This is the easiest way to make an apple pie. A galette is a French word for free-form pie or tart, where the pie dough is rolled, but there's no lining or crimping. It gives it that rustic look we love so much about French pastry. It's sweet, full of flavor, and much easier than old-fashioned pies!
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About this recipe
If making an apple pie seems intimidating because of the homemade pie crust, this is the recipe you need to start with. It's more of an apple tart because it's thinner than regular American pies.
- Easy crust: there's no lining the pan or crimping the edges, which means there's no need to blind bake the dough, or worry about the crust shrinking as it bakes. You simply fold the edges over the filling, leaving the center exposed.
- Filling: it's very simple and needs a few ingredients to be delicious.
- Crowd pleaser: who doesn't love a simple apple pie with some cream and caramel sauce, right? This is a dessert to make often during apple season and for gatherings.
- Pie crust: in theory, any dough you use for making traditional pies can be used for a galette. I use the Perfect Flaky Pie Crust because it's not too sweet and perfect for a fruity filling with a caramel sauce.
- Apples: I favor Granny Smith, the green ones, but you can use any baking apple, such as Honeycrisp, red delicious, gala, fuji, etc.
- Cinnamon sugar: white sugar with ground cinnamon. You can also use light brown sugar but keep in mind that the crust and apples will bake to a darker color.
- Unsalted butter
- Egg: a fresh egg is mixed with water to make an egg wash.
- Caramel sauce or dulce de leche: I use dulce de leche with a little cream or milk, but caramel sauce works just as well.
- Sliced almonds: used for the topping after you add the sauce. I like to lightly toast them because the flavor is much better.
Assembling the galette
There are several options here. Homemade pie crusts are always my first choice, but you can make a galette with a purchased pie crust.
- Flaky Pie Crust: this is my favorite recipe for this apple galette and the one I use in this post. It's the one I use for holiday pies such as the chocolate pecan pie. It can be made ahead and is great with any type of filling.
- Italian Pasta Frolla: this is sweet pie dough. I use it for the popular lemon ricotta pie. It's softer, sweeter, and less flaky than the one above.
- Puff pastry: the type you buy at the grocery store. This is the easiest alternative when it comes to making a galette. Buy one made with butter for the best results.
Rolling the dough
- Make sure it's cold. This is crucial if you want a flaky baked crust. So work as fast as you can. Have the piece of parchment paper and baking sheet ready. If you have trouble rolling it (for whatever reason) and the dough starts to soften and stick to the surface, chill it for about 10 minutes and then continue. You don't want the butter to soften as you roll it.
- Use a piece of parchment paper. It should be bigger than the round of dough you want to make and will help you transfer the crust to the baking sheet. I like to start rolling it on the work surface until halfway rolled and then continue on top of the paper.
- Shape. Don't worry too much about it being a perfect circle. Galettes are rustic and should not be overly complicated to make. That's the beauty of them.
The apples need to be peeled, cored, and sliced.
How to keep them from turning brown while you slice all of them? In a large bowl with cold water and fresh lemon juice (squeeze and drop the half lemon into the water). Image below.
The apple slices: how thin or thick you cut them is up to you. Thinner ones will bake faster and softer when the pie crust is fully baked, and you'll have to make two or three layers to achieve a substantial filling. With thicker slices (image below), you can make only one layer of apples. They will be soft but still somewhat crunchy.
Pattern: you can make concentric circles with the fruit slices starting at the dough's edges or center. I like the first option because leaving the needed few inches of uncovered dough is easier. You can also make several rows of apples instead of circles. Any pattern is fine as long as the layer is similar in thickness.
Cinnamon sugar + butter
Can we have apples without cinnamon and sugar sprinkled on top? Maybe we can, but we definitely shouldn't! Together they are magic.
The topping is finished with some cold butter pieces on top of the sugar that will melt during baking, moistening the apples and adding flavor.
The egg wash
This consists of a mixture of egg with water (or milk) that is brushed over the folded edges. Some extra sugar is then sprinkled over it. It creates that crunchy piece of dough as it is baked and adds color.
It's a nice touch and creates a great visual finish to the galette, but you can omit it if it's too much of a hassle.
I think the type of dough you use is important. For more neutral ones like the flaky crust in this post, we recommend it.
This is an apple pie, so there are several ways to serve it.
- A la mode: that is warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Who can argue with that?
- Caramel: at room temperature with a dollop of whipped cream and a fat drizzle of caramel sauce or dulce de leche (my homemade recipe or store-bought).
- Organization: read the recipe first and ensure you have ingredients at the correct temperature, equipment, and enough workspace. This will make the process so much easier!
- Baking time: keep in mind that all ovens and pans are different, even if they look the same or very similar. The baking time in my recipes is as accurate as it can be, but it might take you more or less time. You can use a thermometer(like the OXO oven thermometer) to check that your oven is at the right temperature. I recommend you keep track of how your oven works and what tiny details you might need to adjust.
- Cold pie crust: the galette dough must be cold when you put it in the oven. This will ensure that it doesn't turn soggy.
- Purchased dough: if in a hurry, a store-bought pie crust of puff pastry works very well.
- Apples: I favor Granny Smith, the green ones, but you can use any baking apple. Remember that red apples are sweeter, as will the tart after it's baked. You might want to add a squeeze of lemon juice after sprinkling with the cinnamon sugar unless you're looking for a sweeter dessert.
- Glaze: some recipes call for a light brushing of apricot jam on top right after taking the galette out of the oven.
Frequently asked questions
It's a flat, rustic, free-form pie or tart, where the dough is rolled and filled, but no pie pan is used. So there's no lining the pan or crimping the edges. It's baked on parchment paper or a baking sheet.
In theory, galette is the French name, and crostata is the Italian name for a free-form pie, so you can use them interchangeably. But, the Italians also call crostata some lattice pies, especially with jam, like the fig jam lattice pie.
Any baking apple works, such as Granny Smith, Gala, Fuji, and Red Delicious. I like to use Granny Smith, the green ones, because they hold their shape well and are less sweet, which is great when adding sauces, ice cream, or other toppings to the galette.
It can be, as most doughs used for pies are good for galettes. We're talking about the classic pie crusts, like the flaky pie crust, sweet shortcrust pastry, or the Italian pasta frolla, my favorite for galettes.
You must roll the dough while still cold, assemble the galette quickly, and have the oven preheated. Bake it immediately after assembling it. That way, the fruit will not have time to release juices before the crust starts to bake. Alternatively, sprinkle the crust with a few tablespoons of ground almonds or cookie crumbs before adding the sliced fruit. It will soak up any liquid the fruit releases.
Related recipes you might like:
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- 1 recipe for Flaky Pie Crust
- 3-4 Granny Smith apples (the green ones)
- 3-4 tablespoons white or brown sugar
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 egg
- 2 tablespoons sliced almonds
- ½ cup caramel sauce or homemade dulce de leche
- Preheat the oven at 350°F/180°C.
- Peel, core and cut apples in approximately ½ inch slices.
- Roll out the cold pie dough on a lightly floured surface and have a ready a large piece of parchment paper and a baking sheet.
- Halfway through rolling, transfer the pie crust circle to the paper and continue rolling until ¼ to ⅛ inch thick.
- Put the paper on the baking sheet and put in the refrigerator.
- Mix cinnamon and sugar in a small bowl and cut the cold butter into small pieces.
- Leaving about 2-inch border (up to 3 inches top) of dough on the outer edge, put the apple slices over the dough making concentric circles until the surface is covered.
- Sprinkle the apples with the cinnamon sugar and dot with the butter pieces here and there.
- Lift the sides of the plain dough inward, covering part of the apples and leaving the center exposed.
- Mix the egg with a tablespoon of water and brush the folded edges. Sprinkle with some extra sugar.
- Bake immediately for about 40 minutes, until the apples are soft and the crust is golden and fully baked.
- Let cool on a wire rack for about 10 minutes and carefully lift it, transferring the the cooling rack to cool down more.
- Serve warm with some caramel sauce and sliced almonds, and with a dollop of ice cream or whipped cream.
- Store leftovers at room temperature for a day or in the refrigerator for a few days, always covered in plastic wrap or in a container.
always read the recipe first and make sure you have all the ingredients, at the right temperatures, and also the rest of the equipment and space to make it. This will make the process so much easier!
Baking time: keep in mind that all ovens and pans are different, even if they look the same or very similar. The baking time in my recipes are as accurate as I they can be, but it might take you more or less time. You can use a thermometer that is placed inside the oven (like the OXO oven thermometer) to check that your oven is the right temperature. I recommend you keep track of how your oven works and what tiny details you might need to adjust.
Cold pie crust: it's important that the galette dough is cold when you put it in the oven. This will ensure that it doesn't turn soggy.
Purchased dough: if in a hurry, a store bought flaky pie crust of puff pastry works very well.
Apples: I favor Granny Smith, the green ones, but you can use any baking apple. Keep in mind that red apples are sweeter, as will the tart after it's baked. You might want to add a squeeze of lemon juice after sprinkling with the cinnamon sugar.
The apple slices: how thin or thick you cut them is up to you. Thinner ones will bake faster, will be softer by the time the pie crust is fully baked, and you'll have to make two or three layers to achieve a substantial filling. With thicker slices (image below) you can make only one layer of apples. They will be soft but still somewhat crunchy.
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 40 minutes
- Category: Pies & Tarts
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: International
Keywords: apple galette