At the beginning of each season I swear that season one is my favorite….until the next one comes along. In December I’m all bring on the hot chocolate and sugar cookies. This is my favorite season ever! And in March I’m like roll on green peas, new potatoes, asparagus and baby carrots by the dozen. This is my favorite season ever! Then in June I start salivating thinking about heirloom tomatoes, margaritas and outdoor dining. But fall, the fall really is my favorite season. I love slow roasted meats and vegetables. Red wine. Stews. And just about anything with apples and pumpkins.
So I count down the days until McIntosh and Empire apples are available in grocery stores and farmers markets. Well, I don’t count them down but the people selling and stocking apples count down the days until the crazy lady stops coming in and asking for only McIntosh or Empire apples and no she won’t take Honey Crisps, we tried that one already…
The reason I’m sweating everyone for those apples is that one of my all-time favorite things to make is Apple Galette and it should only be made with one or two varieties of apples that are available in early fall. It isn’t the same with Gala, Pink Lady or Braeburn so don’t waste your time. It is everything I love about Apple Pie — apples, dough, sugar and cinnamon but without the gooey bottom of the pie crust or the stuff falling out when you cut a slice. Plus, I don’t know why, but this pie crust holds up about a thousand times better than the pie crusts I usually make.
It is also a total crowd pleaser. They can be made in advance and set out on cutting trays in the middle of the table for a dinner party or neighborhood Halloween party (and that gives me an idea…). They can also be made the day before serving and put in the oven at 200 degrees for about 20 minutes to get them nice and warm again when you are ready for them. That makes them great for dinner parties!
So yes, this is one of the many reasons why fall is definitely my favorite season.
Until next season, of course.
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 2 1/2 tablespoons white sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, cold, diced
- 2 tablespoons ice water
- 3 large apples (McIntosh or Empire)
- 1/2 teaspoon grated orange zest
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- 1/4 cup flour
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1/2 stick (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter
- Put the flour, salt and sugar in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Pulse a few times to blend. Add the butter pieces by sprinkling around the entire bowl. Pulse about 20 times until the butter is about the size of small peas. Turn the food processor to "ON" and then add the ice water through the tube. Return to pulsing again and pulse until the pastry comes together but don't overblend.
- Place onto a well-floured surface and form into a disk about 4" side. Refrigerate for at least an hour.
- Preheat the oven to 400°F.
- Peel the apples and cut into quarters, then in thirds. So each apple should yield 12 pieces. Place them in a large bowl and toss them with the lemon juice and orange zest. Set aside.
- Combine the flour, sugar, salt, cinnamon and allspice in a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Pulse a few times, then add the butter pieces. Pulse until the mixture is crumbly -- about 15 times. Pour it into a bowl and rub the pieces with your fingers until it starts to hold together.
- Remove the dough from the refrigerator and let stand for 5 minutes. Roll it onto a floured surface or a silpat sheet. Roll it into a 12"circle. Add the apples in the middle leaving a 2-inch border. Gently fold th eedges of the dough over the apples, pleating loosely.
- Sprinkle the crumble mixture over the apples.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes until the crust is golden and the apples are tender. Allow to cool. Serve warm or at room temperature.
- Make the crumble topping first to avoid having to wash the food processor twice.