Title: This Tasty Life
Author: Mary Desjean
From: Mira Mesa
Blogging since: 2006
Post Title: Salted Caramel Apple Galette with Pink Pearl and Cortland Heirloom Apples
Post Date: October 10, 2012
Fall makes me think of things like falling leaves and pumpkins and warm soups and apples. Apples! Sure, we can get apples year round, but we don’t always get apples like these. I was recently given a few apples from Frieda’s Produce Company: the Pink Pearl and the Cortland. Pink Pearls were developed in the 1940s by a Northern California breeder, while the Cortland was developed at the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station in Geneva in 1898. The Pink Pearl has pink overtones within the flesh of the apple. It’s got a slightly tart taste, not like “Granny Smith OMG tart,” but a bit more mild, with a touch of sweetness. The Cortland is very white and crisp and much sweeter than its counterpart. These unique heirloom apples will be available at local Sprouts stores starting October 17th, so you can get some of these beautiful apples for yourself!
I decided to take these apples to produce a salted caramel apple galette. Want to go on an apple galette-making journey with me? Of course you do!
First things first…we need salted caramel sauce. You could just cheat and buy a jar of sauce; they make a wonderful one at Trader Joe’s. But I was feeling rather down in the dumps, and I wanted to do something therapeutic, like baking and making caramel sauce from scratch.
Caramel sauce is actually quite easy. Sugar and water into a pan, set it to simmer. And don’t touch it! No stirring! Okay, maybe I swirl it around a little…but that’s just to see how amber it’s getting. You can definitely see when it’s starting to get amber. It also starts to smoke just a little and smells a little burnt. This is about the time to move it away from the stove. Have your heavy cream and vanilla at the ready for this next step. Once you take it off the heat, you want to slowly pour in the heavy cream. If you don’t do it slowly, you get a big old clump. But if you do get a clump, you can remedy it: just put the pan over low heat until the clump dissolves — but keep stirring! Stir, stir, and stir some more! Stir until your arm feels like it might come out of its socket. And don’t turn up the heat too high — just enough so you can melt that sugar again and get it smooth.
I added a big pinchful of fleur de sel, patted myself on the back, and poured it into a lovely container to set up to room temperature. Then I proceeded to lick the spoon and get every last drop out of the pan.
Time to start on the apples! Peel and cut. Add the juice of one lemon (I used a Meyer lemon from our tree) and the zest of said lemon, too. In goes your sugar and spices and little cubes of butter. Mix until kind of goopy and weird looking.
A galette is pretty much just like a “free form” pie or tart. Since I cheated and used a Trader Joe’s crust (seriously, you guys, they are the best for lazy crust makers), I just rolled it out onto the pan. Make sure your crust is pliable so it all stays together; otherwise, all the caramel oozes out.
Take your lucscious caramel sauce and pour some in the middle. If you get any on your fingers…well then I guess you’re just going to have to eat it. No sense in wasting sauce. Pile those lovely apples on top. You can get all fancy and arrange them…which I started to do, then, well…yeah. I stopped. Piling seemed faster. And…more caramel sauce. God, why not? Then you pull up the edges of the crust and tuck them over the apples. I didn’t do a very good job of preventing rips and tears. You’ll do better than me, won’t you?
Beat up one egg and brush it over the edges of the crust. Sprinkle with vanilla sugar (if you have it!) or plain old white sugar for a pretty, pretty crust. Bake at 350 degrees for about 40 minutes, or until a devilish golden brown. And then have a slice. And put more salted caramel sauce on top…God, that stuff is so good.
[Full recipe online. Post edited for length.]