Some recipe concepts take me years to develop. From testing ingredients, proportions, baking temperatures. It really is a science. But sometimes a new concept just comes to me. Such was the case with this apple galette recipe.
About a week ago, I was in bed thinking about an apple galette. (Yes, I am constantly thinking about pastry products.) Specifically, how can I make it a little sexier than just cut up apples and sugar held together by a pie dough?
I wanted the apples to look more like, well, apples, rather than covered in cinnamon and brown sugar. And I wanted to incorporate an oatmeal flavor. And why do pie doughs always taste the same? Why can’t I toss in some flavor to spice up my apple galette?
It all came to me in a matter of moments: Layer the flavors.
I worked from the dough up. The only traditional dough I have seen with spices in the dough is a Linzer Tart. It seems weird to me that I do not see more tart/pie doughs with more flavor. So, I spiced up my apple galette dough, taking the spices I usually use in an apple pie and instead tossing them into the dough. Cinnamon, allspice and nutmeg — makes a delish dough that is unexpected but happily welcomed.
Next, I wanted something more in this galette than just the apples. In culinary school, I learned about almond cream, a standard in French pastry often used in tarts such as a Tarte Bourdaloue (pear almond tart). It is basically almond flour creamed with butter, sugar and eggs and placed on top of the tart dough, under the pears. The Tarte Bourdaloue is my favorite of the French traditional tarts. But, since I’m one to break with tradition, I took that concept and adapted it to oatmeal for this recipe. Hence, the birth of oatmeal cream.
Because I have the spices in the dough and a touch of cinnamon and brown sugar in the oatmeal cream, I did not want to overload the apples with too much additional flavor. I thought vanilla would add a level of flavor without taking away from the apples and that using actual vanilla seeds would look very pretty!
A bite of just the apples is hearing the wind section, and a bite of just the oatmeal cream is hearing the string section, and a bite of just the dough is hearing the percussion section. But a bite that includes all three elements is a true symphony.
You could absolutely make this recipe as one regular size galette. I broke it down to two medium size galettes (each serving four people) just to keep it interesting. For a family of four, have a galette one night and save the other for another night. If having guests, it looks fancy to pull out two galettes and share them with everyone. Why not show off a bit?
As I did with my Blueberry Galette, I am providing you with three methods to make the pâte brisée (the dough):
I recommend this way. While you can use the food processor or mixer (I often use either of those), you have more control over the dough doing it by hand. You also get a feel for how the dough should, well, feel. More importantly, there are no parts to clean up — just a bowl.
If using the food processor, it is best to cut up your butter, then place it back in the freezer so that you can add it to the food processor while it is frozen. While using the food processor is very simple, you need to be careful not to overmix the dough, as the dough forms very quickly. You also need to be careful not to add too much water.
This is how I learned to make a pâte brisée in culinary school. While using a mixer keeps your hands clean, for this one recipe, it seems a little silly to crank up the mixer. If clean hands are more important to you, make sure to watch the mixture carefully so you do not overmix the flour and the butter and so you do not overhydrate the dough.
This has just become one of my all time favorite recipes. I hope you enjoy it too!
For a video tutorial on how to make the pâte brisée, please visit the saved video in my Instagram profile.
Apple Oatmeal Galettes
- 210 g. all-purpose flour (1¾ cups)
- 32 g. sugar (2 tbsp. plus 2 tsp.)
- ½ tsp. cinnamon
- ⅛ tsp. allspice
- pinch nutmeg
- ½ tsp. salt
- 113 g. refrigerator cold unsalted butter, cut into ¼ inch pieces (8 tbsp.; if mixing in a food processor, place your cut up butter in the freezer for at least 15 minutes before using)
- 3-4 tbsp. ice water
- 83 g. unsalted butter, at room temperature (6 tbsp.)
- 83 g. light brown sugar (½ cup plus 2 tbsp. plus 1 tsp.)
- ½ tsp. cinnamon
- 83 g. old fashioned oatmeal ground in blender or food processor (¾ cup plus 2 tbsp. measured before grinding)
- 1 large egg
- 13 g. all purpose flour (1 tbsp. plus 2 tsp.)
- 13 g. cornstarch (1 tbsp. plus 2 tsp.)
- 1 pound apples (about 3 apples, halved, cored and sliced thin)
- 1½ tbsp. sugar
- ½ vanilla bean (split and scraped)
- ¾ tsp. clear gel or cornstarch
- Dough by hand. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg and salt. Add all the butter. Using your hands, toss the butter to coat each piece with the flour mixture. Pinch the pieces of butter to flatten them a bit. Keep working the mixture for a couple of minutes until the mixture resembles coarse sand with most of the clumps of butter the size of peas and some larger pieces the size of walnuts. Make a well in the middle. Add 2 tbps. of ice cold water. Using your hands, scoop the flour from the sides and the bottoms towards the water to hydrate the flour. If the mixture is too dry, create another well in the middle and add an additional tbsp. of ice cold water. Repeat if necessary. You know you are done when a clump of dough flattened in your palm is smooth. Pour half of the mixture onto a sheet of plastic wrap. Push down on the plastic wrap to flatten the dough together into a disc, making it as circular as you can. Repeat with other half of dough. Place the wrapped doughs in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes and up to 24 hours. Continue with Step 4, below.
- Dough by Food Processor. Combine all the dry ingredients in a food processor and pulse several times. Add all of the frozen butter. Pulse until the mixture resembles coarse sand with most of the clumps of butter the size of peas and some larger pieces the size of walnuts. Add 3 tbsp. ice cold water and pulse a few times to combine. If the mixture is too dry, add more of the ice cold water a couple tsps. at a time. You should not need more than 4 tsp. more. You know you are done when a clump of dough flattened in your palm is smooth. Pour half of the mixture onto a sheet of plastic wrap. Push down on the plastic wrap to flatten the dough together into a disc, making it as circular as you can. Repeat with other half of dough. Place the wrapped doughs in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes and up to 24 hours. Continue with Step 4, below.
- Dough by Mixer. Combine all dry ingredients in a mixer bowl fitted with the paddle attachment and mix on low until combined. Add the refrigerator cold butter and mix until the mixture resembles coarse sand with most of the clumps of butter the size of peas and some larger pieces the size of walnuts. With the mixer on low, slowly add 2 tbsp. of ice cold water. If the mixture is too dry, add up to another 2 tbsp. of ice cold water, a couple tsps. at a time. You know you are done when a clump of dough flattened in your palm is smooth. Pour half of the mixture onto a sheet of plastic wrap. Push down on the plastic wrap to flatten the dough together into a disc, making it as circular as you can. Repeat with other half of dough. Place the wrapped doughs in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes and up to 24 hours.
- Remove one of the dough discs from the refrigerator and place on a sheet of parchment paper. Place a second piece of parchment paper on top of the dough. With a rolling pin, roll the dough out so that it is a circle (or circle-ish), approximately 10 inches in diameter. (If the dough cracks when you first start rolling, let it sit on the counter for a couple minutes. It just means the dough is too cold. Join any broken edges together with your fingers.) Cover the dough with the second piece of parchment and slide the parchment package of dough onto a cookie sheet or baking pan. Repeat with the second disc of dough. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Prepare Oatmeal Cream: In a mixing bowl with the paddle attachment, cream the butter, brown sugar, cinnamon and oatmeal until light and fluffy, stopping the mixer a couple of times to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the egg, thoroughly incorporating. Add the flour and cornstarch and mix just to combine. If not making just before assembling the galettes, cover in plastic wrap or an air tight container and store in refrigerator until ready to assemble. (When you remove it from the refrigerator, you may need to mix it so that it is light and fluffy.)
- Prepare Apple Filling: In a bowl, mix the sugar, clear jel (or cornstarch), and vanilla seeds. Add apples and toss to combine.
- Preheat the oven to 400°F.
- Gently remove the top sheet of parchment from one of the doughs. Flip the dough onto that sheet, and gently remove the other piece of parchment. (This just helps prevent the dough from sticking to the parchment as you work with it.)
- Spread half of the oatmeal cream (about 155 g.) into the center of the dough, leaving a 1 to 2 inch border around the circle. Place coated apples in a decorative pattern on top of the oatmeal cream. Fold the border towards the center so that they are covering approximately the edges of the apple mixture.
- Repeat steps 8 and 9 with second galette. Refrigerate the prepared galettes for at least 20 minutes. (Or place in freezer for 10 minutes.)
- Brush the pastry with milk or cream. Sprinkle a coarse or regular granulated sugar on top of the pastry.
- Bake for 45-50 minutes. The galettes are done when the top borders are golden brown. Allow to cool completely for cleaner cutting. (It is also delicious served warm, especially with some cinnamon ice cream.)
- Keeping the apple skins on creates a pretty galette with the different colors in the peels. However, the peels add a chewier texture. You can certainly peel your apples and arrange them in a similar manner or cut into small cubes and toss them on top of the oatmeal cream. Galettes are rustic so any design looks great.
- It is important to keep the dough cold at all times so that you prevent gluten development in the flour. This will result in a flakier dough.
- For the oatmeal cream, I do not recommend quick oats. It is best to use old fashioned.
- The galette will stay fresh for at least several days covered in plastic wrap stored in the refrigerator. It is equally delish cold.