Mini Apple Galette’s with Brown Sugar Cider Sauce + The Niagara Craft Beer Festival

Right now at this very moment my house smells like booze. If the step kids were here, probably not a good idea but since I’m all alone with the house to myself things just got real.

It also smells like apples and cinnamon and pie crust but really what’s most important here?  And why, you ask, does my house smell this way.  Because of these.

Apple Galettes

Kicked up, boozy adults-only apple galettes.  Now you get it!

I’ve been wanting for a while to create something using the currently popular alcoholic ciders on the market and after talking with the owner of the Brickworks Ciderhouse and trying his refreshing product back in the Spring at an event I knew this was the drink for me. There are a lot of brands of cider on the market and it may be hard to choose which one to purchase but trust me when I say you can’t go wrong here.  Small batch, hand crafted cider from a company hoping to repurpose the old orchard around the Evergreen Brickworks for their own apple source.  But until then apples used in each of their batches never travel more than 300 kilometers meaning local and sustainable.

Apple Galettes

Craft is a word you hear loosely thrown around beer drinkers and you may be completely overwhelmed by the sheer volume of brewers out there. It is a term generally used to describe beers made by a small, independant brewers using traditional means to create great tasting beer.  Simple.  And the best way to navigate through all the varieties?  Attend a beer event like The Niagara Craft Beer Festival being held at Montebello Park in St. Catherines August 22-24. With more than 20 vendors on site you can taste to your hearts content and I can 100% guarantee you will find at least one new beer you will absolutely love.  I’ve been to many beer events like this one and thanks to cheap and small sample sizes I have stocked my fridge with an abundant variety to drink over the summer.

Another great thing about Craft Beer Festivals is it usually brings out some stellar food vendors that offer up eats that always pair well with a cold one.  And to top everything else you can enjoy live music from artists like The Trews and USS while enjoying all this great food and drink.

This is how recipes like this happen.  By attending beer festivals and sampling new and sometimes eccentric flavors my taste buds begin conversations with the recipe developer in me and before you know it my house smells like booze.

And one last thing.  My rule when cooking with alcohol: always serve it with the dish for maximum taste.  If it’s good enough to go in the dish, it’s good enough to serve along side it.

Yields 6

Mini Apple Galette's with Brown Sugar Cider Sauce + The Niagara Craft Beer Festival

Frozen pastry shells can be substituted if you are not comfortable with making you own dough.

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Ingredients

  • For the Galettes
  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 cup cold butter, cubed
  • 5-6 tbsp cold water
  • 4 apples, peeled, cored and sliced ( I used Granny Smiths)
  • 1/4 cup Brickworks Cider
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 egg white, beaten
  • For the Cider Sauce
  • 2 cups Brickworks Cider
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar

Instructions

  1. To make the Galettes
  2. In a large bowl, stir together the flour, salt and sugar.
  3. Using a pastry blender or two knives, cut in the butter until flour resembles coarse crumbs.
  4. Adding a tablespoonful at time stir in the water until the dough begin to come together and form a rough ball of dough. Store in fridge until ready to use.
  5. In another bowl stir together the apples, cider, sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg.
  6. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  7. To make the mini galettes separate the dough into 6 even sized pieces.
  8. Using a rolling pin roll out the dough into 6" round circle. (you can use a bowl to get the shape and size you want.
  9. Arrange the apples in a pretty spiral in the center of the dough, or simply pile them in the middle making sure a 1" edge is maintained. Fold the edges up and on to the apples leaving the center open faced. Repeat with remaining dough and apples.
  10. Brush the edges with the egg white and bake in preheated oven for 25-30 minutes. They are ready when the crust is golden brown. Remove from oven.
  11. While the galettes are baking, make the Cider Sauce.
  12. In a saucepan over med-high heat bring the cider to a boil until reduced by half.
  13. Quickly whisk in the cornstarch, butter and brown sugar and bring everything to a boil, stirring constantly for about 5 minutes and the sauce has thickened.
  14. You can serve the galettes warm or cold and drizzled with the warm sauce.
Recipe Type: Dessert
7.6.8
138

*Disclaimer- This is a sponsored post.  I was asked to create a recipe using any of the beer vendors participating during the Niagara Craft Beer Festival. Had I not been asked I still would have created this eventually!

Niagara Culinary Tours

Niagara Culinary Tours

It was a stunningly gorgeous day with blue skies and perfect temperatures when I was given the opportunity to participate in  the Niagara-on-the-Lake walking food tour from Niagara Culinary Tours.  A 3-4 km stroll through the wistful and enchanting neighborhoods of this old world town with stops at several eclectic, local dining spots.

I had been to Niagara-on-the-Lake only once before in the fall when tourists were sparse and the ambiance was rather quiet and lonely so I was especially pleased to experience at its height of the season, the first day of summer. Bright green grass, planters spilling over with flowers and patios bursting with locals and tourists alike all losing endless hours in casual repose.  Shoppers bouncing from store to car with arms loaded with kitchy souveniers, artisanal gifts, and local delicacies.

A pleasant aspect to each of the tours is that they keep it small and intimate with groups no larger than 12.  Our tour guide Charlie who greeted us upon arriving at our first location was both knowledgeable and entertaining, two prerequisites to any great excursions.  Transplanted in the town back in 1978, Charlies love for his home and enthusiasm for all that it offers is instantly contagious and you find yourself hoping he would ask you back another day for dinner.

Niagara Culinary Tours

Our tour started out at The Grill on King Street a wonderful location housed in the former Fire Hall.  A open and inviting space The Grill offers up a seafood heavy, Mediterranean styled menu perfect for lunch on the veranda or a romantic dinner for two.  Family owned, the staff was incredibly accommodating to little bunch of foodies and quickly impressed with a plate of crispy spanokopita, classic bruschetta, and a mound of poutine.  Having several vegetarians in our group the chef quickly used that cue to plan our dish.  The spanokopita was crispy yet not at all greasy and the bruschetta was cool and refreshing with the perfect amount of feta to add a bit of saltiness.  I firmly believe a good poutine begins with the best french fries and these were stellar.  The meat free gravy was a rosemary au jus and the while I would have enjoyed more cheese on top the dish was a perfect balance of the most important elements of a classic poutine.

Niagara Culinary Tours

Our next destination took us past the gorgeous Prince of Wales Hotel and into the The Shaw Clubs restaurant Zee’s. Again the focus was vegetarian friendly with a grilled naan topped with roasted tomato sauce, grilled vegetables and goat cheese.  The variety of  they topped the flat bread with was wonderful though I think I could have done fine without the naan  and just a plate of the cheese and vegetables.

Niagara Culinary Tours

From here we enjoyed a longer walking portion of the tour as we wound our way through Niagara-on-the-Lakes historic neighborhoods, with Charlie pointing out many of the towns more notable landmarks and architectural treasures.  Street after street beautiful gardens complimented adorable cottages and vintage B&B’s.

Niagara Culinary Tours

Niagara Culinary Tours

Niagara Culinary Tours

Niagara Culinary Tours

Niagara Culinary Tours

Niagara Culinary Tours

Niagara Culinary Tours

The next restaurant we visited was definitely not at all I expected.  Situated in a standard  bricks and concrete strip plaza, The Stone Road Grill, also known by locals as Rest, is a prime example of someone doing the farm to table experience right.  Everything they serve is completely homemade, from the bread to the deli-esques meats to the ketchup.  Owner Perry served us a wide range of local cheeses, handmade salamis, pickled mushrooms and olives, and a honey marmalade so unlike anything I’ve tasted before, all washed down with a refreshing glass of bubbly rose from Pillitteri Estates.  To further impress hot, greasy fries came out with samples of their garlic aioli and house ketchup.  I don’t think I’ll eat bottled ketchup ever again.  This is one place I will be visiting again for a meal.

Niagara Culinary Tours

Only a few steps next door at Willow Cakes and Pastries we were greeted by a gorgeous plate of orange cake, local fresh strawberries and whipped cream.  A perfect summer dessert.  While enjoying my serving it was hard not to stare longingly at the displays of stunning desserts crafted by the team behind pastry chef and owner Catherine O’Donnell.  Known also for their gigantic Canada Day cake the shop was a bustle of activity from locals and tourists alike, all knowing this is the place to be when it comes to your sweet tooth.

Niagara Culinary Tours

Our final destination brought us back to the heart of downtown and into one of the many artisanal shops where we enjoyed a balsamic vinegar and olive tasting.  Oliv Tasting Room is a chef’s little piece of heaven. Unaltered Extra virgin olive oil and thick rich balsamic vinegars are offered in a mind boggling number of flavours, each unique and delicious.  Any one is available for tasting and all are available for purchase.  I just may have bought a million bottles.  Or close to it.  Watch for recipes in the future that will feature my choices.

Niagara Culinary Tours

This was the point where our little group, a bit fuller, a bit more tired but incredibly satiated said goodbye.  Three hours later we had eaten our way around town, explored a vibrant town and made new friends.  A perfect way to spend the afternoon.

Check out the Niagara Culinary Tours Website for dates and times of their tours.  They offer many tours and culinary experiences that are sure to please every foodie out there.

*While I was invited to this tour free of charge all opinions, as you know I have many, are solely my own.