I grew up where apple trees abound. The fall harvest of apples played a significant role in my famiglia’s fall weekends.
Apple pie is one of the quintessential foods in America that truly represents it well. I, however, did not eat or make apple pie until later in life. For the most part, it did not appear at our holiday or family gatherings. In Italia, there are many apple cakes (torta di mele) recipes that I was accustomed to preparing and eating.
Mammina Loreta loved to make simple whole baked Granny Smith apples (skins on, tops cut off) that she slow roasted in her oven with some honey, sugar and cinnamon (and a touch of butter, if desired.)
I would eat these sweet and tart treats with their insides all warm and gooey so quickly they never had time to cool. They are wonderful and I prepare them still in apple season to share with famiglia and friends.
I prefer recipes for a more French rustic apple galette with less crust and more apple filling. I visually love the appeal of a rustic galette, a quick easy-to-prepare seasonal treat for a weekday or weekend evening.
Traditionally, my apple galette recipe is made with pasta frolla, a classic Italian shortbread which can be made sweet or savory for use in many recipes and dishes. You can choose to make pasta frolla for this apple galette if you prefer.
I am now researching gluten-free dough recipes since personally dealing with possible thyroid issues that have been with me for about three years (undetected until now, of course.)
I dove into reading about the thyroid and it’s functions and talking to famiglia and friends, I found that gluten can be a major issue for most systems, especially with those of us affected by thyroid issues.
This was a challenge as I have not previously worked with gluten-free baking products so I visited Whole Foods where the store experts were very helpful along with many hours of internet research for articles on gluten-free dough recipes and alternative products.
The result is my newly crafted gluten-free galette dough with a very crumbly texture (almost like graham cracker crumbs) with ground hazelnuts and pecans. I also found gluten-free flours do not have the same sticky property as gluten-based flours so, if you prefer, you can try adding some tapioca flour or xanthan gum to this dough as I am told this will help baked products keep both their texture and shape.
I actually really like the way the finished crust crumbles as you cut it, it reminded me of an apple crisp or simply a very messy but delicious fruit tart.
eLet me know your thoughts on this new recipe. Any gluten-free baking advice, comments or links to articles are greatly appreciated as I continue down this path of learning and adventures in personal health and alternative healthier food choices.
galette di mela con crosta senza glutine:
gluten free crust
1 cup gluten-free flour (I used Arrowhead Mills all-purpose baking mix)
1/3 cup finely ground unroasted hazelnuts
1/3 cup finely ground unroasted pecans
4 tbsp. ice-cold water (fill cup with fresh water and ice cubes)
6-8 tbsp. cold unsalted butter (cut into small cubes)
2 tbsp. unbleached raw organic sugar
1 tbsp. dark brown sugar
In a food processor bowl, add the gluten-free flour and the ground nuts and blend well until combined. Add the two sugars and blend. Drop in the cold cut up butter cubes and pulse until mixture forms looks mealy and forms small pieces. Slowly add the ice water and continue to pulse until dough comes together into a ball.
Roll the dough up into a flatten circle; wrap with cellophane and place in refrigerator for one hour to chill.
4 large Granny Smith apples (washed, peeled and sliced in small sections)
Note: This variety of apple is perfect for baking as they are tart & sweet and keep a soft, slightly firm texture.
1/2 fresh lemon
1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/2 to 3/4 tsp. ground cardamom
2 tbsp. unbleached raw organic sugar
1 tbsp. dark brown sugar
1 – 1 1/2 tsp. raw organic local honey
Once you peeled, cored and sliced the apples, place them in a large bowl and squeeze some fresh lemon juice on them and mix to coat well (this prevents browning and retains their flavor.)
Add in the spices and sugars and mix well until all slices are coated evenly. Add the honey and mix evenly to coat well. Set aside covered with plastic wrap.
Remove the crust dough from the refrigerator and place a large sheet of parchment on the counter and dust with some of the gluten-free flour.
Flour a rolling-pin and begin to gently roll the dough out on to the parchment. This dough will crumble and break very easily, roll and patch areas as you go until you get the desired thickness (about 1/4 inch or so.)
Place the parchment with the rolled dough on to a large baking sheet and trim the parchment paper to fit.
Place the apple slice mixture into the middle of the dough, leaving a good 2 -2 1/2 inches all the way around. Arrange the apple slices evenly and slowly lift the parchment to fold the dough up and over the apple slices (you can patch sections as needed.)
Note: I found this lovely image for Red Delicious apple rosettes so I recreated them (a few to top my galette) and I was very impressed how pretty and simple they were.
Slice a washed Red Delicious apple (skin on with a mandoline slicer; please use extreme caution as the blades are super sharp. I always use the protective food item holder, NEVER bare-handed.)
Once you have thin slices, place on a plate and microwave for about 45 seconds to one minute; remove and cool slightly. Curl the softened strips around each other to form little rosettes (be sure the red skin side is up.)
I love this idea as I wholeheartedly believe food should not only taste wonderful but be visually stunning too. This is a great way to visually surprise your famiglia and friends when serving this apple galette or your favorite holiday apple pie.
Once the dough is completely folded into the slices, brush the edges of the dough with water or egg white wash and sprinkle generously with more raw sugar.
Place in a preheated 385 degree fahrenheit oven on the middle rack. Cover the top loosely with foil; let bake for about 45 minutes or so.
Remove the foil and continue to bake for 10-15 minutes, or until apples are soft and tender. Remove from oven and let cool before cutting into the finished galette. Serve warm or chilled, follow your personal preference.
Note: Remember this crust results in a very crumbly texture so do not worry if it falls apart upon cutting to serve. Me and my famiglia rather enjoyed digging in to this galette right on it’s baking tray and eating this lovely sweet treat and messing it up as we went.
Note: Photography provided by Annette L. Venditti