Apple Galette

Time2 hours, plus 3 1/2 hours unattended
YieldsServes 6
Caramelized apple compote and large wedges of fresh apple combine over buttery pastry for this elegant French dessert.
(Katrina Frederick / For The Times)
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Two forms of apples — a sweet, caramelized compote and soft whole wedges — make up this simple, fragrant galette. The tartness of Granny Smith apples in the compote balances the sweet apples and buttery pastry dough wonderfully. Fuyuko Kondo’s pastry dough can be made and rolled up to two days ahead of time, which makes assembling the galette a breeze.

For the pastry dough:
For the apple compote:
For the apple topping:

Using a box grater, grate the cold butter onto a sheet of parchment paper, then let it chill in the freezer for 5 minutes. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour and salt. Add the butter, and use your fingers to pinch and rub it into the flour repeatedly until pea-size crumbles form. Pour in the water, and use a fork to toss the butter-flour mixture until it’s evenly moistened and comes together in a shaggy mound.


Scrape the crumbly mass onto a clean work surface and pat gently until it forms a solid piece of dough. Flatten the dough into a 1/2-inch-thick disk, patting the edges to smooth them. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.


Place the disk on a floured work surface and use a rolling pin to flatten it into a 12-inch circle. Using a ruler or plate, trim the dough to form a smooth 11-inch circle. Place the circle on a sheet of parchment paper on a rimmed baking sheet and cover with another sheet of parchment paper. Refrigerate until ready to use, up to 2 days.


Meanwhile, make the apple compote: In a medium bowl, add the apples, 3 tablespoons sugar, the lemon juice, vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg and stir to combine. Let macerate for 15 minutes, stirring every few minutes, to allow juices to come out of the apples.


Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the apples to the saucepan; reserve their juices in the bowl. Cover the pan and cook the apples, stirring every 2 minutes, until all their juices evaporate and the apples are tender, about 6 minutes. Uncover the apples, add 1/2 tablespoon sugar, and cook, stirring, until the sugar dissolves and is absorbed, 1 minute. Repeat this three more times, adding another 1/2 tablespoon sugar each time and cooking for 1 minute after each addition. Finally, add the reserved juices from the bowl and continue cooking until the syrup absorbs into the apples and the sauce is smooth, about 30 seconds more. Transfer the compote to a bowl and let cool. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until cold, at least 1 hour.


Prepare the apples for the topping: Peel and quarter the apples, then remove their cores. Cut each quarter into 4 smaller wedges. Transfer the apple wedges to a large bowl and add the sugar and lemon juice. Let macerate, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes.


Remove the rolled pastry from the refrigerator and remove the top sheet of parchment. Spoon the apple compote in the center of the pastry circle, and use an offset spatula to spread it evenly over the pastry, leaving a 1 1/2-inch border around the edge. Arrange the macerated apple wedges in a neat row on the outer edge of the apple compote, leaving the center open. Fold the edge of the pastry over the apples to form a border (about 6 folds), then fill in the center of the galette with any remaining macerated apple wedges. Place a sheet of plastic wrap over the whole galette and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to overnight.


Heat the oven to 450 degrees. Remove the chilled galette from the fridge and brush the folded edges with cream. Brush the apple wedges with melted butter, then sprinkle the turbinado sugar over the apples and pastry edge. Bake the galette, rotating once halfway through cooking, until the edges are deep golden brown, the apples are tender and singed at the upper edges and the pastry is fully crisp on the bottom, 30 minutes.


Remove the galette from the oven and transfer to a wire rack. Let cool for at least 15 minutes before serving.

Make Ahead:
Store the baked and cooled galette in the refrigerator for up to two days. Reheat in a 350-degree oven for 15 minutes.