You know those people who say they would rather have a starter than a dessert? Lets call them ‘oddies’ shall we. Well this may well be the dessert for them. Apple and cheese isn’t that unusual for a dessert, especially here in the States. I’ve definitely been in diners where you can have your apple pie with whipped cream, ice cream or a slice of melted cheddar cheese. My mum told me that when she recently made my apple honey oat cake (http://colonialcravings.wordpress.com/tag/apple/) my dad quite cheerily polished off a few slices topped with some cheese.
This is a lovely combination of flavours, the subtly cheesy crust works really well with the spices and the sweetness of the apples. Eating apples are your best bet for this (you can’t get good old Bramleys on this side of the pond anyway) but they need to be something that will keep their shape and not break down too much. The best thing about making a galette instead of a pie is that it looks like you’ve made a real effort but it only takes a few moments to assemble! (Shhh, don’t tell anyone…)
200g plain flour
60g cold butter
60g finely grated mature cheddar
4-5 tbsp cold water
2 large apples
1 tbsp white sugar
1 tbsp light brown sugar
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp allspice
1 tbsp semolina
For the pastry, rub the butter into the flour using your fingertips until you have a mixture that looks like fine breadcrumbs. Mix in cheese, make sure that it is well-distributed. Use a little cold water to combine this into a nice lump of dough, add the water one tablespoon at a time. Wrap the dough in clingfilm and chill it in the fridge for 15 minutes.
In the meantime you can preheat the oven to 230°c and prepare the filling.
Peel, core and thinly slice the apples. I have a little gadgety doo-hickey that does it all in one for me at the turn of a handle. Mix together the spices and sugar in a large bowl a toss the apples in this. Roll out the chilled dough on a large piece of parchment. You want the dough to be a few millimetres thick and to be about 12 inches in diameter. (Sorry for mixing my measurements there) Scatter the semolina over the centre of the pastry disc (to prevent any sogginess) and pile on the apples, leave a couple of inches around the edge. Fold up the edges and brush them with egg wash before sprinkling with a little sugar.
Place the galette (still on the parchment) onto a large baking sheet and pop it in the oven. Bake it for 20 minutes and then reduce the heat to 190°c and continue to bake it for a further 25 minutes. Leave the galette to cool a bit before serving, it’s best warm rather than hot.