How to Make an Apple Galette

Here’s another recipe from the past that I’m pulling forward to share with you again.  This Apple Galette recipe was originally posted in October of 2008.

Fall is here, the holidays are near, and the season of eating is officially upon us.  For me, that means it’s time for apple pie.  This is my third sixth year at Pinch My Salt, and every year I have grand plans to write about holiday recipes.  So far, I’ve failed miserably!  Sure, I always manage to post a few pumpkin recipes here and there, but when it comes to the real stuff: the pies, the turkey, the cranberries, the dressing, I always step back and let the pros help you out. (Edit: I do have more holiday recipes on the blog now. You can find them here.)

But this year will be different.  If nothing else, I will make sure at least one of you bakes a homemade apple pie for the very first time!  Because let me tell you, there is something magical about seeing your very first made-from-scratch pie come out of the oven.  It won’t be perfect, they never are.  But it will be the best pie you’ve ever tasted.

I remember my first apple pie.  I was 19 years old, it was Thanksgiving, and it was my very first holiday away from home.  It was exciting to be out on my own, preparing a holiday meal with friends for the first time, but I also remember calling my mom in tears that morning because I was homesick.

We made a lot of mistakes that first year.  For one, I think we forgot to take the plastic bag of giblets out of the turkey before stuffing and roasting it.  Ooops!  But you have to start somewhere, right?  For me, I started with my very first apple pie.  I don’t remember which recipe I used, I don’t even remember the process.  But I do remember the feeling I had when it came out of the oven.  To me, it was perfect!  I was so proud, I even took a photo of it.

Years later, looking at that photo of my first apple pie, I could see a million things wrong with it.  The crust didn’t even brown, not a bit.  But here’s the thing about a homemade pie: nobody cares what it looks like!  It’s homemade pie and it’s always, always, always better than a store-bought one.

But it seems that a lot of people have a fear of pie crust.  I’ll admit that fifteen years later, I still don’t make a perfect crust.  But at the same time, in fifteen years, I’ve never made a crust that wasn’t eaten!  It’s time to get over the fear, and just do it.

One way to ease yourself into pie making, is to start with a free-form pie or tart known as a galette.  To me, an apple galette may sound fancy, but it’s really just an informal apple pie.  I make one maybe once or twice a year when I’m craving something special for dessert, and it’s always thrown together at the last minute.  It seems like we always have a few apples rolling around in the fruit bin and this house never runs out of flour or butter!  I bet the same is true for most of you.

Now because this it is something that is always an impromptu dessert, I don’t have a real recipe or method.  I can’t give you exact instructions that you will follow to the letter.  But that’s fine.  I prefer that you just jump in and give this one a try.

You will be making an actual pie pastry, so it’s good practice for your next real pie.  But it’s put together in such a way that it just doesn’t matter if you mess up.  It’s supposed to be messy.  And the great thing about a galette is that the worse it looks, the more ‘rustic’ it becomes.  Haven’t you ever wanted to make a rustic tart?  Here’s your chance!

You can use any pie crust recipe you would like for your galette, but I am going to suggest one over at Simply Recipes.  I used it last night and I think it was the best I’ve ever made!  I basically halved the recipe for Elise’s Perfect Pie Crust, since I only needed a single crust.

Now let me walk you through the galette I made last night:

First, peel, core and slice about four apples.  If they are small, you can use six.  You could probably even use more.  I just like a high ratio of crust to apples when I make a galette.  It doesn’t matter what type you use, I used a couple granny smith, a braeburn, and some other red apple that I can’t remember now.  Just use what you have, or what you like.

When I prepare apples for pie, this is how I do it:

First peel the apple using a paring knife or vegetable peeler.  I prefer the latter.

First, peel the apple using a paring knife or vegetable peeler. I prefer this peeler.

It's always fun to try to remove the peel in one long curly strip.  I tried, but it broke just as I was about to finish!

It’s always fun to try to remove the peel in one long curly strip! I tried, but it broke just as I was about to finish!

Next, cut a thin slice off the top of the apple.

Next, cut a thin slice off the top of the apple.

Next, do the same with the bottom of the apple.

Then do the same with the bottom of the apple.

The apple will now sit steady on the cutting board to make it easier to section, and remove the core.

The apple will now sit steady on the cutting board to make it easier to quarter, and remove the core.

Now cut the apple into four quarters.  I like to do this with the apple turned upside down.

Now cut the apple into four quarters. I like to do this with the apple turned upside down.

Now remove the core from each apple quarter.  It seems to be easier to cut out all of the core if you start from the bottom, that's why I said to turn the apple upside down when you quarter it.

Next, remove the core from each apple quarter. It seems to be easier to cut out all of the core if you start from the bottom, that’s why I said to turn the apple upside down when you quarter it.

You now have an apple quarter that can be easily sliced into pieces.

You now have an apple quarter that can be easily sliced into pieces.

Now cut each apple quarter into five or six slices.

Finally, cut each apple quarter into five or six slices.

And now you've peeled, cored, and sliced one apple.  Only a few more to go!

And now you have peeled, cored, and sliced one apple. Only a few more to go!

Put all of your apple slices in a bowl and toss with a some sugar (I used about 1/4 cup), sprinkle in a bit of cinnamon, and a tablespoon of flour.  Toss it all together and set the bowl aside.

Now preheat the oven to 400 degrees while you make the pastry.  This is important, don’t forget to turn on the oven!

Next, clear a large space on a countertop or table and sprinkle it lightly with flour.  If you have a pastry board, even better.  Have a rolling pin handy and more flour available for sprinkling.  A dough scraper will also come in handy if you have one.

Also get out a large cookie sheet, preferably with rim.  I use a half sheet pan.  Line it with parchment paper and have it handy.

Now, put together your pastry.  If you would like instructions with photos, go to Simply Recipes.  But we are only using half of her recipe, so use the ingredient amounts that I list here.

Galette Pastry:

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 t. salt
1/2 cup chilled butter, cut into pieces (one stick)
3 tablespoons ice water

Put flour and salt in the bowl of a food processor and pulse to combine.  Add butter and pulse until the largest butter pieces are the size of peas.  Add water, one tablespoon at a time, pulsing to mix.  The mixture won’t look like it’s holding together, but pinch it, and it should stick together.

If you don’t have a food processor, put the flour and salt in a large bowl and whisk to combine.  Cut the cold butter into small pieces and toss with the flour mixture.  With your fingertips, quickly rub the butter into the flour mixture until the mixture resembles very coarse crumbs and there are still some small chunks of butter left (you may also use a pastry cutter).  Add water, one tablespoon at a time, mixing and tossing with a wooden spoon.  When the mixture just starts to clump together, continue to the next step.

Dump all the flour and butter pieces out onto the floured counter or board, and gather it and press it together into a disc shape.  At this point, the dough can be wrapped in plastic and refrigerated for up to a couple of days.  But we are going to roll it out immediately.  If you do refrigerate it, let the dough sit out at room temperature for 10 minutes before continuing to the next step.

Roll dough out into a large circle, making sure to add a bit of flour on top and underneath the dough occasionally to prevent it from sticking to the counter.  Try to roll the dough as evenly as possible to about 1/8 inch thick.  The circle doesn’t have to be perfect and if the dough starts splitting and tearing, just patch it together as best you can.  Most importantly, work quickly and make sure to keep the counter underneath lightly floured to prevent sticking!  The circle will get big!  That’s what you want.

Now gently wrap the dough around the rolling pin and transfer it to the sheet pan.  Try to unwrap the dough so that it is somewhat centered on the pan.  The pastry circle will overlap the sides of the pan by quite a bit, that’s what you want.  Now dump the apple right into the center of the circle and spread them out a bit.

At this point I usually drop a few little pieces of butter over the tops of the apples.  It’s up to you.

Next, just fold the edges of the pastry over the apples, sealing any holes that appear along the edges as you go.  You want to seal the holes and cracks so that the juices don’t escape while it’s baking.  The pastry shouldn’t cover the apples completely in the center.

If you want to try to make it look fancy, go ahead.  I don’t.  I just fold it up and hope for the best!

Finally, I beat one egg with a splash of water and lightly brush the pastry with the egg wash.  Then I sprinkle a bit of sugar over the whole thing.  This is optional, but it looks nice!

Now put the baking sheet with the galette into the preheated 400 degree oven and bake for about 35 minutes.

Now for the best part:  It’s time to eat!

I know that there are many different ways to make a pie crust: butter, shortening, even oil!  And everyone likes to argue about what makes the flakiest, most tender crust.  For pies, I tend to split the difference and use half butter and half shortening.  But an all-butter pastry will always have the best flavor in my book.  The only problem I have with an all-butter crust, is that it doesn’t hold it’s shape very well.  That’s what is so great about making a galette!  It doesn’t have any fancy fluting, so it really doesn’t matter if it doesn’t hold it’s shape as well.  I strongly urge you to give the all-butter pastry a try this time, the flavor is out of this world!

I generally do not use a food processor for pie pastry, but I gave it a try this time.  Guess what?  The results were great!  So, I may start actually using my Cuisinart for more than bread crumbs now.  But if you don’t have a food processor, just cut the butter into the flour with your fingertips or a pastry blender like I’ve always done.

Give it a try, have fun,  and let me know what happens!

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  1. Betty

    I loved the picture of this Galette!! I have made them from Martha Stewart to Ina Garten, but please have fun when you cook!! Don’t make it such a stressful time, if you are going to make something for a party or even a few friends and family, practice the recipe first if it’s only yourself or people at work. That way you can make a relaxed evening or day out it and even if you’ve never cooked or baked before.
    I think food processor made pie crust is the best ever. The golden rule of baking is simple: don’t over mix, that’s it. When you process the pie dough just mix till blended, and no more and not too much flour just enough to stick together As for the pie crust recipe the prior post wanted to know if they could make a pie crust without using butter or margarine? That’s what makes it flaky, if you leave out the fat it will become very doughy and not flake properly, not to mention be just flour and water. I’m sure there are substitutes. I have seen some “natural” made. If you are looking to replace the fat and calories I would try to cut something else out such as using sugar substitute, but that’s the reason it’s so yummy. Good luck to all and have fun!!!!

    6:43 pm  May 17th, 2009
  2. Rhubarb Blueberry Turnovers — Pinch My Salt

    […] Apple Galette […]

    1:00 pm  Jun 13th, 2009
  3. » Rustic, Fresh Strawberry Galette

    […] delicious-sounding fruit galettes on the blogs: Pinch My Salt:  Apple Galette 80 Breakfasts:  Plum & Nectarine Galette Cafe Fernando:  Apricot- Cherry Galette Daily […]

    3:01 am  Jul 9th, 2009
  4. Liz S

    Exactly what I was looking for this morning! Can’t wait to try it today – thanks!

    8:31 am  Sep 3rd, 2009
  5. Rachel

    I just made this last night with some homegrown MacIntosh apples from a friend’s farm, and as soon as I bit into a piece of it, I teared up because I hadn’t tasted a dessert like that since my mom made pie with the MacIntosh apples from our backyard when I was little. Thank you for helping me relive a great memory, and thank you for a wonderful recipe!

    11:54 am  Sep 16th, 2009
  6. apple galette - livefire

    […] nothing’s wrong with another apple pie), so I took the prompting provided by Nicole at Pinch My Salt to do a galette.  Galette is French (yeah, I said French!) for free-form pie, basically. I’m […]

    5:43 am  Sep 19th, 2009
  7. brian

    the dough was not easy at all – it’s way too dry to roll properly with so little water in it, so it was constantly cracking and still mostly flour around the edges. no way to fold the dough or transfer it without it shattering into a dozen dry pieces, i’m not sure what i did wrong but i was very careful to keep the fat in the dough from melting. i even tried to make a second dough from scratch but i got the same result – overly dry, falling to pieces at the slightest touch. how is this easier than apple pie?

    8:25 pm  Dec 6th, 2009
  8. Colby

    It’s actually a French dessert!

    4:01 pm  Feb 7th, 2010
  9. A galette, a pie, a crumble, a tart. « GrinningBookfairy Blog

    […] crust/dough; apple pie; blueberry crumb pie , apple galette, rhubarb galette, universal galette, apple […]

    2:50 am  May 30th, 2010
  10. Taylor

    Made this and loved it! Thanks for the great recipe!

    8:08 pm  Sep 7th, 2010
  11. Maxine

    Just made the galette last night and served it with vanilla ice cream. It was perfect. Not too sweet. Thanks for the great instructions!

    8:58 am  Sep 10th, 2010
  12. Multimedia Journalism « The Glutard.

    […] visual tour of the restaurant, a meeting with the Chef,a demonstration of how to make their famous Gluten Free galette, while being narrated by Kelly.  The end of the video also features the recipe for the dish.  The […]

    7:15 am  Sep 23rd, 2010
  13. Alex

    I love your blog and your recipes seem to be fool proof. I made this galette tonight and it was fantastic. Would it be okay with you if I link to your site from my blog? I would love to share your blog with others. Thanks!

    3:16 pm  Sep 25th, 2010
  14. Fall Fest: An Apple Celebration — Pinch My Salt

    […] I have plenty of delicious apple recipes to share with you, including an easy and delicious Apple Galette and my favorite Sourdough Stuffing with Apples and […]

    2:51 am  Sep 29th, 2010
  15. Jem

    My mom peeled apples like that and it was so much fun to eat the peel. I told my kids it was the original “fruit by the foot” and so much healthier than the stuff you buy in the store today.

    5:49 am  Sep 29th, 2010
  16. Sunday dinner = comfort food « Edible Joy

    […] the crust and put it on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. I followed a recipe from Pinch My Salt that caught my attention because it was called “No Fear Apple Pie.” Galettes always […]

    12:47 am  Sep 30th, 2010
  17. Caramel Apple Crumb Bars | Andrea Meyers

    […] Pinch My Salt – Apple Galette […]

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    […] Pinch My Salt […]

    7:19 pm  Oct 24th, 2010
  19. Apple Galette « Knittybutton

    […] this simple (awesome) recipe. Go make it, for reals, so much easier than […]

    9:09 pm  Oct 26th, 2010
  20. kim

    My daughter is a junior in high school and made this galette for her French class. Beautiful results and easy too! Now it will make our Thanksgiving table. Thanks!

    12:52 pm  Nov 5th, 2010
  21. Elizabeth Jones

    Thanks for this great recipe! I need something simple and easy. I am going to try using Granny Smith apples and a touch more spice.

    5:22 pm  Nov 12th, 2010
  22. Susan

    It is Sunday afternoon, I have a pot roast in the crockpot cooking and was thinking we needed a “comfort” dessert to go with our meal. So I googled for an “Apple Galette recipe.” This receipe looks SO delicious I decided I needed to try it. My family and I loved apple pie and I have a store-bought (sorry) crust in the refrigerator that needs to be used up. I plan on using your crust recipe some other time, but for now thank you for this recipe, I will let you know how it turns out. I love galettes because they are so forgiving. Thank you again.

    3:07 pm  Jan 9th, 2011
  23. Receta rápida de tarta de manzana - El Gran Chef

    […] te pierdas esta receta rápida de tarta de manzana, y si quieres hacerla más dietética, cambia el azúcar por […]

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  24. Paper Bag Apple Pie Recipe – Easy Enough for Kids to Make (Using a Paper Bag and a Surprise Ingredient!) « Apron Strings

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    8:56 am  Oct 7th, 2011
  25. Bea


    I found your blog today, and decided to make the Apple Galette, boy, boy…what a delicious treat!!..It was JUST PERFECT!!!..flacky, not to sweet…instead of white sugar I used light brown sugar and added pecans to the apple mixture, and made it by hand…Thank You so much!!!…and Happy Thanksgiving from Canada!!!

    6:06 pm  Oct 8th, 2011
  26. Tastes Like Fall (or also, the one where I feel sad, and then I make a galette) | jingersnaps

    […] always use Pinch My Salt‘s Apple Galette recipe. It’s served us well so many times in the past and is easily adaptable to whatever […]

    4:19 pm  Oct 18th, 2011
  27. Slow Cooker Apple Butter Recipe — Andrea Meyers

    […] Pinch My Salt – Apple Galette: The No Fear Apple Pie […]

    9:00 pm  Oct 20th, 2011
  28. Audrey

    If this recipe leads to someone’s very first foray into baking, having accessible instructions, more room for error on the crust shape, etc., they might not have a rolling pin. A straight sided wine bottle should substitute (that’s what I’m going to try tonight after finding this recipe…rolling pin got ditched as one of those utensils I only use once every 7 years)

    7:39 am  Feb 4th, 2012
  29. Bountiful Basket Weekly Menu Plan 2/20 — Extreme Couponing - Coupon Connections

    […] Apple Galette – So many apples to use! […]

    10:01 am  Feb 20th, 2012
  30. 2012 Spring Share Week #1, April 11th | Your CSA

    […] Pinch my Salt has a No Fear Apple Pie […]

    11:51 am  Apr 10th, 2012
  31. Renee

    Made 2 of these today! They didn’t last long, my family LOVED them! Wonderful recipe! Thank you so much!

    10:39 pm  May 27th, 2012
  32. Nea

    Just made this, and it was delicious! However, my crust turned out very crumbly & not very stable…I’m not used to working with pie crust, so maybe it’s a step I missed? Next time I’ll try doubling the crust. Either way, definitely going to make again!

    8:43 am  Jun 21st, 2012
  33. Home Page

    I’m extremely impressed with your writing skills and also with the layout on your blog. Is this a paid theme or did you customize it yourself? Anyway keep up the nice quality writing, it’s rare to see a great blog like this one nowadays..

    10:58 pm  Jul 8th, 2012
  34. OMG Pears again | Food Hackery

    […] I made is closer to a galette because the sides are not fluted but just folded over. Unlike this apple galette recipe though I chose to make less flaky more tart like […]

    7:51 pm  Jul 16th, 2012
  35. Meal Plan Inspiration! Time to Connect in the Kitchen! — Extreme Couponing - Coupon Connections

    […] I will also be making an apple galette pie! […]

    6:01 pm  Sep 24th, 2012
  36. george

    It was so easy to make and the taste was really good


    12:28 pm  Nov 23rd, 2012
  37. Burnout syndrom

    Thank you very much! So great that I’m definitely coming back again later.

    11:29 am  Dec 28th, 2012
  38. Burnout syndrom forum

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    11:30 am  Dec 28th, 2012
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    I will bookmark your weblog and check again here regularly. Thanks

    12:57 pm  Jan 9th, 2013
  40. Louise @

    Wow, what a great post. My mouth is watering! I’ll be sure to try this out this weekend. Thanks for the inspration 🙂

    4:58 pm  Apr 15th, 2013
  41. Ellimac

    DELISH! Just baked this tonight……….OMG!!! Thanks for the recipe.

    2:27 pm  Dec 29th, 2013
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