You can find the recipe for GF Nutty Apple Galette below.
I’ve been wanting to make an apple galette for ages. It all started at my dear friend Toni’s home whereupon I found myself visiting his Wednesday night Writer’s Workshop. To enjoy, there was thick soup, crusty bread, and apple galette. The pastry made shortbread-like with the flour-sugar ratio heavy on the sugar. To Toni, a mistake. To me, an evolution. I ate two slices. If it weren’t for the rest of the writers and my attempt at seeming a polite guest, I would’ve eaten the whole thing.
It’s been at least three months since and I’ve thought about that galette over and over. Now, I’m going gluten-free (or, at least heavy on the wheat-free again) as I prep my body and mind for intense trauma work through therapy, guided trauma-informed yoga, reading and writing through the Courage to Heal. I know that wheat leaves me nauseous and tired and yet, I know the importance of having comfort food during this time.
This week is a weaning down the wheat and getting excited about GF week. It’s the week I wait for my copies of Courage to Heal arrive. It’s the week that my therapist, Liz McCauliffe and I begin to safety plan. And, it’s the week that I commit to working with trauma-specialized yoga instructor, Alexis Marbach. This is also the week that I continue the habits and schedule we began on vacation two weeks ago: go to bed when I’m sleepy (for me usually around 9pm); try to wake-up naturally; do something I love in the morning, whether it’s a long walk, writing or baking; feed myself regularly; swim; balance treats and healthy meals; tell myself and Korrie how much love I have for us both.
On Monday, I was tired all day. I walked around struggling to keep my bloodshot eyes open. I’d tried to sleep on Sunday night, but I struggled. Monday night, I did not watch television, stayed on the computer only for a short while researching recipes, and curled into bed by 9:30pm. I awoke at 6:40am Tuesday morning (yes, I set my sun alarm, but I got up on the first ring) and began to bake.
I decided to begin the pastry for an apple galette this morning because when I come home from work at night I’m wiped (no, it’s not because my job is particularly taxing; I’ve done worse. It’s because I have to go there for minimum eight hours and that in itself is exhausting. Therapy over the past two years has been difficult. I’ve learned that I have feelings, how to identify them, how to not-squash them, how to communicate them, and (on my better days) how to celebrate them. I’ve learned that I’m an alcoholic and that it’s hard being sober. I’ve learned to be sober; one day at a time. Yes, the AA adage is true; it takes me one damn day at a time to manage not to drink. Because I can’t drink, I’ve pulled away from friends because it’s hard to be in restaurants and impossible to go to bars and nightclubs. What can I say? People congregate with drinks. I also feel like I can’t talk about “this stuff”. I’ve had family and friends become offended at my talking about alcohol/alcoholism and trauma. Some are uncomfortable and say “It’ll pass” or “It’s in the past” or “You just have to move on.” Moving on for me has to include talking about this stuff with people, but I’ve not been. So, sometimes I’m lonely.
I’ve learned that depression and anxiety are outcomes of trauma and sobriety, and I’m learning to notice how each affects me and care of myself each day. Some days, caring is watching multiple episodes of Angel while snuggled to my spouse. Caring can be walking a long-walk with the dog. Or, like last night, laying on my porch, face turned up to the sky and breathing after a walk in the woods. It’s singing or not. Taking a shower or not. It’s listening to music and silence, eating and not eating, gardening and watching the flowers. Self-caretaking is all of these things and often none of them. I’m realizing that I need a routine plus a laundry list of self-care strategies to draw from.
This week self-care is having a wake-up routine, planning to go to bed between 9:00-9:30pm, and baking apple galette. I want to thank my dear friend Toni for baking that day at workshop, for being my family, remaining a self-care inspiration, and continuing the work of talking about feelings. Thank you for being a role model.
So, to the galette recipe. Because I don’t have non-GF flour (apart from bread flour) in the house, it’s a gluten-free experiment. I like a particular recipe from The Texan New Yorker, which was her own adaptation from the Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics. I, with my little baking knowledge decided, “what-the-hell. Let me play with it to make it GF.” So, on a whim I’ve done so.
I made the dough Tuesday morning and let it rest in the fridge until Wednesday midday (mainly due to my schedule). On Wednesday, I put everything together.
As my partner described the final product, “There are layered tastes. First the sweet of the jam and apple and then the nutty grains.” He ate a bite despite having a tummy ache and I delightfully enjoyed a slice with a wee bit of vanilla ice-cream.
You’ll find my recipe below. Enjoy. And, when you make it, please leave feedback 🙂
- 3/4 cup almond flour
- 1/4 cup garbanzo bean flour
- 1 cup Bob’s Mill GF flour blend
- 2 heaping dessert spoons of white sugar
- 2 heaping dessert spoons of brown sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 12 tbs unsalted butter (this is 1 1/2 stick of butter; pull out of fridge for 5 minutes to soften a tiny bit)
- 1/2 cup ice water
- In a large glass bowl (my large bowl was holding marinating chicken thighs, so I had to use a medium bowl- it sufficed) mix flours, sugars, and salt. Whisk until combined.
- Cut butter into pea-sized chunks and throw in flour mixture (I do not have a pastry blender and so I worked quickly with a small paring knife to cut and quarter thin square slices of butter and throw them into the flour)
- Add ice water
- With a wooden spoon, quickly but gently mix the ingredients until just combined (you’ll still see pea-sized chunks of butter in the dough mixture. This is okay.
- Lay a long (make it a lot longer than you think you need- like 22 inches long) sheet of cling-wrap down on the counter; spray with canola spray.
- Place mixture (it will feel gooey thanks to the GF flour) atop the cling-wrap. As you wrap the cling-wrap around the dough, form the dough into a rectangular oblong (this will help you later as you’re rolling it out).
- With the oblong dough happily cling-wrapped, put it in the fridge to set for at least an hour (I had to go to work so it was in the fridge for 10 hours. C’est la vie).’
- 2 apples (I used granny smith because I like tart things; pink lady would also be a great option)
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup white sugar
- 2 tbs cold unsalted butter (mmmmm, butter)
- 1/4 cup slivered almonds
- 1/4 cup blackberry (or raspberry, or apple, or peach, or apricot) jam/jelly
- Preheat over to 400 degrees Fahrenheit
- Pull dough out of the fridge; partially unwrap the dough so that it is still folded in the cling wrap on the top, bottom and along one edge.
- Place dough on a countertop (don’t stand close to the oven!) and begin to roll out the dough into an oblong. Roll until the dough is approximately 1/4inch thick. The dough is still sandwiched between the cling wrap at this point- this is good. It is also warmed up, so put it in the fridge while you prep the topping.
- In a small bowl, blend the two sugars together with a whisk, set aside.
- Working with one apple at a time using an apple slicer (if you have one) slice the apples into six large wedges each. The cut each wedge down into 4-5 smaller slices. If you don’t have an apple slicer, use a small sharp knife to cut the apple into wedges, then slice (or use a melon baller) out the core in each wedge (mind your fingers!), and cut into smaller slices.
- Pull the dough out of the fridge. Unwrap the top half of the cling wrap and place a sheet of parchment paper (or nonstick foil) larger than the size of the dough on top. Then place an upside down baking sheet over the parchment (you’re going to flip this over). Gently slide the dough off the countertop, you can use a spatula or the open base of your hand to support the dough as it comes off the table. Quickly flip everything over so that your baking sheet sits upright covered by the parchment, covered by the dough. Gently peel off the final layer of cling wrap; remember, the GF dough is still a bit gooey.
- Now you’ve a canvas to work on! Working from the far-right corner to the close-left corner, layer a row of sliced apple diagonally across the center of the pastry. Then, create parallel rows on each side of the diagonal. Fill in the edges with slices cut to fit.
- Sprinkle the sliced almonds and the sugar mixture, then dot with butter cubes.
- Fold up the edges of the parchment (or foil) to create an enclosed tray around the dough (the sugar, butter and apples will create a delightful caramelly (yes, making that word up) liquid that you don’t want to run off the baking sheet onto the bottom of your oven…
- Place in oven for 45-60 minutes, or until the dough is browned and the apples are also beginning to brown.
- Warm up the jam/jelly in the microwave (30-45seconds) and quickly brush the apples with the liquid jam/jelly.
- Allow galette time to rest (cool) before serving it warm with fresh whipped cream or vanilla bean ice-cream or, later, at room temperature.
- Halfway through baking the oven, I set two trays on the shelf underneath my galette to catch any sugary-liquid that might sneak through the parchment. Some did and I was glad it was caught in the trays and not burning on the bottom of my oven.
- Next time I might sprinkle the slivered almonds across the dough before I lay the apples down- just to see how it affects the bite.
- I will cut down the sugar atop the apples next time. The jelly sweetens it up a *lot*. Likely, I’ll try 2tbs each of brown and white sugar (half the original amount).