What the heck is cardamom? I know. The first time I saw the word, I was like CardaWHET? Cardamom is a spice made from the seed pods of various plants in the ginger family. Cardamom pods are spindle-shaped and have a triangular cross-section. The pods contain a number of seeds, but the entire cardamom pod can be used whole or ground. I know you're still looking at the screen like I'm speaking alien so let's explain the profile.
Cardamom has a complex flavor. It's citrusy, minty, spicy, and herbal all at the same time, and it's highly fragrant, too. It is a nice complement to cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, cloves, and ginger, so you'll often see it used in conjunction with these spices. Like this apple pie!
The first time I had cardamom was in March of this year while I was in London. I had a cardamom bun and at first glance, they were pretty unassuming. But baby! That flavor! I tried to keep it cute and not scarf the entire thing down, but it was tough. The thing is magical. So for the past 2 months, I've been OBSESSED with finding and using cardamom. And by obsessed, I mean just ruminating over the buns and reading 3,405,208 recipes including cardamom. I found the spice in Fresh Market and that was a wrap. IT WAS TIME.
On to the second part of "What Macarra running on with today?" is "What Is A Galette?". Galette is really just a much simpler way to enjoy an apple pie. Think of an Apple Galette as Apple Pie’s hippy, trendy, globetrotting cousin who just always shows up looking really great at the family reunions but you can tell she didn’t have to try. Meanwhile poor Apple Pie spent 2 days getting ready and still looks less than next to her. LOL. Galettes are honestly just a much more rustic apple pie that appears to have taken you forever to prepare. You just look like your life is REALLY together when you show up to a party with one in your hand.
You can make any kind of galette, really. Pear (definitely trying this next), strawberry, blueberry ... the possibilities are endless.
Let's get on with the show.
As per usual, have all of your items on hand and ready to go so there's no missing of any ingredient. God forbid you forget the salt - eek!
If you don't have ice on hand, throw the water in the freezer for 15 minutes and you're good to go.
When you're cutting the butter into the flour, try your best to not use your hands. The warmth in your hands is going to warm the butter up and this is going to take away from the flakiness we're looking for. If you don't have a party cutter, all good. Use forks!
You can easily omit the cardamom for this recipe. If you wanna go heavier on the cinnamon or nutmeg, feel free! Adding ginger is also a really great touch. I love a good flavorful filling and the first time I made this galette, I used 1 teaspoon of cardamom and a 1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg. Second time around I bumped it up to 2 teaspoons of cardamom and 3/4 teaspoons of nutmeg. LOVED IT.
DO. NOT. OVERBAKE. 35 minutes is sufficient. Any longer, and you may have a shortbread on your hands.
Do not skimp on the time you keep the dough in the refrigerator. Overnight is really best. Remember cold butter hitting that really hot oven creates the flakiness you're looking for. Don't bake it warm. If you find the dough a little warm after handling it, pop it in the freezer for 20 minutes before baking it.
Let's get it!
1 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour + a little more for kneading
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
1/4 cup ice cold water
3 large apples (or up to 6 medium apples), peeled and sliced into 1/4 inch slices
1/4 cup packed light or dark brown sugar
1 and 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice (to prevent browning of your apples)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons cardamom
3/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
egg wash: 1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon milk
optional: 3 tablespoons Swedish sugar pearls
Whisk flour, sugar, and salt together in a bowl. Using your pastry cutter or forks, cut in the butter until the mixture comes together and looks like a bowl of pea-sized crumbs. Add your water and stir just until the flour is moistened - don't overmix. Gently knead the dough on a lightly floured surface until it all comes together. Shape the dough into a ball and lightly flatten it into a round disk. Wrap it in plastic wrap and refrigerate it for at least 1 hour and up to 2 days - the colder, the better. (Also the longer it stays in the refrigerator, the better the crust tastes)!
Mix the apples, brown sugar, flour, lemon juice, cardamom, cinnamon, and nutmeg together in a bowl. Cover tightly and place in the refrigerator until your dough is ready to fill.
Preheat oven to 375°F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough into a 12-inch circle - it doesn't need to be perfect!
I find it easier to roll the dough out directly onto my parchment paper to avoid tearing when I move it to the pan. So put some flour in your hands, rub it all over the ball, and then proceed to roll it out onto the parchment paper.
Arrange the apples into the center of the dough, being sure to leave a border around. I'd say 2 inches is good. Do not add the juices to the galette - this will make for a very soggy crust. Then gently fold the edges of the dough over the apples. The overlapping will naturally happen - that's a part of its beauty! Seal the edges by gently pressing down on the edges. Drizzle the salted caramel over the filling only. Don't go too heavy! I wouldn't add more than 4 tablespoons. Brush the crust edges with egg wash and sprinkle the whole thing with your sugar pearls, if you're using them.
Bake until the filling is bubbly and the crust is golden brown, about 35 minutes. Do not remove from the baking sheet right away. Allow to cool for 10-15 minutes before slicing and serving.
Serve with ice cream and your salted caramel sauce drizzled on top.