The time of the year when I start to crave pies has come. My apartment has been smelling of apples and cinnamon since yesterday night, when I made the apple butter. The smell was killing me because I just wanted to eat it and not wait to make this recipe. If you have never made apple butter before, don’t get discourage about the time it takes to make it. Yes, it needs to bake for 3 hours (and be stirred every 30 minutes) but it takes minimal effort. I made it while watching TV in the evening and just set my alarm. I made the pie crust with gin but you can use vodka if you like. The alcohol will evaporate so don’t worry. If you don’t want to use liquor, you can always switch it for cold water. The liquor makes the dough a bit more flaky. Pieter is working from home today so we already finished one of the small galettes for lunch. I gave one to our sweet neighbors who always give us produce from their dad’s farm. Happy world animal day! Mandu and Nip are getting extra treats and cuddles today.
This recipe is for 3 galettes. I made one big one and two small ones.
For the apple butter:
2 1/2 kilos of apple, I used royal gala (peeled, cored and chopped into chunks)
1 cup of apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 cup of packed brown sugar
Pinch of salt
2 tablespoons of vanilla essence
1 tablespoon of cinnamon powder
1 teaspoon of cardamom powder
Juice of half a lime
For the pie crust:
340gr of cold unsalted butter, chopped into pieces
3 ¾ cups of all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons of granulated sugar
¾ teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon of cardamom powder
1 teaspoon of cinnamon powder
8 tablespoons of cold gin (or vodka)
7 apples for the topping
1 egg, beaten
2 tablespoons of melted butter
3 tablespoons of granulated sugar
½ teaspoon of cinnamon powder
1/3 cup of fig jam (optional)
100grs of pistachios, chopped
Vanilla ice cream for serving (optional)
To make the apple butter:
This apple butter is not overly sweet. If you want it a bit sweeter, use 3/4 cup of apple cider vinegar instead of 1 cup. Since the pie already has a sugary crust, I prefer the apple butter to be a bit more tart to balance it out. Preheat your oven to 120C/250F. Place the apples, apple cider vinegar, brown sugar and salt in an oven proof pot or Dutch oven. Bring to a simmer over medium heat and let it cook for about 20 minutes, until the apples are soft. Remove from the heat. Add the lime juice, cinnamon, vanilla and cardamom. Then blend the apples until smooth, I used an immersion blender.
Bake uncovered for 3 hours, stirring every 30 minutes.
Once the apple butter is done, allow it to cool down completely before transferring it to an airtight container. You can keep it in the fridge for up to 5 days.
To make the pie crust: You can make it in the food processor, by hand or in the stand mixer. I used my stand mixer fitted with the flat beater. Place the flour, sugar, salt, cinnamon and cardamom in the bowl of the stand mixer. Add the cold butter pieces, mix it with a spatula. Then mix on low speed for about 2 minutes. Then add the cold gin and mix on low speed for a couple of minutes until you have an even dough.
You have enough dough to make 2 large galettes. I decided to make 1 large one and two smaller ones. So I divided the dough into 3 parts (I also separated a small piece of dough to make cut outs to decorate the galette). Pat each piece down with your hands, forming a circle. Cover each piece in plastic wrap and keep them in the fridge for 1 hour.
After the hour has passed, remove one piece of dough from the fridge and preheat the oven to 180C/350F. Mix 3 tablespoons of sugar and 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon and set it aside.
Dust your working area with flour and roll out the piece of dough, trying to form a circle. Don’t worry about giving it a perfect shape since it is supposed to be rustic. Place the dough in a piece of parchment paper and place it in the fridge. Roll out the other pieces of dough and keep them in the fridge. If you saved a small piece to decorate, then roll it and cut it into the shapes that you want.
Peel, core and slice the 7 remaining apples. Take one of the rolled out pieces of dough from the fridge.
Spread some of the apple butter in the dough, leaving a border of about 5 centimeters. Then arrange about 1/3 of the sliced apples on top of the apple butter. Fold the rim of the dough up and over the edge of the filling, overlapping the dough as you go. Press firmly. If you have cut out pieces of dough for decoration, place them on the dough now. Brush the dough with the egg wash. Brush the sliced apples with the melted butter. Sprinkle some of the cinnamon sugar over the apples and the crust. Bake it for 50 minutes or till golden. I finished assembling the other galettes and kept them in the fridge till my oven was free again.
Once the galettes are baked. Make the glazing. This is optional, I wanted the apple to shine a bit. Place the fig jam and 3 tablespoons of water in a small pan over medium heat. Stir for about 2 minutes until it is sort of a glaze. Brush the apples with a bit of the diluted fig jam. Sprinkle some chopped pistachio nuts. I like to serve it with some vanilla ice cream.
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