February 1998


Topsham, Devon February 10, 1998 "When travelling through France," writes Kim, "we can never resist stopping at the little local pâtisseries and gazing at all the beautiful fruit filled tarts in the windows. The classic galette de pommes is one of Guy and Bella's favourites. It really is very simple to make and always looks absolutely stunning. I warn you though, there will be no leftovers!"

Galette de Pommes

Pâte brisée

2 cups plain flour

1 1/2 sticks sweet butter, cut into small cubes and kept very cold

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon castor sugar

1/2 cup chiled water


About 1/3 cup good quality apricot jam (the best you can buy!), strained and mixed with a good splosh of Calvados

Apple filling

6 large crisp apples, such as Cox's Orange Pippins

1/4 stick sweet butter, cut into small pieces

1/3 cup granulated sugar

Combine all the ingredients together for the dough. Do not work it too well as you want to still see pieces of the butter dotted throughout. Refrigerate for at least an hour. Roll out the pastry very thinly, it should only be about 1/8 inch thick. I usually roll it out onto a round baking tray about 12 inches in diameter, but you can use a rectangular one just as well.

Core the apples and slice them into very thin slices, less than a 1/4 inch thick. Overlap them in diagonal rows. Leave a border of pastry of about an inch or so surrounding the apples and fold this back onto the overlapping apples. This wants to look quite rustic and not too neat. Dot with the butter and dust with the sugar. Bake in a pre-heated oven at 400 degrees for about 75 minutes. Don't panic if the apples look like they are burning and the pastry looks too toasted, it tastes much better when it.s really crunchy.

When the galette has cooled for a few minutes brush on the apricot glaze. Spread it on quite thickly but be careful not to disturb the apple layers. I usually serve it on a flat wicker basket lined with a red and white chequered napkin for a rustic French look.

Cut into large slices and eat at room temperature with crème fraîche or clotted cream. Best eaten with the fingers!

Wine Note: This galette, crunchy and sweet, is wonderful partnered with a zingy sweet wine from the Loire, such as Côteaux du Layon or Quarts de Chaume, the honeyed sweet botrytis character from a good year marrying well, the green apple freshness and acidity of Chenin Blanc bringing out the flavour of the fresh English eating apples.

Copyright © Marc Millon 2000


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