raw sugar
1. To make the pastry, combine the flour, sugar, and salt in the bowl of a food processor and pulse once to mix. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture is crumbly. Add the water and mix just until the dough comes together when pressed. Gather into a ball, wrap in plastic wrap, and press into a smooth, flat disk. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to 2 days. Or, freeze for up to 1 week. Bring to room temperature before rolling out.
2. To make the applesauce filling, put the chopped apples in a saucepan or microwave bowl, add the lemon juice, sugar, and fennel seeds and toss to mix. Cover and cook over medium heat or microwave until soft enough to mash into a chunky puree, about 20 minutes, stirring once.
3. To assemble and bake the galette, preheat the oven to 400 F. Lightly grease a large baking sheet with butter.
4. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the pastry into a 12-inch or so round. Lift the round onto the baking sheet and spread the applesauce over the dough, leaving a 2-inch border all around the edge. Arrange the apple slices over the applesauce. Fold up the dough border to partially enfold the slices. Pour the butter all around, including over the dough border. Lightly sprinkle sugar overall and bake until the crust is golden and cooked through and the juices are bubbly, 40 to 45 minutes. Let cool slightly, then slice and serve.