I’m back from Italy, mostly recovered from jet lag, and ready for football season and tailgate parties!! If you’ve never tailgated, you’ve missed an opportunity to go tribal, American style.
Tailgating is a ritual repeated every September as fans come together in asphalt parking lots across the country a few hours before kickoff. They pile out of station wagons, SUVs, and hatchbacks to set up mini-living rooms behind their cars, complete with folding chairs, tables, grills, and makeshift bars. The air is suddenly thick with the smell of ribs, burgers, and brats cooking. Sometimes, generations of families set up ‘house’ in the same area of the parking lot year after year, forming neighborhoods as they share food – sometimes bartering a couple of chicken legs for some wine, and swap stories.
I can’t help but wonder if this is was what it was like to be part of a tribe thousands of years ago. People wearing similar colors to identify themselves as part of a common group, some wearing crazy outfits like huge blocks of cheese on their heads, bonding over memories of past battles (football games). (Okay, maybe not the blocks of cheese, but you get my point.)
I know. I can hear some of you saying “Geez, Susan, it’s just a football party.” But as someone who understands almost nothing about football, I say tailgating is less about football than it is a type of community building that personifies American culture. It’s part carnival, part festival, part ritual, part family reunion, part tribal, and completely about people coming together over food, a six-pack of beer, hot cider, or a bottle of wine. Gallo wine.
Just in time for football season, Gallo Family Vineyards is introducing these great little mini bottles of their wines, perfect for any tailgating party, whether it’s in a stadium parking lot or the comfort of your own home. If you need some help finding your closest store, use their handy store locator. It will steer you to the right place. The Gallo folks will also steer you right with tons of ideas for any kind of celebration ranging from recommendations on wine to food to entertaining, so be sure to follow them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube!
I confess, I’m more prone to tailgating at home these days in our living room, and chose to bring a finger food form of apple pie to our party at #SundaySupper this week because both tailgating and apple pies are classic American traditions. And finger food is perfect for any festive occasion with lots of people. This apple pie is a cross between a galette and crostini that you can make ahead and throw into the cooler before heading to the car. It pairs perfectly with Gallo’s Moscato.
Double Crusted Apple Pie Galette
- 13 ounces all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1/4 tsp baking powder
- 2 sticks unsalted butter sliced into 1 Tbsp pats, well-chilled
- 6 ounces cream cheese well-chilled
- 3 Tbsp ice water
- 3 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 Tbsp melted butter
- Turbinado sugar
- 1 1/2 Tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 1/2 Tbsp honey
- 3 apples peeled, cored and finely chopped (about 4 cups)
- 1/4 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp ground cardamom
- 1/4 tsp ground allspice
- 1/2 tsp lemon juice
- 1/4 cup golden raisins
- 2 Tbsp cream cheese
- Note: I use a food processor to make my pie and galette crusts. If you choose to do the same, the biggest thing to remember is to not over-process, as this toughens the crust when baked.
- Combine the flour, salt, and baking powder in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Give it a whirl to disperse the baking powder and salt through the flour.
- Add the butter and cream cheese all at once. Pulse a bunch of times until the butter is pea-sized.
- Add the ice water and vinegar all at once and pulse until it starts to pull together as a dough. This should only take 8 - 10 pulses. It won't be a solid dough yet.
- Spill it out onto a lightly floured countertop and smear the dough 3 times using the heel of your hand. Divide into four equal pieces, and shape into four disks. Wrap in wax paper and chill for at least 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 400˚F, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Roll out each disk of dough between two pieces of wax paper. If the disks become sticky from the butter or cream cheese, sprinkle a little flour on top of the dough and replace the wax paper. Place two disks on the parchment paper lined baking sheet, and spread 1 cup of Filling (recipe below) on each of them. Cover them with the other disks, pinch the edges together to form a seal, and gently fold the edges up. Cut a few slits on the edges of the galettes to allow steam to be released during cooking.
- Carve a pattern with a sharp knife on the tops of the galettes if you want, and then baste them with butter and sprinkle a little turbinado raw sugar on top.
- Bake for 20 - 25 minutes, or until the crusts are well-browned. Allow to cool slightly before slicing.
- Melt the butter and honey together in a heavy bottomed pot over medium heat, and add the apples, salt and spices, lemon juice, and raisins. Sauté until the apples are softened, about 20 minutes. Pour into a bowl, stir in the cream cheese until melted, and chill for 30 minutes.