The French classic gets a kick in the pants from spiced dulce de leche kissed with rum and a super-flaky alternative flour crust.
It’s hard to believe Thanksgiving is right around the corner. And on the other hand, it’s been Thanksgiving for months in the Bojon kitchen as Sarah and I have been styling holiday shoots. There have been roasted potatoes, potato gratin, sweet potatoes, more sweet potatoes, sides, stuffing stuffing and more stuffing, pies pies pies, and other festive desserts. It’s been a delicious, if decadent, couple of months.
With all of the baking going on in these parts, I hadn’t yet gotten around to using up a jar of dulce de leche a friend brought me from Argentina earlier this year. In a rare moment of having no sweets in the house, I whipped up this galette to bring to a little Friendsgiving gathering at my upstairs neighbors’.
At least, I hoped it would be friendly. I was a bit hesitant about this get together as I’ve rarely exchanged words with these neighbors except in the following instances:
- That time I met their French bulldog puppy in the hallway.
- That time I asked them to turn down their music.
- That time I left a note under their door offering support to the woman after we overheard a particularly loud screaming match wherein the man stormed out of the building after the woman had threatened suicide. As a response to the note, the woman sent me a text explaining that it was not she who was screaming, since her husband had been gone since 6 that morning, but rather it was the neighbors next door to them, who allegedly fight all the time.
I’m sure all of our neighbors are privy to our occasional outbursts, and probably worse. Our building is old, with no soundproofing, and we can hear our neighbors above and below us if they sneeze or laugh. I shudder to think what they hear from us; they probably think we’re these people.
Expecting a bit of awkwardness, I came armed with:
- fancy crackers
I hoped that these offerings would say, “I’m sorry I lose my shit sometimes and that you probably fear me. BTW, can you feed my cat when we’re away next week? Also, what do you drop on our ceiling every morning that sounds like a bowling ball?”
But when I walked through the door, I was greeted with a warm welcome from all, offered a glass of wine and a plate of food, and treated to a gossip session about all the (other) wacky neighbors which made me feel as though I lived in Stars Hollow rather than the middle of an overcrowded city with scary-high rent.
As for the galette, though it didn’t win me a free cat-sitter or solve the mystery of the loud bowling balls, it was well-loved. The crust was crisp and flaky, the apples al dente and sheathed in dulce de leche enhanced with cinnamon, chipotle, rum, and flaky salt, all topped with a plume of whipped cream.
This tart looks fancy but it’s actually way easier than making a pie. Just stir some flavorings into store-bought dulce de leche, spread it on a round of pie dough – store-bought is fine, or you can get fancy and make my gluten-free version, which I’ve streamlined to work in a food processor. Cover with sliced apples and bake. When it’s ready, slather it with more dulce de leche and serve.
And if you’re looking for another quick Thanksgiving dessert recipe, I’ve got my eye on Sarah’s latest creation. Now if only she were my neighbor…
- 1 recipe gluten-free pie pastry
- oat flour, for rolling the dough
- 1 cup (300 g) dulce de leche (store-bought or homemade)
- 2 tablespoons (30 ml) dark rum (such as The Kraken)
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon chipotle powder or cayenne (more or less to your taste)
- ½ teaspoon flaky salt (such as Maldon)
- 4-5 large, tart baking apples (2 pounds / 900 grams)
- juice from ½ a lemon (1-2 tablespoons)
- 2 tablespoons (30 ml) heavy cream or milk, for brushing edge of crust
- 2 tablespoons (30 g) unsalted butter, in small pieces
- 2 tablespoons (25 g) sugar
- barely sweetened whipped cream or vanilla ice cream, for serving
- Roll the dough between two large sheets of parchment paper, dusting it with oat flour and flipping the whole thing over as needed to prevent sticking, to make a 14-inch round that is roughly ¼-inch thick. If the dough cracks or tears, just squish it back together; it can take quite a lot of abuse. Trim the edges, then slide the parchment and dough onto a large baking sheet and chill until firm, 30 minutes.
- In a medium bowl, stir together the dulce de leche, rum, cinnamon, chipotle and salt. Chill until needed.
- Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat to 400ºF.
- Peel, halve and core the apples and cut them into ¼ - ½-inch thick wedges. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and spread with half of the dulce de leche mixture, leaving a 2-inch border. Fan the apple slices over the dulce de leche in concentric circles starting from the outside and overlapping the slices. Drizzle the apples all over with the lemon juice and dot with the butter. Brush the edge of the dough with the cream, then sprinkle the crust and apples all over with the sugar.
- Bake the galette until the crust is golden and the apples are bubbling, 45-60 minutes, rotating halfway through for even baking. Remove from the oven and drizzle with as much of the remaining dulce de leche as you like. Cut into wedges and serve with ice cream or whipped cream.
- The galette is best the day of baking while the crust is crisp, but extras will keep, refrigerated airtight, for up to 3 days.