READY FOR THE HOL­I­DAYS

Pace your­self with a small man­age­able project for each of De­cem­ber’s five week­ends—whether for gift­ing, host­ing or some well-de­served built-in you-time!

Food & Drink - - TABLE OF CONTENTS - By Jen­nifer MacKen­zie

Pace your­self with one project for each of De­cem­ber’s five week­ends—whether for gift­ing, host­ing or set­ting aside you-time!

THE HOL­I­DAY SEA­SON starts out of the gate in late No­vem­ber and, in a blink, it’s Jan­uary al­ready and you don’t know where the time has gone. With some ad­vance plan­ning you can max­i­mize your time, plot out your days in the kitchen and, this year, take full ad­van­tage of the five week­ends in De­cem­ber to cre­ate meals to freeze ahead, whip up some gifts to share with loved ones, host a din­ner party (without stress­ing out about it), squeeze in some last-minute bak­ing and, fi­nally, re­lax and en­joy a movie night in with a ca­sual yet deca­dent meal and munchies. We’ve got it all set out for you, just make your gro­cery lists, set the playlist to “fes­tive,” and take it away.

BRANDIED AP­PLE-RAISIN GALETTE

While the free-form shape is more rus­tic than a primly crimped pie, some­how a golden galette is more el­e­gant in a way—es­pe­cially when it’s filled with glossy ap­ples doused with brandy. The beauty of rolling pas­try for a galette is that the ran­dom, rough edges, pleats and folds are all part of the charm, so there’s no need to stress about per­fec­tion. Make sure you use juicy ap­ples with good, tart flavour, such as Crispin (Mutsu), North­ern Spy or firm Em­pire or Spar­tan. In­stead of raisins you can sub­sti­tute dried cran­ber­ries or chopped dried sour cher­ries. Serve with vanilla ice cream or sweet­ened whipped cream flavoured with a splash of brandy.

SWEET PAS­TRY

1¾ cups (425 mL) all-pur­pose flour

2 tbsp (30 mL) gran­u­lated sugar

½ tsp (2 mL) salt

¾ cup (175 mL) cold un­salted but­ter, cubed 6 tbsp (90 mL) ice wa­ter, ap­prox.

FILL­ING

⅓ cup (80 mL) packed brown sugar

½ tsp (2 mL) ground cin­na­mon

⅓ cup (80 mL) raisins

3 tbsp (45 mL) brandy

2 tbsp (30 mL) un­salted but­ter, cubed

4 cups (1 L) thinly sliced peeled cook­ing ap­ples, about 4

¾ cup (175 mL) ground al­monds

2 tbsp (30 mL) all-pur­pose flour

GLAZE

1 egg

1 tbsp (15 mL) wa­ter

½ tsp (2 mL) gran­u­lated sugar ⅛ tsp (0.5 mL) ground cin­na­mon

1 For pas­try, com­bine flour, sugar and salt in a food pro­ces­sor. Scat­ter but­ter over­top and pulse just un­til mix­ture re­sem­bles fine crumbs with a few larger pieces (al­ter­na­tively, com­bine in a bowl and cut in but­ter us­ing a pas­try blender).

2 Driz­zle 6 tbsp (90 mL) ice wa­ter over flour mix­ture and pulse (or stir) just un­til dough clumps to­gether, adding more wa­ter, 1 to 2 tsp (5 to 10 mL) at a time, if nec­es­sary. Re­move from food pro­ces­sor and form into a ball. Flat­ten into a disc, wrap in plas­tic wrap and re­frig­er­ate for 30 min­utes.

3 Pre­heat oven to 450°F (230°C) with rack po­si­tioned in bot­tom third of oven.

4 For fill­ing, com­bine brown sugar, cin­na­mon, raisins, brandy and but­ter in a large skil­let. Heat over medium-low heat, stir­ring, un­til sugar is dis­solved and but­ter is melted. Add ap­ples and stir gen­tly to coat evenly. Trans­fer to bowl and let cool com­pletely.

5 On a large piece of floured parch­ment pa­per, roll out pas­try to a 15-inch (38-cm) cir­cle, gen­tly lift­ing pas­try and flour­ing un­der­neath and flour­ing rolling pin as you roll to pre­vent stick­ing. Slide parch­ment pa­per and pas­try cir­cle onto a large bak­ing sheet.

6 Sprin­kle al­monds in a 9-inch (23-cm) cir­cle in the cen­tre of the pas­try. Stir 2 tbsp (25 mL) flour into ap­ple mix­ture un­til blended. Pile ap­ples on top of the al­monds. Gen­tly press down to make fill­ing com­pact. Fold up pas­try bor­der and over fill­ing to­ward cen­tre, cov­er­ing by about 3 inches (8 cm) around the edges and press­ing slightly where sec­tions of bor­der over­lap.

7 For glaze, whisk egg with wa­ter in a small bowl. Com­bine sugar and cin­na­mon in an­other small bowl. Brush top of pas­try with egg wash, seal­ing pleats well, then sprin­kle cin­na­mon sugar evenly over pas­try.

8 Bake for 10 min­utes. Re­duce oven tem­per­a­ture to 350°F (180°C) and bake for about 45 min­utes or un­til pas­try is golden and crisp, fill­ing is bub­bling and ap­ples are ten­der.

9 Let galette cool on pan on a rack. Serve warm or at room tem­per­a­ture. (It is best served the day it is baked.)

Serves 6 to 8

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