I had the great fortune of cooking with Jacques Pépin for a whole week at the end of a multi-month culinary course I took at Boston University many years ago. Cooking a variety of dishes under Jacques' direction marked the culmination of the course, as we students helped him prepare the dishes to be served to the guests at a large hands-off cooking demonstration he gave at the end of the week.
It was not only an honor and privilege to share a kitchen with Jacques, but it was also a blast. He had mad skills and decades of great stories to share, but more importantly, he was a patient and dedicated teacher. It was a fun filled week that I'm sure I'll never forget.
This simple galette was one of the recipes we cooked that week, and is one I've cooked dozens of time since. It is rustic yet elegant, and a true taste of the season. He makes his with Golden Delicious apples, but I made this one with Macintosh (and have used Gala, Macouns, and Granny Smiths in the past), and it was stellar.
The dough is a breeze to work with, comes together in minutes, and can be filled with just about any combination of fruits you care to use. It is awesome cold or at room temperature, but best warm from the oven with a honkin' scoop of vanilla ice cream slowly melting on top. Merci, Jacques.
Cheers – Steve
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 stick plus 2 tablespoons (10 tablespoons) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
- 1/3 cup ice water
- 4 Golden Delicious apples (or other variety of your choice)
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (I used 1/4 tsp. cinnamon, 1/8 tsp. nutmeg, and 1/8 tsp. ginger)
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
- In a food processor, combine the flour with the sugar, salt and 10 tablespoons butter and process for about 5 seconds. Sprinkle the ice water over the flour mixture and process until the pastry just begins to come together, about 10 seconds; you should still be able to see small pieces of butter in it. Transfer the pastry to a work surface, gather it together and pat into a disk. Wrap the pastry in plastic or wax paper and refrigerate until chilled. (You can also roll out the pastry and use it right away.)
- Peel, halve and core the apples and slice them crosswise 1/4 inch thick. Set aside the larger center slices and coarsely chop the end slices and any broken ones; about half of the slices should be chopped. In a small bowl combine the sugar and spice(s).
- Heat the oven to 400℉. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the pastry to a 12-by-14 inch rectangle (or a large circle) and transfer to a large rimmed baking sheet. Spread the chopped apples over the pastry to within 1 inch of the edge. Drizzle the honey over the chopped apples. Decoratively arrange the apple slices on top in concentric circles or in slightly overlapping rows. Sprinkle the sugar evenly over the apples and dot with the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter. Fold the pastry edge up and over he apples to create a 1" border.
- Bake the galette for about an hour (check at 50 minutes), until the pastry is nicely browned and crisp and the apples are tender. Transfer the pan to a rack and let the galette cool. Serve warm or at room temperature.