Date February 29, 2008 at 11:00 PM
A galette is a rustic, open-faced pie, made free-form instead of in a pan. It is a simple yet dramatic way to showcase the last of fall's sweet apples. Bring the galette to the table still warm, with thick slices of local cheese alongside. Apples and Havarti are a perfect cold-weather combination, the cool creaminess of the interior-ripened cheese matching the warm acidity of the fruit. This is farm-style cooking at its best.
Mix the flour, salt, and sugar together in a bowl. Cut in butter by hand or using a mixer with a paddle attachment, leaving some pea-sized chunks. Sprinkle the ice water over the top by the tablespoon and toss it with the flour mixture until you can bring the dough together into a ball. Press it into a disk and refrigerate for 15 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 400° F. Thinly slice the apples and toss them with the sugar and cinnamon.
To form a galette, roll the dough out on a lightly floured counter into a 14-inch irregular circle about 1/8 inch thick. Fold it into quarters and transfer it to the back of a sheet pan or a cookie sheet without sides. Unfold it. Mound the fruit in the center, leaving a border 2-4 inches wide. Fold the edges of the dough over the fruit, pleating as you go, partially covering the apples. Brush with melted butter, pouring any extra butter over the apples, and sprinkle with a little sugar. Bake until the crust is richly glazed and the apples are tender, about 45 minutes.
Serve with thick slices of havarti-style goat cheese.
Adapted from Deborah Madison, Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone (New York: Broadway Books, 1997.)