Apple Gallette Baked in a Toaster Oven
As soon as I got the idea into my head, I knew I wanted to try it. Roommate's golden birthday happened this week and, as her traditional birthday dessert is pie, I felt particularly determined to see if I could make one in our tiny toaster oven. Once she picked apple for the fruit, I set to work gathering ingredients.
BUTTER FLAKE PASTRY
1 1/4 c white flour
1/4 t salt
1/2 c (176 g) butter, chilled
Cube and cut into the flour mixture with a knife or fork until the dough reaches a dry crumb consistency.
1/4 c ice water
Add one tablespoon a a time until the dough can be rolled into a consistent ball.
Place in an airtight container and refrigerate 5 hours or overnight.
After wandering about in Carrefour (une large sélection de produits for sure) for what felt like hours to find the flour and just managing to locate a bag of apples I was happy with (I am very spoiled by the PNW when it comes to apples), I had everything I needed.
Making the dough went precisely as planned despite our tiny half-kitchen lacking any sort of measuring cup or spoon. I quickly grabbed my mason jar, emptied it of the paint water from earlier in the day, and set about measuring the flour and water. As for the salt, I eyeballed it. For the butter, I simply cut out the middle where the measure lines were, meaning I didn't have to risk mis-judging the curved ends that this brand of (perfect) french butter has.
After rolling the dough into a ball and kneading it only a couple times to bring it to a cohesive texture (you want to work it as little as possible to maintain those flaky layers in your finished crust), I slid it into the same mason jar I'd used to measure and popped it into the fridge.
Happily closing the door behind it, I wandered off into the city and didn't have to worry about it for several hours.
Preheat toaster oven to 375 F (176 C).
4 c diced apples (with peels)
juice and zest of 1 lemon
Generously coat the apple with the juice and zest.
1/4 c white granulated sugar
1/4 c white flour
1 T cinnamon
Stir together in a separate bowl and then pour over the apples, stirring to coat everything evenly. Roll out the pastry crust into a mostly-circular shape and pile your apples into the middle. Slowly fold the edge of your circle up and around the apples, creating a ring of pastry around the edge. Crimp to keep it closed.
2 T butter
1 egg (whisked)
Dot the butter over the top of the apples and brush the visible crust edges with the egg wash.
Bake 30 minutes and check it. Turn down if the apples are growing dark and up if the crust still looks or feels doughy. Bake another 15 to 20 minutes until the top crust is golden brown and you can lift one edge and see that the whole bottom tilts up with it.
Once again, our little kitchen threw some curve balls at me. The smooth stone-like counter was perfect for rolling out pastry as it stays nice and cool and doesn't melt out the butter. No rolling pin though. One of our wine bottles that we've been keeping for decoration did the trick beautifully.
Without a pie dish in sight, not to mention the toaster oven being too small and unable to maintain heat with one inside, I pulled the bottom crumb catcher pan out of the bottom of the toaster oven, scrubbed it like mad (looks new now!), cut a sheet of parchment paper to fit, and our little pastry had a home.
Shaping the gallette (as this style of dish-less pie crust is called) is so simple and looks so pretty. The hardest part is not touching it too much. At this scale, it's just so cute!
A few pats of butter on the top and one more sprinkle of cinnamon and into the tiny, now very hot toaster oven it went.
After a few jumps up and down, a couple pokes and prods, and about 40 minutes, I pulled it out. I have never been so excited to hear that pastry-crumble-crunch as I slid the knife through the crust to cut it in half.
With some single-malt scotch, candlelight, and Chopin playing in the background, we sat in quiet for a moment as we ate our first bites.
Few things are more exciting than being able to create something delicious from scratch. Don't let tiny kitchens and unconventional tools stop you! All it takes is a little know-how and a whole lot of love. And perhaps a couple tries. But don't worry. I doubt you'll be wanting in the taste-tester department. Just throw around words like "gallette" and "butter pastry" and you should be just fine.
What's the craziest thing you've cooked/baked in an unconventional situation? I would love to hear about it! Share it with everyone on facebook too!