I’m no accomplished baker, this is my humble attempt at an apple galette.  I “ooh and ahh” at other bloggers’ baked delights.  Sure, I can make a chocolate chip cookie (well, who can’t) and brownies and the like.  However, I scare away from sophisticated desserts.  I shouldn’t though, with enough practice I think I could muster up something half-way decent.  I also have another excuse-Autumn.  If you don’t bake during this season, I’m sorry to say it, but you are pretty lame.  Jokes aside, something in the crisp fall air draws some inner baker out of me and has me craving all things warm, comforting, and gooey.

Apples are just that-warm and comforting.  They remind me of simpler times when hayrides and apple cider were enough to lift one’s spirits.  I take that back, maybe they are even today.  I like to knock down my “rural” roots and pretend I am a city girl, because that’s where I feel I belong.  Yet, I have ended up in small-town Canada (hopefully, not for much longer).  As much as I love cities, the charm in a small place is undeniable.  I have sweet grannies living in my building, always smiling and sharing in small talk.  In my apartment building hallway, I get wafts of sweet aromas of sugar, spice, and everything nice.

As I do every Autumn, I went crazy with apple buying.  I had lofty plans to make this and that, but I only ended up with this apple galette, so far.  As I mentioned earlier, I need to expand my baking repertoire.  I was proud of my galette, the dough wasn’t rock hard after being baked, that is my most common problem.  It was soft and flaky, perhaps I didn’t overmix.  No matter where your home is, I don’t know what gets more comforting and homey than an apple dessert.  This is something global, something that you could bring to anyone, anywhere and they would enjoy it.  And even the people who say they aren’t dessert people will be asking for seconds.

Apple, Pecan, and Crème Fraîche Galette

Serves 6

for the galette dough: (slightly adapted from David Lebovitz via Simply Recipes, I halved the recipe)

Ingredients

1 1/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon Demerara sugar

1/4 teaspoon fleur de sel

4 ounces (8 tablespoons) of butter, chilled in the freezer for 30 minutes

2.5 ounces ice water

Method

Mix together the dry ingredients in a bowl and  transfer them to the food processor.  Add the butter into the food processor until you get pea sized lumps of flour.  Next, stream in the water until the dough just forms.  Tranfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and knead very lightly until it just comes together into a disc.  Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour.  After the dough has chilled roll it out in between two pieces of parchment paper into a 13″ by 11″ circular shape, it doesn’t have to be perfect because this galette is very rustic.  Transfer the rolled out dough onto a baking tray covered in parchment paper and into the fridge until ready for assembly.

for the filling:

Ingredients

2 tablespoons apricot jam

3 cups honeycrisp apples, peeled, cored, and sliced into 1/4″ slices

1 teaspoon grated orange zest

2 tablespoons orange juice, fresh is best

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

2 tablespoons Demerara sugar

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 tablespoon crème fraîche

pinch of salt

1/4 cup whole pecans

2 tablespoons of butter, cut up into small pieces

1 egg beaten with 2 tablespoons of milk for eggwash

Method

While the dough is chilling, you can make the filling.  Combine all the ingredients in a bowl, but only use 1/4 cup of the brown sugar and don’t add in the pecans, butter, or eggwash.  The remaining brown sugar is for sprinkling over top.  Allow the apple mixture to marinate for 30-45 minutes in the refrigerator.

to make to galette:

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.  Lay the apples over the rolled-out dough leaving a 2-3″ border.  The apple may have leached some liquid, only spoon over up to 1/4 cup of the liquid onto the dough, we don’t want it to become soggy.  Roll up the sides of the dough in a rustic fashion, pinching the dough into place-this does not have to be perfect.  Assemble the pecans over the apples and sprinkle with the remaining brown sugar and dab the butter on top of the apples.  Brush the exposed galette dough with the eggwash.  Bake at 425 degrees for 25 minutes and then reduce the heat to 375 degrees for an additional 20-25 minutes.  The crust should be light golden brown when done.  Serve warm or at room temperature with whipped cream or à la mode.

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