What’s not to love about a personal apple pie?
After baking Bobbette & Belle’s blueberry hand pies, I fell in love with the idea of individually sized pastries. I don’t like making cakes because I find it’s too much of a good thing – I far prefer cupcakes, which are easier to share. Same goes with pies: making an entire pie seems like such a commitment (who wants pie for dessert… again… for the fifth night in a row), but mini pies? Sign me up.
To be fair, these aren’t mini apple pies – they’re galettes, which are basically a flat pie. (Cedric called them toaster strudels.) They consist of two components: the galette pastry and the apple filling.
The galette uses a standard pastry recipe and, as I’ve come to love with Bobbette & Belle’s recipes, the ingredients can easily be found in any generic store. In fact, you probably have most of them on hand already – this recipe uses all purpose flour rather than pastry flour, for instance.
Though the recipe calls for cutting in the butter with a pastry cutter, I used my hands (as I always do with pastry). The butter cutting is pretty short and sweet, so the damage from the heat of my hand is pretty minimal.
When it comes to handling pastry, less is more. The recipe states, “Turn the dough out onto a work surface and form a disc by pushing it together a few times.” My disc was awfully crumbly (see photo), so I sprinkled an extra tablespoon of ice water (in addition to the 1/4 cup used in the recipe) and it did just the trick to make everything come together in a slightly more solid form. The dough was still a little shaggy as I folded the pastry into thirds, but I used my bench scraper to keep the dough more or less gathered and it seems to have worked out alright.
I don’t own a six-inch round cutter (or a six-inch plate, as the book suggests as an alternate), but I printed out a six-inch round template and used the cut-out as a stencil. It worked just fine.
Though the recipe indicates it makes 5 individual galettes, I had enough dough to cut 8 rounds of pastry – and I didn’t even roll it out all that thin. I had extra scraps, so I freestyled a few festive leaves (viva la fall!)
As for the filling, I stuck with the suggested Granny Smith apples, which aren’t terribly exciting but they do the trick. If I were to make these again, I’d probably mix up a few different varieties of pie-friendly apples. I used five apples instead of four, but I kept the rest of the ingredients the same.
The recipe calls for heating some butter, sugar, flour, cinnamon, and salt. This forms a caramel-like sauce, in which the apples are cooked for just a few minutes. The smell and texture are phenomenal – think caramel apples in a pan. Yum.
Even with 8 galettes, I had plenty of apple filling to go around. I probably overstuffed them a little, which made it slightly finicky to fold the sides up, but galettes kind of have a rustic, imperfect look that is very forgiving. I was slightly concerned that the apple filling would ooze out and create a smoky mess in my oven, but that didn’t happen.
I sprinkled each galette with some chopped pecans, topped each with a couple of my pastry leaves, and gave the crusts a little egg wash, then into the oven they went. As I now do with all of my B&B recipes, I gave the galettes extra time in the oven – the book recommends 25-30 minutes, whereas I kept mine in for 45 minutes. (I checked in on them every 5 or so minutes after the first 30 minutes had elapsed. Truth be told, I probably could have kept them in a minute or two longer, but ah well.)
After sampling a galette to ensure it was edible (it was), I stacked them in a tupperware with parchment paper between each layer and stored them overnight. We had a couple of friends over the next day, and I heated them up in the oven and served them with my favourite vanilla gelato, the Whistler-made KO Vanilla by Lucia Gelato.
The final product was delicious and perfectly presentable (not pictured: a scoop of gelato melting on top of the galette – YUM). The galettes make for a great autumn dessert. They’re a nice twist on traditional apple pie. Thanks, Bobbette & Belle, for another Magee-approved recipe!
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