We’re having a pie fest next weekend. I suck at making pies. Or, rather, I suck at making pretty pies. But for Pie Fest 2007 I want to have a pretty pie that tastes better than everyone else’s pie. AND I want to impress some vegan boys I’m inviting (food is always the way to a man’s heart, right?). So Cupcake Punk is turning into Pie Punk. Too bad that doesn’t sound better.
Pie Experiment #1: Apple Pie, no, Apple Tart, no, Apple Galette
Galette: a general term used in French to designate different types of round and flat crusty cakes.
Cupcake Punk Definition
Galette: a poor woman’s tart; to be made when rolling a crust is apparently impossible and one doesn’t even own a tart pan thing.
I had a bag of apples in my fridge–granny smith, the kind I like to slather natural peanut butter on and make a tasty snack of. My mother said granny smith apples wouldn’t make a tasty apple pie. With her dissent, I forged ahead. Anyways, whenever she says it can’t be good I normally make it better than what should be good–it’s that rebellious daughter in me (I wasn’t raised a baker’s daughter for nothing!).
I fidgeted around with the idea of an apple pie…but I wanted something lighter, more autumnal. And autumn in Georgia isn’t freezing, it’s light and breezy (and, well, today 30 something degrees…the weather is rather schizophrenic actually. It’ll be 70 tomorrow). Luckily, Smitten Kitchen posted this delicious looking tart–so simple, so few ingredients, so easy to make vegan!
Well, except for the tart pan thing. I don’t have one. I should, they only cost $2 or so at Ross…but I don’t have one. Good thing I like artistic free form shapes. Especially since I can’t roll out a round pie crust for the life of me. I always end up with something oblong. But maybe that’s also because I don’t have wax paper. I should really go shopping, no?
Anyways, it’s a simple recipe and hard to mess up. After I pulled the pie from the oven and let it cool, I slipped it into a tupperware box, dropped it into my messenger bag, hopped on my bike, and rode three miles over to my friend Deck’s house for movie and pie night. Served with vanilla soy cream, this pie is irresistible. We ate the entire thing. The two of us. An entire pie.
Alice Waters’s Apple Tart (Veganized!)
adapted from Smitten Kitchen
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 stick Earth Balance, just softened, cut in 1/2-inch pieces
3½ tablespoons chilled water
2 pounds apples (Granny Smith or other tart variety), peeled, cored (save peels and cores), and sliced
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
3 tablespoons sugar
½ cup sugar
MIX flour, sugar, and salt in a large bowl; add 2 tablespoons of the EarthBalance. Blend in a mixer until dough resembles coarse cornmeal. Add remaining butter; mix until biggest pieces look like large peas.
DRIBBLE in water, stir, then dribble in more, until dough just holds together. Toss with hands until you can roll dough into a ball. Flatten into a 4-inch-thick disk; refrigerate. After at least 30 minutes, remove; let soften so it’s malleable but still cold. Smooth cracks at edges. On a lightly floured surface, roll into a 14-inch circle about 1/8 inch thick. Dust excess flour from both sides with a dry pastry brush. *Note: If you have issues getting the right roundness or thickness, just play with it. Make a square galette, make a triangle, make whatever works. Don’t force the dough to do something it doesn’t want to do.
PLACE dough on a baking sheet. Heat oven to 400°F.
OVERLAP apples on dough in a ring 2 inches from edge. Continue inward until you reach the center. Fold any dough hanging over pan back onto itself; crimp edges at 1-inch intervals.
BRUSH melted EarthBalance over apples and onto dough edge. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons sugar over dough edge and the other 1 tablespoon over apples.
BAKE in center of oven until apples are soft, with browned edges, and crust has caramelized to a dark golden brown (about 45 minutes), making sure to rotate tart every 15 minutes.
MAKE glaze: Put reserved peels and cores in a large saucepan, along with sugar. Pour in just enough water to cover; simmer for 25 minutes. Strain syrup through cheesecloth.
REMOVE tart from oven, and slide off parchment onto cooling rack. Let cool at least 15 minutes.
BRUSH glaze over tart, slice, and serve