Johanna: The Improviser

Never quite follows the recipe. Doesn't really measure. Tastes with her fingers. Somehow, it always works.

Yankee Galette

Posted: January 28, 2010 | Author: Johanna | Filed under: Johanna | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

I’m going to come right out and say that if you are a vegetarian, you might want to just skip this entry. If you’re observant Jewish, you should probably test this with turkey bacon, to see if the taste is similar. In fact, maybe I’ll test it out with turkey bacon, and tell you how it goes.

Recently, I went to a Pie Party at the home of my friend Erin’s lovely cousin Emily. The basic jist was that everyone was to bring a pie – sweet, savory, family recipe, just wingin’it…. whatever. There was a judging, and a prize for the best sweet and best savory recipe. It was really fun, and it was excellent to meet and talk to new people, while gorging on pie (or, as Erin says it, “paaah”).
Since our invite was very last minute – as in, Erin and I were in the middle of a 6-mile run, when she suggested I throw something together and attend – I had to make do mostly with what was in my refrigerator. I had half a bag of cranberries left from some jam making, and decided to go with an apple cranberry galette.
While perusing the internets, I came across a few great recipes for such a galette, as well as a recipe that legitimately made me whimper when I read the title: Maple Bacon Apple Galette. In the end, I couldn’t decide, so I combined them.

Yankee Galette
1. Make a single recipe of your favorite pastry. My favorite is the recipe of another friend named Erin’s mother: 1 cup of flour, 1/3 cup shortening or butter, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, 3-5 tablespoons of ice water. Chill the pastry in the fridge while you do the rest.
2. Chop or cut 4-5 slices of thick-cut smoked bacon into 1/4-1/2″ pieces, and brown the pieces. You’re not looking for totally crispy, because you’re going to bake the cooked bacon. But cook it till it’s brown and has rendered some of its fat.
3. While the bacon is browning, peel, core, and slice 3-4 medium sized apples. I used the amazing apple peeler/corer/slicer that I received as a Christmas gift last year, which sped up the process greatly. Toss with roughly 3/4 cup of fresh cranberries and 1/2 cup of sugar, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, and 1/2 teaspoon each cardamom and nutmeg.
4. Remove the bacon from the skillet with a slotted spoon, and drain. Then, put the drained bacon pieces in a non-stick pan with 2-3 tablespoons of
real maple syrup
(NOT Aunt Jemimah or Mrs. Butterworth or whatever else.) and turn the heat on to medium. The syrup will simmer, and this is exactly what you want. Simmer for 3-5 minutes, which should be just enough time to pick yourself up off the floor after you faint from the gorgeous smells coming from that non-stick pan. After 3-5 minutes, scrape the bacon/syrup concoction into the bowl of apples, cranberries, and spices.
5. Take your pie crust out of the fridge, and roll it out on a lightly-floured surface. You want to roll it out into a BIG, uneven roundish shape. No worries about making a perfect circle or making it even, since this is supposed to be a rustic, peasant style dish. Transfer the pastry crust to a baking sheet, and pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees.
If you want, trace a circle onto your pie crust lightly with a sharp knife, so that you know how big your finished galette will be. I used an upside-down plate. Pile your apple-cranberry-maple-bacon mixture on the crust, and begin folding and crimping the sides up and over the fruit. You don’t need to stress about making it beautiful – when it comes out of the oven all golden and baked up, it will BE beautiful.
6. Brush the folded-up edges of the galette with either melted butter, an egg wash, or (if you’re me) bacon grease. Sprinkle turbinado or sanding sugar along the crust edge if you’re feeling fancy, and bake for 35-40 minutes.

I love this galette, and combining apple pie with cranberries, bacon, and maple syrup reminds me of New England, of all the things that make me think of home, of Thanksgiving and my heritage foods.
Plus, it’s delish. I didn’t win the contest, but I got some good encouragements, and I ate some delicious pie, and in the end, that makes everybody there winners. :)

2 Comments on “Yankee Galette”

  1. 1 Bakezilla said at 3:39 pm on January 29, 2010:

    This sounds great. And I no longer eat bacon. But galette rules. It is SUPER New England, which is awesome. I’ve been on a New England food kick lately. I’ll have to come up with a galette (sans meat) soon!

  2. 2 Joh said at 1:44 pm on January 30, 2010:

    Bakezilla — I think you could probably make this without the bacon, although I would simmer the cranberries in some maple syrup (and maybe butter) until they start to “pop” a little before combining them with the apples. You’d still get the maple-apple-cran goodness, but the cranberries wouldn’t be as shockingly bitter. Or, y’know, buy a fresh bag of cranberries and hope for the best. Either way. ;)

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Johanna: The Improviser

Never quite follows the recipe. Doesn't really measure. Tastes with her fingers. Somehow, it always works.

Alyssa: The Triple Threat

Can do it all. And modest to boot.

Bakezilla: We Use Mixers Too

She likes to bake. Actually, baking is the only thing she does. It's a passion.

Rita: The Kosher Chick

Restrictions have nothing on her.