If you want to bake something really beautiful and delicious for the new year, might I suggest a galette?
A galette is not quite a pie, not quite a tart, and definitely not a cake. It's buttery, flaky pastry filled with something yummy in the middle. And this easy recipe, dear readers, makes the best brown butter apple galette in the world (though I've pretty much concluded that anything with brown butter makes my belly dance with glee ...)!
1/4 cup salted butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
flaky pastry dough (see below for recipe)
4 apples (any kind you like!) sliced thinly
1/4 cup cream cheese
2 tbsp maple syrup
1/2 tsp cinnamon powder
honey, for topping (optional)
Preheat oven to 375F.
In a small saucepan, melt butter and vanilla extract over medium heat. Butter will foam, then brown. Be careful not to let it burn.
In a small bowl, mix cream cheese with maple syrup. Set aside.
On a lightly floured work surface, roll out pastry to either a rectangle or a circle, then transfer to a lined large rimmed baking sheet.
Spread cream cheese mixture then arrange apples in concentric circles or overlapping rows to within 1 inch of the edge.
Brush apples with brown butter and sprinkle cinnamon evenly over the top of apples.
Fold the pastry edge up and over the apples. Brush with leftover brown butter.
Drizzle some honey over the top.
Bake for 45-50 minutes, until pastry is nicely browned and apples are tender.
Let cool before serving. Some ideas for toppings include vanilla ice-cream, cream fraiche, or a dollop of whip cream!
In a food processor, combine:
1.5 cups all-purpose flour
1.5 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp salt
10 tbsp butter, cut into small pieces
1/3 cup ice water (goes in last, sprinkled on top of flour mixture)
Process the pastry dough for 20 seconds, then transfer onto a work surface.
Pat dough into a disk, then wrap tightly in wax paper and refrigerate until chilled.
You also have the option of freezing the dough for future use, or using it right away.