Tuesday, September 21, 2010

On Fancy French Words Like Julienne and Gallette

Before this week's Culinary Foundations class, we were all tasked with slicing one entire pound of planks for making julienned carrots. Never before did I know that to julienne doesn't just mean to cut something into thin square-ish slices, it means to cut something into a thin square slice that measures one-eighth inch by one-eighth inch by two inches. What I want still don't know is when it is absolutely necessary for vegetables to look like they've been squared off by a planer.

My pound received a C. I blame the carrots. They were thin and bendy even before they were julienned, which means they were even worse once they had been sliced. Needless to say, I am getting better at chopping, even though I did slice my finger a little bit today (it had to happen). I got pretty winded in the hour-plus time I stood going to town on the carrots, and I didn't stop then. Taking advantage of inspiration to cook, I made two apple gallettes. There I was at the kitchen table wheezing and kneading flour and water into tart dough. It just seemed appropriate. The leaves are just beginning to change, only on the outer layers of trees, and it's time for baked apples and soup.
Gallettes are so pretty, even the name is so French and quaint. Beauty is one of the main reasons I'm drawn to pastries and desserts--this girl will not be making sloppy rice pudding. The dough turned into a nice crisp crust on the edges but soaked up the syrupy juice from the apples on the bottom. The tart apples gave way to sweetness with a little help, and all this is missing is a little ice cream.

Apple Gallette: from Martha Stewart's Baking Handbook
Pate Brisee Crust:
2 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
2 stick cold butter
1/2 cup cold water

Apple filling for two small gallettes or one large:
3 apples, thinly sliced (one-eighth inch)
juice from 1/2 lemon
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
pinch of salt
1 egg, beaten
sanding sugar (optional)

Blend the flour, salt and sugar in a large bowl. Slice the butter into 1-inch tablets. Incorporate the butter into the flour using a pastry blender, mixing until the product is crumbly. Slowly pour in the cold water a little at a time, stirring and lightly kneading to incorporate. Add water until the dough holds together.

Divide the dough in quarters (or halves). Flatten into a round disk. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for a least an hour.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 375 and put sliced apples in a medium bowl. Pour lemon juice over the apples. Toss apples with sugar, cornstarch and salt.

Take out your dough. Turn out on a floured surface and roll into a 8-inch round (or 14-inch for a larger gallette) that is about one-eighth-inch thick. Place on a piece of parchment paper and on a baking sheet. Arrange the apples in the center of the dough leaving a two-inch border. Fold over the border, overlapping when needed, pinching the overlapped portions together so the juice doesn't leak out onto your parchment like mine did. Paint the edge of the crust with egg. Sprinkle with sanding sugar and bake for one hour or until the crust is golden brown and the juice is bubbling.


Allison said...

these pictures are lovely. and i will have you know that 'pudding' is the word for dessert in england. so you may end up making some delicious 'puddings' soon!

Maria said...

Oh wow, that looks so yummy! Too bad I've given up no baked goods for a while. I'll just drool over those nicely cut--I mean julienned--carrots instead.

pimsleur said...

Your blog is really awesome. I like your post. Thanks for giving this Apple Gallette whole recipes . I will try this at home. I like various cuisine food very much.