We always have a basket full of apples at home, ready to be turned into an apple compote which we eat religiously at breakfast each morning. It used to be my job to make the week’s apple compote, which I would vary every few weeks by adding some over-ripened fruit from the fruit bowl. Oddly enough, when our children were born, my husband took over the role of making the weekly compote, something which he continues to do until this day, except that the “weekly” compote is often consumed in less than a week; the children love it so much that it also frequently makes an appearance at morning tea or afternoon tea.
Given the quantity of compote which we consume at home, my husband likes to buy the big bags of discounted apples at the supermarket. Sometimes they are nice varieties like Braeburn or Pink Lady, sometimes they are varieties I have never heard of. So you can imagine his surprise when I came home one day with a huge bag of the most expensive apples from the high-end department store on Bahnhofstrasse in Zurich.
By chance, I came across these amazingly red apples at Jelmoli and, like a red lipstick tempting me from the Tom Ford counter, I couldn’t resist these beauties.
They are called Red Love apples and they are a variety which have been cultivated in Switzerland with a small local production. The flesh is a vivid mix of red and magenta, so striking that my children reacted with suspicion when I offered them a bite. They do indeed look like the apples which would tempt Snow White, and the vibrant colour is superbly retained upon cooking or baking. As for taste, I find them to be sharp and sour like a good Granny Smith, so they are delicious for both eating and cooking.
The first recipe which came to my mind was an apple galette, particularly one inspired by my lovely friend, Vy, from Beyond Sweet and Savory. Some months ago, she made the most beautiful apple galette using Pink Pearl apples, a variety grown in the US with a beautifully pink-hued flesh.
As hazelnuts are also currently in season (we are lucky to have a hazelnut tree in our garden and my son’s current favourite past-time is cracking hazelnuts, walnuts, peanuts …), I’ve added freshly ground hazelnuts to the pastry and frangipane. You could also substitute with ground almonds and perhaps even ground walnuts. But I think it is important to include some ground nuts in the pastry as it helps to absorb any moisture from the fruit during baking, thereby avoiding a soggy bottom.
A galette is simply a free-form pie which, by its nature, should look rustic and is more forgiving in appearance than most pies. However, if you have a few extra minutes, you could certainly use the pastry to line a pie dish for a more elegant dessert.
If you can’t find red or pink apples where you live, know that this galette will look and taste just as lovely with normal apples!
- For the pastry:
- ¾ cup plain flour
- ½ cup ground hazelnuts
- pinch of fine sea salt
- 2 tablespoons icing sugar
- 6 tablespoons (80g) cold unsalted butter, diced
- 3-4 tablespoons ice cold water
- For the hazelnut frangipane:
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- 2 tablespoons vanilla sugar (or caster sugar)
- ½ cup ground hazelnuts
- 1 egg yolk
- 4 teaspoons double cream
- pinch of fine sea salt
- For the filling:
- 3-4 Red Love apples, depending on size (or use any apple variety of your choice)
- 1 egg, lightly beaten to use as egg wash
- a few tablespoons of demerera sugar for sprinkling
- Make the pastry by mixing together the plain flour, ground hazelnuts, salt, and icing sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer with the flat paddle attachment. Add the butter and beat on low speed until the mixture is crumbly and resembles wet sand. Slowly add the water (you may not need all of it), and stop mixing once the mixture starts to come together into a ball. Take the dough out of the bowl and knead it lightly to bring it together into a soft ball. Pat the dough into a flat disc, wrap with clingfilm, and refrigerate for 30-60 minutes.
- To make the hazelnut frangipane, beat the butter and sugar together in a small bowl until it is light and creamy. Add the ground hazelnuts, egg yolk, cream, and salt. Mix everything together until you have a thick mixture.
- Once the pastry is ready, roll it out on a sheet of baking paper until you have a round shape about 12 inches (30cm) wide. The pastry should not be too thin (about 5mm thick).
- Spread the hazelnut frangipane over the centre of the pastry, leaving about a 1 inch (3cm) border.
- Place the pastry back into the fridge to keep cool while you prepare the apples.
- Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C).
- Peel, halve and core the apples. To arrange the apples like in the photos, slice each apple half thickly (about 5mm thick). Arrange the sliced apple halves like in the photo and push the slices gently into the frangipane. To make the apples fit nicely, you may need to remove a slice or two. Otherwise, for a more rustic and traditional-looking galette, simply pile the apple slices in the middle of the pastry, leaving a 1 inch (3cm) border.
- Fold the border over the apples and crimp the pastry to seal in the edges.
- Brush the pastry with egg wash.
- Generously sprinkle demerera sugar over the pastry and apples.
- Bake for 40-60 minutes, or until the pastry is lightly golden and the apples have softened.
- This apple galette is delicious served warm or at room temperature.
Where to Buy Red Love Apples
The plants can be purchased online at Lubera.
You can substitute the ground hazelnuts for ground almonds (or perhaps ground walnuts, but I have not tried this).
Share your photos!
If you have tried this recipe, I would love to hear how it turned out! Please leave a comment below and share your photos on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter using #eatlittlebird