Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Apple Tartalets





There are certain deserts that I have in my back-pocket, which are universally loved and easy to make.  The Apple Galletes are always a crowd pleasers, but most importantly they make good use of my frozen puff pastry.  Remember, the one that took three days to make and made me question my sanity?  If not, here is the Puff Pastry post http://infooditrust.blogspot.com/2010/10/dough-adventures-puff-pastry.html.
After all that back-breaking labor of rolling and turning dough, you need something easy and almost instantly gratifying.
An apple gallete was one of the first deserts that I made all by myself, without consulting a recipe.    I was trying to imitate a gallete I ate at a neighborhood patisserie.  Although I have been happily making these for a very long time, I never quite got the texture of the dough right when using the store bought puff pastry.   The homemade version did the trick.

Ingredients:

2 sheets of frozen puff pastry thawed in the refrigerator overnight. 
4 or 5 Granny Smith or other tart apples
¼ cup of freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tbs of apple butter ( optional)
1 tsp of cinnamon
1 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
2 tbs sugar
4 oz of butter chilled
1 egg
2 tbs of apple jelly or peach preserves.
1 tbs of water

Preheat the oven to 400F.  Roll out the dough to ¼ inch thickness and cut out the rounds for the bottom of the galletes.  I never acquired and dough cutting tools so I use two types of wine glasses for these, one slightly larger than the first.  Now cut out the gallete sides by cutting out a circle the same size as the bottom and than using a smaller shape to create the edges.  Your “edge” should be about ½ to 1 inch thick.  Set both bottoms and edges aside.

Now cut out the gallete sides by cutting out a circle the same size as the bottom and than using a smaller shape to create the edges.  Your “edge” should be about ½ to 1 inch thick.  Set both bottoms and edges aside.


Core and peel and quarter the apples.  Slice into very thin wedges and immediately toss with the lemon juice, sugar and spices.



Brush the bottom of ach gallete with a little bit of the apple butter (this is optional, but I find that it adds moisture and a little bit of extra sweetness without adding more fat).
Arrange the apple slices so they overlap and place the dough ‘edge’ on top, so that the apple edges are tucked inside the dough.
Brush the dough of the galletes with and egg-wash.  Cut the butter into small cubes and place a single cube in the center of each gallete.
Bake at 400F for the first 7 min, than reduce to oven temperature to 350F and bake additional 10 to 12 min.


Now think about what makes the pastries in the bakery window look different from anything you bake at home.  Got it?  No?  It is the pretty shine, the sticky glaze that covers all commercially produced baked goods and makes them look so good….  Here is the home version, not quite as shiny but also not as much trouble as making the real glaze.

When the galletes are almost ready, thin out the apple jelly or peach preserves with 1 tbs of water and heat in a microwave for about 20 seconds.  While the galletes are still hot, brush the glaze onto the galletes with a pastry brush.  Cool on the cooling rack and try not to eat them all at once, these are addictive!



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