Thursday, September 1, 2011

Apple Galettes with Frangipane

We are the proud owners of an espaliered apple tree which has thrilled us this year by bearing fruit for the very first time! Golden Delicious apples to be exact. Ten of them, the little darlings. We have nurtured them all summer, and the time arrived to harvest them before they became over ripe. The obvious dish to prepare was a sweet, buttery flaky Tarte au Pomme. However, I wanted to make individual Apple Galettes like I used to enjoy at Le Bistingo on Queen Street West, a wonderful French bistro run by Chef-Owner Claude Bouillet in the 90s. Le Bistingo had an exemplary kitchen, but their signature dessert was their Apple Galette, which was made to order and arrived hot, sweet and delicious from the kitchen, at the end of the meal.

Inspired with this memory, I sought out a recipe for
Apple Galette that would honour my apples and the sumptuous Bistingo Galettes from my youth. This fabulous recipe for Apple Galette with Frangipane is absolutely outstanding! Using frangipane, a fragrant almond cream, as the base for galettes, provides a lovely sweet pillow for the thin slices of lightly sweetened apples to nestle. Sprinkled with some sugar and cinnamon, the pastry is brushed with egg and cream and the galettes are baked for less than half and hour. The results were fabulous — better than I could have hoped. Light, flaky, sweet and delicious, this recipe for Apple Galettes with Frangipane is now one of my new signature desserts, and what was even more special was, they were created with my own little darlings!

Apple Galettes with Frangipane
Serves 4

1 package puff pastry dough, defrosted

flour for dusting

2 apples
1 tbsp lemon juice

1 tbsp sugar

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1 egg yolk

1 tsp cream

4 tbsp unsalted butter
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1 tbsp all-purpose flour
1/2 cup slivered almonds, ground in a food processor
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp almond extract
pinch salt
1 tbsp cream

For the frangipane, cream the butter and sugar with an electric mixer. Add in egg, and mix until incorporated. Add in the ground almonds, extracts, salt, and cream. Mix well. Mixture should be light and creamy.

For the pastry, lightly dust the working surface with flour. Unwrap the puff pastry dough and lay flat. Use a rolling pin to flatten it out to about 10"x12". Using a small upturned bowl or mug as "cookie cutters", make four round disks of puff pastry. Place them on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Refrigerate.

Peel the 2 apples, cut them into quarters, and with a paring knife, remove seeds and stems. Place them in a large bowl of water with lemon juice. This will stop the apples form browning. Pull each apple quarter from the water and cut into very thin slices. Return slices to lemon water and set aside.

Preheat oven to 400°F. Take the pastry disks out of the refrigerator, and using a fork, make several marks in the centre. Spread 2 tablespoons of frangipane on the center of each disk, leaving a half inch border around the edges.

With a paper towel, dry off a few apple slices at a time and place decoratively on top of the frangipane, on each pastry round. Mix cinnamon and sugar in a small bowl and set aside. Mix the egg yolk and cream in a small bowl and set aside. Remove the pastries from the refrigerator, and sprinkle the apple slices with the cinnamon-sugar mixture. Brush the edges of the pastry dough with the egg wash, then bake for 15-20 minutes, until the apples are tender and the pastry is puffed and golden brown.

Remove to a wire rack to cool or serve while while warm with a scoop of vanilla or butter pecan ice cream.