This can pack some visual and flavorful punch. I was interested from the moment I saw it on Food52 (Apple Galette with Tahini Frangipane and Honey Hibiscus Glaze). I didn’t know what a frangipane was at the time (it’s a butter-sugar-egg-almond filling), but a look at the ingredient list and my curiosity was piqued. If you decide to make this, set aside more time than you think you’ll need. While nothing about this dish is particularly difficult, there are a lot of steps to follow (especially if you’re making your own dough). For your first go, give yourself around 3.5 hours from start to enjoyment.
You’ll need a dough base to work with. I went with the one recommended in the original recipe, the “no-stress super flaky pie crust.” My only substitution was sea salt in place of kosher salt. The dough came together quickly and easily. Be cautious if you’re working in a warm room, though. You’ll want to keep it cold as you manipulate it, otherwise the butter in the dough melts and will start to stick to you (and your work surface). If this happens, pop the dough in the fridge for 15 minutes or so to cool it down. This is part of the reason the recipe may take time; if you (like me) are not particularly well-versed in shaping dough by hand, you may spend a lot of time waiting for your butter to stop melting. You’ll want to make sure you roll it out to a size slightly larger than your baking pan, as you’ll be folding it up over the apple filling as a kind of border.
I wasn’t aware a galette could be anything but a savory crepe. This recipe taught me the word can be used “to designate various types of flat, round, or freeform crusty cakes,” (according to Wikipedia). I suppose this recipe could be considered a “freeform crusty cake.” Or perhaps “open-faced pie” is a better description. People who ate my rendition expressed enthusiastic thanks for the “apple pie.” I suppose the name isn’t really all that important, especially given that there’s so much rule-bending going on here. I’m sticking with apple galette, given the flaky crustiness resulting from the fantastic (butter-riddled) dough.
Wikipedia also teaches us that frangipane typically refers to a sweet filling made with almonds. Here, our “frangipane” is made with tahini (sesame). This means the filler is rich, creamy, and slightly nutty. It gives incredible depth to this dessert. It seems quite a versatile component; one could theoretically keep a batch of this on hand for spreading on toast in the morning. While sugar is required, the result is not sickly sweet. I am tempted to try to work this into other desserts as well.
The original recipe called for a hibiscus glaze, but frankly I just couldn’t be bothered to track down hibiscus flowers solely for this dessert (pleasant as it sounds). Instead, I used some darjeeling tea liqueur I had in the house. I used the same liqueur to make biscotti (recipe here) earlier in the year, and found that it had a mild but grown-up tang to it. I liked it with the glaze here; its flavor paired well with apple. Last thing to note before you give this one a go: don’t forget to drop your oven temperature when you put your masterpiece in the oven.
This one will certainly require some time and attention, but in the end you’ll have something beautiful and amazingly delicious. My first batch disappeared at work with incredible speed. Depending on how big you make your cuts after the whole thing cools down, you can easily get 24 large pieces out of one pan (42 cm x 29 cm).
RECIPE: APPLE GALETTE WITH SWEET TAHINI FILLING WITH HONEY DARJEELING LIQUEUR GLAZE
Ingredients (tahini filling)
1/2 cup tahini
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
4 tbsp unsalted butter, soft
1 pinch salt
Steps (tahini filling)
1. With an electric mixer (hand mixer worked fine for me), beat the tahini for about 5 minutes (until it thickens slightly).
2. Gradually add sugar, beating to mix thoroughly. Stop occasionally to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Beat until the sugar is no longer visible.
3. Add the butter piece by piece, mixing. Add egg and salt. Combine everything well.
1 batch of pie dough (I used this recipe, as recommended)
6 large apples (I used Fuji; note that this created several layers of apple pieces; you can use fewer apples if you don’t mind so much filler)
2/3 cup sugar
1 egg, beaten
For Honey & Darjeeling Liqueur Glaze:
1 cup reserved apple peels
1 tbsp Darjeeling Liqueur
1/2 cup honey
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp sugar
1 pinch salt.
1. Make your dough (unless using something pre-made). I used a 42 cm x 29 cm (16 in x 11 in) pan for this recipe; roll your dough out to a rectangle just larger than the pan you’ll be using, line your pan with parchment paper, and place the dough on the pan.
2. Spread the tahini filling over the dough, leaving a small border. Put the whole pan in the fridge while you prepare the apples.
3. Peel all of the apples. Quarter them and remove the cores. Thinly slice.
4. Take the pan out of the fridge and arrange your apples on top of the tahini filling. The original recipe suggests using them as “bundles” but I found there were far too many slices to make a nice presentation this way. Instead, I separated the slices and made a few layers of apples, with “bunches” only on the top layer. Fold the edges of the dough over the apples, creating a dough border.
5. Heat the oven to 260 C (500 F). Keep the pan in the refrigerator as the oven heats. When the oven reaches temperature, remove the pan from the refrigerator. Brush the beaten egg over the dough border. Then sprinkle your desired amount of sugar over the whole tart.
6. Put the pan in the oven and immediately drop the temperature to 200 C (400 F). Bake 45 minutes (or until the crust is golden-brown). rotating the pan once halfway through baking.
7. While the galette bakes, make the glaze. Put the apple peels and the Darjeeling liqueur into a saucepan with 2 cups of water. Simmer until the peels go limp. Strain this through a sieve. Return the liquid to the pot. Add the honey, lemon juice, sugar, and salt. Bring to a simmer. Reduce to desired consistency, stirring often with a rubber spatula. This will take about 20 minutes.
8. Allow galette to cool for 10-15 minutes, then brush the top with the glaze. Enjoy!