© 2013 Can Caramelo

Fennel & Apple Galette

I made two slightly different versions of the Fennel & Apple Galette. I sometimes try out something new in the week, but now in winter there is no light to take pictures, so I have to cook it again on the weekend if it comes out nice. Well, “I have to cook it again” is a way of saying of course. Only if I’m convinced by the outcome it will go on the blog, so I’m happy to get the chance to eat something good again. Sometimes I take pictures in the first morning light, now in winter I witness the most beautiful dawns. You can see one of them on the photo.
sunrise
A friend of mine organizes a little festival called “Cinefagia” which is basically about sharing food and a movie. The last event was on 31st of October and the theme for the food was “death”. Everybody explained their dishes, before we started to taste them. There was for example a skull made of pie crust pastry, with spaghetti as the brain, a punch that would kill you and the antidote to resuscitate… I made a savory and a sweet dish. The sweet one was a meringue covered layer cake which had a bowl made of white chocolate hidden inside, filled with raspberry sauce, so the cake would crackle and then start bleeding when cutting it. The savory one was fennel, cut into halves, grilled, colored red, filled with lentil sprouts and goat cheese covered by red pepper. It looked like torn out hearts. But I really only tell you this story because I bought more fennel than I needed and then had it in the fridge for a while, not sure of what I would to with it. Until this galette took shape in my head. The fennel is caramelized with maple syrup and combines perfectly with the apple.

Together with the goat cheese, mushrooms and lots of thyme it is a glorious salty-sweet combination. The first time I used chanterelles and champignons, the second time black chanterelles (also called trumpets of death, that actually was the main ingredient of a dish someone else brought to the Cinefagia festival), the third time I left the mushrooms out because we didn’t have any and it was as good. By the way, fennel seeds are used as a breath freshener in India and Pakistan, and fennel is used to treat several intestinal problems, hypertension and cough among others. It also has been shown to be a strong antioxidant with cytoprotective effects and remarkable anticancer potential.

Ingredients

For the dough
• ½ cup brown rice flour (I grind mine in a little electric mill)
• ½ cup buckwheat flour
• 1 cup light spelt or wheat flour
• ½ cup ice water
• 1 tsp salt
• 80g butter

For the filling
• 1 fennel bulb
• 1 apple
• ½ onion
• 1 tbsp butter
• 1 tbsp maple syrup or honey
• 1 cup of mushrooms of your choice (optional)
• a few sprigs of thyme, leaves picked
• 100g goat cheese
• salt & pepper

Start with the crust. Whisk the flours and the salt together. Add the butter and use your hands to mix it into the flour quickly, separating it into small pieces. It should be quite dry and crumby. Don’t let the butter get warm. Add the ice water and quickly knead everything together, just enough to form a ball. Wrap it into plastic film and put into the fridge to rest while you prepare the filling. That allows for the gluten to develop and make it elastic enough to roll out. Now slice the fennel bulb thinly and do the same with the (cored) apple and the onion. Put the butter into a pan and when hot, add the onion, fennel and apple. Now pour the maple syrup over and let simmer for five minutes, until the onions are transparent and the apple and fennel slices soft. Add the thyme, salt and pepper and leave for two more minutes. Take the dough out of the fridge and roll into a 0.5cm (0.2in) thick circle. If it is not perfectly round you can cut overlapping pieces and put them were it is needed. Put the fennel and apple filling on top, in the middle, leaving a border of 10cm (4in). Tear the goat cheese apart in chunks and put half of it on top of the fennel and apple. Put the mushrooms on top (if using) and and the other half of the goat cheese. Fold in the margins of the crust, covering part of the filling. Bake 30-40min at 180º.

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