This apple galette, dotted with cranberries, is a perfect, easy dessert for tonight. Instructions include making an easy pie crust for the galette.Jump to Recipe
I never tire of apple galettes, and make them all fall and winter. And really, what’s not to like?
They have the same buttery, flakey crust as its popular cousin, apple pie, without all the fuss of fitting it into a pie plate and crimping the edges. And there’s never any of that blind-baking-with-pie-weights nonsense. The filling is exactly the same, although not with as many layers as some of the sky high pies I’ve seen.
And I argue, the apple galette is the more enticing of the two, with its rustic look. It’s certainly the easiest.
What is a Galette?
A galette is a rolled out pie crust that wraps around a bundle of fruit or savory filling in a formless, but generally round shape. The crust doesn’t wrap completely over the filling, but rather forms a frame around it. It’s baked directly on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
In summer I make berry galettes, usually filled with blueberries. And I’ve made savory butternut squash galettes in autumn. But my favorite is a simple apple galette. And from Thanksgiving to Christmas, I add some cranberries to the mix.
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Why is Cornstarch Added to the Crust?
Adding cornstarch to the crust, is entirely optional, but I recommend it if you have some on hand. Cornstarch reduces the gluten, and promotes a flaky and tender crust. By the way, this is exactly what vinegar does, when added to pie crust ingredients. These days, I use both.
How to Roll out Pie Crust
Check out this post with step-by-step photos for making and rolling out pie crust. It includes tips for working with the curst when transferring it to a tart pan, but you won’t need any of that for this recipe.
The big secret for me is to always roll out pie crust sandwiched between wax paper, especially with a buttery dough. Here are some of the advantages:
1 – It uses less flour since you don’t have to worry about it sticking to your workspace. This means a flakier crust.
2 – It’s easier to work with since it won’t stick to the rolling pin, and flips super-easily.
3 – If it gets too warm, just toss it in the refrigerator still sandwiched between wax paper. You’ll know it’s getting a little too warm when you peel back the wax paper between flips.
4 – The rolling goes much faster, and you typically need less rolling. Rolling promotes gluten development, so less rolling means a more tender crust.
5 – It transfers to a baking sheet, pie plate or tart pan much more easily.
The only disadvantage is that you’re constrained to the width of the wax paper.
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I use both cornstarch and vinegar for a tender crust, but you can feel free to eliminate either of these or both without changing anything else.
I use 2 different kinds of apples to give the galette more complexity of flavor and texture, but you can use just one kind of apple. Make sure it’s an apple that’s best for baking. And don’t use a Granny Smith (green) apple, as it’s too tart for this recipe.
Both fresh and frozen cranberries work in this recipe.
Weigh the flour using kitchen scales for a more exact measurement.
Both a food processor and pastry blender work well for making the crust. The food processor is much faster, but it’s easier to over-work the dough and should only be used with the Pulse function.
Add only 2 tablespoons of the ice water to start. If the dough is still crumbly and not pulling together into a dough, add more ice water, but only 1 teaspoon at a time.
I don’t peel the apples, as you can see in the photo, but feel free to take that extra step if you prefer the skin removed.
Arrange the apple slices any way you like. I personally prefer a more rustic look with the slices in disarray.
Apple Galette with Cranberries
Apple Galette Filling
- 5 apples, cored and thinly sliced (I used Honeycrisp and Pink Lady)
- 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt (pinch of table salt)
- 1/4 cup cranberries (I used frozen cranberries)
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup apricot jam
- 1 tablespoon Calvados Apple Brandy (or rum)
Galette Crust and Assembly
- Pro-Tip: It's important not to pulse the butter too much. Keeping it in the size of peas or a little smaller allows for a flaky crust.
- Add the vinegar and 2 tablespoons of ice water, and pulse until the dough begins to come together. Add a little more ice water if needed.
- Dump the dough and remaining flour onto a workspace, such as a counter. Using the palm of your hand, smear the dough away from you in a single motion, over the loose flour that was left in the bowl of the food processor. Fold the dough back over itself, and repeat 2 more times. The flour should all be incorporated into the dough. This smearing action is called fraisage, and creates layers of butter, which creates a flaky crust.
- Pat the dough into a round disk shape, wrap in wax paper and chill in the refrigerator while you prep the apples.
- Preheat the oven to 400˚F and adjust your racks so you can bake the galette in the middle of the oven.
- Remove the dough from the refrigerator, and sandwich the dough between 2 sheets of wax paper. Roll out the pie crust to about 13 – 14 inches in diameter. Don't worry if it's not a perfect circle – galettes are rustic by design. Peel off the wax paper and reapply at intervals to allow the dough to move more freely between the wax paper layers when rolled. I do this every time I flip the dough over.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Peel back one layer of wax paper, and transfer the dough to the baking sheet. Peel back the other layer of wax paper.
- Place the Apple Galette Filling in the center of the dough, and spread gently with your fingertips, leaving a 3-inch border of dough all around. Fold the dough up over the Apple Filling, in pleats as necessary.
- Bake for 50 – 60 minutes. The galette crust should be lightly browned and the apples tender.
- Remove from the oven, and leave the galette on the baking sheet for 10 minutes before moving it to a cooling rack. There will be some cranberry juice on the bottom of the baking sheet. When ready to transfer the galette, tilt the baking sheet up at an angle, and gently pull on the parchment paper to slide the galette onto the cooling rack. It's important to pull it in one clean motion so it doesn't get hung up on the edge of the baking pan.
- Using a small pastry brush, baste the top of the galette with the Galette Glaze. The apples, when baked can look a little dry, and caramelized on some edges. The Glaze makes the top of the galette glisten.
Apple Galette Filling
- Toss together all of the Apple Galette Filling ingredients in a large bowl. Note: I don't peel my apples – for a more rustic look, but feel free to do so.
- Warm the butter and apricot jam in a small pot on the stove or in a small bowl in the microwave oven. Stir in the Calvados.
- Pro-Tip: For a less rustic look, strain the warmed jam and butter through a small strainer. This removes the small clumps of apricot in the jam, resulting in a very smooth glaze. Then stir in only 1 teaspoon of Calvados.