Apple Pecan Galette

Growing up, Mary and I have many fond memories of apple picking in the fall with our dad. There's nothing like spending a fall weekend at an apple orchard, walking amongst the endless rows of trees abounding with colorful apples of many varieties. And if you're like our dad, you also can't resist the infamous warm apple cider donuts! Apple picking is a quintessential fall activity here in New England, and we were all too excited when late September came around the peak time for picking. 

With a free Saturday and a desire to get outside of the "campus bubble," Mary and I decided to go on an apple picking adventure. Picking an orchard was a harder task than we thought, as the New England area does not have any shortage of "pick your own" apple orchards. While we had heard of a few big name orchards that draw large crowds during peak season, we wanted to find a place with less of a commercial feel. We decided to visit Brooksby Farms, an orchard about 25 miles from campus in Peabody, Massachusetts. 

We picked a perfect fall day for picking and the trees were filled with big, beautiful apples at peak ripeness. Because the orchard was on the larger side, not all of the rows were labeled, but we know most of the apples we picked were Cortland and Macintosh. We "picked a peck" of apples, which is about 10lbs. Just enough apples for eating, and of course some for baking as well!

Naturally, coming home with fresh picked apples in the beginning of fall calls for the making of a festive apple dessert. We decided to make an Apple Pecan Galette, adapting a recipe we found from one of our favorite food bloggers, Cookie and Kate. While we both love getting creative with fruit pies, we don't always enjoy having so much crust, so a galette provides a happy medium! This recipe also has some healthier twists using wheat flour in place of white, and using only one tablespoon of sugar. 

Even with the healthier twists, this recipe produced a fantastic galette, perfectly showcasing the flavor of the fresh apples. The pecans also added a nice texture and depth to the sweet apple flavor. One of the things we love about galettes is the beauty in their "rustic," messy look even the slightly burnt pieces and imperfections add to their character (as seen below!). 

Apple Pecan Galette

Recipe adapted from Cookie and Kate
  •     1 1/4 cups whole wheat pastry flour
  •     1/2 teaspoon salt
  •     4-6 tablespoons ice water 
  •     8 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cubed (for crust) 
  •     4 to 5 apples, sliced into 1/4" thick slices
  •     1 teaspoon cinnamon
  •     1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  •     1 teaspoon vanilla 
  •     2 tablespoons butter, cut into pieces (for filling) 
  •     1/4 cup crushed pecan pieces 
  •     1 tablespoon maple syrup
  •     1 tablespoon raw sugar 
Cooking Directions-          
  1. In a large bowl, whisk together flour and salt.         
  2. Using a pastry cutter or butter knife, cut in cold butter cubes until the mixture has coarse crumbs.               
  3. Add four tablespoons ice water and mix with a spoon until mixture begins to form a workable dough. If mixture looks dry, add a tablespoon of ice water at a time until you reach the right consistency.             
  4. Form dough into a disk, wrap tightly in plastic and refrigerate for one hour.          
  5. Mix together apples, cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla, butter and pecan pieces and sugar in a large bowl. 
  6. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Coat a large baking sheet with butter or cooking spray.     
  7. Place dough disk on a lightly floured surface. Roll the dough to approximately a 12 inch round, then place on prepared baking sheet.   
  8. Add your filling. Arrange apple slices in a circular pattern in layers, leaving at least two inches of crust around the edges. Top off with pecans left at the bottom of the bowl.         
  9. Start at one end and fold the dough edges over the filling, pleating it as you go around.      
  10. Use a pastry brush or sprinkle cold water over the crust. Drizzle a bit of maple syrup over the filling and sprinkle a light dusting of raw sugar over the crust.      
  11. Bake 40-50 minutes, or until the crust is slightly golden. Serve warm on its own or topped with ice cream.         
    We hope you enjoy this recipe and take advantage of the delicious in-season flavors and ingredients of fall!

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