Apple Galette with Lard Crust

The Galette:
This is a free form pie and quite easy to make. I have written this recipe out with an apple crumble filling but you can substitute the fruit filling out for anything, I also like peaches and blueberries, but don't be afraid to get creative!  I give the amount of lard in grams as it is meant to be weighed out. For apples, choose something not too sweet that has some tang. I recently used Red Prince apples and was quite happy with them.

If you haven't tried a pie crust made with lard, you are really missing out. Before starting our farming adventure, I thought shortening and lard were basically the same thing, taste wise. In case you are unaware, shortening is from vegetable oil while lard is from rendered pig fat. Anyway, I had made a terrible mistake. I naively believed butter was the only thing to use for a tasty pie crust as I really don't like the taste of vegetable shortening. However, once we had our pigs butchered, I wanted to revisit my assumption, and my world was pleasantly flipped on its head. A pie crust made with lard is simply heavenly. It is moist yet chewy, not oily, and simply scrumptious. Give this recipe a try and learn the deliciousness of baking with lard.

INGREDIENTS

Crust:

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour, unbleached

1 tbsp white sugar

1/2 tsp salt

140 grams leaf lard, cold, cut into 1/2" pieces

1 egg yolk

3 tbsp milk

Filling:

4 cups chopped apples (a little less than 2 lbs when whole)

1 tsp apple cider vinegar

1 tbsp white sugar

1/4 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp flour

Crumble:

1/2 cup rolled oats, quick cooking

1 tbsp flour

1/4 tsp cinnamon

2 tbsp brown sugar

2 tbsp butter, cold

Topping:

1 egg white

1 tsp water

white sugar for sprinkling

PREPARATION

Start with the crust. Combine the flour, sugar, and salt in a medium bowl. Use a pastry blender to cut in the cold lard. Mix until the the flour becomes crumbly and there are no lumps of lard.

In a small bowl, beat the egg yolk and milk together, then add to the flour mixture. Mix until the dough comes together. Don't over mix, the dough will be somewhat soft. Form the dough into a flat disc in the bowl, cover and refrigerate for 15 to 20 minutes.

Next, peel the apples and slice into pieces 1/4" thick, then cut those slices in half so they are bite size. Add the vinegar to bowl with the cut up apples and toss regularly while processing to prevent browning of the apples. Add sugar, cinnamon and flour to the apples and mix until apples are evenly coated. 

Now for the crumble. In a different small bowl, combine oats, flour, cinnamon, and brown sugar. Use a pastry blender to cut in the cold butter. Mix until everything is evenly combined and you have a nice crumbly mixture. Add a little more than half of the crumble to the apples and mix, set the rest aside.

Position rack in the centre of oven, preheat oven to 375°F. On a lightly floured work surface, roll the dough out into a circle about 12-13" around. Ensure the dough stays even and doesn't get too thin, about 1/4". Carefully transfer to a greased or lined baking sheet. Arrange the apple in the centre of the dough, leaving an edge of about 1 1/2" around the outside. Fold the outside edge up over the fruit, making pleats, pinching the corners gently to keep it in place. I usually end up with a hexagon. Sprinkle the extra crumble on top of the apples. Whisk the egg white with the water, brush it onto the crust edge. Sprinkle edge with sugar.

Loosely cover galette with tin foil and bake for 45 mins. Remove cover half way through so the top can lightly brown. Use a fork to ensure the apples are soft when the time is up. If needed, cover the galette again to prevent excessive browning. Remove and let cool 10 minutes before serving. Best served warm. Enjoy!

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Nick & Olivia Huber                                                   Huberswildwoodfarm@gmail.com
Holland Centre, ON