Last night, it rained. Really rained. I was lying in bed, hoping to fall asleep, suffering my nightly ritual of tossing and turning when I heard a distant rumble. It filled me with hope. I'd had about all I could take of hot, sticky weather and being at the tail end of October, a rumble in the distance could only mean one thing. Within minutes of the outpouring, there was a perceptible nip in the air and I found myself reaching for the hardly used and up till now, mostly decorative blanket, folded neatly at the foot of the bed. Forty minutes later, I was still awake and utterly convinced that at any moment, Noah and his Ark would be outside my tenth floor apartment bedroom window.
the beautiful and delicious cripps pink
The wind was howling and the rain wasn't pitter pattering; it was pounding the crap out of my windows. I huddled deeper into the folds of my blanket and began to think about pork chops, of all things. Browned, sticky, crackly pork chops scented with fresh sage, and apples. Slices of once crisp, tangy sweet apples, bubbling in salty butter, brown sugar, rosemary and cider until they were no longer crisp. Mmmmmmm....
said to be reminiscent of thyme, indian borage reminds me of oregano, cloves and just a whisper of mint
Next thing I knew, it was daylight, and I was on the hunt for pork chops. I came home with bacon instead as the only pork chops I had seen were hardly worthy of the name. Good bye pork chops with chunky apple sauce, hello apple, bacon and onion galette.
It may seem persnickety to cook each component of the filling separately when they will be combined in the end anyway, but I assure you, if you cook all three together in one pot or pan, as you would a pie filling for instance, the flavour, texture and appearance of the filling would be very different and not quite as appealing. Take it from a very lazy cook who thankfully, still values flavour over ease. You won't be needing much salt here as the pastry is already very tasty from the salted butter and the generous amount of bacon precludes the need for additional salt.
I must tell you that I was tempted to abandon the recipe when I tasted the stewed apples. They were so good, I wanted to slather some vanilla ice cream with them and be done with it. They would I imagine, be equally wonderful with roast pork, goose or venison and slices of quickly pan fried calf or goose liver. Oh wait, with pancakes too and yes, waffles!
I couldn't find any fresh sage, thyme or even rosemary, so dried rosemary it was, and a last minute inclusion of some Indian Borage from a pot in my balcony. This galette was the best I have ever made. It was all gone within 20 minutes of coming out of the oven. My boys and I ate it, right in the balcony, after I shot the last photo. Under the setting sun, we had wedges of it, with slices of cheddar and sprigs of watercress dressed with a mustardy vinaigrette. I enjoyed mine even more with glasses of cold apple cider.
For twenty minutes, we were all transported to a bistro, somewhere in a French provincial town, or perhaps, an English country pub, with a French cook in the kitchen ; ) Staring at the pink and coral flushed sky, I couldn't even hear the snarling traffic from the street below, anymore. Who was it who said that food satisfies so much more than just physical hunger? How very true.....
Prep 30 mins Cook 40 minutes Serves 4
3 cooking apples (I used Cripps Pink or Pink Lady) peel, quarter and core then cut each quarter into about 5 slices
150 ml (3/4 cup) apple cider
1 1/2 Tbsp soft brown sugar
1 1/2 Tbsp butter
A generous pinch salt
1/2 level tsp crushed dried rosemary
Combine everything and cook over moderate heat until most of the liquid has evqporated, slices are almost tender and coated with a very thick, buttery syrup. turn off heat and set aside until needed.
6 large rashers back bacon, cut across into short ribbons as thick as fettucine
2 Tbsp light vegetable oil
Heat the oil in a heavy pan and when moderately hot, cook the bacon until golden but not quite crisp. Remove bacon from bacon, draining off as much fat as possible and place bacon on a double thickness of kitchen paper. Set aside until needed. Save drippings in pan for cooking onions.
3 small to medium onions, peel and slice into thin rings
A generous splash apple cider
A generous pinch fine sea salt
A generous pinch ground black pepper
Separate the onion rings. Heat the same pan with the bacon drippings and when moderately hot, cook the onions, stirring often until soft and beginning to brown. Add the apple cider and stir to distribute. When onions are very soft and light brown, and cider has evaporated, turn off heat and set aside until needed.
200 g (2 cups) plain or all purpose flour
100g (2/3 cup) soft butter
4 1/2 Tbsp cold water
Put flour into a bowl and put butter into the middle of flour. Using a spatula, cut butter into the flour with swift and light movements until you have a bowl of uneven and coarse crumbs. Add the water and keep stirring with the spatula until mixture begins to gel. Use your hand to push mixture together into a dough. Avoid kneading. Shape dough into a disc, cover with a plate and chill for 15 minutes or so, while you clean and wash up.
Assembly and Baking
Preheat oven at 200 C (400 F). Place a large square of baking parchment on the counter. Place pastry disc on parchment and leave to warm up to room temperature. Roll out pastry to a rough circle about 3 mm (1/8 of an inch).
Combine the apples, bacon and onions together. Season with a little extra ground black pepper. I also added 6 fresh shredded Indian Borage leaves from my pot because they smelt so good and a little more cider as the filling seemed a little dry. If you have it, you could add torn fresh sage or a little fresh thyme instead. If not, just omit.
Spread filling over centre of pastry circle, leaving a border of about 3 cm (1 1/2 in) all around. Fold edge over onto filling as shown in the photo above. Brush the pastry edge with beaten egg. I used a mixture of 2 Tbsp whole milk mixed with 2 tsp oil as I hate to crack open an egg just to use a smidgen of it. Lift galette onto baking tray using the edges of the parchment.
Bake for 25 minutes or until pastry is golden. If exposed section of filling starts to brown too much, cover filling loosely with a piece of foil and continue baking. When done, remove from oven and slide off parchment onto a cooling rack.
I served wedges of this with slices of cheddar and some tender watercress sprigs dressed with a simple grainy mustard vinaigrette. It went fabulously with the leftover apple cider.
In : Baking
Tags: galette recipe apple bacon and onion galette recipe french recipes bacon apple caramelised onions pastry baking easy pastry recipes
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