From America's Test Kitchen Season 8: French Apple Tart
The French tart known as an apple galette should have a flaky crust and a substantial layer of nicely shingled sweet caramelized apples. But it’s challenging to make a crust strong enough to hold the apples and still be eaten out of hand—most recipes create a crust that is tough, cracker-like, and bland. Our ideal galette has the buttery flakiness of a croissant but is strong enough to support a generous layer of caramelized apples. Choosing the right flour put us on the right track. All-purpose flour contains too much gluten for this dough; it made the pastry tough. Lower-protein pastry flour created a flaky, tender, and sturdy pastry. As pastry flour is hard to find, we created a practical alternative by mixing regular all-purpose flour with instant flour. Technique also proved to be important. We used the French fraisage method of blending butter into dough (see page 578 for more information). The apple topping was simple. We found that any thinly sliced apple would work, although we slightly preferred Granny Smith.
Serves 8 to 10
The galette can be made without instant flour, using 2 cups of all-purpose flour and 2 tablespoons of cornstarch. However, you might have to increase the amount of ice water. Although any apple will work in this recipe, we prefer Golden Delicious, Granny Smith, and Empire. If you don't have an apple corer, halve the peeled apples and then use a melon baller or paring knife to remove the core from each half. Make sure to cut the apples as thinly as possible. If they are cut thicker than 1/8 inch, they will be hard to shingle. If the dough has chilled longer than 1 hour, let it stand at room temperature for 15 to 20 minutes to soften. If the dough becomes soft and sticky while being rolled, transfer it to a baking sheet and refrigerate it for 10 to 15 minutes. Check the bottom of the galette halfway through baking-it should be a light golden brown. If it is darker, reduce the oven temperature to 375 degrees. Serve with vanilla ice cream, lightly sweetened whipped cream, or creme fraiche.