With its stunning presentation of thin, overlapping apple slices caramelized on a light, buttery crust, an apple galette is an instant favorite. However, the challenge for this pastry lies in making a crust strong enough to securely hold the fruit when eaten out of hand, yet still be tender and flaky. The solution lies in using instant flour—with less gluten, it safeguards against a tough dough—and a butter-blending method called fraisage. See the technique in action in our galette-making video.
Starting at the farthest end of the rectangular pile of dough, smear a small amount of the dough against the counter with the palm of your hand. Repeat this smearing process (called fraisage) until the rest of the buttery crumbs have been worked. This process pushes the chunks of butter into long thin sheets, making the crust flaky.
Gather the smeared bits into another rectangular pile and repeat the smearing process until all of the crumbs have been worked again. This second time won’t take as long and will result in large flakes of dough that stick to your palms. Press the dough into a 4-inch square, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 1 hour.
Cut a piece of parchment to measure exactly 16 by 12 inches, then roll the dough out on top of the parchment until it just overhangs the edge and is about ⅛ inch thick.
Trim the dough so that the edges are even with the parchment paper. We use the parchment as a guide to cut a perfectly even rectangle of dough from which we can make a large thin crust.
Roll up 1 inch of each edge to create a ½-inch-thick border. This border is decorative and helps keep the apple slices in place.
Slide the parchment and dough onto a rimmed baking sheet. Starting in one corner, shingle the apple slices in tidy rows on the diagonal over the dough, overlapping each row by a third. Working on the diagonal is key to creating a beautiful galette that bakes evenly. Make sure that your apples are sliced thin so they lay flat. Overlapping the apple slices will prevent any bare spots from forming as the apples bake (they shrink as they cook).