Elegantly simple and beautifully rustic, these mini caramel apple galettes are the perfectly petite alternative to a typical apple pie.
The season for pies is upon us. Pumpkin pie, apple pie, blueberry pie– I suspect I’ll see handmade varieties of all three (and then some) around my grandmother’s table for Thanksgiving next month, and I’m looking forward to it, though not quite as much as I’m looking forward to the company.
And while I love these classics and everything they stand for –togetherness, tradition, festivity, family,–I’ve never been a huge pie person, usually opting for other desserts (preferably of the chocolate variety) when given the opportunity.
But, when I discovered galettes, everything somehow changed. My perspective shifted, and while I still often pass on the pie, I have something of an addiction for their cousin–these small, single-serving-sized fruit filled galettes.
Perhaps it’s because I decided to make them miniature, and I have such an affinity for mini desserts.
Perhaps it’s because of their high crust-to-filling ratio, (I adore their buttery, flaky crust).
Perhaps it’s because they’re so forgiving in their assembly–beautiful in their rustic imperfections.
If you haven’t encountered galettes before you should know that they are, very simply, free-form pies of French origins. They are not difficult to make (easier than a regular apple pie) with a crust made of 6 basic ingredients processed in a food processor. There’s also much less pressure when making galettes than there is when making a pie–with galettes there’s no need to fuss over making things look pretty–their beauty lies in the rustic unevenness of a hand-folded crust.
The filling I chose for these particular galettes is one of well-caramelized apples, drenched and infused with a sticky sweet homemade caramel sauce. The excess caramel sauce is then brushed over the crust and sprinkled with turbinado sugar (or just regular granulated sugar, if you’re lacking), for a caramelized, candied flavor in every bite.
I also chose to spread chocolate-hazelnut Nutella over the base for a subtle flavor enhancement to the galettes, and it pairs wonderfully with the soft, caramelized apples. You can omit this if you don’t happen to have any Nutella stowed away in your cabinet, but I recommend including it as it lends a richer, nutty flavor to the galettes.
If you’re looking for something slightly different to grace your family table this Fall season, I highly recommend trying out these galettes. They go wonderfully with generously portioned scoops of vanilla ice cream and heavy-handed drizzles of caramel sauce, as well.
- 12 Tbsp unsalted sweet cream butter cold
- 2 Cups all-purpose flour
- 2 Tbsp cornstarch
- 1 tsp granulated sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 6 Tbsp cold water
- 4-5 large apples peeled and sliced thin
- 1 cup brown sugar tightly packed
- 1/3 cup heavy cream
- 5 Tbsp butter cut into Tbsp-sized pieces
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/3 cup Nutella optional
- Turbinado or granulated sugar for sprinkling
- Cut butter into small pieces and set aside.
- In food processor pulse together flour, cornstarch, sugar and salt.
- Add butter and pulse until mixture forms fine crumbs
- Add water, about 1 Tbsp at a time until dough begins to cling together (you may need an additional Tbsp or 2 of water).
- Pour crumby dough onto parchment paper and press together using the palm of your hand (flattening the crumbs and pressing together). Fold dough over onto itself and then repeat the process of flattening the dough with the palm of your hand (this helps create a flakier crust).
- Divide into 8 equal-sized pieces (about 1/4 cup each), roll each into a ball, and tightly wrap with clear wrap.
- Transfer to refrigerator and refrigerate for at least one hour.
- Preheat oven to 400F
- (if galette crust has been refrigerated for longer than one hour, you may need to let the dough sit at room temperature for 10 minutes before it can be easily rolled out).
- In skillet, combine brown sugar, heavy cream, and butter over low heat. Stir until butter is completely melted.
- Add apples, increase heat to medium-high. Stir constantly until mixture begins to boil and apples are tender.
- Remove from heat, stirring occasionally for 5 minutes while mixture cools. After 5 minutes, stir in vanilla and salt.
- Allow mixture to cool while you prepare galette crust.
- Line a large cookie sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
- On a clean, lightly floured surface using a lightly floured rolling pin, roll each ball of galette dough into approximately a 6" circle. Transfer to prepared cookie sheet and spread 2 tsp Nutella in center of crust up to 1/2" from edges.
- Using a slotted spoon, pile 1/3-1/2 cup apples onto center of crust.
- Gently fold over edges to form containing crust (about 1-inch).
- Repeat with remaining crust and apples.
- Gently brush crusts with the excess caramelized mixture that the apples were cooked in.
- Sprinkle crust and filling generously with turbinado sugar.
- Bake on 400F for 25-30 minutes.
- Allow to cool slightly before serving. Serve with vanilla ice cream drizzled with caramel sauce, if desired.
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