Thursday, October 11, 2012


Dash. I'm trying to write. Please stop climbing up my back.

Mama, the whole day was mean to me. And now you're being mean to me too. I just want to run away.

From home?

Yes. Mama. I want to leave this house for a little while.

What if we pack a bag and you run away to my bedroom and close the door. No one will bother you in there. I'll even wrap up a slice of the apple galette you helped me make yesterday.

That doesn't count as running away.

Dashi, there's no right way to run away.

Here's the deal. I won't run away if you let me sit in your lap while you write.

Okay. Deal.

He drapes his hands on top of mine and we write a few typo-heavy sentences about my love of anchovies.

Mama, I wish anchovies had never been invented.

We color correct a photo of fig brown sugar ice cream. We read a Mary Oliver poem about swimming inward and flowing outward and praying. We listen to his favorite New Direction song about how you don't know you're beautiful that's what makes you beautiful. We check out Facebook and get lost in music videos and puppy photos and family portraits and all the different ways to make fun of Mitt Romney.

Mama, are you getting money for doing all of this stuff that you're doing.

What stuff?

You know. For the writing. And for the standing on the table and taking photos of the tarts with your glass of wine right before dinner.

A little bit.

Like a dollar?

A little bit more.

Like two dollars?

Something like that.

Well, good. That's why I wanted to make the galette look so beautiful for you yesterday.

Hey, let's see what kinds of photos we got of the galette. You can help me edit them.

No thanks, mama. I'm done here. You can do your work now. Where's the iPad? I want to play Temple Run.
This is a free-form galette. You can use any kind of apples. Any amount of sugar. I peeled the apples but you don't have to. You can get all fancy and use a mandoline or just use a knife to slice the apples as thinly as possible and hope for the best. If the galette isn't brown enough, throw it under the broiler. If it isn't shiny enough, glaze it with some warm apricot jam. And if it still looks like crap, cover it in powdered sugar or ice cream or streaks of créme fraîche. You have options. And anyone who tells you there's only one way to make a galette should come talk to Dash and me. We'll kick their butt.
This is a free-form galette with approximate amounts. Only important detail is to make sure the apples are thinly sliced.

1 sheet of puff pastry or 1 recipe for tart dough
1/2 stick salted butter
juice/zest from 1/2 lemon
1/2 stick vanilla bean
4-6 apples (I used Golden Delicious)
2-4 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons apricot jam

Take dough out of freezer and let sit until soft enough to roll out. Roll out dough in any shape you like, place it on a sheet pan, and refrigerate until apples are ready.

Melt the butter. Let it bubble and quiet down and just start to lightly brown. Take off the heat. Cool for a few minutes. Add lemon juice/zest. Halve and scrape in vanilla bean. Mix well. 

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Cut a litle cap off of the north pole of each apple. Do the same with the south pole (makes it easier to peel). Peel. Cut in half from north pole down through the south pole. With a paring knife, cut out the triangular core from each half. Slice each half (knife running running parallel to north/south pole line) into super thin slices. As you finish each half, slide the slices into the brown butter/lemon mixture and coat all over.

Taste the apples to see if they're tart. This will determine how much sugar you want to use. Spread the apple slices out over the dough. Any which way. Or in an intricate pattern. Leave a bit of the dough edges uncovered. Sprinkle apples with sugar. If you're serving the galette by itself, use more sugar. If you're serving it with sweet ice cream, use less sugar. 

Bake until crust is crispy along the edges but still somewhat pliable in the middle and the apples are softened and nicely browned (about 45 minutes). Broil the top if it's not brown enough. A nice touch is to paint the top of the cooled tart (apples only) with warm apricot jam (just leave behind apricot chunks). The tart is great by itself or served with créme fraîche or ice cream. And it's super tasty for breakfast.


  1. He sounds both adorable and wise--a winning combination.

  2. Pwah ha ha! My kids think they can stand on the tables and take pictures since momma does it too. Oh well. It's like with a blogger momma.

  3. What a precious experience, cooking with your kids. It was my favorite part of growing up. And Dashi sounds like the such a gentleman.

  4. Your response to D's desire to run away is just about the most perfect thing I have ever read.

    1. cheryl. oh my goodness. thank you. something about "there's no right way to run away" really resonated with people. it has come back to me in several ways this past week. kind of trippy when your own words comes back to you.

  5. So lovely when you can give your children what they need until they no longer need it and they run off and bloom (only to come back, of course, again and again and again).

  6. What a sweet experience with your little man. The world needs more moms like you.

  7. Sweet and lovely... (both the boy and the galette). I may have mentioned this before here, but you writing about your wee Dash (and the sweet Bella too) makes my heart glad for my wee Dash, and just generally makes me feel warm and happy about all the loveliness of parenting in this slightly frightening and frenetic world. Thank you again and again Phyllis...

    1. you're welcome. yes. it is an intense world, isn't it? so glad my stories help.

  8. I'm stealing Dash's "The whole day was mean to me.". If that's not just the most perfect way to explain a bad day, I don't know what is.

    And when I need to say it, I'll make myself a galette, and I'll run away to my bedroom, and then it will be better.

    Love this place. Thank you for this place.

    1. i love what you wrote. thank you. this place helps me too.

  9. Tried this yesterday with my kids - it was delicious! My boys were delighted, my husband waxed eloquent about pre-kid trips to paris and the apple tarts at Pauls. Thanks for the inspiration:)

  10. I love this. It's warm and beautiful.

  11. what a lovely and heartwarming blogpost, just like the apple galette. photo with you standing on the table is the best!

    1. thank you! it's a bit crazy how much i've been up on the table lately.


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    My boys were delighted, my husband waxed eloquent about pre-kid trips to paris and the apple tarts at Pauls.

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