Apple Galette

Apple galette is basically the free-form French version of apple pie. It is, frankly, one of the simplest and yet most elegant desserts you can make. Recipe developer Mark Beahm of The Sunday Baker focuses on rustic baking, but one look at his recipe here, and you'll see a beautiful example of European country cooking that you could easily imagine seeing in a pastry-shop window. 

This really is no-fuss baking, promise. The most effort is making the pastry crust, which is the exact same method you may have already used before to make pie crust. "I love making galettes," Beahm told us. "I think it's easier than making a pie. When you serve a galette, nobody will know that it's basically a short-cut pie." So if you want to serve a special dessert for a special occasion that your family or guests will think it took you hours to make, then Beahm's recipe for this simple apple galette is absolutely the one you should try.

Gather together the ingredients for apple galette

First, start out by gathering together the ingredients for the pastry crust. You will make this first because the dough needs some chilling time in the refrigerator before you can bake it.

You'll likely have everything on hand to make the pastry, which will require 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, 1 tablespoon sugar, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 cup cold butter, 2 tablespoons ice water, and 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar.

Apple cider vinegar, by the way, is not only delicious, but it also has several health benefits. Apple cider vinegar is one of those "secret" ingredients that pastry chefs know about. All pie crusts need fat — such as butter or shortening or both — to make them flaky, and there are lots of variations as to the best combination to get that perfect crust. But a little apple cider vinegar is all you need to get an awe-inspiring texture. 

The acidic vinegar breaks down the gluten, which makes a crust tough when you overmix or handle it too much. That vinegar, therefore, makes it easier to roll out the dough. The vinegar will also add a slight tang to the pastry, but it won't taste harsh thanks to the mellow notes in apple cider vinegar in particular. Some pastry chefs add a little lemon juice instead. However you choose to make it, adding a little acid to your dough will turn out a flaky crust.

Start the pastry for this apple galette

To make the pastry dough, first whisk together the flour, 1 tablespoon sugar, and salt in a large mixing bowl. When you're making any kind of pastry, it's a good idea to sift together the dry ingredients first. Beahm whisks everything together in a large bowl and it turns out that this is just as effective as using a dedicated sifter. Sifting or whisking combines the ingredients thoroughly and diminishes the larger particles in the flour or salt that might later cause lumps when you're rolling it out. 

Remember that, when making a pastry crust, you also need to chill the butter or shortening. When you roll the dough out, the cold butter will be evenly distributed. When baked, it will create little pockets that puff up as the water in the butter evaporates, resulting in a flaky crust. 

Combine pastry ingredients and shape it into a disc

Next, cut the cold butter into small cubes, and add them to the sifted dry ingredients. Beahm recommends breaking up the cold butter with a pastry blender or two knives, but honestly, as he suggests, your fingertips work well here, too. Break up the butter into the flour so the mixture resembles crumbs and the butter is in pea-sized pieces. 

Next, pour in the three tablespoons of ice water. Always use ice water for any pastry dough or pie crust because the flour and butter can't absorb it as well as warm or hot water. This helps to keep the crust from becoming soggy, ultimately helping it become tender and flaky. 

Then, add the apple cider vinegar and stir everything together with a fork until the dough forms a ball. If it doesn't, just add a little more ice water a little at a time, being careful not to overdo it. Shape the dough ball into a disk, wrap it in plastic, and refrigerate until chilled, a minimum of 30 minutes. Otherwise, if you're making the dough ahead of time, it can hang out in the fridge for up to two days. This step helps to relax the gluten that has formed during the mixing process, meaning that the crust will be more tender easier to roll out later.

Gather together the ingredients for the apple galette filling

While the pastry dough is resting, start on the filling by gathering together the ingredients for the galette filling. These are three medium apples, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, 1 tablespoon cornstarch, and 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon. 

For the apples, you want to procure a pretty firm apple that will hold its shape in the oven, meaning that it won't turn into applesauce when baked. Stay clear of Macintosh apples, which, although tasty, will definitely get mushy. Beahm's go-to apple here is the tart, green Granny Smith variety. 

"When it's apple season, and you're apple picking," he told us, "ask the orchard what apples they recommend for baking. They might have something you've never tried or a cool heritage variety." Julia Child used Golden Delicious for her tarte tatin (via Food Network), but Beahm also recommends Honeycrisp, Braeburn, Gala, and Pink Lady. The rest of the ingredients for this apple galette are pretty much the same for an apple pie. If you want to try other fruit, Beahm suggests peaches, plums, berries, or even a mix of them for a new experience.

Make the filling for the apple galette

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Peel the apples, then cut them in half. Use a sharp paring knife, carefully cut out the core and seeds and discard them. 

Turn the halved apples, cut side down, on a cutting board or another work surface. Thinly slice the apples between 1/4 and 1/8 inches thick and put them into a large mixing bowl. Toss the apple slices with lemon juice — this prevents them from browning – then add the sugar, ground cinnamon, and cornstarch. The cornstarch helps to thicken the mixture while baking, meaning you'll get a delightfully gooey apple galette filling instead of a soupy mess. Gently mix the apple slices until they're thoroughly coated.

Roll out the pastry dough for the apple galette

Take the chilled dough out of the refrigerator and unwrap it. If you have a marble work surface specifically for rolling out pastry dough, put the disk into the center. A large cutting board will also work fine here. Some pastry chefs chill everything, even the rolling pin, in the quest for perfectly chilled pastry dough. That's not entirely necessary in your home kitchen, though feel free to briefly chill the dough if you feel that it's getting too warm and the pockets of butter are melting while you work.

Dust the work surface and both sides of the dough with flour. Use the rolling pin to flatten the disk. Don't use your hands to press the dough down because it will warm up the butter. Beginning from the middle of the flattened disk, roll the dough from the center outwards, dusting with more flour as you go along. Keep rolling until the pastry dough is roughly a 14-inch circle. Don't worry about trimming the edges of the rough circle, as this rustic look is all part of the galette experience. 

Carefully transfer the dough to a baking sheet that's been lined with parchment paper.

Fill the rolled-out dough with the apples, and fold up the crust

Arrange the apples in the center of the dough, leaving a 2-inch border all around. You could make this dessert even more elegant by laying the apples in concentric circles so that each slice of the galette will make a pretty presentation. Or, simply don't worry about it and place the apples as you please.

Once all the apples have been situated, gently fold up the edges of the dough over the apples. Start at the top, folding an edge over, then move over three or four inches, and fold over another section, slightly crimping the dough together where the two overlapped sections meet. Since this is a rustic recipe, don't worry about perfection. When you've finished folding over the pastry dough, nestle the remaining butter bits in the apple filling. 

Bake the apple galette until golden, then serve warm

Using a pastry brush, brush the dough with whole milk, then sprinkle the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar over the entire galette. Pop the baking sheet into your preheated oven, and bake the galette for 40 minutes, until the crust is golden brown and the apples are soft. 

Take the pan out of the oven and, using the parchment paper as a guide, slide the galette onto a cutting board. Let the galette cool for about 15-20 minutes, then cut it into eight slices. You can serve the galette warm with homemade whipped cream or ice cream or you can serve it at room temperature. Either way, you'll receive some appreciative "oohs" and "ahhs" from your guests and family and perhaps even a smattering of applause for this beautiful, professional-looking apple galette.

Apple Galette
5 from 28 ratings
Apple galette is the free-form French version of apple pie and one of the simplest and yet most elegant desserts you can make. Here's how to make it yourself.
Prep Time
30
minutes
Cook Time
40
minutes
Servings
8
slices
French apple galette
Ready in 70 minutes
Ingredients
  • 1 ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 5 tablespoons sugar, divided
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 9 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold and cut into cubes, divided
  • 3 tablespoons ice water
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 3 medium apples
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Whole milk for brushing
Directions
  1. Whisk together the flour, 1 tablespoon sugar, and salt in a large mixing bowl.
  2. Cut in ½ cup (1 stick) of the cubed cold butter, until the mixture resembles crumbs and the butter is cut into pea-sized pieces.
  3. Pour in the ice water and apple cider vinegar. Stir with a fork until the dough comes together into a ball. If it doesn't form into a ball, and 1 tablespoon cold water.
  4. Shape the pastry dough into a disk, and wrap it in plastic. Let the dough rest in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes or up to 2 days.
  5. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
  6. Peel and core the apples. Cut them in half, then slice each half into thin slices about ⅛ - ¼ inch thick.
  7. Toss the apple slices with lemon juice in a mixing bowl. Add 2 tablespoons of sugar, cinnamon, and cornstarch, and mix to coat the apple slices evenly.
  8. Remove the pastry dough from the refrigerator and remove the plastic wrap. Sprinkle a work surface and both sides of the dough with flour. Use a rolling pin to roll out the dough to a 14-inch circle, working from the center outwards and dusting with more flour as needed.
  9. Carefully transfer the pastry dough to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Arrange the apple filling in the center of the dough, leaving a 2-inch border around the edges.
  10. Gently fold up the edges of the pastry dough over the apples, overlapping every few inches. Nestle small pieces of the remaining tablespoon of butter into the apple filling.
  11. Brush the pastry with whole milk. Sprinkle the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar over the entire galette.
  12. Bake for 40 minutes or until the crust is golden brown and the apples are soft. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Nutrition
Calories per Serving 257
Total Fat 13.3 g
Saturated Fat 8.3 g
Trans Fat 0.5 g
Cholesterol 34.3 mg
Total Carbohydrates 33.5 g
Dietary Fiber 2.4 g
Total Sugars 15.0 g
Sodium 148.7 mg
Protein 2.4 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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