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Warm Apple Galette with Garum Masala

galetteTonight, our cozy little family reunion — my visiting mom and daughter, along with my husband and I — split this perfect apple galette, right out of the oven. Seasoned local apples were casually gathered in a crisp crust, then glazed with jam. The kicker was garum masala, a warming Indian spice mix that varies regionally, but often contains cinnamon, coriander, cloves and ground pepper. (Combine your own in any proportion if you if you don’t have any on hand. I especially like the pepper.)

Rustic galettes free the rushed or challenged baker from the fuss of pies and are just as good, if not better. Use whatever fruit’s in season, adding a touch more flour for moist fruit like blueberries. Serve as is, or top with local ice cream, whipped cream or cream fraiche. The perfume of this galette helped fight the onslaught of the dark winter night. Hope it does the same for you. Makes 4 slices

The Dough
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 rounded teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
7 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
2 tablespoons shortening (preferably without transfat)
about 3 tablespoons ice water

1 pound apples, about 3, your favorite local variety, peeled and sliced
1 teaspoon garum masala (see above)
20 or so grates of fresh nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
2 rounded tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon flour
1 tablespoon orange marmalade, apricot or peach jam

1 tablespoon orange marmalade, apricot or peach jam
Confectioner’s sugar

1. Blend together the flour,sugar and salt, pulsing it once or twice food processor. Add the butter and shortening, then pulse just until the mixture resembles coarse meal with some small small butter lumps. (This can also be done with a pastry blender or two knives.) Pour about 3 tablespoons of ice water evenly over the mixture and pulse (or gently stir with a fork) just to incorporated.

2. Empty the somewhat crumbly dough onto a work surface (or large piece of parchment paper).  With heel of your hand, smear about 1/4 of the mixture once or twice in a forward motion to help mix in the fat. Repeat with the remaining dough, then gather it all up. Press into a ball, then flatten into a 5 or 6 inch disk. Chill for at least an hour. Better yet, overnight.

3. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Roll out into a rough circle of about 10-11 inches on a sheet of parchment paper. While the dough chilling again, peel and slice the apples. Toss them in a bowl with the garum masala, nutmeg, cinnamon, sugar and flour.

4. Turn the dough over onto a baking sheet, removing the parchment.  Spread 1 tablespoon of marmalade or  jam over all but a two inch border. Spread the apple mixture over the jam, then fold in the border to hold it in.  If the dough cracks, repair it so the galette won’t leak. Press around the circle gently.

5. Brush a little milk on the exposed crust, then sprinkle with a touch of sugar. Bake until the crust is well browned and the apples are cooked, about 40 minutes. (If the crust browns too much before the apples are cooked, cover with strips of foil.) Melt remaining 1 tablespoon of jam or marmalade. Brush over the apples. Serve warm with a little sifted confectioner’s sugar of the top, if you like.

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