Today is the first day of fall and, at least in our house, it feels that way. Afternoons are still hovering somewhere in the low eighties, but the mornings are chilly and evenings are brisk. It’s also that glorious time of the year when the last of the sultry summer produce clashes with the first of the cold weather crops. There are deeply colored plums and luscious blackberries, juicy figs, crisp pears and apples, bicolored corn, brightly colored pumpkins and the last of the tomatoes. Chartreuse, mustard, orange and crimson. The shades in our farmers market haul match the burning maple trees in our yard.
Today I’ll be celebrating fall with a pumpkin donut alongside my afternoon tea while my favorite butternut squash soup bubbles away on the stove top. This weekend there will be apple cider caramels, ginger cookies, and pumpkin cake testing for Jack’s first birthday in October. If you find yourself in the mood to bake, this apple galette is an easy win. It's not overly sweet and the rye crust is a little toothsome - a nice break from the fluffy pastries of summer. In the photos, I used pink lady apples and substituted a basket of blackberries for one apple. It’s nice to do if you have those things on hand, but I’ve written the recipe for apples alone since that’s where we’re headed, and I promise it’s just as tasty. Figs or pears would also be lovely. You can also omit the sugar from the crust and it would be a good base for savory tarts like tomato or squash.
APPLE AND RYE GALETTE / makes 1 10" galette
For the pastry:
1.5 cups pastry flour
1 cup rye flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup butter, cut into 1" cubes and chilled
For the filling and assembly:
3 large baking apples, such as Granny Smith, Pink Lady, Crispin or Honeycrisp
3-4 tablespoons sugar, plus more for sprinkling
juice of 1 lemon
fresh nutmeg (optional)
To make the crust, combine both flours, sugar and salt in a large, wide bowl. Add the butter and cut it into the dry mixture with a pastry cutter, two forks, or your fingers. Working quickly so that the butter remains as cold as possible, mix until the largest pieces of butter are the size of large peas. Add in a couple tablespoons of ice water and mix, adding more water one teaspoon at a time until you can bring the mixture together with the palm of your hand. Gather the dough into a flat disk and wrap tightly with plastic wrap. Chill in the fridge for at least one hour and up to two days. You can also freeze the dough for up to a month.
Preheat your oven to 400F. To assemble the tart, remove your dough from the fridge and allow to warm up just enough so that it is malleable. In the interim, cut your apples into slices 3/8" thick (peeling is optional). Place them in a large bowl and sprinkle the sugar and lemon juice over them. Give them a few stirs and set aside.
On a piece of floured parchment paper, roll the dough into a circle approximately 15" in diameter. The edges will hang slightly off the paper. Arrange your apples in a single layer, leaving approximately 2 to 2.5 inches around the edge. Fold the edges up and over the apples. Brush with the heavy cream and sprinkle the crust with more sugar. You can also sprinkle some more over the apples if yours are especially tart. Slide your parchment with the tart onto a baking sheet and bake for 18-22 minutes, until the crust is golden brown and your fruit is starting to ooze some bubbly juices.