Monday, March 25, 2013

Apple Galette


Monday Monday, can't trust that day,
Monday Monday, sometimes it just turns out that way 
Oh Monday morning, you gave me no warning of what was to be 
The Mamas and The Papas 

Collapse. Breakdown. A harrowing experience one wishes not to live twice, but alas, in these modern times of technological necessity and dependence, one must always be prepared, expect the unexpected, embrace the unwelcome. Computer meltdown. One day we are insouciant, nonchalantly logging on, casually logging off, pulling up documents at will, loading photos without restraint and baring our soul, exposing every intimate detail of our private life on a plethora of social media platforms morning, noon and night. Connected. The next day…nothing. Blackness greets us when we sit down at our desk in the early hours of the morning, steaming mug of café au lait within easy reach, dishwasher humming smoothly in the background. Complete and horrid meltdown. And it happened to me.

Monday Monday, you gave me no warning. Smooth, white plastic lid lifted, tiny button pressed, a flash of light, a hint of that funny image of pink flamingos stalking across the bottom of my desktop and then utter blackness. And sheer, blessed panic. I feared his reaction, although I must approach him. I braced myself for his accusations of how I misuse my machine, how I do not think of the necessary upkeep, maintenance and care of my little box. How I treat it with the disdain of one who takes too much for granted. Yet, yet…at the same time I knew this would be a challenge for him, a distraction. He calmly suggested I call the Mac Shop and I did. Once they opened (this is, after all, France, and one can never make the assumption that a shop is ever open), he accompanied me down there and, after explaining the problem, we were led to believe that all hope was lost. Or at the very least cost us an arm and a leg (or, as the French so elegantly put it: “Les yeux de la tête, the eyes from our head.”)

Husband has never been one to accept anything at face value or to give in and give up. And with the cost of a new laptop hovering menacingly over our heads, he was determined to solve the mystery and figure out what the true problem was. I, on the other hand, had a mounting feeling of impending disaster. Disappearing from social media, not able to blog, my projects left hanging in midair and being reduced to the miniscule keyboard on my iphone for answering emails. He pushed me out of the way, plugged in my laptop onto what looked like life support and I wandered off and slumped into the armchair, fingers desperately clutching my iphone, in front of the tv.

And don’t the darnedest things just happen at the darnedest times? I felt the vibration of a text coming through, glanced at the tiny screen and saw it was from son. His friend had just contacted him letting him know that she was selling her Macbook. Coincidence? Providence? Divine intervention? Laptop was soon in our hands and hooked up to my own. Enough cords to look like Frankenstein’s experiment flooded the tabletop and the surrounding floor and all we were praying for was a lightening storm. The mystical operation of transferring life – all of my files – from one machine to the other commenced! I know when I should simply walk away, leave well enough alone and let him at it. From the kitchen I heard the banging start. Banging and pounding on my laptop with the shrieks of Yes! Yes! I see it! Yes! There it is! I got it! He had magically made my screen reappear long enough to connect and begin the transfer of data and files by simply pounding on the keyboard with all of his might. Humph to technology. The cavemen had it right all along. A good solid pounding solves so many problems.

But you know nothing is ever that simple, don’t you? He worked at it all day, all afternoon and well into the evening. Once or twice he toyed with the idea of throwing in the towel and just giving up – which, if you know him as well as I do then you can understand and appreciate the intensity and near-impossibility, the desperation of the situation if he of all people was on the edge of giving up. These robotic little beasties have a life of their own, teasing, mocking, threatening, sending messages like “Access forbidden” or “You have no authorization to open this screen” or “Stay away from this damn computer it ain’t yours”. Lots more screaming ensued. Yelling, cursing, jumping around à la Rumpelstiltskin…

All’s well that ends well. One solid day, fierce determination, relentless doggedness and an intense stick-to-it-ness and he finally succeeded. Arms raised, fists punching the air to the glorious sounds of “Yessssss!” and there was distinct cause for celebration. The laptop is not yet officially mine, my own laptop has not yet gone to the shop, but – heaving a heavy sigh of relief - I am now functional once again. And I may have even scored Photoshop.

I haven’t baked for several days but JP certainly deserved a reward. As I was recounting the tale to my friend Renee, she suggested that maybe JP needed an apple pie or….galette. And I knew she was right. Nothing is homier, more calming and comforting after such a trying, stressful day, nothing says I love you more than a fruit pie warm from the oven, redolent of cinnamon. And a galette is even better. Not to forget that apple is his favorite filling in any baked good. I mentioned to JP, now stretched out on the sofa, wallowing in self-satisfaction, that I wanted to make an apple galette for him and he responded: “Only if you don’t say it is for me. Make an apple galette for all of us!

I made some alterations to my favorite Sweet Pastry Pie Crust by adding a handful of finely ground almonds (a wonderful companion to apple) and replaced the egg with water for a firmer texture. I piled on the apples, as I know they have a tendency to shrink a bit – and who doesn’t want a mouthful of sweet apples in every bite? - tossed them in a bit of flour to thicken the juices, added just enough cinnamon and nutmeg and Bob’s your uncle. It flew together effortlessly, baked up a dream. The crust held the apples and juices in while remaining so tender. And the filling is perfection in every way. A perfect reward, a perfect treat. 


For the Sweet Almond Pastry Crust:
1 ¼ cups flour
¼ cup sugar
½ cup finely ground almonds
7 Tbs unsalted butter, cool
3 – 5 Tbs cold water

For the Apple Galette Filling:
3 apples, peeled, cored and cubed (I actually used 3 ½ a mix of Royal Gala & Golden)
1 ½ Tbs flour
2 - 3 Tbs sugar
Scant ½ tsp ground cinnamon
Dash ground nutmeg

Cream for brushing the pastry; sugar (I used granulated brown) for dusting crust

Prepare the Pastry Crust:

Place the flour, sugar and ground almonds in a mixing bowl and stir to combine. Add the butter in cubes; toss to coat the cubes. Using only your thumbs and fingertips, rub the butter into the dry ingredients until the consistency of damp sand and all of the butter has been incorporated. Using a fork, vigorously stir in 3 tablespoons of the cold water; adding the remaining water a tablespoon at a time until all of the dry ingredients are damp and pull together into a ball. Scrape the dough out onto a floured work surface and knead briefly and gently, adding a bit of flour if necessary, until the dough is smooth and no longer sticky. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate to chill while preparing the filling.

Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C). Line a baking sheet with a sheet of parchment paper.

Prepare the Apple Filling:

Peel and core the apples and cut into cubes. Place the apple cubes in a bowl and toss with the flour, sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. 

Prepare the Galette:

Remove the Sweet Pastry Crust from the refrigerator and discard the plastic wrap. Place the ball of dough on a floured work surface and gently roll out into a 12-inch diameter circle. Carefully roll the dough around the rolling pin and transfer to the parchment-lined baking sheet. Pile the prepared apple cubes in the center of the pastry circle and spread out to distribute evenly, leaving about 2 - 3 inches of dough free all around the outside edge of the circle, enough to lift up as a border to hold the apples in place.

Begin lifting the edge of the circle of dough up and place against the apples. Lifting the dough up about 3 inches at a time and moving around the galette, the dough “flaps” will overlap. Brush the folds of dough where they overlap with a little of the cream and “glue” down, pressing in place gently. Continue all around the galette. Brush the crust all over with cream and dust with sugar. 

Bake the galette in the preheated oven for about an hour or until the crust is a nice golden brown and the filling is bubbly. Remove from the oven to a cooling rack and allow to cool before slicing and serving.

This is a fabulous treat as is for breakfast, brunch or snack. Add ice cream, a good Salted Butter Caramel Sauce or whipped cream for a wonderful dessert.


Jill Colonna said...

Jamie, I'm sure there are so many of us who, alas, can identify with your techie frustrations. Thank goodness you found a solution and what a comforting, sweet way to relax with this apple galette, drizzled with the caramel.

Sita said...

Jamie, I have thoroughly enjoyed reading your skirmishes with the computer. In our home too, the apple galette, seems to be the "go to"thank you , i love you, sorry, treat ! Cant wait to try your recipe and the salted caramel sauce :)Sita

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

I I hate it when computes crash down and you are left helpless. Technology can be quite stressful and limiting... Anyway, thankfully you are back and kicking!

This galette is extremely tempting! Apples are fantastic and so versatile.



Amanda said...

Oh Jamie - I feel your pain. Your story brought back to me vivid memories of a Sunday morning about 6 years ago, in my pre-Mac days. I was in the laundry with my head in the washing machine when I heard my youngest daughters voice saying "Mum, why is the computer screen all blue?"
Horror - all lost. Everything.
As we speak, my eldest daughter's Macbook is in the hands of a magician who is slowly clawing it back from the edge of oblivion.
For a price.

Judy@Savoring Today said...

This looks amazingly good, there is just something about the simple goodness of apples in a tender crust. Add caramel and it is magical.

Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) said...

Big sigh of relief, and the universe is put to rights again. And there is dessert, too!

Elizabeth said...

Yay! I love to hear David and Goliath stories. I especially love it when David postpones the date of the planned obsolescence. Ha! Take that MacBehemoth!

And then there's pie too? How wonderful.

I particularly like the idea of adding a bit of ground almond to the crust. How clever.

Paula @ Vintage Kitchen said...

What a relief! It´s the silent dark shadow of technological progress. He deserved two apple galettes! The caramel sauce is perfect.

Karen (Back Road Journal) said...

Happy that it appears you conquered your technology problems. I'm looking forward to making you gallette with the almond crust. I have an apple orchard and this sounds like a wonderful way of using some this fall.

Barb | Creative Culinary said...

I've been there and it wasn't that long ago but with no JP to rely on, just me, myself and I. But I've wised up over the years; all of my data is backed up online and when the day came that I needed it...what a huge, amazing relief it was to just hit import and have all of it there; worth every single penny I pay for the service!

Not only did I do the work myself Jamie but no one made me an amazing apple galette with salted caramel sauce; what am I doing wrong?!! :)

Lizzy (Good Things) said...

It's apple season here... so your recipe is perfect ; )

bellini said...

We love or we hate the dependance we have on our technology. Life was so much less stressful when we took up a pen and paper:D

David @ Frenchie and the Yankee said...

Your photos are delightful. I totally empathize.

Liz Berg said...

I finally broke down and got a new computer this January due to fears of the same thing happening to me. Yikes...we rely on these things so much...and my computer guru has flown the coop! Love, love your apple galette...and your caramel sauce looks exquisite. Nothing beats that combo...

Kiran @ said...

Technology fails sometimes, and that's a reminder of how much we are dependent on it. My blog host was down today, so I can totally relate to your frustrations. Hope this delicious galette offered some solace :D

Maureen said...

My husband is a geek but hardward problems drive him nuts. He's a member of the club that says if you can't fix it in 5 minutes, get a bigger hammer.

I'm glad you're back and I'd have made him this galette too. It reminds me of the kind my grandmother made when I was a little girl.

Nuts about food said...

Poor Jamie, what a nightmare! Thank goodness for coincidence, JP and apple galette (and your beautiful photos)!

Lora said...

I think we all live in terror of the black screen. Wonderful that he was able to restore everything. He sounds as stubborn as my husband when it comes to not giving up on solving a problem. That delicious looking galette surely made it all worth it.

Meeta K. Wolff said...

What can I say ... I share your fear! My notebook is on the verge of dying too and I am still looking for a new one that has everything I want LOL! Obviously such a machine does not exist! But I think for now I will settle with that galette and fret about a new computer another day.

lisa is cooking said...

This galette looks like a fabulous reward! The caramel sauce alone would be a nice reward, but those apples look delicious nestled in the crust. May the technology gremlins leave you alone for a while now!

Terra said...

I just got myself caught back up on your blog, I was so behind. BTW- I need you to teach me how to make macarons, your macs are beyond gorgeous! Your galette looks so hearty and delicious! Beautiful, Hugs, Terra

Esther said...

Hi Jamie, I have just made this with apples from my mum's apple tree and my two friends absolutely loved it. I have featured it on my teeny tiny blog about delights: I provided references of course. Thank you very much for this delicious recipe. Esther

Mary Ann at classic•casual•home said...

That galette would sooth many a woe. I want to make this tonight.

Mary Ann at classic•casual•home said...

That galette would sooth many a woe. I want to make this tonight.


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