Monday, January 23, 2012

GALETTE DES ROIS AUX POMMES – APPLE MAPLE CINNAMON GALETTE

A LOVE AFFAIR


Happiness is the longing for repetition.
- Milan Kundera

Get me going and I can’t stop. Offer me a challenge or tell me you love something. Or worse (according to critics): all I need is a roaring success after having put off attempting something for fear of failure or daunted by difficulty for far too long and off I go! Just the tiniest encouragement, the most minor of successes or just one person I love to look at me and say “Oh, this is good!” with passion oozing in their voice and I only want to do one thing: make it again. And again.


Until they cry Uncle! But that’s another story.

Nothing great in the world has ever been accomplished with passion.
- Hebbel


Puff pastry had eluded me for years, from the very first moment I saw a chef pounding a square of butter with a rolling pin and enclosing it in the perfect envelope of pastry to one January to the next when each and every pâtisserie parades a glorious lineup of stunning Galette des Rois, shimmering gold surface hiding a perfect frangipane filling encased in ethereal flakey layers in which nestles a tiny fêve, the prize which renders he or she who finds this porcelain treasure king or queen for the day. But all that butter, all that effort and all that precision had me shaking in my boots. I didn’t put rolling pin to butter for years. I had overcome my macaron fears and my yeast bread anxiety so what, I asked myself, could be so terrifying, so complicated about puff pastry?


Pâte feuilletée – say it in French and somehow it sounds so sophisticated, so unattainable. No quick toss of ingredients in a bowl, whisk together in a flash, pour into a tin and pop in the oven. No, siree! No quick in, quick out and settle back to enjoy the fruits of your labor in less time than it takes to learn how to pronounce…or spell… pâte feuilletée. The wonder and charm of American baking is the rapidity and simplicity of its preparation, its ease in eating. Think muffins and brownies packed in a lunch box, stacks of cookies carried around in small hands, one-bowl cakes and quick breads. French baking, on the other hand, is known for its fiddly, complicated, time-consuming preparation making each pastry a gem, a special treat to be wrapped up in white paper, tied with a bow and carried home like a treasure, to be eaten off of delicate bone china and with grandmama’s best sterling dessert forks. American sweets are comfort food, reminders of our childhood, simple and homey. French pastry is, well, pastry. Puffs and elegant layers, ethereal mousses and delicate creams, whirls of spun sugar and perfect piping. This may all be a wild generalization, but when faced with the daunting task before me, when a huge block of sweet butter sits and gazes up at me from my tabletop, eying me up and down, daring me to proceed, well, that tin of muffins starts to look pretty darn good!

So, deep breath, one, two, and three and I pounded and I rolled, all smooth going, and folded and rolled and I sweated just a bit as butter began to ooze. So quick as a lick, in the fridge it went. Roll, fold, turn, it was easier than I had imagined. And it was such a pleasure! Sensual, smooth even slightly sexy in its soft, silky texture when caressed, its pleasant, voluptuous give when pressed, its heavenly feminine scent of fresh butter and flour. My very first homemade puff pastry, my very first home-baked Galette des Rois was applauded by all, my harshest critics, my toughest judges, my row of Frenchmen! And I was spurred on to create more! And a first batch followed a second led onto a third until I was in my rhythm and could churn out pâte feuilletée on a whim! Quiche followed Jalousie followed Galette and I was in my element! A quick back and forth with Cookie Queen Gail who shared her own recipe, slightly different than mine, and enjoyment turned into rapture! Beauty into wondrous splendor.


And out came the first much-demanded, much-expected Galette of this year to loud cheers! Kudos! Adulation! They were putty in my hands…so when I began yet another batch of puff pastry and mentioned apples – with visions of Chaussons de Pommes, French Apple Turnovers, dancing before our eyes, they bowed down to my wishes and let me have my way.

A tale of a Galette aux Pommes…. Slow and lazy, I had been promising this new Galette des Rois for days yet kept putting it off. Until he started asking. And making comments, his patience wearing thin. So I finally began. Détrempe, envelope, rolling and two folds. The following day…nothing. Well, a girl is busy! Then the third day he began hanging around the kitchen door, fork clenched between fingers. “Where is this Galette you’re supposed to be making?” he urged, a mixture of reproach and anticipation in his voice. So apples peeled, sliced, sautéed in butter, sugar, maple syrup, cinnamon… heavenly odors filled the house. Pâte Feuilletée rolled, cut, shaped, filled, baked. And a superb Galette des Rois filled with smooth, luxurious apple compote redolent of maple and cinnamon was theirs and they did enjoy it with much pleasure and glee.


Until the next batch…


GALETTE DES ROIS AUX POMMES
Puff Pastry Galette filled with Maple Cinnamon Applesauce

½ batch puff pastry (about 600 g)
egg wash (1 egg yolk mixed with 1 tsp cold water)
powdered/confectioner’s sugar

APPLE COMPOTE FILLING
You can always make more and keep the extra on hand for tasty applesauce!

4 apples, preferably Belle de Boskoop or a similar type, sweet and flavorful for applesauce
1 ½ Tbs (22 g) unsalted butter
1/8 to ¼ cup (25 to 50 grams) granulated sugar
2 to 3 Tbs maple syrup
Ground cinnamon

Peel, core and slice the apples. Melt the butter in a large skillet. Add the granulated sugar and stir until the mixture is smooth, grainy and bubbling. Add the apple slices and toss to coat; cook the apples until soft, about 5 minutes, then stir in 1 to 1 ½ tablespoons maple syrup and a dash of cinnamon, stir until well blended and continue cooking for up to about 5 minutes more, stirring often, until the apples are very soft and beginning to fall apart into a purée. Remove from the heat and purée, either with a fork or an emulsion mixer; taste and add more maple syrup and/or cinnamon as desired. Allow to cool to room temperature.


Follow the directions for rolling, cutting and chilling the puff pastry on my Galette des Rois with Pistachio-Rum Frangipane Filling post, filling with the apple compote. Seal with egg wash, crimp or scallop the edges, prepare a chimney, gently carve a design in the top, brush with egg wash and bake following the directions. The last 5 minutes of baking, dust the top of the Galette generously with powdered sugar and return to the oven, watching carefully for several minutes, turning the Galette as needed to favor even browning, until the top is a beautiful, caramelized, shiny golden brown.


Allow the Galette to cool on a cooling rack before slicing and eating.

37 comments:

a spoonful of yumm said...

looks so creamy and delish...
you have a way with words - always enjoy reading your stories

SMITH BITES said...

this is simply STUNNING Jamie . . . if we were neighbors, I'd be impatiently hanging around the kitchen, fork in hand, toes tapping, asking if I can help with the dishes, scouring a bathroom . . . ANYTHING to get a bite of this galette . . . yes, I do believe JP is nearly the luckiest man on earth . . . as I sit here this morning with a kale smoothie for breakfast I can only dream of what this masterpiece tastes like . . . sigh . . .

Rolling Pin Claire said...

Think I'd come out in a cold sweat at the idea of making puff pastry so hats off to you Jamie. Tell me honestly, is it REALLY doable?!

Jamie said...

@Rolling Pin Claire: absolutely is doable! Just read through my instructions, click over to the post with step-by-step photos and take your time. Just try and find good-quality butter that doesn't contain too much water and know that your refrigerator is your best friend: don't be afraid to wrap up and slip the dough into the fridge for 20 or 30 minutes to chill if the butter gets soft and starts to seep out of the dough.

Jamie said...

@Smith Bites: ha ha ha - yeah, a slice of this beats a kale smoothie although I could use more kale smoothies and less galette, you ask me!

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

It is splendid! Great job with the puff pastry and great to know that you have overcome your fear of it. It isn't something really difficult to make, but it is time-consuming...

Cheers,

Rosa

Bonnie said...

Just about the most beautiful creation ever. It almost makes me want to try puff pastry...almost.

bunkycooks said...

You are so talented with your desserts, Jamie! This is truly gorgeous and I so wish I could have just one slice...I may have to take on the task of puff pastry very soon!

Georgie said...

It's just a beautiful recipe and so are your stories.

Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) said...

I need to find a diet that lets me eat pastry, and when I do, this is the first thing I want to have.

dena said...

I've seen many galette recipes, but yours has the easiest directions to follow (the photos help a lot!). I have puff pastry in the freezer, but have to brave a rainstorm to pick up some apples ...

Priya said...

Wat a prefectly baked galette, looks absolutely stunning and incredible.

Lisa said...

I love your description of your foray into puff pasty, the rolling, the turns etc. I get lost when I'm making it and working with it - love it so much. You turn out a beautiful puff pastry, and this Apple Maple Cinnamon Galette is fit for Royalty! Gorgeous and undoubtedly delicious!

Dewi said...

That sounds fantastic Jamie! Puff pastry is one those pastry really fun to make once you know how to do it.

Rambling Tart said...

You inspire me, Jamie. :-) Puff pastry terrifies me - though I know not why! I can make Danish pastry with nary a tremor of anxiety. Sigh. :-) I WILL try it this year. I will!! :-)

Terra said...

I made my first Tart Aux Pommes last year, I may need to try this gorgeous treat next! I love the filling, it sounds amazing! Beautiful, Hugs, Terra

Ivy said...

Galette des Rois is one of those recipes I still have in my list to do.. Yours sounds delicious and love the pattern you have made on top.

WiseMóna said...

T'is is the most profound 'labor of love' effort Jamie. I can feel you pounding away on the pastry and the proof is in the pudding for sure. It looks delicious....you are a true artist in so many ways. Words. Baking. Photos. xx

Maureen said...

Lordy this looks good. I've wanted to try one of these for 3 years and haven't done it yet. I'm determined to make one of these and get a good sourdough starter going in 2012. So far I have accomplished neither. I still have a bit of time.

I'm in awe of your talent in the kitchen!

Lizzy said...

How stunning! Your pastry is gorgeous...I could eat a slice of this beauty for breakfast!

Jeanne said...

Oooh - gorgeous! And I love that it is filled with applesauce rather than chunks of apples. can I come to tea??

Abby said...

You know I love all your recipes but this one is truly a stunner. I can all but feel those layers shattering and melting with each bite.

Fahad Khan said...

I so much love maple syrup,Jamie!Cannot express it in words,hehe.I usually like to pour a liberal quantity on my pancakes before eating them!
Combination of crispy puff pastry and sweet,luscious maple syrup - just thinking about it is enough to make my mouth water!:-)

David @ Frenchie and the Yankee said...

This is OUTSTANDING!!! I absolutely love it. It looks incredible.

Now I'm going to be singing all day long...

"J'aime la galette, savez-vous comment?"

Alina said...

Apples and cinnamon, a perfect filling for a perfect galette!

Carolyn Jung said...

This has got to be the classiest galette ever. I mean, usually, they're so free-form and rustic. But this is a total beaut!

beti said...

that pie looks extremely delicious, I just bookmarked it, thanks for sharing!

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

I know the feeling-I was so intimidated by puff pastry before I tried it and then I fell in love with it! And filling the classic Galette des Rois with apple is just genius! ;)

shaz said...

Bravo! Bravo Jamie! Those are indeed extremely sexy layers of pastry. Your Frenchmen are so lucky :) I can just imagine the smell of this Galette, sugary and cinnamon-y, ooh la la.

Fresh Local and Best said...

Puff pastry a delight to make? I doubt I would get the same stellar result if I tried, you must be a natural. Although this post and your beautiful galette des rois makes me want to try. The cake is heavenly indeed.

Charlie said...

Your Galette des Rois - the most wonderful name - is a thing of such beauty, Jamie. I adore its sculpted lines and ruffled edges. How clever you are!

Neil | Butterfield said...

Wow! this does look absolutely delicious, nothing like pastry to take away the blues.

Nuts about food said...

There is nothing like conquering something you are afraid of, moving out of your comfort zone and being victorious. There are so many techniques I still want to tackle...you inspire me to.

Meeta K. Wolff said...

You already know what I think about this one! I so agree, once you have tasted success of creating something you never dared to do, taken that first step - well you need to keep bathing in the glory of success. SO craving a piece of this right now!

Eliana said...

You are such a great writer and photographer. Wonderful post.

EM said...

This looks amazing! I'm wondering if you could use granulated maple sugar in place of the white sugar?

Jamie said...

@EM: Yes! That would be so good! I have maple flakes and have been wonderding how to use them!

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