The holidays are here! That means a lot of things to a lot of people, but one of the things that’s usually involved is baking. For this month’s Recipe Redux theme, we were challenged to recreate a lightened up version of a favorite holiday dessert. For me, a favorite is always going to be PIE!
I love pie so much. Like Brick loves Lamp in Anchorman, I love pie all the time. In fact, I love it enough that we special ordered entirely too much of it for my wedding. The equivalent of about three whole pies are in my freezer right now, which is at the same time exciting (hello, pie whenever I want it) and saddening (because apparently no one loves it as much as I do).
If you’re like my family…who also really loves pie…it’s not complete without a scoop of ice cream. And as tasty as that is, it can really pack a sugary punch if you’re not careful about portion sizes. And although I usually preach quality over quantity, when it comes to pie I want the quality in mass quantities.
So I set out to find a way to get the best of both worlds: the same flavors and textures, without too much to the added sugar and fat. I heard once that a galette is like a pie in pizza form. PERFECT. So here is my Cardamom Apple Galette with Molasses Marscapone. Pie in open-face sandwich form. Half the crust, more fruit, more flavor and a thick, creamy topping that melts in your mouth, not on your plate.
I’ve had a bag of sorghum flour for some time now but haven’t ventured into baking with it. Although I don’t avoid gluten for any reason (in reality, I hunt it down), I do want to improve my gluten free baking skills so I can better advise clients who ask about gluten free foods. In no way, shape, or form does this mean I think gluten free is an automatic pass for being “healthier” – it simply means I want to be sensitive to the health needs and desires of the folks I work with.
I also think sorghum is just plain cool. So I threw in some sorghum molasses too. Why not?
Packing fruit into desserts is one way to sneak some kinda-sorta nutrition in there, but cinnamon is the real hero here. It’s packed with some pretty powerful plant polyphenols, which go to work in the body in all kinds of mysterious ways. Well, not so mysterious if you have a background in human physiology and biochemistry. Many claimed benefits focus on people with diabetes – better regulation of blood glucose levels, lowered triglycerides, LDL, and total cholesterol, and potentially lowered HbA1c levels. However, a lot of the evidence is anecdotal and doesn’t necessarily hold up in clinical research. That being said, there’s little harm in adding 1-4 grams per day. Cinnamon is a relatively safe option especially when used in it’s spice (vs. supplement) form.
It’s also important to mention there’s a difference in the types of cinnamon found in grocery stores. Most of what we see on shelves is Cassia (or Chinese) cinnamon – good, but not great. It has a darker color, rougher texture, and more robust flavor. It also contains a compound called coumarin, which is only a concern when it’s consumed in high doses as it can be toxic in large amounts. I prefer Ceylon cinnamon for it’s finer texture and milder flavor. Both have shown similar health benefits and haven’t really been compared against each other, so suffice it to say that adding either one to your baking repertoire isn’t going to do any harm.
So whether you’re baking for a gluten-free crowd or not, this galette recipe can be modified to fit. I’ll sign off here by wishing everyone a happy Thanksgiving week – leave some room in your day to walk off the feast when the food coma hits!
Cardamom Apple Galette with Molasses Mascarpone
Prep Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes
Cook Time: 30-35 minutes
Yield: 6 servings
FOR THE CRUST
4 oz. (about 1 cup) sorghum flour
1.25 oz. (about 1/4 cup) rice flour
1 oz. (about 1/4 cup) tapioca starch
2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 stick salted butter
1 large egg
2 Tablespoons cold water
FOR THE FILLING
3 granny smith apples, peeled, cored, and sliced thin
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cardamom
1 Tablespoon sorghum molasses
1 Tablespoon agave nectar
FOR THE TOPPING
8 ounces mascarpone cheese
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 Tablespoon sorghum molasses
1/2 Tablespoon agave nectar
Using a food processor, pulse the sorghum flour, rice flour, tapioca starch, sugar, and salt until well combined. Divide the stick of butter in 1/2 inch sections, then pulse until well blended with dry ingredients. Add the egg, and pulse until dough starts to form. Add the cold water, one Tablespoon at a time, until the dough is fully formed but not sticky.
Wrap and chill in the refrigerator for at least one hour. In the meantime, peel and core the granny smith apples. Slice thinly and add to a large mixing bowl. Add the ground cinnamon, cardamom, sorghum molasses, and agave nectar and fold until apple slices are evenly coated. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Remove the dough from the refrigerator. Dust a clean, flat surface with sorghum flour and gently roll the dough to form a 14-inch circle. Arrange the apple filling in the middle, leaving 1″ to 1 1/2″ around the border. Fold the border over the filling around the edges until the filling is fully encased in the crust.
Place on parchment paper on a baking sheet and bake 30-35 minutes or until the apples and crust begin to brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool 5-10 minutes.
In the meantime, mix the mascarpone cheese, ground cinnamon, sorghum molasses, and agave nectar in a small mixing bowl. Slice the galette into six slices and top each slice with a dollop of mascarpone topping. Enjoy while warm to allow the topping to slightly melt, if desired.
Substitute another pie crust recipe (if not adhering to gluten-free) if desired. Or, use a prepared mix or dough for convenience.
The mascarpone topping can be prepared in advance and chilled or stored for 3-4 days afterwards.