The first crop of apples are in, so we’ve been baking up a storm! Recently, we celebrated our first wedding anniversary by remaking the apple crisp we served for dessert at our wedding. Now, I love that apple crisp and will gladly eat it for dessert or breakfast (serve one with ice cream and the other with plain yogurt…). But, I’m also a fan of a buttery, flaky crust and warm caramel apple galette.
The nice thing about a galette is that they’re basically just an open-faced pie. Hand-raised, kinda.
That means that every single part of a galette is customizable from the crust to the filling to any toppings.
I started daydreaming about caramel apple, how sweet, rich caramel is kept in check with a tart, fresh apple. A caramel apple galette.
I think I even started drooling.
Cozy Fall Desserts
My blogger friends and I are all baking fall desserts this month! Be sure to check out their amazing, from scratch recipes to get into the fall spirit.
Megan’s got a classic apple cake recipe for us minus the dairy! I spent many autumns baking apple cakes in high school, so this recipe is extra special to me! Whether you’re baking with apples from your trees, a local orchard, or the grocery store, be sure to save some for this cake!
Ally’s Pumpkin Bundt Cake looks heavenly with a cream cheese filling, gorgeous icing, and chopped pecans. This looks like brunch heaven! Plus, it’s gluten-free!
My easy flaky pastry crust accident
A few years ago, I got into a turkey pot pie kick. We were raising turkeys and naturally…we had a lot of turkey on hand. I was making a simple crust for the top and in my haste for warm pot pie, I left my butter chunks really big in the dough.
So, the Great British Baking Show enthusiast that I am, I decided to try folding the dough a bit to create some flaky layers. Worst case scenario? I wasted time and still had a good crust.
Best case scenario? I’d have flaky, buttery crust on top of my pot pie.
The second scenario won!
Now, I’m not a pastry chef. I watch a lot of baking shows, but so far, that has not earned me any titles or certificates.
However, I really like to eat and I’ll let you know this crust gets my seal of approval.
I decided to share it with you today with a lightly sweetened version as the base for my caramel apple galette. Please let me know what you think of this crust in the comments! Technically, it’s like a lazy rough puff pastry. If you want real flaky puff pastry, try this recipe.
Caramel Apple Galette Recipe
Prepare the dough. Mix the flour and salt with a fork or whisk. Add 1/4 to 1/2 inch cubes of very cold butter. Start by adding water a tablespoon at a time and make sure it’s very cold. You just want the pieces to start to come together. I ended up using about 4 tbs of water.
Carefully use your pastry cutter, fork, or fingers to smash the butter into the flour mixture. Leave as many large pieces of butter as you can.
When I saw that I could squeeze the flour and butter and it would stay together a bit, I put the dough back in the bowl. Stick it in the fridge for about an hour or in the freezer for 20 minutes just to keep the butter nice and cold.
Between pieces of parchment paper, roll out the dough into a large rectangle shape. Keep the dough pretty thick – about 1/2 inch.
Use any pastry folding technique you like. I am fond of folding in thirds. Fold the left third over the center third and then fold the right third over both pieces. In the earliest part of the folding process, I used my bench scraper to help lift the messy dough.
Then, roll out this tri-folded rectangle into another 1/2 inch thick rectangle. Fold the dough again into thirds.
Follow this process again several more times. Plan to roll and fold at least 3 times. You’ll notice that the dough will start to smooth out. If the butter and flour starts sticking to your rolling pin, the butter is too warm and it needs to be chilled again.
For your last fold, roll the folded dough out into a large rectangle, but fold both ends evenly into the center (book fold).
Close the book by folding the outside sides towards each other.
Let the dough rest in the fridge for about 30 minutes.
You can make this dough 1-2 days ahead of time or you can make it right before baking. If you want to bake the galette right away, start preheating your oven to 425 degrees F.
Prepare your apples.
Start with fresh, firm, tasty apples. I really love using Gravenstein apples for the perfect apple pie flavor – tart enough to stand up to sweet flavors, but great at cooking down to the right texture.
Peel and core 3-4 apples depending on size. Then, slice them into thin pieces (1/8 to 1/4 of an inch).
Place all the apple slices in a medium-sized bowl and top with 1 tbs of granulated sugar, 1 tsp of apple cider vinegar, 1 tsp of cinnamon, and 1 tsp of ginger (optional). I know what you’re thinking…apple cider vinegar?! But go with me on this! The vinegar cooks down to just add a bit of freshness similar to baking with lemon juice. If you think I’m gross for baking this with apple cider vinegar, simply substitute 1 tsp of lemon juice.
Toss the apples in the mixture using your hands. Some people recommend mixing in a little corn starch or flour to keep the fruit from becoming too wet, but I had no problems with that. I think it was a combination of nice, fresh apples and a pretty shallow layer of apple slices to ensure the juice could evaporate enough.
Prepare the galette
Once your dough has rested for 30 minutes, bring the dough out of the fridge. Roll it out on parchment paper into a large square or rectangle (your preference). Keep rolling until the dough is as thin and as large as possible!
Add the apples to the dough
When you have a large round shape, pour your apple slices onto the center of the dough however you would like. I just poured my apples onto the dough and focused on making an even layer across the whole pastry. Be sure to leave about 1 inch of dough around the outside of your apple filling.
Once your apples are arranged, carefully start folding your pastry over the apple filling. You can fold an entire side at once or you can fold into more of a circle shape with small folds overlapping around the whole galette. I pinched my pastry a little bit and then folded the pinch to the left. I alternated this pattern every 3 inches or so until the entire pastry was folded.
Use a pastry brush (or even a folded paper towel) to coat the edge of the crust with milk. Sprinkle lightly with sugar (maybe 1/2 tsp total).
Final step before baking
At this point, I usually pop the galette on a sheet pan back into the fridge until the oven is fully preheated. This usually takes about 20 minutes. You want the coldest pastry you can get and a nice, hot oven. If you rush, your dough may unfold.
Place the galette in the oven preheated to 425. Be sure that your oven is fully heated or the pastry may not bake correctly! Bake at 425 for 20 minutes, then drop down to 350 to bake for an additional 20 minutes. You just want the pastry to puff up a little bit, and then you want to bring the heat down so it doesn’t burn.
Prepare the caramel
While the galette is baking, prepare the caramel. If you plan to eat the galette later, you can make the caramel sauce now and store it in the fridge or you can wait to prepare the sauce until before you plan to serve the dish.
This caramel sauce is EASY and foolproof! You’re actually making a butterscotch, which is easier than a typical caramel.
Add the brown sugar and butter straight to the pan on medium heat. It should look like the top left picture. Let it cook and thicken a bit. Then, start gradually adding heavy cream and whisking it in. You’ll get a thick, bubbly caramel like the top right picture. Keep adding the cream. Let the mixture bubble until it lightens in color. See the bottom picture for reference!
Never run out of brown sugar again! Learn to how to make your own brown sugar with two simple ingredients.
You want to take the caramel off the heat when it is all combined, but still thin enough to pour.
TIP: If you’re not sure if your caramel is ready, place a small amount on a plate and put in the fridge for a minute or two. Tilt the plate. If the caramel moves slowly, you’re good!
Then, take it off the heat and pour it in your serving container.
When the caramel apple galette is ready, let it cool for 10-15 minutes before drizzling it with the caramel sauce. Of course, you can either decorate the galette before serving or serve the galette with the sauce on the side! It pairs excellently with vanilla ice cream or a lightly sweetened whipped cream.
Caramel Apple Galette
- Rolling Pin
- Bench scraper (or a spatula)
- Pastry cutter
- Parchment paper
- Pastry brush
Flaky Pastry Crust
- 1 1/2 cup flour
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 2-4 tbs water ice cold
- 1/2 c butter one whole stick
- 1 tbs whole milk Do not add to dough – this is for brushing the crust right before baking.
- 1/2 tsp sugar Use to sprinkle over milk wash before baking.
- 3 whole apples peeled, cored, and sliced into 1/8 inch pieces
- 1 tbs sugar
- t tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 2 tbs butter room temperaure
- 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream room temperature
- 1 pinch kosher salt
Make the dough
- Prepare the dough. Mix the flour and salt with a fork or whisk. Add 1/4 to 1/2 inch cubes of very cold butter. Start by adding water a tablespoon at a time until the dough starts to come together. It will still be crumbly, but you should be able to squeeze it and have it hold its shape somewhat.
- Chill the dough for 1 hour in the fridge or 20 minutes in the freezer.
- Between pieces of parchment paper, roll out the dough into a large rectangle shape. Keep the dough pretty thick – about 1/2 inch. Use any pastry folding technique you like. I am fond of folding in thirds. Fold the left third over the center third and then fold the right third over both pieces. In the earliest part of the folding process, I used my bench scraper to help lift the messy dough.
- Continue folding and rolling until you have completed 4-6 folds. If your dough is starting to stick to your rolling pin, the dough needs to be chilled.
- Once your dough starts to smooth out and look less bumpy, you are towards the end of this process. You can use your bench scraper or a pizza slicer to straighten out your edges, if you'd like. Roll out your rectangle, but make a book fold. Fold both of the outside edges into the center of the rectangle until the edges meet. Then, fold the two halves towards each other like a book (see pictures above).
- Wrap the dough in the parchment and let it chill again for about 30 minutes in the fridge.
- If you are baking the galette right away, preheat your oven to 425 degrees F while the dough rests and you prepare the apple filling.
Prepare the apples
- Peel, core, and slice the apples into 1/8 inch pieces.
- Place the apples in a bowl with the sugar, cinnamon, pinch of salt, and apple cider vinegar. Mix gently with your hands until the apples are coated.
Prepare galette for baking
- If you are baking the galette on a different day than you make the dough, preheat your oven to 425 degrees F before you start baking. The oven needs to be fully heated before baking.
- When ready to prepare the galette, roll the crust out again into a large rectangle. You can either fold and roll again for extra crispiness or simply roll the dough out as large as you can make it. Your dough should be about as thin as you can get it (1/8 inch or so).
- Pour your apples onto your dough leaving a 1-inch edge along the outside. Even out the apple slices so there is a consistent layer across the dough. Feel free to make it fancy!
- Fold the edges of the dough. I used a pinch and fold technique where I gently pinched the dough together and then folded the dough to the left. Repeat every 3-4 inches until the entire galette is folded.
- Put the dough with apple filling back into the fridge until the oven is fully preheated. I usually rest the dough for about 15-20 minutes at this point.
- Lightly wash the outside of the dough with a pastry brush. Sprinkle lightly with sugar.
- Bake at 425 degrees F for 15-20 minutes. The goal here is to let the dough puff up a bit and make those flaky layers. Then, drop the heat to 350 degrees F and let the galette continue to bake for 20-25 minutes until fully cooked.
Prepare caramel sauce
- In a heavy-bottomed sauce pan over medium heat, heat sugar and butter until they both melt together and are smooth.
- Once the sugar has fully melted, add the pinch of salt and a splash of cream. The caramel will start to bubble and thicken right away. Whisk constantly. Add more cream bit by bit until all of the cream is in the caramel.
- Continue whisking until the sauce is smooth. It should thicken slightly in the pan, but will continue to thicken as it cools.
- Let the galette cool slightly and serve drizzled with caramel sauce.
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