Sometimes, we’re just in the mood for a rustic, warm and satisfying dessert. As the summer nights come to an end and the evenings give way to the cool air of Fall, it takes a little something special to warm our insides. This cardamom-scented galette sublimely satisfies our senses as we prepare for the chilly weather ahead. We enjoyed it last night, topped with some vanilla ice cream, sitting on the deck watching the sailboats and the sunset.
Cardamom, with it’s intoxicating aroma, is an important Indian spice. Known as “the queen of spices”, second only to the “king,” black pepper – it is one of the most expensive spices in the world, topped only by saffron and vanilla. It is used in many Indian dishes, together with cinnamon and cloves in chai, and often alone in desserts. So, cardamom, while quite precious, is both common and versatile. Interestingly, it also boasts a range of health benefits (http://www.sunwarrior.com/news/15-health-benefits-of-cardamom/).
This galette is relatively simple to make, using puff pastry as a base. It’s not super sweet or ultra rich but satiates your sweet tooth with a surprising and rather sophisticated medley of flavors and textures. I know you will enjoy it as much as we did.
2 tablespoons (1/4) stick unsalted butter
3 Braeburn apples (1 1/2 pounds), peeled, halved, cored, halves cut into 6 1/2-inch wedges
1/3 cup sliced almonds, toasted
1/3 cup tart dried cherries
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon arrowroot (or cornstarch)
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
One 8-ounce frozen puff pastry sheet, thawed
All-purpose flour, for sprinkling
Sugar, for sprinkling
1/4 cup whole milk, for brushing on the pastry
Position a rack in the center and preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Melt the butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the apples and sprinkle with the salt. Saute until almost tender, tossing occasionally, about 10 minutes. Remove the skillet from the heat.
Whisk the sugar, spices and arrowroot in a small bowl until no cornstarch lumps remain. Sprinkle the spiced sugar and lemon juice over the apples in skillet, add the almonds and cherries and toss to blend. Cool to lukewarm.
Place a large sheet of parchment paper on the work surface. Unfold the pastry sheet on the parchment and sprinkle both sides lightly with flour. Roll out the pastry to 12-inch square, lifting, turning and sprinkling with more flour to keep from sticking. Cut off the corners (with a rounded cut), making a 12-inch-diameter pastry round.
Brush the pastry all over with some whole milk. Starting 2 inches in from the edge (to leave wide border), arrange the apple wedges close together in a circle on the pastry. Arrange the remaining apples in a smaller circle in center (ends may overlap first ring of apples).
Fold the pastry border partially over the filling, pleating the pastry in loose folds. Brush the folded-up pastry border with more milk and sprinkle with some sugar. Slide the galette with the parchment onto a heavy baking sheet. Scrape the juices, with almonds and cherries from the skillet over the apples.
Bake galette until pastry edge is deep golden brown, 30 to 35 minutes.
Cool 20 minutes and serve warm with a dollop of whipped cream or better yet, a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream, or cool for 2 hours to serve at room temperature.