Big on wow, small on ow.

I used to be a professional baker, but my presentation could definitely use some work. Most of the things I make are delicious, but they’re…well, we’ll call them “rustic” in appearance. Most people are surprised to learn I can’t decorate a cake to save my life. Not really even in a quaint, “that looks homemade” sort of way. I’ll typically make cupcakes (anyone can pipe icing from a bag!), or slap together a sheet cake if I’m just craving cake myself and will just be serving it at home.

I had a casual little dinner for my bridesmaids recently, and while I’m very comfortable with all of them and know that I don’t need to impress them, I wanted to serve something nice. Plus, I always feel a little bit of (self-imposed) pressure whenever I serve any kind of baked good. I actually saw this recipe for an apple galette with sour cherries, almonds, and goat cheese on one of Giada DeLaurentiis’ cooking shows, and it looked amazing, so I decided I’d serve it for dessert at my get together.

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As it happened, I ended up running out of time and plopping down some Oreo Thins instead, because I’m me and that’s what happens when you’re me. By the way, those Oreo Thins are kind of the bomb. You can eat like 100 of them and not worry because they’re Oreo THINS (duh), and the filling is perfectly proportionate to the cookie! Way to go, Oreo. Way to go.

Anyway…I ended up making the galette for dessert for just Jeff and me the other night, and it was FREAKING DELICIOUS. But my original point was, it uses frozen puff pastry so it’s super simple to make, and it’s beautiful and looks (and sounds! and tastes!!) super fancy so you can make your friends think you’re Julia Child instead of Elaine Benes. Except why wouldn’t you want people to think you’re Elaine Benes? What’s wrong with you?

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Apple Galette with Goat Cheese, Sour Cherry, and Almond Topping

(Just barely) adapted from foodnetwork.com

  • 2 TBS unsalted butter
  • 3 large apples, peeled, halved, cored, and cut into 6.5 inch wedges
  • 1/8 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp cornstarch
  • The juice from 1/2 lemon
  • 1 8 oz sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed
  • All-purpose flour, for sprinkling
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 4 oz package goat cheese (I used pre-crumbled)
  • 1/3 cup sliced almonds, toasted
  • 1/3 cup tart dried cherries (I found mine at Trader Joe’s)

Pre-heat oven to 375. Melt your butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the apples and sprinkle with the salt; sauté until almost tender (about 10 minutes). Remove the skillet from the heat. Whisk together the sugar, spices and cornstarch; sprinkle over the warm apples and toss to combine. Squeeze lemon juice over the mixture and give it another toss. Set aside.

On a large sheet of parchment paper, sprinkle a little flour and unfold the puff pastry. Roll the puff pastry to a 12-inch square, lifting and turning to get an even thickness. Once rolled, cut off the corners with a rounded cut, so that you have a 12-inch circle. Brush the circle all over with the beaten egg, and dump the apple mixture into the center, leaving about a 2 inch border. Fold the border up and partially over the apple filling, pleating the pasty every here and there. You can be as precise or as rustic as to want here, but I think the easier you make it, the better it looks. Brush the folded-up border with the egg wash.

Slide the galette onto a heavy baking sheet and bake for 30-35 minutes. While the galette is baking, mix together the goat cheese, cherries and almonds. Keep refrigerated while the galette finishes baking.

Remove the galette from the oven and sprinkle the topping evenly over the exposed part of the filling. Pop it back in the oven for about 5 minutes, just to soften the cheese and the cherries. Cool until just cooled enough so that you don’t singe the roof of your mouth (or don’t, you wild animal). I was going to serve this with a dollop of creme fraiche with a little honey mixed in at my get-together, but since it was just me and Jeff I just served it with some vanilla ice cream. I regret nothing (although creme fraiche is delicious on literally anything).

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