Well, I finally did it - I've conquered home made pastry dough! With Thanksgiving approaching, I knew I couldn't put it off any longer and it was time to stop buying frozen Pillsbury pie dough.
Since Duncan has been part of the family, an apple dessert is always including in our Thanksgiving celebration. You'll note I didn't say dinner - that's because we celebrate the European way, by having our coffee and cake (or other yummies) in the afternoon, long before we're too stuffed with dinner. When my baking buddy Teresa and I were planning what we were making for the holiday, I decided I wanted to make a free form, rustic "pie" or a galette. I had visions of the pie dough not rolling out properly, or being full of holes and I thought I could hide any issues more easily with a galette. Teresa did a little Googling and found the filling recipe on Shawna Server's website for Apple Frangipane Galette. My picture isn't great, but it tasted amazing!
About a month ago, I found a terrific little book at Marshall's in the kitchen section for $5.99 (you can also get it on Amazon for $15ish). It's called "Cutie Pies" by Dani Cone and features nothing but mini pie recipes. She also included recipes for butter, graham and savoury doughs and it looked pretty foolproof, or so I hoped. As it turned out, the butter dough recipe worked flawlessly and I'll be using it from now on. I made enough for 2 crusts because I was going to be using real lemon curd that Sarah and Jeff had brought me from England and wanted to make tartlettes.
Frangipane Base for Galette
4 ounces almond paste, crumbled (I bought mine at Bulk Barn)
1.5 tsp sugar
1.5 tsp all purpose flour
1/4 tsp almond extract
6 tbsp unsalted butter at room temperature
1 large egg at room temperature
1 tsp rum, Kirsh or Calvados (optional, I didn't use it)
All-Butter Pie Crust - for one double crust pie or 2 single crusts
2.5 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp granulated sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, very cold, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
3/4 cup ice cold water
For filling and to finish Galette
6 medium Granny Smith apples (3 lbs), peeled, cored and sliced
2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
4 tbsp granulated, Demerara or other coarse style sugar
I combined two methods - the instructions from Shauna Sever's site on assembling the dough along with the recipe from Cutie Pies.
Because my food processor isn't large enough, I used my stand mixer to combine the ingredients. First measure the water into a measuring cup and leave it in the freezer to chill. Cube the butter and have it ready to mix, keeping it in the fridge. Using the paddle mixer, combine the dry ingredients. Add the butter pieces and mix until the butter is the size of peas. Add the water all at once and mix just until the dough comes together. I shaped the dough into two disks, wrapped in plastic wrap and refrigerated them overnight. You could also use it after 30 minutes, but I wanted to bake the morning of our holiday dinner.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. When you're ready to bake, take the dough out and allow 15-30 miutes to soften enough to roll out. While it rests on the counter, mix the frangipane filling. Again, using the mixer, crumble the almond paste into small pieces. Mix with the sugar, flour and almond extract in the bowl and mix until very well blended, then add the egg and liqueur, if using. Mix until smooth, but don't worry if it doesn't look perfect. It will "melt" as it bakes.
Prep a baking sheet with parchment paper and roll the dough into a 14" circle. I knew I wasn't making very many tarts, so I'd be using more dough than a regular pie uses. Roll your dough onto your rolling pin and transfer it to the baking sheet. Spread the frangipane into a 10-12 inch sized circle and top with the apples. Since the galette is folded over the apples, I dusted the apples that would be under the crust with a few teaspoons of sugar. Then fold the pastry dough around the galette. It's easy to even it out so that the dough is distributed easily. Take your melted butter and brush the dough *and* the apples, until it's all used. Sprinkle the dough and uncovered apples with sugar and bake for one hour. The apples will actually collapse quite a bit, with is why my galette looks like there's a huge gap between the crust the apples.
It was lovely - flaky, buttery and the frangipane is a lovely hint of almond, rather than a strong taste. The real, British lemon curd was such a treat! I'm glad I still have half a jar left to enjoy another time soon.