A Display of Fruit
Last weekend, my friend Lora and her sister Tyler hosted a Naked Ladies Party. Before your imagination runs away with you, let me explain. About ten fabulous women converged on their house with bags filled with clothes they had plucked from their closets and drawers because they no longer wanted them. As the saying goes, one woman’s so-last-year is another woman’s new outfit. Well, some of the clothes were more like so-last-decade but you never know whether the shirt you discard will make someone else’s day. We went through the piles and tried things on, voted on who should get coveted items and everyone ended up with new additions to their wardrobe from what started as a pile of unwanted clothes. Its a really fun way to reuse, recycle and have something new to wear.
Before we began the frenzy of sorting through the piles of t-shirts, jackets, sweaters, skirts, pants and more, we fortified ourselves with roasted pumpkin seeds, cheeses accompanied by membrillo, fried green tomatoes with lemon ricotta cream on top, an apple cranberry galette, baked brie and lots of nutella. I enjoyed every bite of it all, and came home with several new items of clothing and one cast off piece of the galette which had been my edible offering for the night. In my kitchen, a galette is a pie wrapped in crust instead of in a pie dish. I love making them, the crust is easier to make and much more forgiving than pie crust and, for the something so simple it looks both rustic and impressively beautiful. I love the way the crust is folded around the fruit which makes for a fruit filled crust bite at the end and a display of fruit showing off in the center. I made up a combination of apples and cranberries for a contrast of sweet and tart highlighting some of the fruits of the season.
Apple Cranberry Galette
For the Galette Dough:
1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
12 tablespoons cold, unsalted butter cut into small chunks
1/3 cup of cold water
Mix dry ingredients in a medium bowl. Drop the chunks of butter in and cut in by hand, knife, pastry cutter or other method of choice until the texture is like coarse cornmeal with some larger chunks. Sprinkle the cold water over the flour/butter and gently toss the mixture around the bowl to incorporate the water a little bit. Shape the dough into a ball and flatten it slightly into a disk. Refrigerate the dough while you make the filling.
For the Filling:
1 1/2 pounds of apples, peeled and cut into slices
1 1/2 cups fresh whole cranberries
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ginger
juice of one lemon
2 tablespoons melted butter
1 tablespoon sugar
Place apples and 1 cup of the cranberries in a bowl. Pour in the maple syrup, add the spices and lemon juice and mix gently until all the apple slices are coated.
Roll out the dough into an irregular circle (about 14 inches wide) 1/8 inch thick. Place on the back of a sheet pan or cookie sheet without sides. Leaving a 3-4 inch border of dough arrange the apples in a circle, each slice slightly over lapping with another. Continue to fill in the circle with apples and build on top of them in a pattern that you like (the middle top layer will be visible when the galette is done) sprinkling in cranberries among the apple slices. When all the apple slices have been arranged, toss the remaining cranberries in the left over juice from the bowl. Fold the edges of the dough over the fruit, overlapping and tucking as you go. Arrange the cranberries on top of the apples in the center and pour in the juice from the bowl. Brush the crust with the melted butter, pouring any extra onto the fruit. Sprinkle the sugar on top of the buttered crust and bake at 400 degrees for about 45 minutes until the apples are tender and the crust is golden brown. Serve warm with whipped cream, or offer it at a pot luck clothes swap cooled and ready for sharing.