The first time I experienced Autumn in Connecticut I remember thinking how magical Nature is, and how blessed I was to be here. I still feel the same. Grateful.
The colors, the light. The multicolored leaves bursting with golds, reds, oranges.
It is a a special time of the year. It is spectacular, and takes my breath away.
When we got back home, Brady baked his traditional apple pie.
The sweet and tart aroma of fresh baked pie mixed nicely with brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg filled our home with a cozy, warm scent, as always.
"Will you make it again?" I asked him. So he did, and soon afterwards I baked my first apple galette.
What is a galette? Well, I asked that myself and found out that basically a galette is a free-form pastry baked without the stability of a pie pan or a tart ring.
In a few words, a galette is a rustic pastry with hand-folded edges, virtually formless hence so easy and quick to make.
At the beauttiful orchard we visited, we found apples and pumpkins galore, we picked a variety of apples that later turned into pies, cider, galettes, or we just had them as they come, delicious and healthy sweetness.
In Litchfield county, it seems there are farms at the corner of every back road, places where we can go pick our own produce, buy raw milk, goat cheese, fresh eggs direclty from the farmers, or sign up for cooking classes, wine tasting, horsebacking riding.
As we drive along the roads we are spellbound by gorgeous-looking horses, curious-face sheep, lots of cows, cute donkeys, chicken and roosters running freely, and it's hard to remember we are just a couple of hours from New York City.
There are many reasons why fruits and vegetables should be eaten in season, but the basic reason to me it's because when they taste their best, and if you want an easy, straightforward apple dessert, this is the perfect recipe.
You can use a pie crust of your choice, of course. You can even use a good store bought one, if you prefer.
Makes about 4 servings
1 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp sugar
1/8 tsp salt
6 tbsp cold butter, diced
4 tbsp cold water
4 apples - peeled, cored, and thinly sliced (save peel and cores) I used pink lady apples
juice of 1 lemon
2 tsp cinnamon
3 tbsp brown sugar
1 cup water
drops of vanilla, to taste
Mix together the flour, sugar and salt. Add the diced butter and work the dough with your hands until it becomes crumbly and slightly tacky. Add the water and mix until it's smooth but not completely smooth. It should have a crumbly texture.
Wrap dough in plastic film and refrigerate for about 30 minutes, or until easy to handle.
In a bowl, toss the apples with lemon juice and cinnamon.
In a saucepan, combine apple cores and peels, add sugar, water, vanilla. Simmer for a few minutes until color turns into a caramel color, and hints of sweetness fills the room.
Remove peels and cores.
Pour the syrup over the apples tossing them.
Preheat oven to 375F.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper
On a slightly floured surface place refrigerated dough and let it rest for about 5 minutes.
Roll it out into a circle, and carefully transfer dough to the baking sheet
Overlap the apple slices in the middle of the dough from about 2 inches from the edge
Fold the dough edges over the filling, leaving the center uncovered.
Sprinkle brown sugar and cinnamon over the apples and dough edge.
Bake for about 45 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown. Slide tart, using the parchment paper, onto a wire rack.
Once cooked, let the galette cool to room temperature. You can have it plain, or with cream or ice cream.