Leaves aren’t the only thing falling off trees across Sweden in the autumn: apples do too. If you leave central Stockholm and head over to the suburban areas, you’ll find plenty of apple trees growing wild.
When I see piles of slowly rotting apples on the ground, I think of all those delicious apple pies, tarts, and galettes that could have been. And even though I know that one cake will not prevent all that waste, I can’t help but pick some up and bring them home to transform into something sweet, smelling of cinnamon and butter.
Making a galette is quite quick and easy. Don’t bother trying to make it look organised; it never will! If you don’t often cross paths with wild apple trees as I do, get some crisp specimens at your local grocery store, or replace them with pears which also are in season now.
The cream in this recipe is optional but it is perfect to pair with any cake that is heavy on fruit. How can you resist that melting pool of cream on a warm slice of crispy apple galette?
Enjoy this simple and tasty apple galette recipe, perfect for autumn:
Apple & Sesame Galette
1 dl fine cornmeal
Generous pinch of salt
1 tbsp caster sugar
100 g cold butter
1 egg yolk
Ice cold water
Juice from 1/2 lemon
1 tsp cinnamon
1–3 tbsp caster sugar
(depending on how sour are your apples) plus 1 tbsp
2–3 tbsp sesame seeds
1–2 tbsp sugar for sprinkling
a few knobs of butter
Heat oven to 180°C (350°F) while you prepare the ingredients.
Start by making the shortcrust pastry, as it needs to be chilled for at least half an hour. Do not to skip this part: the pastry needs time to relax so that it doesn’t shrink in the oven. This kind of pastry has quite a high ratio of fat to flour so it will be much easier to roll out when it’s nice and cold.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the flours, salt, and sugar. Cut the butter into cubes and add them to the dry ingredients. Use your fingertips to rub the butter into the flour mix until you have a mixture that resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Try to be quick so that the butter doesn’t start to warm up too much and become greasy. You can also use a food processor for this, but I find few things more pleasurable than the smell of sweet butter on my fingertips.
In a small bowl, mix the egg yolk and 2 tablespoons ice cold water until evenly combined. Add this to the crumb mixture and, using a fork, distribute the liquid as quickly as possible. Using your hands, gather all the ingredients so that they start to clump together. If the mixture seems to be too dry, add another splash of ice cold water. Be careful: the dough shouldn’t be too wet.
Tip everything out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead into a smooth dough. Wrap it in a piece of cling film and place in the fridge for at least half an hour.
While the dough chills, prepare the filling. Cut your apples in half and core them but leave the skin on, especially if it’s red. Then cut the apples into thin wedges and place them in a large bowl. Squeeze lemon juice over the slices and mix – this will prevent the apples from discoloring. Add the cinnamon and sugar to taste and mix again.
Line a baking tray with a piece of baking parchment. Take the dough out from the fridge and put it on a lightly floured work surface. Roll it out into a rough circle – don’t worry if it’s uneven, galettes are meant to look rustic. Don’t fret if the dough tears apart, just patch it with little scraps of dough.
Arrange the apple slices on top in concentric circles or in slightly overlapping rows, leaving 3–4 cm border. Lift edges of dough over apples, overlapping them where needed. Brush crust with egg white, then sprinkle sesame seeds around the crust.
Sprinkle extra sugar on both the crust and apples and dot apples with extra butter. Bake for approximately 40 minutes, until the crust browns nicely and becomes crisp and the apples are soft and juicy. If you notice that galette starts to burn before it’s ready, cover the top with a piece of aluminium foil.
Let cool slightly before slicing. Serve warm or at room temperature with cream of your choice. It also makes for a delicious breakfast pastry, in which case you can serve it with Greek yogurt if you’re not feeling too indulgent early in the morning. Enjoy!
Want to learn about foraging? Here’s our ultimate guide to foraging in the Swedish Forest.