Wednesday, March 9, 2011

nom nom nom Wednesday - Arithmancy Edition

Artihmancy celebrates all things magically mathematical.  Do you remember in your first pre-algebra class when your teacher revealed the mystery of pi to you?  Do you remember how tricky and grown up you felt the first time you wrote that little symbol in an equasion and your homework looked soooo much more impressive?

Like higher mathematics pie crust is something that can go terribly wrong if not properly handled.  Thus I am presenting you today with a recipie for Apple Galette.  What is a galette you ask?  It is a pie with a really sloppy crust.  Think of it as a pizza in which you fold the edges of the crust up onto the toppings.  It is rustic, the edges are as they were rolled up and there is no need to futz around with crimping edges, weaving lattice or cutting out cute little shapes.

Apple Gallete
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1/4 lb.) plus 2 tablespoons cold butter
1 large egg yolk, lightly beaten
1/2 cup walnuts
2 pounds tart apples (3 to 5), such as Pink Lady or Granny Smith
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 large egg, beaten to blend with 1 tablespoon water

1. In a food processor or large bowl, combine flour, granulated sugar, and salt. Cut 1/2 cup butter into pieces and add to flour mixture; pulse motor, cut in with a pastry blender, or rub in with your fingers until mixture resembles coarse meal. With motor running (or stirring with a fork after each addition), add egg yolk and 3 to 4 tablespoons cold water, 1 tablespoon at a time; process or stir just until mixture comes together in a ball. Form dough into a flat disk, wrap in plastic wrap, and chill until firm but still pliable, about 1 hour.

2. Meanwhile, spread walnuts in a baking pan and bake in a 375° oven until barely golden under skins, 6 to 8 minutes (leave oven on). Coarsely chop nuts.

3. Peel and core apples; cut each into eight wedges. In a 10- to 12-inch nonstick frying pan over medium heat, melt remaining 2 tablespoons butter. When it's foamy, add apples and stir often until slightly softened and brown at edges, 10 to 12 minutes. Sprinkle brown sugar and nutmeg over fruit and stir until liquid is syrupy and bubbling, about 5 minutes. Stir in walnuts. Remove from heat.

4. Unwrap dough. On a lightly floured surface, with a lightly floured rolling pin, roll into a round about 15 inches in diameter. Butter a 12- by 15-inch baking sheet   and carefully transfer dough round to sheet (edges will hang over sheet).

5. Pour apple mixture onto center of pastry, mounding wedges in a circle about 8 inches wide and 2 inches high. Gently fold edges of dough over apples, pleating as you go, leaving an opening about 4 inches wide in the center. Brush pastry all over with beaten egg.

6. Bake in 375° oven until pastry is golden brown and apples are tender when pierced, 40 to 45 minutes (35 to 40 in a convection oven). Transfer galette to a wire rack to cool.  Serve slightly warm or at room temperature, cut into wedges.

Then find some vanilla icecream and a good movie.

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