This gluten-free buckwheat apple galette epitomizes fall baking with the warm flavors of maple syrup and maple sugar meeting tart apple slices and toasty buckwheat. Free of refined sugar. This post was created in collaboration with Coombs Family Farms.
It’s no secret that Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday because PIE. This year the holiday is extra special to me because I get to see what you’re all cooking up from Alternative Baker, which has been out in the world for a little over a year. Few things make me happier than seeing your #AlternativeBakerBook creations on Instagram and answering questions about recipes, so please keep them coming! Extra kudos if you’ve made my gluten-free, whole-grain pie dough, which requires a few different flours and a bit of technique to make, but yields a light, flaky, shatteringly crisp crust that rivals wheat dough. It’s the recipe that prompted me to write an entire book about seasonal desserts made with flavorful flours. In other words, I was ins-PIE-ered.
If you’re new to pie-like things, this sort of rustic, rectangular tart is an ideal place to start as it requires minimal manipulation of the dough. Gluten-free dough is more brittle than wheat dough, so wrestling it into a pie pan can be intimidating, and so can fluting edges, weaving lattices, and blind-baking bottom crusts. This tart doesn’t require any of that. Just roll the dough out between two pieces of parchment paper into a large rectangle (if you’ve made the puff pastry-esque turns as called for in the recipe, the dough will want to be rectangular anyway), fill with sweet or savory ingredients, and use the parchment to help you fold over the edges. Throw it in the oven and call it dinner. Or dessert.
The buckwheat version of my pie dough gets a boost of flavor from buckwheat flour, which is made from roasted, ground buckwheat groats that lend a toasty warmth akin to cinnamon and hazelnuts. In Alternative Baker, this version houses a very creamy pumpkin pie and a batch of pear galettes drizzled with salty caramel. Here it forms an earthy base for rich maple walnut frangipane layered with slices of tart apples and finished with a generous drizzle of amber-hued maple syrup. I took a tip from Yossy’s beautiful book Sweeter Off the Vine for apple styling inspiration.
Maple is hands down my favorite sweetener. It comes from trees. It’s minimally processed. It contains trace amounts of minerals. It supposedly doesn’t spike your blood sugar the way honey, sugar, and agave do. But mostly I love it for its warm, rich flavor that reminds me of walks in the woods and colorful fall foliage. The day I discovered maple sugar was a particularly happy occasion; it has an extra-concentrated maple flavor but none of the moisture, so you can swap it with regular sugar in recipes.
In this buckwheat apple galette, maple sugar adds extra depth to the walnut frangipane while allowing the crust to stay crisp, and it keeps the galette free of any refined sugar, too. Coombs Family Farm maple syrup and maple sugar are the ones I’ve stocked in my pantry for years. I love that they’re organically grown in the US on a 150-year-old family farm that practices sustainable forestry, preserving habitats for wildlife and making yummy sweeteners at the same time. Their maple syrup comes in a lighter amber variety, which has a delicate flavor and golden hue, and a darker grade, which tastes extra rich and mapley. Sometimes I specify one or the other in a recipe, but I’ve made this tart using both and we love them equally.
Cut this buckwheat apple galette into squares to eat out of hand with coffee, and you’ll feel like you’re in a French patisserie enjoying a fancy pastry. Or serve up slices warm and dolloped with crème fraiche or vanilla ice cream, and you’ll be transported to all the best apple pies you’ve ever enjoyed. Flaky crust redolent with toasty buckwheat and caramelized butter will shatter as you crunch through the crust, meeting creamy frangipane, tart apples, and a topnote of maple kissed with flaky salt.
I hope you enjoy this buckwheat apple galette as much as we do! Many thanks to Coombs Family Farms for sponsoring this post, as well as continuing to make delicious maple syrup the traditional way.
*Thanks for reading! For more Bojon Gourmet in your life, follow along on Instagram, Facebook, or Pinterest, or subscribe to receive new posts via email. And if you make this buckwheat apple galette, I’d love to see! Tag your Instagram snaps @The_Bojon_Gourmet and #bojongourmet.*
- ¼ cup (60 ml) ice water
- ¼ cup (60 ml) cold buttermilk
- ½ cup (80 g) sweet white rice flour (Mochiko)
- ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons (40 g) GF oat flour, plus more for dusting
- ¼ cup (25 g) buckwheat flour
- ¼ cup (30 g) cornstarch
- 2 tablespoons (13 g) tapioca flour
- 2½ tablespoons (15 g) finely ground chia seed
- 1 tablespoon (10 g) Coombs Family Farms maple sugar
- ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
- 8 tablespoons (113 g) cold, unsalted butter (preferably European style), sliced ¼-inch thick
- 1 cup (90 grams) raw walnut halves
- 6 tablespoons (60 grams) Coombs Family Farms maple sugar
- ¼ cup (40 grams) sweet rice flour
- ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
- 4 tablespoons (56 grams) unsalted butter, softened
- 2 large eggs
- 5 medium granny smith or other tart baking apples (about 1 ¾ pounds / 800 g)
- juice from ½ a lemon
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into tiny cubes
- 2 tablespoons Coombs Family Farm maple syrup (either amber or dark), plus more for drizzling
- 1 egg, beaten well
- crème fraiche, whipped cream, or vanilla ice cream, for serving
- flaky salt, for serving
- Combine the ice water and buttermilk in a small pitcher and chill until needed. In the bowl of a food processor, combine the sweet rice, oat, and buckwheat flours with the cornstarch, tapioca flour, ground chia seed, sugar, and salt. Scatter the butter pieces over the top and place the lid on the food processor, but don’t process yet! Simultaneously pour the cold buttermilk mixture through the feed tube in a slow and steady stream while pulsing the food processor all the while until all the liquid is added and the butter is broken down into chunks of varying sizes from tiny peas to lima beans. The dough should hold together when squeezed; if it needs more liquid to come together, gently pulse in a tablespoon or two more ice water.
- Press the dough into a ball, flatten into a disc in a large piece of plastic wrap or beeswax wrap, wrap tightly, and chill until firm, at least 1 hour and up to 3 days.
- Let the dough soften at room temperature for 10 – 20 minutes to make it easier to roll. On a surface dusted lightly with oat flour, roll the chilled dough out into a rough square that is about ¼-inch thick. As you work, dust the top of the dough with oat flour, using a dry pastry brush to sweep away the excess. When the dough begins to stick to the work surface, use a bench scraper to move it to one side, dust the surface with more flour, and return the dough to the surface to continue rolling. Don’t worry if the dough crumbles and wants to fall apart, just press it back together. Once the dough is rolled out, fold it in thirds like folding a letter, then roll it up from a skinny end into a loose spiral. Gently press to flatten it slightly, and chill for 30 minutes. Optionally (preferably), repeat this step once more. The dough will get smoother and easier to work with as you make these turns.
- In the bowl of a food processor, combine the walnuts, maple sugar, sweet rice flour, and salt. Process to a fine powder. Add the butter and eggs and process until silky smooth. Chill until needed.
- Position a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat to 400ºF.
- Let the dough stand at room temperature until slightly softened, 5 minutes in a warm kitchen or 15 minutes in a cool kitchen. Sandwich the dough between 2 large pieces of parchment paper dusted lightly with oat flour, and gently begin pressing it flat, then roll it into a 12 by 16-inch (30 by 40-cm) rectangle. As you work, periodically peel back the top piece of parchment, dust the dough lightly with oat flour, replace the parchment, grasp the dough sandwich with both hands and flip the whole thing over. Peel off the new top piece of parchment, dust with flour and continue to roll. If the dough is uneven, cut off the long bits and press them onto the short bits, rolling to adhere. When your rectangle measures 12 by 16 inches (30 by 40 cm), trim the sides so that they’re even and straight. If your dough becomes soft or sticky at any point, slip it onto a baking sheet, parchment and all, and chill it for 10–20 minutes to firm the butter. When the crust is rolled out, spread the frangipane over it in an even layer leaving a 1-inch border on each side. Slide the crust onto a baking sheet (unrimmed if you’ve got one), still on the parchment, and chill until firm, 20 minutes.
- While the crust chills, use a T-shaped vegetable peeler to peel the apples. Holding each apple upright, cut the flesh away from the core in 4 or 5 large pieces. With a cut-side down, cut each apple piece lengthwise into ⅛-inch thick slices, keeping the pieces together and discarding (or noshing on) the rounded end pieces. Drizzle the apples with the lemon juice to prevent them from oxidizing and to up the acidity.
- When the crust has chilled, place slices from about one-quarter of an apple (roughly 5 slices) over the top corner of the frangipane lengthwise, fanning and flattening them them out slightly. Place another quarter of an apple next to the first quarter crosswise snuggling them as close to the first apples as you can (they will shrink a bit in the oven). Repeat with the remaining apples, making a crosshatch pattern and placing the apples close together. Use the parchment to help fold the dough edges over the apples to make a crust, pressing the corners to adhere. Dot the apples all over with the butter and drizzle with the 2 tablespoons maple syrup. Brush the edges of the dough with the beaten egg. If the dough has become soft to the touch, chill until firm, 15-30 minutes.
- Bake the tart until the apples have begun to caramelize around the edges and the bottom of the crust is crisp, 40-50 minutes, rotating after 30 minutes for even baking. Let cool to warm or room temperature. Drizzle all over with maple syrup, dust with pinches of flaky salt, cut into squares, and serve with crème fraiche. The tart is best the day of baking when the crust is crisp, but extra tart keeps well, refrigerated airtight, for up to 3 days. For best reheating results, place a slice in a skillet set over low heat until the crust is crisp and the topping is warm, about 5 minutes.