You can make this delicious, flaky French pastry in minutes with a few basic ingredients! Our easy French Apple Galette has a fancy name, but is simple enough for a beginner baker to make!
Years ago, I traveled to Paris for the first time with my daughter Brookie and my mom. While we were there, we fell in love with French pastries. How I loved those French pastries! Thin, flaky, a little crispy, a little sweet. The French know how to do pastries right!
This recipe for Apple Galette is so easy to make. If you are hesitant to make apple pie, a galette is a great way to make a pastry without committing to a whole pie.
Apple Galette is the French version of what many people call a rustic pastry. “Rustic” means no structured shape, just roll out, fill, and bake. If you have always wanted to make a French pastry, but unsure of where to start, this is the recipe for you.
To make the galette (pronounced gut-let) we use a technique called fraisage. What is fraisage? Here is the short version: Fraisage is a technique that calls for partially cutting the butter into the dry ingredients, leaving large pea sized pieces of fat unmixed. It sounds similar to how we make traditional flaky pie crust in the U.S., right?
The difference between this recipe and my traditional pie crust are first, the use of butter and second, the dough is worked on the countertop instead of in a bowl. Small bits of dough are pressed firmly against the counter with the heel of the hand and eventually the butter, flour, sugar, salt and water come together into a large mass of dough. This method creates amazing flaky layers when the pastry is baked.
While Instant or quick mixing flour is often listed as an essential ingredient in making a tender crust in many recipes for galettes, I have made this recipe many times with excellent results using sifted all purpose flour + cornstarch as a substitute (see recipe notes).
This is the perfect recipe for nights when you want something more than cookies for dessert, but don’t have the time or energy to make a pie. I think you will love this recipe so much, it might even replace apple pie as your #1 !
Easier to make than apple pie! This French Galette thin and light and is perfect for picking up and eating as you would a slice of pizza!
- 1 1/2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup instant flour* see recipe notes Wondra, Pillsbury Shake and Blend Flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- 12 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold
- 1/2 cup cold water
Apple Filling and Glaze:
- 3-4 apples medium size, or about 1 1/2 lbs
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter cut into 1/4 inch pieces
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons apricot preserves, or other light-colored seedless jam or preserves
- 1 tablespoon water
To make pastry:
Combine flours, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon sugar into food processor or a large bowl. Add 12 tablespoons chopped butter, pulse to cut butter into flour until butter pieces are the size of large pebbles. Or place in a bowl and using fingers cut butter into flour mixture.
Add water, a little at a time, pulsing as you go until the dough begins to come together and form a ball in the bowl. The dough may not form together after all of the water is added, but will come together after placed on the countertop.
Empty dough onto pastry mat.
Use the heel of your hand to push small amount of dough against counter, pushing firmly down and away from you, to eventually create a separate pile of dough. This is the fraisage technique. Repeat until the dough is in one piece and shaped into a rectangle shape about 6"x4". Wrap in plastic and refrigerate until cold and firm, about 30 minutes to 1 hour.
Slice apples about 1/8 inch thin and set aside, toss with a tablespoon of lemon juice to prevent browning.
Heat oven to 400 degrees 15 minutes before baking. Place rack in middle of the oven.
Line a jelly roll pan or similar size baking sheet with parchment paper. Roll the dough out on the pastry mat or directly on the parchment paper. Form edges of the dough to create a border around the galette.
Place apple slices on top of the rolled out pastry in a pattern as shown, layering slightly on top of each other. Continue until the pastry is covered with apples. Dot the apples with butter and sprinkle with sugar.
Bake until bottom of tart is golden brown about 45-60 minutes.
Combine apricot preserves in a small bowl and microwave for about 1 minute, mix in the water, and whisk together. Brush on pastry when removed from oven.
- Wondra Flour is flour that has been pre cooked and dried. It is usually sold in a can near other flours. It is used for making sauces and gravies and sometimes in pastries. It has a very light texture and is difficult to find a proper substitute. I have used 1/4 cup of all purpose flour and 1/4 cup of cornstarch mixed together when Wondra is not available.
- If you during the fraisage process the dough still seems too dry, add a tablespoon of water to the dough.
- Granny Smith are my apple of choice in this recipe.
- Don’t slice the apples too thick, or they will not cook properly.
- If the dough is too firm when removing from refrigerator, roll out as much as possible and let sit for a few minutes. It will soften quickly.
Apple Galette originally posted in 2009, updated with new content and photos July 2022