it may surprise you, considering how many sweet treats i make and write about on this blog, that i consider myself more of a savory than sweet-type person. you heard me right, i really do not have a sweet tooth. gasp, i know. it’s crazy, too because i love to bake cakes, tarts, cookies, et al, but i tend to eat desserts only on special occasions or in lieu of a meal. (insert late afternoon slice of pie and cup o’ joe here). for this month’s let’s lunch challenge, the group has decided on a ‘fall desserts’ theme, which seems to fit in with the whole dessert-as-meal-replacement plan.
this time of year does bring out a bit of the ol’ sugary cravings, i suppose. i tend to go for more earthy, fruit-based concoctions over super-sweet chocolate or frosted ones. but i’m weird that way. should i even mention that i would take a lemony anything over a chocolate something else?
this would be a good dessert after a nice fall meal or even, dare i say, as an appetizer with a glass of bubbly or red wine. you could even leave out the blue cheese and serve warm with homemade whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
apple gallette with blue cheese and walnuts (makes 1 large tart)
adapted from barefoot contessa
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 tbsp sugar
12 tbsp (1 1/2) sticks cold, unsalted butter, cut into small dice
1/2 cup ice water
4 granny smith apples
1/2 cup sugar
4 tbsp (1/2 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into small dice
1/2 cup apple jelly (or a light colored jam, heated and strained)
2 tbsp calvados (this is a fabulous french apple aperitif-get some!)
1/4 cup walnuts chopped
1-2 ounces of quality blue cheese (i used point reyes)
for the pastry, place flour, salt, and sugar in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade. pulse 2-3 times until well-combined. add the butter and pulse 10-12 times until butter is in small, pea-sized pieces. be sure to use the pulse feature, you do not want to over mix and create a paste. with the motor running, pour the ice water through the shoot until the dough just comes together (you may not use all the water depending on the humidity level and other factors). dump dough onto a floured board and quickly knead into a ball. at this point, i like to press the dough into a disc the shape of how it will be rolled out, i.e. a round, square, or in this case, a rectangle. wrap in in plastic and chill for at least 1-2 hours.
preheat oven to 400 degrees. line a sheet pan with parchment paper.
roll dough into a rectangle about 10 x 14 inches. trim the edges straight with a pizza cutter or knife. for a more rustic look, you can omit this step – i do not judge. place dough on prepared sheet pan and chill while you are readying the apples.
peel apples and cut through the stem, removing stems and cores with a sharp paring knife or melon baller. slice the apples crosswise into 1/4 inch slices, leaving slices together in order. place slices in diagonal rows on pastry, starting in middle of the tart, then adding adding rows of apples to fill in until pastry is covered. sprinkle with the full 1/2 cup of sugar and dot with the butter. although it appears like a LOT, do not be tempted to cut down the amount of sugar~the tart will be, well, very tart if you do.
bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until the pastry is browned and the apples have brown edges. rotate the pan once during cooking. you may deflate any air bubbles that form by poking them with a small knife. don’t worry if the juices run off and start to burn, this is expected. remove tart from oven. heat jelly and calvados in a small pan and brush mixture on pastry and apples. dot with the blue cheese – use as much as you prefer, but be warned, a little goes a long way. it will gently and beautifully melt into the gallette. loosen tart from paper before cooling so it doesn’t stick. allow to cool and serve warm or at room temperature.
if you love a good fall dessert, check out these fine folk’s take on them , too: