Frangipane (Almond Cream):
These Galettes start with a frozen commercial brand of puff pastry. You do need to thaw the puff pastry (as per manufacturer's directions) before you begin this dessert. Each sheet of puff pastry is rolled into a 10 x 10 inch (25 x 25 cm) square and then we cut four squares from each sheet. Each square is covered with a thin layer of frangipane, which is a delicately flavored sweet almond cream made from sugar, butter, eggs, and almond meal. Almond meal (flour) is blanched almonds that are finely ground and can be found at health food stores and many large grocery stores. If you cannot find it you can make your own by taking about 1/2 cup of blanched almonds (along with the flour in the recipe) and processing these two ingredients in your food processor until finely ground. Just make sure not to over process this mixture as it needs to be finely ground, not a paste. Once the frangipane is made and spread onto each square of pastry we then top each one with thin slices of lightly sweetened apples. You can use any firm tart apple you like (I use Granny Smith). These galettes are then baked in a hot oven until the pastry is golden brown and the apples are nice and tender. You can serve these apple galettes warm or at room temperature with or without softly whipped cream or vanilla ice cream. These would make an excellent brunch dish.
Frangipane: In the bowl of your electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, cream the sugar and butter. Beat in the egg and vanilla extract until smooth. Add the almond meal and flour and beat until it forms a smooth paste. Transfer to a small bowl, cover and refrigerate.
Once the puff pastry has been defrosted, as per manufacturer's instructions: Unfold one sheet of puff pastry onto a lightly floured surface and roll it into a 10 x 10 inch (25 x 25 cm) square. Cut the sheet into quarters with a sharp knife. Repeat with the second layer of puff pastry. Place the squares of pastry (you will have eight) on a parchment lined baking sheet. Then, with an offset spatula or large knife, spread a thin layer of frangipane (about 1 heaping tablespoon) on each square of pastry, leaving about a 1/4 inch (1 cm) border. Cover and refrigerate the pastries for about 15 minutes.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (205 degrees C) and place the oven rack in the middle of the oven
Filling: Peel and slice the apples into 1/4 inch slices. Place in a large bowl and toss with the sugar and ground cinnamon. Remove the puff pastry from the refrigerator and lay the sugar coated apple slices on top of the frangipane, overlapping the slices.
Bake for about 15 - 20 minutes or until the apples are slightly browned and tender and the puff pastry is golden brown. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack.
Preheat the oven broiler and move the rack to the top shelf of the oven. Lightly dust the tops of the apples with confectioners sugar (powdered or icing) and place under the broiler until the tips of the apples start to caramelize. Watch closely and move the pan as needed. Serve warm or cold with softly whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.
Makes 8 galettes.