The galette is a freeform pie or tart and is a great way to toss together something tasty when you don't have much time to make dessert: A little fruit, a little booze, a handful of pine nuts, a handful of raisins, some butter, some spices and some phyllo dough and you're in business here.
It's the phyllo that's the real timesaver. I was used to phyllo being a real pain in the butt to work with until I discovered that there are more brands of phyllo that Pepperidge Farm. PF phyllo is very good but dries out quickly. I used Apollo Fillo #4, which doesn't have quite the amazing texture of thinner phyllo dough but is much easier to work with.
The recipe here is enough for two galettes. One piece of advice - make sure the galette has completely cooled before you store it under glass or in the fridge. If there's any residual heat, the steam will make the phyllo soft again, robbing the galette of its crispy crunch.
Apple Galette in Phyllo (makes 2)
5 green granny smith apples (or other tart apple)
16 sheets of phyllo dough #4 (about 2/3 of a package)
2 tablespoons butter, melted
2 tablespoons butter, unmelted
4 tablespoons sherry or port, plus a glass for the chef
2 cup raisins, half gold and half black
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons cinnamon
2 teaspoons fresh ground nutmeg
2 small pinches salt
2/3 cup pine nuts
juice of one lemon
Preheat an oven to 400 F
Peel, core, and slice the apples into 1/4" slices. Toss into a big bowl.
Add all the ingredients to the bowl excpet the butter and phyllo and toss well to coat the apples.
Take two sheets of phyllo and lay them on a large nonstick cookie sheet or a sil-pat (which works very well for this purpose). Brush the phyllo with melted butter lightly. Add two more sheets and repeat. Add two more sheets and repeat. Add two more sheets and repeat. You should now have eight sheets of phyllo stacked on top of each other. You should have used one tablespoon of butter for the entire stack, but if you like crispy or buttery a lot, you can double the melted butter. (Hey - it's a dessert!)
With a slotted spoon, scoop out about half the apple mix from the bowl and place it in a mound in the center of the sheets. Make sure you get apples, raisins and nuts in the scoops.
Fold in one corner of the phyllo. About an inch or two away from the corner of the fold, fold in the phyllo again. Continue in this way, making pleats all the way around. They don't have to be perfect, they just have to look decent and hold the center in.
When you folded all the sides in, brush the top with juice from the bottom of the bowl. Place one tablespoon of unmelted butter on the top right in the center of the apples. Place in the oven and bake until the center is hot and the crust is golden brown, just tending to mahogany, about 12-20 minutes.
Build another stack of phyllo and using the remaining apple mixture, repeat the process to make your second galette. Don't just pour the mess into the center of the dough. The mix is a bit wet and you should spoon the fruit and nuts out, reserving the juice at the bottom of the bowl.
When the galettes come out, if you wish, you may drizzle more of the juice from the bottom of the mixing bowl onto the top of them. Don't overdo it or the pastries will get soggy, but the juice has a lot of flavor.
One for home and one for company. That's my kind of recipe.