It’s pie season. But, if I can be honest, pies can be a lot of work. So much rolling, cutting, arranging, getting just right… there must be an easier way, right?
Yes there is. And it’s called an apple galette.
Which is basically the lazy girl’s apple pie. All you have to do is place the apples on top of the dough, and fold the dough however you want. Really, you can’t mess it up. I love serving this at dinner parties when I know my guests want a dessert but I don’t feel like trying that hard (just don’t tell them that).
You can also add in different spices like nutmeg, ginger, and cloves. You can even do half apples and half pears, if you’d like! Really the possibilities are near endless.
What is a galette?
A galette is essentially an open-faced pie. The crust is similar to a flaky pie crust, and you fold it over the filling to hold everything in. Galettes are supposed to look quite rustic and can be made sweet or savory. You assemble and bake them on a baking tray, so you don’t have to worry about shaping them in a pie plate or anything like that! I served this cinnamon apple galette with a scoop of ice cream in the middle, but you can serve it simply with a dusting of powdered sugar or some whipped cream.
Tips on making homemade galettes
Galettes are way easier to make than pies and tarts. A few key things to remember when making a galette from scratch are:
Don’t overstuff the galette — I like to mark where the edge of the filling should be with a pie plate (I explain how to do this in the recipe below). I also make sure to lay the apple slices out in an even layer. If you put too much filling inside the galette, the crust might not bake properly and the filling might ooze out while the galette is in the oven.
Dot the top with butter — I know it seems odd to place cold butter on top of the apple galette and not inside with the filling, but trust me on this! The butter melts in the oven and adds a subtle richness to this dessert.
Use cooking apples — Technically, you can use any apple variety you’d like in this cinnamon apple galette recipe, but I find that cooking apples (like Granny Smiths) work best. Cooking apples typically aren’t as juicy as, say, a Fuji or Honeycrisp apple and therefore there’s less risk of your crust becoming soggy.
Use cold butter — It’s important that you use cold butter in both the crust and on top of the galette. You’ll get the best texture this way, and the crust will hold its shape better in the oven.
4 tablespoons butter, cold and cut into small cubes
1 egg, for eggwash
1 pint vanilla ice cream, for serving
In a food processor, mix together flour, sugar, and salt. Add in butter and pulse mixture until it resembles wet sand.
Pour in ice water, starting with 3 tablespoons, and pulse again. Pulse until the dough comes together, forming a ball along the side of the food processor. If dough doesn’t come together, add in additional tablespoon of ice water.
Remove dough from food processor and place on a floured surface. Roll dough into a ball, then cover tightly with plastic wrap and place in fridge for at least 30 minutes, but up to 2 days.
Preheat oven to 375°F. Line a large baking tray with parchment paper.
Sprinkle a work surface with flour. Roll your dough out into a 12-inch circle. Place dough onto prepared baking tray. Place a 9-inch cake pan in the center of the circle and press down ever so slightly. This will create an indentation to show exactly how far out to place your apples!
Peel and core your apples. Cut them in half, then slice the halves into very thin slices (basically as thin as you can get them). Fan each half out by pressing it slightly, then picking up the fanned apples by placing a butter knife under them and lifting them up and onto the tart. Start from the outside and arrange however you’d like. I typically arrange 3 of the apples around the tart, then use the 4th apple to fill in any gaps.
In a small bowl, combine sugar and cinnamon. Sprinkle over the apples. Place the pats of butter over the apples (they will melt into the tart as it cooks!). Lift the dough over the apples, folding every 3-4 inches as you go around.
Mix egg with 1 tablespoon water and brush over crust. Bake for 30-40 minutes, until the apples are soft and the crust is golden brown. Serve with vanilla ice cream!