May 14, 2010

Apple-Frangipane Galette

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Quick, guys! Make this galette before all the lovely warm-weather fruits really start parading into the markets, inspiring you and making apples seem a lot like my Mom Wardrobe, which is to say sad, hapless and completely boring. (It’s a problem, people. I don’t know what happened, really. But I can tell you that you will wrestle this pilly old cardigan from my cold, dead torso. I may dress in a manner that is as insipid as apples in May, but I am sort of in denial about the whole thing. I try to think of my clothes as the sort of shiny, happy green apples that still seem relevant, even as strawberries and rhubarb seem to be the order of the day. Lie to me.)

The good news about this Apple Frangipane Galette (because there’s really no good news side to the wardrobe thing, naturally) is that the apples really are just a jumping off point. Any fruity pie filling that you love and would normally put in a pie or tart (except strawberries, too much water) will probably work here. The magic, my friends, is in the frangipane.

I love me some frangipane, always have. It’s the irresistibly dreamy almond pastry cream that’s made with almond paste, the filling of so many decadent pastries and cakes. But until now, I’d never turned one out in my own kitchen. And now that I know I can make it in mass quantities in just minutes in the food processor, I may keep a jar on my bathroom vanity. Eating it will make you feel that pretty, I promise.

The frangipane is the secret weapon that turns something familiar into a next-level thing. When hidden beneath some fanned-out sweet-tart apples, it sort of bakes into the crust and melds with the fruit and adds a stealth layer of flavor that you just don’t expect when you’re faced with something as rustic and familiar as apples enveloped in pastry. I flippin’ love stuff like that. It makes new recipes worth trying, even those that seem like something you’ve had before.

And that brings me to the source of this recipe. It’s from the Great Lebovitz‘s latest recipe collection Ready for Dessert. I was so excited when my copy finally reached my doorstep, and my family was sort of relieved, too–perhaps I would then stop suctioning myself to the front window, practically licking the glass, in hot anticipation of the delivery. I started flipping and bookmarking as soon as I opened the box and this galette was in the oven less than two hours later. I may look a little out of touch in this pilly old cardigan, but I’m sure that’s got to be a new baking record.

Apple-Frangipane Galette
Adapted from David Lebovitz’s Ready for Dessert

Lebovitz’s headnotes indicate that you shouldn’t need to sugar the apples at all unless they are extremely tart; in that case you should sweeten to taste. I used Granny Smiths that definitely weren’t the most tart I’d ever had, so I skipped the sugar, but in the end wished I’d sweetened them just a bit. I might also add just a dash of cinnamon next time too–it was delicious without it, but I missed the flavor combination. Also, I used Demerara sugar for sprinkling and loved the toasty flavor and crunch, so I’m recommending it here, but you can use granulated or other coarse sugar that you like. As always with pastry-making, make sure your ingredients are as cold as possible before using.

Serves 8

For the crust:

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch cubes and chilled
6 tablespoons ice water

For the frangipane:

4 ounces almond paste, crumbled
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon almond extract
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 large egg, at room temperature
1 teaspoon rum, kirsch or Calvados (optional)

For assembly:

6 medium apples (3 pounds), peeled, cored and cut into 1/2-inch slices
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
4 tablespoons granulated, Demerara or other coarse-crystal sugar

First, make the crust. In the bowl of a food processor (or in a mixing bowl with a pastry blender, or in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment), mix together the flour, sugar and salt. Add the butter pieces and mix until the butter is the size of peas. Add the ice water all at once and mix just until the dough begins to come together. Shape the dough into a disc, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

To make the frangipane, place the almond paste, sugar, flour and almond extract in the bowl of a food processor or electric mixer. Mix until the almond paste is in fine, uniform pieces. Add the butter and mix until very well-blended, then add the egg and the liqueur, if using. Mix until the frangipane is smooth (there may be a few tiny unmixed pieces of almond paste, and that’s fine–they’ll disappear during baking).

When you’re ready to bake the galette, position an oven rack to the center of the oven and preheat it to 375 degrees. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.

To assemble the galette, lightly flour a work surface and roll the dough out into a circle about 14 inches in diameter. Transfer the dough to the prepared baking sheet. Spread the frangipane in an even layer over the dough, leaving a 2-inch border. Arrange the apples over the frangipane, either scattering them in an even layer, or arranging them in concentric circles. Fold the un-frangipaned edge of the dough over the apples. Brush the crust and filling with the melted butter. Scatter half the sugar over the crust and the remainder over the apples. Bake until the apples are tender and the crust has browned, about 1 hour. Slide the galette (still on the parchment) onto a wire rack to cool a bit. Serve warm or at room temperature, ideally the day it’s baked.

  • Apples and almond?! Yes please! Looks delicious. 🙂

    I really need to get used to baking with seasonal fruit. I had this crazy urge recently to make three different pomegranate desserts until I sadly realized that they're not going to be available for another two seasons. I have bad timing I guess. 😉

  • This looks amazing! Great recipe, I love apples!

  • I have been reading your blog for about two years now, and I have to say I really REALLY love your writing. Really. (not to mention that your creations are glorious)

  • How gorgeous is that?! Love it. Love apples too. I hate feeling like I can't use them until Fall.

    And girlfriend, you hang on to that sweater. Comfort is key.

  • Hi Shauna! I'm in Montreal for work right now, and have been overdosing on french treats with almond paste – chocolate and almond croissants, pear and almond pastries… Amazing! Think I'll have to try making my own frangipane when I get home!

  • Love apples on their own, and have been eating them daily since my friend's trainer told her that they burn fat. (Maybe he lied, but it's a good sounding lie :D) But haven't gotten around to liking apples in desserts so much.

    However, love love love old, loose, baggy clothes. Mommy types, PJ types, worn out gym sweat types, all of those. They're like a big warm hug. So yes, hang on to those 🙂

    Know what else I love? Your new (I think) Link Within widget 😀 More delicious eye candy, Yay!

  • Kim passed your blog on to me and I have to say I'm a fan. I LOVE to bake and am currently wearing a pilly sweater. My daughter is almost a year old and I still keep saying I'm going to find the time to buy new clothes. Has not happened yet. Somehow I always end up shopping for her when I get out.

  • Hi Shauna! This looks great. We just got this book two days ago and are a bit sad that there aren't more photos.
    Also, you know you can shave pills off cardigans, right?

  • Thanks for all the support/enabling re: comfort over style, friends.

    Karen–Thanks for sticking with me! That really means a lot.

    kdk–Hi! Kim…? Need more details!

  • booooo..I was going to take the day off from baking, doesn't look like that plan is working out too well for me now after reading this! It looks and sounds AMAZING!

  • Oooh wow this looks extremely tasty, the apples look gorgeous!

  • Yay! I've been searching for a delicious dessert that calls for almond paste! And apple pie is one of my favorite desserts, so this is the combo I've been yearning for! I'll say it again… YAY!

  • We usually have frangipane overloads in January in "galette des rois" in France…I wouldn't say no to repeating that a few times a year with this galette. I can picture it with fresh figs or plums, too. Yum!!!

  • I just tried this over the weekend and use a mix of strawberries and rhubarb instead of apples. The frangipane is great and I was really impressed by the crust on this one. 🙂

  • I have some apples in my pantry right now that could use some lovin'-I am tempted to make it right now! I'll bet that cherries or peaches would be good with that frangipane as well. Thanks for sharing the recipe. 🙂

  • I made this using peaches a few weeks back. The crust is great!! The frangipane is a wonderful addition to the galette. And, I have so many recipes flagged in his new book, "Ready for Dessert." Your apple galette looks wonderful. Thanks for sharing.

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