Fall makes me think of things like falling leaves and pumpkins and warm soups and apples.
Apples! Sure, we can get apples year round but we don’t always get apples like these. I was recently given a few apples to experiment with from Frieda’s – two different varieties that I had never heard of!
The Pink Pearl (left) and the Cortland (right).
Pink Pearls were developed in the 1940’s by a Northern California breeder while the Cortland was developed at the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station in Geneva in 1898.
As you can see, the Pink Pearl has pink overtones within the flesh of the apple. It’s got a slightly tart taste. It’s not like “Granny Smith OMG tart” either – a bit more mild with a touch of sweetness. The cortland is very white and crisp and much sweeter than it’s counterpart.
These unique heirloom apples will be available at local Sprouts stores starting October 17th, so you can get some of these beautiful apples for yourself!
I decided to take these beautiful apples to produce this: a salted caramel apple galette.
Want to go on a apple galette making journey with me?
Of course you do!
First things first… we need salted caramel sauce.
Oh, I suppose you could just cheat and buy a jar of sauce. They do make a really wonderful one at Trader Joe’s. But I was feeling rather down in the dumps that day due the radiator in my car bursting and causing my car to break down that I wanted to do something therapeutic: like baking and making caramel sauce from scratch.
Caramel sauce it actually quite easy. Sugar and water, into a pan, set it to shimmer. And don’t touch it! No stirring!
Okay, maybe I swirl it around a little… but that’s just to see how amber it’s getting.
All of those crazy bubbles get in the way, I tell you.
You can definitely see when it’s starting to get amber though… it also starts to smoke just a little and smells a little burnt. This is about the time to move it away from the stove.
It’ll be a pretty amber color like this!
Have your heavy cream and vanilla at the ready for this next step. Once you take it off the heat, you want to slowly pour in the heavy cream. If you don’t, you get a big old clump like this:
Oy. This is what happens when you dump cold things into boiling hot sugar. It siezes up!
But, you can remedy this. Just put it back over low heat until the clump dissolves – but keep stirring! Stir, stir and stir some more!
Stir til your arm feels like it might come out of it’s socket. And don’t turn up the heat too high – just enough so you can melt that sugar again and get it smooth.
Ahhh, it should look like this then.
And you can leave it like this.
Or you can make it “salted”. I added a big pinchful of fleur de sel and patted myself on the back.
Pour it into a lovely container to set up to room temperature.
Then proceed to lick spoon.
And get very last drop out of your pan.
Can’t let it go to waste, now can we? Certainly not!
Time to start on the apples!
I didn’t take a picture of me cutting and peeling apples. So, pretend I did.
[insert photo of cutting and peeling apples]
Those pink apples are so pretty!
Add the juice of one lemon (I used a Meyer lemon from our tree) and the zest of said lemon, too.
In goes your sugar and spices and little cubes of butter.
And mix until kind of goopy and weird looking.
A galette is pretty much just like a “free form” pie or tart. I would recommend that you put down a silpat or some aluminum foil instead of going naked – I wish I had done that!
Since I cheated and use a Trader Joe’s crust (seriously, you guys, they are the best for lazy crust makers) I just rolled it out onto the pan. Make sure your crust is pliable so it all stays together, otherwise the caramel all oozes out.
Take your lucscious caramel sauce and pour some in the middle. If you get any on your fingers… well then I guess you’re just going to have to it eat.
No sense in wasting sauce.
Pile those lovely apples on top. You can get all fancy and arrange them… which I started to do then, well… yeah.
I stopped. Piling seemed faster.
And… more caramel sauce. God, why not?
Then, you pull up the edges of the crust and tuck them over the apples.
I didn’t do a very good job of preventing rips and tears. You’ll do better than me, won’t you?
Beat up one egg and brush it over the edges of the crust. Sprinkle with vanilla sugar (if you have it!) or plain old white sugar for a pretty, pretty crust.
Bake at 350 degrees for about 40 minutes, or until a devilish golden brown.
And then have a slice. And put more salted caramel sauce on top… god that stuff is so good.
Want to make this yourself? Recipe is below!
Salted Caramel Sauce
1/2 cup white sugar
4 tablespoons water
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 pinch full of fleur de sel salt
1 tablespoon butter (optional)
1 pie crust (I’m lazy for this part – used a Trader Joe’s crust)
3 apples – peeled, cored and sliced
1 lemon – zested and juiced
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon white sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons butter, cut into small pieces
1 egg, beaten
1 tablespoon vanilla sugar (or white sugar)
Start by making your caramel sauce. Pour in sugar and water into a saucepan and set over medium heat. You’ll be cooking this for a few minutes – but don’t stray too far from the stove! Let it bubble and boil without stirring for 4-5 minutes, until the sugar starts to turn a deep amber color. Remove from heat and SLOWLY add in your heavy cream, stirring the entire time you’re pouring it in. Then add in vanilla and stir until smooth. Add pinch of fleur de sel and 1 tablespoon of butter, if desired. Stir until completely smooth and let cool.
If your caramel sauce starts to clump up after adding cream or vanilla, place it back on the stove over low heat to remelt the sugars. Don’t let it boil though! Just cook again until it all melts.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
Peel, core and thinly slice your apples. Add lemon zest and juice and toss over apples. Add sugars, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and cut up pieces of butter to the apples and mix until the apples are well coated.
Get out a baking sheet and cover with foil or baking mat. Place pie crust in the middle, making sure not to tear it. Add a good amount of sauce into the middle of the crust. Pile your apples onto the crust. Add another layer of caramel sauce. Fold over the edges of the crust around the apples. Brush your beaten egg over the crust edges and then sprinkle with sugar.
Bake for 40-45 minutes or until the galette is a lovely golden brown. Remove and let cool. Be naughty and add more caramel sauce to a slice.
* Disclaimer: I received these complimentary apples from Frieda’s. I was not paid for this post and the recipes, ideas and opinions expressed here are my own.