The change of seasons is upon us and the fragrance of fall will soon be wafting through the air. Apple cider, apple butter, applesauce, apple crisp, apple cider doughnuts … OK, so I could go on and on about apples like Forrest Gump’s buddy Bubba could go on about shrimp. But seriously, the possibilities are endless when it comes to cooking and baking with apples and they go way beyond classics like pies and fritters. Google “apple recipes” and you’ll find creative fare like apple pie taquitos; brown butter apple quesadillas; caramel apple baked brie; and honey, apple, cheddar, and bacon panini — YUM!
In a quest for some fresh, new apple recipe ideas, I turned to the hardworking ladies of Truckee’s Sierra Bakehouse, Daniella Luchian and Kristy Kirsch. Take a break from the same old apple pie this season and try your baker’s hand at their recipe for a seasonal apple galette or the creamy deliciousness of panna cotta with caramelized apples.
Daniella suggested preparing the galette dough, which essentially is a pie dough with a little sugar for sweetness and a caramel crust, and the frangipane a day early. The whole tart can be assembled with fruit and frozen unbaked, then baked when needed, she said, making it a great dessert to make ahead of time for the holidays.
“You can get great baking apples from Tahoe Food hub, just ask one of the workers which apples will work best for baking,” Daniella told Moonshine Ink. “I like Granny Smith, Braeburn, Honeycrisp, Pink Lady. They all work well for this galette. A firm, crisp, tart apple works best.”
8 cups flour
1 cup sugar
¾ tsp salt
1 lb, 8 oz butter, very cold
2 cups water, iced
Put all dry ingredients in a bowl. Cube the butter into half-inch pieces. With your hands or a pie cutter, rub and squeeze the butter pieces into the dry ingredients until they are about the size of almonds. Add the ice water and combine until it just barely forms a dough. Do not overmix. Refrigerate the dough for at least 2 hours. Measure the dough into 4-ounce pieces or about a half-cup size. With flour and a rolling pin, roll the dough into a circle until the dough is between an 1/8 and 1/4-inch thick. Put them back into the refrigerator until ready to assemble galettes.
225 g butter, softened
225 g almond (or hazelnut) flour
225 g sugar
10 g vanilla extract
Using a KitchenAid stand mixer with paddle attachment, paddle the soft butter and sugar for 3 to 4 minutes on medium speed. Slowly add the eggs one at a time, making sure each is fully incorporated before adding the next one. Add the vanilla extract, then the almond flour and mix just until combined. Scrape down the bowl well and mix again for about 30 seconds to make sure all the butter and sugar are mixed with the flour. Refrigerate for a few hours until slightly firm, but still spreadable.
Cut the apples off the core (no need to peel them, the skin is delicious!) Thinly slice the apples to about 1/16th of an inch. Put the galette dough on a lightly floured surface and let come to temper, maybe 5 minutes at most. Spread about 3 tablespoons of frangipane in the middle of the galette dough but leave about an inch diameter of clean dough. Place a whole apple on top of the frangipane and fan it out in a pretty design. Fold the clean edges over the sides to hold the apples and frangipane from slipping out while they bake. Brush the entire galette with butter and dust with cinnamon, sugar, and cardamom. Refrigerate for 20 minutes or freeze at this point. Bake at 375 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes depending on your oven. Should be a golden-brown crust that is completely cooked on the bottom as well. Let cool slightly before eating. Can be served with a scoop of your favorite ice cream.
Buttermilk or Yogurt Panna Cotta with Caramelized Apples
1000 g heavy cream
200 g sugar
15 g of gelatin, bloomed in cold water
1000g Greek yogurt or Bulgarian buttermilk (thicker, more flavorful buttermilk)
10 g of vanilla or almond extract
First, sprinkle the gelatin over a half a cup of ice-cold water. Let sit for 15 minutes; do not stir or disturb.
In a pot, heat up heavy cream, sugar, and vanilla, whisking until the sugar just dissolves. Do not boil it. Remove from heat; add the bloomed gelatin water to the pot and dissolve it. (If you do boil the mixture, let it cool for a few minutes before adding the gelatin or the gelatin could be ruined.)
Pour hot mixture over yogurt or buttermilk and whisk together. If you have an immersion blender, you can use this here to speed up the process. If not, just whisk in the cream slowly and thoroughly so there are no lumps. Pour into the mason jars. Fill to nearly full for 2-ounce jars and halfway for 4-ounce jars. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours.
“This panna cotta is a great way to serve individual desserts within a few hours and find a purpose for a bunch of those mason jars you have saved in your cabinets,” Daniella added.