Baking Chez Moi: A Galette to Play Around With

I have two terrific recipes for galettes in Baking Chez Moi, one that uses fruits from the summer market – too late for that; and one that uses fruits from the fall market, not one of which I had in the house. And so, using the recipe for the galette dough from Chez Moi and whatever I had at hand, I made a new galette and, happily, it’s pretty swell.

A galette has so many meanings in French. It can be a stone or puck, a buckwheat crepe, a thick cookie or a free-form rustic tart, which is what this galette is. If you’re brain tends toward Italian, think crostata.

I make my dough in the food processor using very cold or frozen butter, and I roll it out between sheets of parchment as soon as it comes out of the machine. While the dough chills, I make the filling and preheat the oven.

For my spur-of-the-moment galette, I mixed apples and cranberries and white and brown sugar, and then added more on-hand stuff: lime zest and juice, fresh ginger, walnuts and a few spoonfuls of orange marmalade. The zest and juice could have come from an orange or lemon; the ginger could have sat this one out; the nuts might have been almonds or hazelnuts (or I could have skipped the nuts); and the marmalade could have been any flavor jam.

unbaked galette

These are the kinds of recipes I love: Recipes I can play around with and make even when the only ingredients I’ve got on hand seem like a mishmash.

Here’s the recipe as I made it. Let me know how you make it.

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Fall What’s-On-Hand Galette

Technique adapted from Baking Chez Moi (by moi; HoughtonMifflinHarcourt, 2014)
Galette or Pie Dough, rolled out to an 11- to 13-inch circle and chilled between sheets of parchment paper (recipe for galette dough)

  • 1/4 cup (50 grams) sugar
  • 1 lime
  • 1/4 cup (50 grams) packed light brown sugar
  • 1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 medium apples (about 300 grams), peeled, cored and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 cup (99 grams) cranberries, fresh or frozen (if frozen, don’t thaw)
  • 2 tablespoons orange marmalade (or other jam)
  • 1/4 cup (30 grams) walnuts (or other nuts) broken
  • 3 plain butter or spice cookies (such as Petit Beurre or Biscoff/Lotus)
  • 1 tablespoon plain breadcrumbs (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon cold unsalted butter, cut into bits

Sanding, raw or granulated sugar, for sprinkling
1/4 cup (80 grams) apple, quince or currant jelly, for glazing (optional)
Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting (optional)

Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Take the rolled-out dough from the freezer or refrigerator, remove the top piece of parchment paper and, if the dough isn’t already on a rimmed baking sheet, move it to one. Leave the dough on the counter while you mix the fruit.

Put the sugar in a large bowl and grate the zest of the lime over it. Reach into the bowl and rub the sugar and lime together with your fingertips until well blended. Stir in the brown sugar and ginger, then squeeze in the juice from half of the lime. Toss in the apples, cranberries, marmalade and nuts and stir until everything is coated with sugar. Set aside for 5 minutes, stirring a couple of times, so that the sugar dissolves and you have a little liquid in the bowl.

Meanwhile, break the cookies into small pieces and crumbs (you can do this with your fingers or, if you’d like, you can “dice” the cookies with a knife—it’s what I do) and mix with the breadcrumbs, if you’re using them. Sprinkle the mixture over the center of the galette dough, leaving a bare border of 2 to 3 inches all around.

Give the fruit a last stir and spoon it and whatever liquid has accumulated onto the galette, again leaving the border bare. Scatter the bits of cold butter over the fruit. Gently lift the border of dough up and over the filling; as you lift the dough and place it against the filling, it will pleat—it’s meant to. Brush the dough very lightly with a little water, then sprinkle it with sanding (or raw or granulated) sugar.

Bake the galette for 50 to 60 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown, the juices are bubbling and a knife poked into any piece of fruit meets little or no resistance.

Meanwhile, if you want to glaze the galette—a nice touch, since the fruit will lose its sheen as it cools—bring the jelly and a splash of water to a boil in a microwave oven (cover the bowl) or in a saucepan on the stove. Brush the hot jelly over the fruit as soon as the galette comes out of the oven.

Glazed or not, the galette should rest on the baking sheet until it is just warm or reaches room temperature. Dust the crust with confectioners’ sugar before serving, if you’d like.

Storing: The galette should be eaten the day it is made; the closer to the time it’s made, the better.