Thanks to moving, prepping for baby #2, and some unusually mild Canadian weather, this summer has disappeared just like that. I can’t say I’m sad about it. While there’s nothing like summer produce, fall is by far my favorite season. I love the crisp mornings, changing colors, and chunky sweaters.
Oh, and apple pie.
I don’t usually make my first apple dessert until a little later in the year. But last week I took my little guy to a nearby farm, and to my surprise they had a couple varieties of apples ready for picking. I couldn’t resist taking home a small bag full of Zestars! (yes, the “!” is an official part of its name), which I’d never tasted before but read were good for eating and baking. And they are lovely — mildly tart and crisp with a firm texture that holds up well in the oven.
I didn’t quite have enough apples for a full-on pie, but these babies were just begging to be baked up in a buttery crust. (OK, maybe that was me begging.) And so this galette was born.
I know galettes are supposed to be unfussy and casual; and the many components of this one may be off-putting. But seriously. I think this is one of the best apple desserts I’ve ever made, and it really looks harder than it is. You could definitely use store bought salted caramel sauce if you wanted, but it’s so delicious and easy to make yourself that you really won’t regret cooking up a batch. (Plus, this recipe makes more than enough for the galette so you’ll have extra for stirring into coffee, drizzling over ice cream, or just eating from the jar.) I’m also having a moment with frangipane — not only is it just plain delicious, but in the case of a galette it acts as a moisture barrier, keeping the bottom crust beautifully crisp.
Speaking of the crust — it may sound weird to use sourdough starter in a pastry recipe, but trust me, it’s delicious! I really do believe sourdough adds a depth of flavor to pie crust; and if your starter is healthy and fresh you shouldn’t notice any tang. But if you don’t have sourdough starter lying around, you can certainly use your favorite pie crust recipe instead.
Apple Frangipane Galette with Salted Caramel
For the sourdough crust (makes enough for 2 galettes):
- 300g flour (I use 100g whole grain, 200g AP)
- 227g unsalted butter, cold and cubed
- 1 Tbsp granulated sugar
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 200g ripe sourdough starter, cold (100% hydration)
- 2 Tbsp cold milk or water
For the salted caramel sauce:
- 200g granulated sugar
- 1/2 c heavy cream, at room temperature
- 54g unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 tsp flaky sea salt, such as Maldon
For the frangipane:
- 95g almond flour
- 50g granulated sugar
- 20g flour (AP or whole grain)
- 30g unsalted butter, at room temperature
- Pinch of salt
- Splash of vanilla extract
- 1 large egg, at room temperature
For the fruit:
- 3 medium-large baking apples, cored, peeled, and thinly sliced
- Juice of 1/2 a lemon
- 50g brown sugar
- 1 Tbsp AP flour
- Pinch of cinnamon
- 1/4 c salted caramel sauce
- 1 Tbsp cream
- 1 Tbsp coarse sugar
- Salted caramel sauce
For the sourdough crust:
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar and salt. Add the cubed butter and smash into flat pieces with your fingers, tossing to distribute evenly. Don’t overwork — you want to keep the butter pieces fairly large (nickel to quarter size) for flakiness.
- Use a fork to whisk the cold milk/water and starter together. Pour the wet mixture over the butter-flour mixture and, using a silicone spatula or wooden spoon, gently toss to combine. The dough will seem shaggy at first, but should hold together if you squeeze it. If not, dribble in additional cold water/milk a teaspoon at a time (tossing after each addition) until it does.
- Using the heel of your hand, take handfuls of dough and smear them up the side of the bowl (this “fraisage” method creates streaks of butter that makes for an extra flaky crust). Once all the dough has been smeared, divide the in half and gently press and flatten each portion into a circle. Wrap one half in plastic and chill or freeze for a future galette or pie. If your remaining dough feels at all soft or melty at this point, wrap it in plastic and chill for about 10 minutes before proceeding (you want it cold, but not hard).
- On a piece of floured parchment paper or Silpat, roll the dough into a circle about 12-14 inches in diameter, about 1/4-in thick. Roll from the middle and rotate the dough about 1/4 turn between rolls to help keep the shape and even thickness. Flour your pin and dough as needed to avoid sticking. When you’re done rolling, transfer the dough still on the parchment/Silpat to a sheet pan, cover with plastic, and chill for at least 2 hours before assembling the galette.
For the salted caramel sauce:
- In a medium saucepan, melt the sugar over medium-high heat. Swirl the pan occasionally for even heating.
- When the sugar reaches a copper color, remove it from the heat and add the salt and butter, whisking continuously. Be careful as the mixture will bubble up! Return the pot to medium-low heat and whisk for a minute or so.
- Still continuously whisking, add the cream in a slow, steady stream — again, taking caution as the mixture will bubble and rise. Continue whisking over medium-low heat to thicken the mixture slightly.
- Remove from the heat and transfer to a heat-safe container. Once cool, cover and refrigerate. Sauce will thicken as it cools. Rewarm in the microwave for about 20 seconds for easy pouring.
For the frangipane:
- Whisk together the flours, sugar, and salt in a small bowl. Rub the butter in with your fingers until the mixture resembles wet sand. Add the egg and vanilla and mix with a spatula to combine.
For the fruit:
- Juice the lemon into a medium bowl and add the apple slices, tossing to coat. Add the sugar, flour, and cinnamon and toss to combine.
- Preheat the oven to 375F. Remove the chilled pastry from the fridge. Spread the frangipane evenly in a circle in the center of the pastry, leaving a 1.5-2 inch border. Starting from the outermost edge of the frangipane, arrange the apple slices in concentric, overlapping circles. Fold the edges of the pastry over the filling to create a crust. Refrigerate the galette for 15-20 minutes to firm the pastry.
- When the pastry is firm, brush the crust with the heavy cream and sprinkle with coarse sugar. Drizzle 1/4 c of salted caramel sauce over the apples (not on the crust). Bake in the preheated oven for 40-45 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through, until the pastry is a deep, golden brown and the apples are bubbling. Transfer to a cooling rack. Serve at room temperature with extra salted caramel sauce.