Do I need to precook the apples: An analysis of whether or not apples need to be precooked for an apple galette.
I have been wondering whether or not you need to precook apples for an apple galette. For apple pie I never do because it’s not worth the effort with everything else involved in making a pie, but I was wondering if that was also true for galettes. I decided to put the question to the test and make one apple galette with precooked apples and one galette without and compare them side by side.
My hypothesis was that because the apples are less contained in the crust of a galette vs a pie, it made sense to precook them and prevent the juice from the apples from spilling out everywhere. I also wondered whether the pictures of apple galettes with their pretty and perfectly layered apples were more for show and therefore suffered a bit when it came to taste. If you’re layering your uncooked apple slices in a pretty pattern you wouldn’t be able to toss and coat them in cinnamon and sugar, without a ton of effort. So my thought was it probably doesn't taste as good.
For this experiment I made two different galettes using the same pie dough and the same apples and the same amount of cinnamon. However, there were a few differences.
Galette using raw/uncooked apple slices:
- I used fewer apples and sliced them thinner. If you're layering them in a pattern you can’t pile them up into a big heap so you have to use fewer apples.
- I did not toss and coat the apples in cinnamon and sugar, but rather arranged them in a nice pattern and sprinkled cinnamon and sugar on top.
- I used less sugar. There’s only so much sugar you can sprinkle on top of the apples.
Galette using precooked apples:
- I sauteed the apples coated in cinnamon and sugar in a large sauté pan over medium heat for several minutes to cook and soften them.
- I used more sugar. You’re not limited with the amount of sugar since you can coat all sides of the apple slices in sugar.
- I definitely did not spend the time to arrange the apples in a pretty pattern. It would have taken a lot of work to rearrange after cooking compared with just after slicing.
What I learned:
- Using precooked apples did not make any difference in how well the galette turned out. The galette using raw apples was not any more watery or soupy than the galette with precooked apples. This is likely because unlike a pie with a crust on top, galettes do not have a top and therefore the water can evaporate out of the galette so you’re not left with a liquidy dessert.
- What does make a difference is how thinly you slice the apples. If you’re making a galette with raw apple slices and you want to layer them for effect, you want to slice them thin but not too thin. If you slice them really thin the apples will essentially become applesauce in a galette pie crust. It’ll still taste great, it just won’t have the same texture.
- It is way easier to not precook the apples, and super easy to arrange the apple slices in a pretty pattern in your galette.
- The raw apple slices/pretty pattern galette tastes just as good as the prebaked one, and it takes less time, and looks a lot better.
- Using less sugar did not make the dessert any less tasty. It was perhaps a little less sweet, but just as good. You could also switch to a sweeter apple like honeycrisp which will result in a sweeter apple galette with the same amount of sugar sprinkled on top.
You DO NOT need to precook apples for an apple galette. I learned from this experiment that it’s better to arrange raw/uncooked apple slices in a pretty pattern in your crust and sprinkle them with cinnamon and sugar and call it a day. Its way easier, saves time, and looks better, all without any impact on taste.
- Be sure to buy high quality cinnamon. This makes all the difference in the world. I am not that picky about spices, but specifically for cinnamon, I do buy organic cinnamon at Whole Foods to ensure that its good quality and tastes good.
- I usually rely on granny smith apples for pie or galette, but there are plenty of other apples that would work well too, like honeycrisp. Honeycrisp will be sweeter and therefore result in a sweeter galette.
- There are plenty of ways to complicate making pie crust or galette crust, but it’s just not worth it. Simply combine the ingredients above, refrigerate for 30 minutes to 1 hour and then roll it out. It will be flaky, layer-y, buttery, and amazing.
- Don’t precook apples for a galette. As I learned with this experiment, it’s not worth the effort!
Now for the recipe:
Quick and Easy Apple Galette
- 1 ½ cups flour
- ¾ tsp salt
- 1 tbsp granulated sugar
- 9 tbsp butter, softened
- 5-6 tbsp ice water
- 3-4 granny smith apples
- ⅓ cup granulated sugar
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 egg white
- 1 tsp water
- powdered sugar, optional
- In a large bowl, combine butter, flour, salt, sugar, and ice water with a spoon. Wrap the pie crust in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 1 hour or overnight.
- Preheat the oven to 375°F.
- Peel and thinly slice the apples (but not too thin!) As you are slicing the apples leave the slices together so that you can arrange them neatly in the crust.
- Sprinkle a clean work surface with flour. Roll out the pie dough into a circle approximately 12 inches in diameter, sprinkling with flour as necessary to prevent the dough from sticking.
- Layer in the apple slices such that there is a 1 ½ inch margin of crust left.
- In a small bowl combine the granulated sugar and cinnamon. Sprinkle over the apple slices.
- Fold the crust in and over the edge of the apple slices.
- In a small bowl whisk together the egg white and 1 tsp water. Using a pastry brush, brush the egg white mixture over the outer crust of the galette.
- Bake for 45 minutes, or until the crust becomes golden brown.
- Allow to cool slightly, then serve warm. Dust with powdered sugar (optional).