Honestly, I never understood that expression, "easier than pie." Pie is hard to make! The expression should be "Easier than easy mac," or "easier than scrambled eggs," or at the very least "easier than pie filling." Pie filling is an easy thing to make, the difficult part is the crust. Pie crust always seems to be too hard, too soft, too wet, too dry, or a myriad of other "too's" that can go wrong. My personal pie crust issues always seem to stem from holes magically appearing once the crust is already in the pan, aka after "the point of no return." I then spend the next 20 minutes or so crafting an incredibly intricate patch out of the leftover remnants only to find out that it did, indeed, leak while baking.
This morning I was up before the crack of dawn to do some last minute studying for an exam I have today, and surprisingly, found myself completely prepared. There was literally nothing left for me to study! Normally, I would have gone back to bed for a few hours, but I'd already drunk a *significant* amount of coffee and there was no chance of falling asleep. So, what's a girl to do at 5:30am when she's bouncing off the walls with caffeine? Why, bake of course! I had a whole bag of apples on hand, and although I wanted to make a pie, the thought of dealing with that inevitable hole was more than I could handle. Instead, I opted for a galette. A galette is much like a pie's effortlessly chic french cousin: unfussy, fabulous, and has a fun to say name. I modified an old family recipe for apple pie (I would be drawn and quartered if I blogged the actual recipe) and I couldn't have been happier with the results. The crust came out beautifully, and as usual, the filling was delicious. If only I could justify having warm apple galette for breakfast every day!
1 1/4 C all purpose flour
1/2 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 C (1 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 in cubes
3 tbsp (or more) ice water
1) Blend flour, sugar, and salt in a food processor or large bowl
2) Add butter and cut in using on/off turns (if in a food processor), or with a pastry cutter (if in a bowl), until a coarse meal forms.
3) Add 3 tbsp water using on/off turns or the pastry cutter just until moist clumps form (over working the dough will cause the crust to become tough and hard), adding more water if necessary.
4) Gather the dough into a ball, flatten into a disk, wrap in seran wrap and refrigerate for about 1 hour.
--This dough can be made a few days ahead and kept chilled until use, just soften slightly at room temperature before rolling--
2-3 C fruit
1/2 C sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 C flour
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tbsp lemon juice
1) Combine all ingredients in a bowl, mixing thoroughly to coat the fruit
2) Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees
3) Roll the crust out into a 12" diameter circle and place in the middle of a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. If you have trouble transferring dough after rolling (I know I do!), roll the dough out between two pieces of seran wrap (one under the dough, one over). No need to flour your counter, and when you want to move the dough simply peel off the top layer of seran wrap, pick the dough up by the bottom layer, flip it onto the cookie sheet, then remove the other piece of seran wrap (which is now on top).
4) Pour fruit mixture into the middle of the circle, and fold up the dough around the edges to form a galette
5) Mix an egg yolk with a small amount of milk, and pat the top of the dough with the mixture.