Pink Pearl Apple Galette

Sometimes I do get tired of making the family standards. Looking for a little twist to our tried and true Apple Crostata, I discovered a beautiful Pink Pearl Apple Galette from Chez Panisse's Alice Waters. It may look difficult to make, but I assure you it's not. It just requires a little more time. If you've made pie dough from scratch and you know how to peel, core and slice some apples, then you've got all the skills you need to make this stunning and delicious tart! Follow a few of the tips below to make life even better!

Here's a faster method of quartering and coring apples, though there's a bit more wastage: Slice down one side of peeled apple as close to the core as possible, but not cutting into the core. Turn apple 90° and slice again as close to the core as possible. This second piece will be slightly shorter than the first. Repeat two more times. You will have 4 apple pieces and a rectangular core. Place the apple pieces cut side down and then make 1/4" slices lengthwise.

For this particular recipe, I found the smaller slices on the ends were not conducive to fanning and layering, so I just snacked on them and only used the larger, middle slices.

It's easiest to fan the apple slices on the cutting board, then transfer to the dough round by sliding a knife or small offset spatula underneath the fanned slices. When fanning, make one end a little wider, so the fanned piece looks more like a wedge than a rectangle. This will make it easier to have your slices go around in a circle.

Depending on how many apples you use (I used small apples so needed more), I found it faster to peel, core and slice 2-3 apples at a time, then pull the dough out of the freezer, arrange the apple slices and return the galette to the freezer while I prepared the next set of apples.

If you don't have Pink Pearl apples, substitute with another apple variety best for baking.

Pink Pearl Apple Galette
Adapted from Chez Panisse Fruit by Alice Waters
Makes 1 - 14" galette, serving 8-10.

Prepare the Galette Dough
(Makes enough for two galettes - extra dough will keep in freezer for a few weeks)

Whisk together in a large mixing bowl:
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (256g or 9oz)
1 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp salt

Have ready:
12 tablespoons  (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, chilled, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (340g or 12oz)

Cut 4 tablespoons of the butter into the flour mixture with a pastry blender, mixing until the dough resembles coarse cornmeal. (These smaller bits of butter make the crust tender.) Cut in the remaining 8 tablespoons (1 stick) of butter with the pastry blender, just until the biggest pieces of butter are the size of large peas -- or a little larger. (These larger pieces of butter make the crust flaky.)

Dribble into the flour mixture in several stages, tossing and mixing between additions with your hands, letting it fall through your fingers:
7 tablespoons ice water (1 cup less 1 tablespoon)

Do not pinch or squeeze the dough together or you will overwork it, making it tough. Keep tossing the mixture until it starts to pull together; it will look rather ropy, with some dry patches. If it looks like there are more dry patches than ropy parts, add another tablespoon of ice water and toss the mixture until it comes together.

Divide the dough in half (approx. 283g or 10oz, each half). Firmly gather each half into a ball and wrap tightly in plastic wrap, pressing down to flatten each ball into a 4-inch disk. Refrigerate for at least one hour before rolling out.

When you are ready to roll out dough, take one disk from the refrigerator at a time. If necessary, let dough soften slightly, so it is malleable enough but still cold. Unwrap dough and press the edges of the disk so that there are no cracks. Place disk between two 15" x 15" sheets of parchment paper, lightly flouring the bottom sheet of parchment and the top of the disk. Roll out into a 14-inch circle about 1/8 inch thick. You may need to peel the parchment paper off and reflour if it appears the dough is sticking or the paper wrinkles.

Remove top sheet of parchment and brush off any excess flour with a dry pastry brush. Transfer bottom sheet of parchment paper with dough on it to a baking sheet. Refrigerate at least 1/2 hour or freeze for 15 minutes before using. (The rolled-out circles can be frozen and used the next day.)

Prepare the apples

Preheat oven to 400°F. Place a pizza stone, if you have one, on the center rack.

Peel, quarter and core (reserving peels and cores), see Notes for tips on quartering and coring:
2 1/2 pounds Pink Pearl apples (or substitute another variety if not available; see Notes)

Slice off the rounded ends and snack on them. Slice remaining apples 1/4 inch thick. Fan slightly, making one end a little wider so it will curve around the dough.

Remove galette dough from refrigerator or freezer. Starting at the outer edge of the tart shell, arrange fanned apple slices in a ring 1 1/2 inches in from the edge of the dough. Working inward, arrange the remaining apples in tightly overlapping concentric circles, each smaller than the one before, until you reach the center. Alternatively, for the last circle, you can make an apple "rose" by using a vegetable peeler and peeling a long, thin piece of apple flesh, then rolling it up into a pinwheel. Gently spread open a bit into a "rose" shape. Place in center of galette.

Rotate the galette while twisting and folding the overhanging dough over onto itself at regular 1-inch intervals, crimping and nudging the folded dough up against the apples and containing them within a order that resembles a length of rope. Gently brush over apple slices and onto the dough border:
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Sprinkle evenly over buttered pastry edge:
2 tablespoons sugar

Then sprinkle evenly over apples:
3 tablespoons sugar

If using a pizza stone, slide the parchment paper with galette on top, directly onto pizza stone. Otherwise, place baking sheet on center rack. Bake for about 45 minutes, rotating 1/3 the way around every 15 minutes. Galette is done when apples are soft, their edges have browned a bit and the crust has caramelized to a dark golden brown. Remove galette from oven and carefully slide it onto a cooling rack. Let cool for 15 minutes before glazing and slicing.

To make the glaze, place reserved peels and cores in a small saucepan. Pour in just enough water to cover and add:
1/2 cup sugar

Simmer for about 25 minutes or until thickened slightly. Strain the syrup, pushing down on the peels and cores to extract as much apple flavor. Taste and if needed, add:
Squeeze of fresh lemon juice

Brush syrup gently over the finished tart before serving.

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