Apple season is upon us!
I’ve always loved apples. I’ve had one a day for as long as I can remember, and that’s not because of an irrational fear of doctors (though I 100% have that). I just have a genuine love for these crispy, sweet, tart little fruits. So, of course, I always make a point to go apple picking at the first sign of fall.
I eat way more than my usual one-a-day quota, and shove as many apples into my bag as I can. Side note: does anyone else think the bags the orchards give you are getting smaller but simultaneously more expensive? All the more reason to really cram the apples in, I say. Got to get my money’s worth!
In my effort to get the most out of my increasingly expensive trip to the local farm (especially once you add in the price of a dozen cider donuts and a scoop of pumpkin ice cream), I ended up with double the amount of apples I needed for a pie. Hence, this caramel apple galette.
Full disclosure, I wanted to use all my leftover apples before they started rotting so I cut them all up, not realizing how few I needed for this dessert. I had so much filling I was able to make an additional apple crisp, too. Whoops. (But, really, who’s complaining?) Don’t worry, the recipe below reflects the amount of apples I SHOULD have used—not what I actually sliced up.
For the crust (adapted from Jacques Pepin via Food&Wine)
- 1 1/2 cups of AP flour
- Heaping 1/2 tablespoon of sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon of salt
- 1 stick plus 2 tablespoons of cold butter (cut into 1/2-inch cubes)
- 1/3 cup of ice water
- 1 egg (beaten with a splash of water for the egg wash)
Preheat the oven to 400°F. In a food processor, pulse the flour, sugar, and salt a few times to combine. Add the butter and process until the mixture resembles coarse meal—there should be some pea-sized pieces of butter visible. Then, drizzle water into the processor in small parts, mixing after each addition until the dough begins to come together. At this point, dump the mixture onto a floured surface and shape the dough into a disk. Wrap it in plastic wrap and place it in the fridge.
I always let my pie crusts chill so the butter doesn’t get too warm before baking (which would ruin the flakiness), but the original recipe I was working from says you can roll out the dough immediately. If you don’t plan on letting the dough rest in the fridge, I recommend making the apple filling first so you can assemble the galette as soon as the dough is rolled out.
For the filling
- 4–6 apples (I used a mix of empire and granny smith)
- 1 tablespoon of lemon juice
- 1/2 cup of brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon of cinnamon (more to taste)
- pinch of nutmeg
- 1 tablespoon of butter
- 1 tablespoon honey (plus more if your apples dry out while cooking)
Peel and core 4–6 apples, and cut them into 1/4″-thick slices. Toss the slices in a bowl with lemon juice to prevent browning. Stir in brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Place the filling in the fridge while you roll out the crust.
Roll the dough into a circle or rectangle about 1/4″ thick. Transfer the dough to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Arrange the apple slices on the dough, leaving at least a 1″ border all around. Fold the border onto the apples, then brush the dough with egg wash and sprinkle with sugar (I used turbinado sugar). Dot the apples with small pieces of butter, and drizzle honey on top. Place the galette in the oven for about an hour.
If your apples start to look dry as they are baking, drizzle more honey over them. Also, if the crust starts to brown too quickly, tent the galette with foil.
While the galette is cooking, it’s time to make the caramel topping.
For the caramel drizzle
- 1 cup of sugar
- 3/4 cup of heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons of butter
- 1/2 teaspoon of salt (more to taste)
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
I use the dry method of making caramel, but both are detailed really well in this post from Completely Delicious. A quick summary of the dry method: heat the sugar in a sauce pan over medium heat, swirling the pan occasionally until the sugar caramelizes and turns a nice amber color. Then, remove from heat and whisk in the heavy cream. Return the pan to medium heat and stir constantly as it simmers and becomes smooth. Remove from heat and stir in the remaining ingredients. Done!
For an in-depth look at the caramel making process, definitely check out the link (there are step-by-step photos, too!). You will only use a few spoonfuls to top this dessert, so I highly recommend pouring the extra caramel into an airtight container and storing it in the fridge. It would be amazing on almost any fall treat you cook up (especially these Salted Caramel Chocolate Chunk Cookies).
Once the galette filling starts to bubble a bit (or the apples are tender), remove it from the oven and drizzle with caramel sauce. For extra deliciousness, top it off with a scoop (or two) of vanilla ice cream.
This galette is (IMHO) a perfect seasonal treat. It has everything you love about apple pie, but is much easier to make. Plus, it doubles as a decadent breakfast, too. (I may or may not be speaking from experience on that one…)
Surprisingly, my favorite thing about this tart was the honey. This ingredient could easily be overlooked, but in a season filled with rich flavors like molasses and maple syrup, the honey adds an unexpected, bright kind of sweetness.
And of course, the crust. Oh, the crust. All butter, crumbly but not dry, lightly browned with a sugary coating. You could bake anything in this crust and I would eat it (that’s not true, but it is really, REALLY good). It’s a keeper of a crust recipe, for sure.
This galette is a simple way to enjoy some of the best flavors of the season. I’ll definitely be making it again. What about you? What are your go-to apple recipes for the fall? Share your favorites in the comments!