A Winter Galette : cranberry, apple, maple


Galette's are easy(ier) than pie 

I love making galette's, which allow for more imperfections than making a beautiful pie with pinched edges. You needn't worry about rolling out a perfect circle when you roll out the dough and you can patch holes or tears prior to filling. It's easier to move the unfilled pastry dough onto a piece of baking parchment paper before filling and folding over.  The filling ratio for each galette is approximately 5 c of filling to one crust. The crust is sprinkled with a crumb filling to help absorb the fruit juices. 

Pie crust is not a health food. Making it pareve means margarine and/or Crisco, which is not any healthier than butter and lard. The ratio of fat to flour is high (about 1:2), so  suspend your commitment to health for this short period of time you make and consume anything with a "short" crust. 

I avoided making pie crust for years - not because of the health issue, but because it seemed like it was harder to make than it actually is. I use my food processor, which may not be the way a purist would do it, but it's fast and works. Most times that I bake I think of the TV show Lassie (I'm aging myself).  Timmy's mother often had pies cooling on the windowsill of the kitchen. We lived in an apartment in Brooklyn - the pies, if they could have existed, would have fallen down onto the street. So much for my pie baking fantasy. 

Here is a method for making a really good pareve pie (short) crust. You can vary it a bit by adding small amount of flavorings that will enhance the filling you are using. For example 1/4 tsp vanilla, cardamon or cumin really add interesting nuance to the crust and the resulting pastry. 

Short Crust (adapted from The New Basics Cookbook,  Rosso & Lukins, 1989) 
2 1/2 c all purpose flour 
1/2 tsp kosher salt
2-3 Tbsp granulated sugar,  cinnamon sugar or vanilla sugar and 1/4 tsp cardamon (for sweet filling)
       or 1 Tbsp herbs (e.g oregano, basil, chives, marjoram) for savory pies 
1/4 c (1 stick) margarine , do not use "spreadable" margarine 
1/4 c Crisco 
up to 1/4 c ice water (add slowly , as needed) 
  • Add flour, salt and flavorings to the container of a food processor
  • Add cold margarine and Crisco in pieces to the container (about 1 minute)
  • Whirr until mixed and without stopping slowly add the ice water until the mixture pulls together in a ball (about a minute)
Divide the dough into 2 portions, wrap in plastic wrap and chill for a minimum of 1 hour (up to 2 days). If you are not planning to use the crust within 2 days, double wrap and freeze. To defrost, unwrap and allow to come to room temperature (about 45-60 minutes). 

This crust will make 2 medium galette, 2 single crust pie crusts or one double crust pie. 

1. Have pie crust dough prepared and ready to be rolled out
2. Prepare filling ingredients
3. Preheat oven (it must be hot- 400- 425 degrees) 
4. Roll out the crust, brush away excess flour 
5. Move crust to pie pan or baking sheet and fill  
6. Egg wash, sprinkle with sparkling sugar 
7. Bake 
Total time, with a crust that is prepared and ready to be used is usually less than 90 minutes 

food processor (for making the crust)
baking sheet, lined with
    baking parchment paper 
measuring cups, spoons, spatula 
bowl, paring knife 
large flat cookie spatula (for moving the dough) - this is optional, but a handy tool

Apple Cranberry Maple filling: 
2 c chopped walnuts
6 oz fresh (or frozen) cranberries 
12 oz peeled, chopped apples (approximately 2 apples)
12 oz peeled, quartered & thinly sliced apples (approximately 2 apples)
1 tsp orange oil 
2 tsp gingerbread spice mix
1/2 tsp ground corriander
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
pinch salt 
4 tsp instant clear jel (available from King Arthur Flour) or other pie thickener
1/4 c maple syrup  (I prefer dark maple syrup for baking)
1/2 c granulated sugar

Cake Crumb: mix ingredients and keep in a jar for those times you need to use for pie baking.
1c sugar
1c bread crumbs
1 Tbsp vanilla sugar
1 Tbsp cinnamon

1 large egg mixed with 1 tsp cold water (for egg wash)
2-4 Tbsp sparkling sugar or demerara sugar

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees
2.  Roughly chop the cranberries and nuts in a food processor
3. Set the sliced apples aside.
4. Prepare the chopped apples and spices, combine the clear jel and sugar, measure the maple syrup.
    Mix together in a large bowl with the cranberries and nuts. 

5. Dust the work surface with a flour, roll out one portion of the dough to a rough circle or oblong that is approximately 12-14 inches in diameter . Sprinkle 1/3- 1/2 c cake crumb on top of the crust

6. Slide a piece of parchment paper under the rolled out dough. If the dough tears or there is a hole, patch with another piece of dough

7. With half of the apple slices, create a circle frame (2 slices deep). Fill the well that is created with half of the fruit filling

8. Fold the edges of the dough up and around the fruit filling. The fold over should be about 2 inches toward the center of the pastry. 
9. Brush away any loose flour Brush the exposed dough with egg. 

10. Repeat process to make a 2nd pastry. You can bake 2 on a large baking sheet, or place one pastry on each of 2 baking sheets. If you are baking with 2 baking sheets, rotate the baking sheets halfway through the baking time

11. Slide the pastry into the oven. Lower the temperature to 400 degrees and bake approximately                    25- 35 minutes or until deep golden brown and bubbly.  Do not underbake.

12. Cool before serving, the juices will firm up.
13. This pastry freezes well for up to a month. Double wrap and freeze. Unwrap to defrost and warm 
     in the oven at 400 degrees for about five minutes. 

Other tarts/pies you may be interested in making include
Fig and Goat Cheese Tart
Viennese Style Fruit Tart
Mixed Berry Tart


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