This is pie. It’s a free form, rustic pie, but pie nonetheless. It’s called a galette because that’s the technical term for it, as is crostada, depending on whether you are in France or in Italy, respectively, but really, it’s just apple pie.
Except that it’s not just apple pie. It’s by far and wide the very best apple pie I’ve ever tasted. And the most incredible part about that sentence is that it originated, in its entirety, from my kitchen! I have given up on the perfect pizza, mostly because my local delivery is top notch, so instead I took on homemade pie crust which has always scared me. It wasn’t a disaster. In fact, it was buttery and flaky, which is how it should be.
We went apple picking a couple of weekends ago and brought home more apples than we could possibly eat. I wanted to make an apple pie, so I did ample recipe research then got in the kitchen and then elbow deep in butter and flour.
I spent the first afternoon making the pie dough, then I put it in the fridge so it could chill overnight. This wasn’t specified in any recipes but I wanted to err on the side of caution and make sure it was well chilled. The next day I sliced some apples, assembled the pie, put it in the oven, crossed my fingers. An hour later, I had a beautiful, flaky, fragrant pastry!
The crust is flaky and tender, the apples sweet, and the topping crunchy and spiced. It’s the perfect apple pie, and if I hadn’t taken half of this to Aunt Joan and the other pie to K’s parent’s house, I would’ve found myself in the kitchen in front of two pies with a fork in hand, at midnight. It’s that type of pie, and I know myself.
Either with a cup of coffee in the morning (I won’t tell,) or tea in the afternoon, or with a scoop of vanilla ice cream after dinner, this pie is everything I want Fall to be. Sweet, slow, and golden.
It was a triumph of flavor and technique and while I do realize this entire post has been a (not so) humble brag about my abilities to make pie, I’m not even sorry. (You didn’t see the last apple pie I tried to make. It was, in a word, inedible).
I hope you go apple picking, because it’s the best Fall activity there is, and then I hope you make this pie, because we could all use a self-esteem boost in the form of warm pastry. That’s probably not a healthy outlook, but there you have it.
Here’s the recipe.
Flaky Apple Galette with Spiced Crumble (Adapted from The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook buy this, it’s a gem!)
For the Dough
- 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 16 tablespoons (2 sticks) unsalted butter, very cold, cubed
- 1/2 cup ice-cold water, plus 2 tablespoons if necessary
- Egg wash (1 egg, 1 teaspoon of water, beaten)
- About 5 medium tart apples, such as Golden Delicious, peeled and sliced thin
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 8 tablespoons butter, melted
- In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, salt, and cold butter. Using a pastry cutter or your fingers, work the butter into the flour mixture until the largest pieces of butter are the size of peas. Add ice-cold water and work together until dough forms a shaggy mass. Add more water, a tablespoon at a time, if needed. Turn the mass out on a floured workspace and knead until the dough just comes together, working quickly.
- Cut the dough in half and form each half into a disk and wrap each piece tightly in plastic wrap. Transfer to the refrigerator and let chill for at least 1-2 hours, but up to a week. I chilled mine overnight.
- In a large bowl, combine sliced apples, flour, sugar, lemon juice, and salt. Mix together. Set aside.
- Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl and stir until crumbles form. Set aside.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. Prepare an egg wash by beating one egg with one teaspoon of water.
- Place the (very) chilled dough on a floured workspace. Using a floured rolling pin, gently roll the dough into a circular shape by starting from the center and rolling out, turning often. Roll it until it is just 1/4 inch thick, at most. Roll the dough on to the rolling pin and transfer it to your prepared baking sheet. Transfer to the refrigerator and let chill for 20 minutes.
- Once chilled, pile prepared apples into the center of the dough, leaving a three inch border. Gently fold the outside of the dough inward, pressing and sealing the edges. Add the crumble the center of the galette, covering the apples completely and some of the crust. If the dough has warmed too much, transfer back to the refrigerator to chill for 20 minutes more.
- Just before baking, brush the egg wash over the crust using a pastry brush. Transfer to oven and bake for 30-40 minutes, rotating the pie halfway through, until it is golden brown. Let cool completely before serving.