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The Joy of Cooking: Apple Galette

Matt Lauer finds out what a joy apple galette can be — read the recipe.
/ Source: msnbc.com

A staple in everyone’s kitchen, “The Joy of Cooking” returns with new recipes for the modern cook. On this morning’s Today show, Ethan Becker and Maria Guarnachelli from “The Joy of Cooking” teach Matt Lauer how to make an apple galette.

DELUXE BUTTER FLAKY PASTRY DOUGH

Two 9-inch pie crusts, or two 9 1/2 or 10-inch tart crusts or one 9-inch covered pie crust.

This dough is richer in fat than ordinary flaky pastry and is thus softer and more difficult to handle, but it yields a marvelously tender, flaky crust with a superb butter flavor. While it is possible to make this dough with butter only, a small amount of shortening makes it flakier without interfering with the buttery taste.

Since this dough tends to puff out of shape during baking, you should not use it to make a crust with a tightly fluted or braided edge. If you need only a single pie or tart crust, decrease all ingredients by half or freeze half the dough for another pie.

Using a rubber spatula, thoroughly mix in a large bowl:

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour

1 teaspoon white sugar or 1 tablespoon

powdered sugar

1 teaspoon salt

Working quickly to prevent softening, cut into 1/4-inch pieces:

1/2 pound (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter

Add the butter to the dry ingredients. Using a pastry blender or two knives, chop the butter into pea-sized pieces. Add:

1/4 cup solid vegetable shortening

With a few quick swipes of the pastry blender, cut the shortening into large chunks and distribute throughout the bowl. Continue to chop with the pastry blender until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs with some pea-sized pieces. Do not let the mixture soften and begin to clump; it must remain dry and powdery. Drizzle over the flour and fat mixture:

1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon ice water

Cut with the blade side of the rubber spatula until the mixture looks evenly moistened and begins to form small balls. Press down on the dough with the flat side of the spatula. If the balls of dough stick together, you have added enough water; if they do not, drizzle over the top:

1 to 2 tablespoons ice water

Cut in the water, then press with your hands until the dough coheres. The dough should look rough, not smooth. Divide the dough in half, press each half into a round flat disk, and wrap tightly in plastic. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, preferably for several hours, or for up to 2 days before rolling. The dough can be wrapped airtight and frozen for up to 6 months; thaw completely before rolling.

APPLE GALETTE

This is a bit like pizza, with thinly sliced apples on a buttery crust.

Prepare:

1/2 recipe Deluxe Butter Flaky Pastry Dough

Position a rack in the lower third of the oven. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

On a sheet of parchment paper or aluminum foil, roll the dough into an 11- to 12-inch round. Pick up the edges of the paper and transfer with the dough to a baking sheet. Melt and cool to lukewarm:

3 tablespoons unsalted butter

Brush a thin coat of butter over the pastry, reserving the rest. Sprinkle the pastry with:

1 tablespoon sugar

Peel, core, and slice 1/8-inch thick:

2 large firm apples, such as Golden Delicious

Leaving bare a 1-inch border at the edge, arrange the apple slices in slightly overlapping concentric rings on the pastry. Fold the border of the dough over the edge of the apples. Brush or drizzle all but about 2 teaspoons of the remaining melted butter over the apples. Combine, then sprinkle over the apples:

3 tablespoons sugar

1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Bake until the pastry begins to color, 15 to 20 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees F. and bake until the pastry is golden brown and sounds crisp when poked with a skewer, 20 to 30 minutes more. Set the pan on a rack, brush the apples with the remaining butter, and let cool. Serve warm or at room temperature. The galette is best served the day it is made.

From the all-new, all-purpose “Joy of Cooking,” Scribner, 1997.