It is officially pie season. When you see more apples than anything else at the Farmer’s Market that’s when the urge to make pie kicks in for me. I am a winter pie lover. Bring on not only the apples, but the pumpkin for Thanksgiving and the mincemeat for Christmas. And even though cherry season is long behind us, I am not above buying canned cherries (not the pie filling, please!) to make my all-time favorite pie.
Most people have a fear of pie because they’re afraid to make the crust. I spent one summer actually dedicated to curing my fear of making pie crust and I can confidently say if I can do it, anyone can do it. I use the Crisco crust recipe and it has never failed me. Here it is. Live by it.
I will say that when I started making pies, the most fearful thing to me was actually getting the crust into the pie plate without it tearing in a thousand places. Thankfully, the word “rustic” had taken on culinary cachet because many of my first attempts were definitely rustic. So that is why, today, I offer you the galette, which is simply a term for a pie without the pie plate.
Start by making your dough according to the Crisco recipe. Then it’s a totally free-form affair. Roll out the dough on a piece of plastic wrap over a cutting board. Then put a piece of parchment paper on a cookie sheet and in one elegant and swift movement, flip the crust over and peel off the plastic. Voila!
Since it’s apple season, make an apple galette. Simply peel and slice two or three firm apples such as a Granny Smith or Gala. Toss them with a bit of sugar and cinnamon. Then brush a thin layer apricot or peach jam on the pastry, leaving an ample-sized rim. Shingle the apple slices over the jam and then fold over the excess dough. That’s it! Bake the galette at 400 degrees for about 15 to 20 minutes, until the apple slices start to brown and the crust is nicely colored.
Consider this pie-making 101. You will gain confidence. Your family and friends will admire you greatly. Your skin will improve and you will suddenly come into a lot of money. And then you can move onto the more difficult, but highly rewarding full-on, two-crusted King Daddy of pies, just in time for the holidays.