As much as I love stone fruit season, I am very much looking forward to apple season, which is just around the corner. Apples are a wonderfully versatile fruit that lasts awhile in the fridge and is pretty much always ready to eat. There are also a ton of varieties to choose from. Sour, crisp, tart, sweet, soft, juicy… Apple tasting is super fun activity for kids, by the way.
When I was a kid, we used to go apple picking as fall was beginning, in September. We would get buckets and buckets of apples that lasted forever. Most of the apples would be devoured as is because, if you’ve ever had a freshly picked apple, that is really the best way to eat them. But the rest would be put into pies, cut into salad, or chopped up into cakes, cookies, and pancakes.
So as apple season begins, I have a superstar of a recipe for you. Galettes are one of those magnificent desserts that don’t have to be super pretty. I like to think of them as a freeform tart. Like any dish using a basic pastry dough, they can be either sweet or savory with the filling only limited to your imagination.
This particular filling was inspired by a favorite book that I just reread. That book is Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman (you’ve probably seen the movie with Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman, also great). Mostly, I love the way that it’s written, with pages of magically descriptive prose. But this last time I reread it, there was a small mention of food that caught my attention. The main character was making an apple pie with her “secret” ingredient: black pepper.
I think traditionally savory ingredients in a dessert can be a really great way to surprise the taste buds and to enhance overall flavor. Black pepper is amazing with apples. Like cinnamon, it has a subtle spiciness that compliments the crisp, sweetness of apples. Black pepper is slightly bitter, so a little lemon juice and coconut sugar gives the dish a perfect balance. It was really hard not to eat the entire thing before my husband could have a try, it’s that good. Black pepper and apples is something special and delicious.
Apple and Black Pepper Galette
- 1 1/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup vegan butter or coconut oil
- 1/4 cup cold water
- 3-4 apples, peeled and cut into 1/4-1/2 inch slices
- 2 Tbsp coconut sugar
- 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1 Tbsp lemon juice
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. In a large bowl, mix the flour and salt. Cut the butter into the flour using a pastry cutter or a food processor until it looks like bread crumbs. Pour the cold water into the mixture and combine until a dough forms. Chill until ready to use.
- Prepare the apples and mix them with the coconut sugar, black pepper, and lemon juice.
- Roll the dough out into about 1/4 inch thick disk. Place dough on parchment paper or a silicone mat on a baking sheet. Arrange the apples in the center of the dough, leaving about an inch border. Fold the extra dough over the sides of the galette.
- Bake for about 45 minutes to an hour, until the dough is golden and the apples are soft. Let cool completely before serving. Enjoy!