Apricot galette. It sounds fancy although it’s actually quite simple to toss together with a pleasingly rustic look. Yet it’s still impressive as heck. Here’s how to make it.
A galette is one of those dishes that is more of a formula than a recipe. Once you learn the basics, you can make a galette with other stone fruits such as peaches, nectarines, plums, or even apples or pears, flavored with a dash of cinnamon. In the desperate months of winter, we’ve even made this galette with frozen fruit and eaten it as a picnic on the living room floor. It’s great for breakfast the next morning.–Faith Durand
HOW IS A GALETTE DIFFERENT FROM A PIE?
Does pastry that won’t rip or tear or sag or crumble elude you? Are you all thumbs when it comes to the perfect crimp? A galette is a perfect solution–a bottom crust with a pleated, folded edge and no top crust. From the French, a galette is a simpler, more freeform dessert solution. And because there’s isn’t a top crust, you’re left with pastry that doesn’t demand perfection, one where an uneven edge or a burnished bump is simply charming. It’s the perfect pie alternative seeing as the galette, by definition, is charmingly imperfect.
For the crust
- 1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 10 tablespoons (5 oz) cold unsalted butter cut into 1/4-inch (6-mm) cubes
- 2 to 6 tablespoons ice water
For the apricot filling
- 3 tablespoons granulated sugar plus more to taste
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar packed
- 2 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
- Small pinch freshly grated nutmeg
- 1 1/2 pounds ripe apricots pitted but unpeeled, cut into eighths
- 1 tablespoon (1/2 oz) unsalted butter cut into 1/4-inch (6-mm) cubes
- 1 tablespoon heavy cream
- Whipped cream, crème fraîche, or ice cream for serving
Make the crust
- Combine the flour, sugar, and salt in a food processor and pulse a few times to combine. Scatter the butter pieces over the mixture and pulse until the pieces of butter are about the size of peas. (Alternatively, whisk the flour and sugar together in a large bowl and work the butter in with a pastry blender or 2 knives.)
- Sprinkle the ice water over the mixture, 1 tablespoon at a time, and pulse once (or gently toss the mixture with a fork) after each addition. Continue adding water and pulsing (or stirring) until the dough forms small crumbly lumps, like cottage cheese, that clump when you pinch them together. Chances are you won't need all 6 tablespoons of ice water. Be careful not to overprocess the dough. It should not form into a ball while still in the food processor. [Editor's Note: These cautions make the pastry sound really fussy, but we swear, it's not. It's actually easy as can be. And just wait, because the finished crust is so buttery and tender and crunchy you're going to be hooked.]
- Dump the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and pat it into a 1-inch-thick disk, being careful not to handle it too much. Don't knead the dough. Simply wrap it in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. (Or wrap it well in plastic wrap and freeze it for up to 3 months. To use, thaw it in the refrigerator overnight.)
Make the apricot filling
- In a large bowl, combine all but 1 teaspoon granulated sugar, the brown sugar, flour, salt, and nutmeg. Add the apricots and toss until evenly coated. Take a nibble and if your eyes scrunch up and your face puckers, add a touch or a ton more granulated sugar, depending on just how puckery the apricots are. Some apricots are just tarter than others.
To assemble and bake the galette
- Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 400°F (204°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set it aside.
- On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the chilled dough to a 14-inch-diameter circle. (If you have trouble rolling the chilled dough, let it rest at room temperature for about 10 minutes, and then try again.) Move the dough to the prepared baking sheet.
- Arrange the apricot filling in the center of the crust, leaving a 2-inch border of dough around the edges. Fold the edges over the filling, pinching pleats in the crust as you proceed. Dot the exposed fruit with the cubed butter. Brush the edges of the crust with the cream, and then sprinkle with the remaining 1 teaspoon sugar.
- Bake the galette for 40 minutes, and then lower the oven temperature to 350°F (177°C) and bake for another 10 to 20 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown and the edges are slightly caramelized.
- Remove the baking sheet from the oven and set it on a wire rack for a few minutes to cool slightly. Slip the parchment paper with the galette off the baking sheet and onto the wire rack, and allow the galette to cool. Serve warm or at room temperature with a dollop of whipped cream or crème fraîche or a scoop of ice cream. The galette can be covered with plastic wrap and refrigerated for up to 2 days.
Recipe Testers' Reviews
This apricot galette recipe makes a simple dessert that looks spectacular. The crust on this pie is a keeper—so crunchy, tender, and buttery.
I chilled the dough for 2 hours and needed to let it sit at room temperature for about 10 minutes before I could roll it out. To save a step (and because I'm not very good with pie dough), I rolled it out on the parchment paper and slid that onto the baking sheet. I probably should’ve chilled the crust again before filling it (it was a warm day) because it became sticky and had a couple of tears. I tried to fix them, but my galette still leaked a little in the oven. I baked it at 425°F for 40 minutes and only 10 minutes at 350°F since the crust was brown and the filling was bubbling.
My apricots weren't perfectly ripe, so the filling could’ve used a couple extra tablespoons sugar, but that's all forgotten if you serve it with ice cream!
I've always wanted to make the perfect pie. Pastry that won't sag or crumble, fruit that's not a juicy tower just waiting to collapse, the perfect crimp along the edge. Here's the solution: the galette. Subtract the crimp, lose the height, leave the seasonal fruit. You're left with pastry that doesn't demand perfection, one where an uneven edge or a burnished bump is there simply to be charming. It's the perfect ruse as it's perfectly imperfect.
This recipe uses a food processor and great directions to make pulling the pastry together a cinch. I used 5 tablespoons ice water to achieve the correct texture. It was a very warm day and though the dough wasn't sticky, I have no patience for soft pastry. I will fearlessly return misbehaving dough to the fridge at the first sign of sticking. I did this twice during rolling and transferring to the baking sheet to avoid tearing (and swearing!).
The baking time and instructions were just right. We served it at room temperature and had no problems with crumbly pastry or loose, liquidy filling. I did have a problem with the sweetness of the fruit—whoa, were my apricots puckery, almost sour. I wish I'd have doubled the sugar. Whipped cream helped with the tartness. If I'd had the sweetness right, I'd have loved it with crème fraîche. We'll have the leftovers with ice cream.
Originally published July 20, 2015