We all know it’s what’s on the inside that really counts.
But boy, what’s on the outside sure can titillate, thrill and work us into a frenzy, too.
Oh, come on. You know I’m right.
Take this “Open-Faced Apple Galette with Quince Paste.”
What attracted me in the first place to this recipe from Flo Braker’s “Baking for All Occasions” (Chronicle Books) was what was inside. After the rectangular galette emerges from the oven with its filling of sliced apples, walnuts, sugar, cinnamon and allspice, it cools just until you won’t burn your fingertips. Then, you carefully slip tiny pieces of sweet, deep, rose-colored quince paste between the apple slices.
The quince paste, which you can pick up in the cheese section of any well-stocked grocery store, not only adds color, but a brighter, more complex autumn flavor to this wonderful rustic dessert. I loved the interplay between the sweet-tangy, tender apples (I used Pink Lady ones) and the sticky, gooey sugary quince with its subtle acidic note.
Yes, I loved the inside. But boy, let me tell you about the outside, too.
It’s a beaut.
Braker, who lives in Palo Alto and has been teaching baking for 35 years, sure knows how to put together a crust.
If there ever was such a thing as a perfect crust, this could be it. It’s very buttery, so crisp it shatters when a fork cuts through it, and so multi-layered flaky that my husband thought it nearly bordered being puff pastry’s more svelte cousin.