10 min. 15 min.
Last night was Election Night here in America, and many people were glued to their television to await the results. As I looked at the elections we had, I truly proud to be an American. America had a peaceful election, which can’t be said for other countries across the world.
My American pride inspired me to take some apples I had on hand and make a dessert for an Election Night Party. Apple Pie wasn’t special enough to celebrate Democracy, plus I’ve already covered apple pie on this here blog. Given that American Democracy was inspired by the French in the 17th Century, I decided to make a french dessert, a free-form apple pie known as a Galette.
As you may know, a Galette is a loose term that describes crusty cakes, tarts, and pies that are normally free form. Free-form means that you bake the pastry without a pie tin or other baking vessel.
To amp up this free-form pie, I ground hazelnuts and put it into the galette dough. Instead of tossing apples with lots of sugar and cinnamon, I tossed with bourbon, a little sugar, and a little cinnamon, and for extra sweetness I made a caramel sauce with browned butter and a little bourbon. Given the nuttiness of the galette dough, the browned butter’s nuttiness was a perfect compliment.
This galette isn’t overly sweet, which is how I like my desserts. Instead of cloying sweetness, this galette features complex flavors that taste like Autumn.
Last night at the party, the topic of conversation was as much about this recipe as the election results.
Recipe: Hazelnut and Apple Galette with Browned Butter Bourbon Caramel
Step 1: Sweet Hazelnut Galette Dough:
1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
2 tbsp granulated white sugar (you can omit to make crust more savory)
2 ounces of toasted hazelnuts, ground. (about 1/2 cup ground hazelnuts)
1/4 tsp salt
1 stick + 2 tbsp cold unsalted butter, cut into small peices
1/3 C ice cold water
1.) Cut butter into small pieces and place in the freezer for 10 minutes.
2.) Toast the hazelnuts in a 375 degree oven for 6 minutes. Remove the skins, if applicable. Let cool at least 20 minutes before making the dough. You can do this step in advance.
3.) Grind hazelnuts in a food processor until fine. Use the pulse feature so as not to make nut butter.
4.) Add flour, sugar, salt into food processor with the cooled hazelnuts. Pulse a 4 times to combine.
5.) Sprinkle cold butter on top of the flour. Pulse 10 times, or until the butter is in small pieces about the size of a small pea.
6.) With the food processor on, slowly drizzle water on top of the flour mixture until the dough comes together, about 8 seconds. You should still be able to see some pieces of butter.
7.) Transfer dough onto a floured surface and gather together to form a disc. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 20 minutes.
While the dough is chilling, you will prepare the apples and the sauce
Step 2: Prepare the Apples
4 small-to-medium sized apples (I used a combination of granny smith, fuji, and golden delicious)
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tbsp bourbon* (can omit and use lemon juice)
2 tbsp granulated white sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp flour
1.) Peel and Slice Apples. Peel and slice the sides (cheeks) of the apples away from the apple core and then slice into 1/4 inch-thick slices. Alternatively, you can peel and core the apples and slice them into 1/4-inch thick slices.
2.) Marinate Apples: Toss apple slices in lemon juice and bourbon to prevent browning. Next, sprinkle sugar, cinnamon, salt, and flour onto the apples and toss until well coated and distributed.
Step 3: Prepare Brown Butter Bourbon Caramel
Brown Butter, or Buerre Noisette is a french term for butter that is cooked until it’s browned. Brown Butter is butter that has been cooked to the point where the milk solids (white foam) turn brown, resulting in a nutty flavor. The name, in French, signifies the color as well as the signature hazelnut flavor that emerges from butter once it’s browned.
2 ounces unsalted butter
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
3 tbsp milk (any kind, skim, whole, etc)
1 tbsp bourbon* (optional)
1/4 tsp salt
1.) Make Brown Butter: In a saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Continue cooking butter until it starts to turn brown. As soon as you notice it’s turning brown, remove from heat. It will continue to brown. You don’t want this stuff to overcook and get black, so keep an eye on the butter.
2.) Combine All Ingredients: Add brown sugar and salt into the brown butter and stir until combined. Add milk and stir. Return pot to heat and bring mixture to a boil. Boil for 1 minute, reduce to a simmer over medium heat. Simmer for 2 additional minutes. Stir in the Bourbon. Set aside.
Step 4: Assemble the Galette
Preheat oven to 380 degrees.
(1) Roll-out Dough: Between two pieces of parchment paper, roll dough disc into about 14 or 15″-inch circle. This is free-form, so it can be rough.
(2) Transfer Dough to Baking Sheet: Lift the parchment paper up and place bottom parchment and gullet dough onto a cookie/baking sheet.
(3) Arrange Apples: Leaving a 1 1/2 inch border free, place the apples onto the galette dough, layered, in concentric circles or rows. Pour 3 tbsp of the brown butter caramel on top of the apples.
(4) Fold over crust: Fold the pastry edge up over the apples to create a crust and border that will hold the apples in place. The dough may be sticky, so a good tip is to use the parchment paper to lift up the sides of the crust.
(5) Egg Wash Crust: Crack an egg and lightly beat with a fork. Brush egg wash onto the galette crust. Sprinkle with raw or coarse (sanding) sugar.
(6) Bake: In a 380 degree oven for 40 minutes. Remove from oven. Pour 4 tablespoons of the caramel onto the apples. Bake for another 8 minutes.
(7) Cool: Remove galette from oven and cool for at least 10 minutes before cutting galette.
You’ll have leftover caramel, so you can pour a little over each slice of the galette.
We were all too hungry to wait for a decent picture… Make this Galette and you’ll see why!
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