Wednesday, August 21, 2013

A Perfectly Messy Apple Galette

Some things in life are better a bit messy. I know, this may be shocking coming from one of the most OCD people ever, but let's discuss.... actually, speaking of OCD, let's make a list.

Things that are better messy:
Hair- Besides the fact I hate showering, I really do think a little bed head looks good on everyone.
Beds- Seriously, you are going to sleep in it in about 12 hours, unless you are having a bedroom party (which I've never done and won't be doing again on Sept. 21st, MOM!)
Dogs- I say this only because I am giving myself a free pass for never washing mine... and because our friend Pat's dog Bosworth is always smelly and I love him.
Tupperware drawers- There's lots of fun reasons to bend over. Cleaning a drawer is not one.
Beards- My husband, Marc Ruffalo (Not necessarily in that order.)
Purses- Please let me know if you are the one woman alive that keeps hers clean, so I can beat you to death with my filthy fifty pound purse
Food- Keep reading, you'll see...

Let's be honest, I don't even have kids yet (except our roommate, Michael) and I can barely keep my house clean..... So, I think it is completely safe to say that maybe everything (except hardwood floors) is better a little bit messier..... Especially food.

When I was at Le Cordon Bleu I used to lose points all the time because my plating was "too rustic." I'm sorry, we're talking about food here and unless you are some kick-ass chef that plates food like a boss, I feel like everyone can appreciate a good rustic, family-style meal. So, dear Le Cordon Bleu, get over yourself. You make people go to college in a shopping mall. Thanks. (End rant.) Anyways, as much as I can appreciate a perfectly lattice topped pie, I think that there is something just as perfect about a messy pile of apples, wrapped in a piece of dough, without a baking dish and without any regrets. Yes, I just anthropomorphized my messy pie. (And yes Richard told me what that word meant.) So, since I'm a mess, I like things messy, and it's almosssssst apple time (holy moly, fall is on its way!) I figured that we could get a head start on an apple recipe that's perfect in its own messy way.... just like my hair today.

 A Perfectly Off-Centered Apple Galette.

Galette is a French term to describe flat, free-form, crusty pies. (Can you tell I just googled that for you?) They are simple to make because you don't have to fuss with a perfect crust. Just wrap up your apples, throw them in the oven, and quite honestly, if the juices run or the edges get crumbly... your pie will look even more charming.
1 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 Tbs. sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
8 Tbs. (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
3 Tbs. very cold water
4-6 granny smith apples, cored, sliced, peeled if you want
3 tbs sugar
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
Zest from 1 lemon
1 egg white for egg wash
A little extra sugar for sprinkling, preferably the course kind for pies (this is completely optional!)

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

Make your pie dough. Or you can buy it... you know I don't judge. I actually made my dough this time (shocker!) and it turned out great, so I believe in you.

To make the dough by hand, in a large bowl, stir together the flour, sugar and salt. Cut the butter into the flour mixture until the texture resembles coarse cornmeal... I always use my hands for this... it's way easier and then you can get a feel for the dough. Wash your hands first, thanks. Add the water and mix with a fork just until the dough pulls together.

To make the dough in a stand mixer, fit the mixer with the flat beater, and stir together the flour, sugar and salt in the mixer bowl. Add the butter and toss with your hands (or a fork) to coat with the flour mixture. Mix on medium-low speed until the texture resembles coarse cornmeal, with the butter pieces no larger than small peas. Add the water and mix on low speed just until the dough pulls together.

Transfer the dough to a floured surface and roll out to a 10 inch round.

For the apples, once they are cored and sliced (I didn't bother peeling mine, this is a rustic tart after all) mix them with the cinnamon, sugar, and lemon zest. Then place them in a pile in the middle of the dough. If you want to, you can arrange the top apples in a circle since you will see them once your galette is baked.  You should leave about 2 inches of dough around the edges. Take the edges of the dough and carefully fold them over the edges of the apples. The key word here is carefully.... trust me.... if your dough rips, it is a pain in the ass. Butttttt, it is not the end of the world, just press it back together and try folding the dough over the apples again. You can do it.

Brush the crust with the egg wash and bake on a parchment paper lined tray for about 40 minutes, turning every 15 minutes or so, until golden brown. Remove from the oven and let stand for 15 minutes before serving with vanilla ice cream or lightly sweetened whipped cream.

This recipe is dedicated to my sweet friend Jenapher with whom I used to cause lots of ruckus in my high school years. She now has baby number two on the way (eee congrats!) and is about to harvest her apple tree!! I am on dog number four and still trying to figure out how to stop them from barking. Ugh! But we did get a big harvest of concord and muscat grapes this year!

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