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30 | Everyday Chocolate Cake

30 | Everyday Chocolate Cake

Everyday Chocolate Cake | Delightful CrumbThis has been quite a month, for a whole host of reasons. It’s a new year, and I always find that exciting. I turned 30, which feels like a big deal, except for when it doesn’t. We went to Healdsburg to celebrate. We got the stomach flu when we came home. As everyone knows, a lot of things have happened and are happening in US politics, most of which I find depressing and/or alarming. I worked, got out of bed every day (save for that first ridiculously awful day of the flu), cleaned the apartment, ran around the lake, made resolutions, made dinner. Big things and small ones, all jumbled together.

My reflective nature is something I can’t shake, so of course I’ve thought about turning 30. I’ve always had lots of older friends, starting with my sister right out the gate: cool, smart, interesting people who have kept me from worrying about growing older. Starting especially with those in their thirties, my older friends are notably calm and self-assured, and they don’t give a damn about things that don’t really matter. Plus, women with gray hair are sexy.

Nonetheless, I found myself a little unsure as my birthday approached. I blame it on the societally imposed questions I found ringing in my ears: Have I done what I thought I’d do by now? Have I accomplished what I’d hoped for? Am I on the right track?

The truth is that I couldn’t answer these questions if I wanted to. I never had a clear-cut plan for my life. I’ve always been driven to succeed professionally, but there were plenty of different careers I thought I might want along the way. I did picture myself going off and living somewhere new, and I’ve done that. I wanted a partner; I have an amazing one. And yet, the cascade of questions came anyway. Am I successful enough? Did I follow the right thread of my career? Is there somewhere else I should be living? Should we have tried to have a kid by now? Am I doing this right? And have I appreciated my youth? I will never be as young or as thin or as physically resilient or as sweetly naive as I once was! Is it all downhill from here?

The day after my birthday, I gathered a group for a casual evening of wine and chocolate cake at Bay Grape, the wine shop my friend Stevie and her husband own. Some close friends couldn’t make it, but I figured I’d cast the net anyway, just see who might come. By the end of the night, we filled the one long table, chairs squeezed in, wine flowing, and I sat there looking at my friends, thinking about how little of my life has actually gone as expected.

On my right was Alice. We worked together at Good Eggs but weren’t close until we were laid off together and bonded over shared anger and resume writing. I can assure you, I did not plan that. On my left, Erin, who I met while job searching after that same (devastating) layoff. We had an informational interview of sorts, the job opportunity dissolved and we became fast friends. I ended up finding a totally different job which led to my current job, in large part thanks to Stevie, and now there I was, sitting in her wine shop, which I visited well before I called her a friend. I knew the girls working that night, and several guests, and which wines I wanted to drink, all thanks to this chapter in a career I didn’t plan. Our church small group was represented around the table, a wonderful, surprising, diverse collection of people that couldn’t have found one another otherwise. And Ben, of course. I figured I’d get married around 29, but I found the guy I wanted to spend my life with several years earlier, a reality I found annoying until I realized it was a tremendous blessing. Before that, ten or so years ago, I wanted desperately to move to DC. I didn’t. But I did move to California, a possibility I never even considered, and none of the rest of this would have happened if not for that.

The thing, you see, about those silly have-I-made-it questions is that in trying to answer them and thus second-guessing our lives, we run the risk of missing all of the really amazing things we didn’t expect.

And, after all, so much of that unexpected good stuff is what sustains us, keeps us going in this mad world, lends our lives some much-needed warmth, reminds us to be grateful. In the end, it’s all one grand surprise. Here’s to welcoming that with open arms in the year ahead, and always.

Everyday Chocolate Cake | Delightful Crumb

Everyday Chocolate Cake

From Deb Perelman of Smitten Kitchen, who adapted it from Allysa Torey’s At Home with Magnolia

This cake is well known on the internet; Deb herself has published multiple versions. But when I made it again for my little birthday celebration, I was reminded of how ridiculously good it is, verified by approving friends. The fact that it’s super simple to make is just a bonus. Sure, it isn’t flashy, but it is delicious, and sturdy, too, with a nice crisp top crust. I’ve made it in a loaf pan and a round one; both work perfectly.

Its flexibility does not extend, however, to the cocoa powder, so if you have natural or non-Dutched cocoa powder, see Deb’s instructions in the headnote to the original recipe for amended leavening quantities.

I find this cake particularly excellent when accompanied by a dollop of whipped cream, perhaps bolstered with something tangy like sour cream or crème fraîche and a bit of lemon zest.

1/2 cup (4 ounces or 1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 cup (6 7/8 ounces) firmly packed light brown sugar

1/2 cup (4 ounces) granulated or natural cane sugar

1 large egg, at room temperature

1 cup buttermilk (I always use 1 tablespoon white vinegar/lemon juice plus enough milk to equal 1 cup, left to rest for 5 minutes, then stirred well)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups (6 3/4 ounces) all-purpose flour

3/4 cup (2 5/8 ounces) Dutch cocoa powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

Powdered sugar, for dusting

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Butter and lightly flour a 9-inch pan (preferably springform if you have it), or a 9x5x3 loaf pan. If you like, line the pan with parchment, and butter/flour that as well for extra ease in removing the cake.

In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a large bowl with an electric mixer, cream the butter until smooth. Add the sugars and beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the egg and beat well, then add the buttermilk and vanilla and mix to combine. Don’t worry if the batter looks uneven at this point.

Add the flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt to the wet ingredients (I typically measure them by weight in a separate bowl, stir briefly, then add them). Stir together with a spatula until thoroughly combined, being careful not to over mix.

Pour the batter in the prepared pan and smooth the top with an offset spatula. Bake for 60 to 70 minutes, until a knife inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Cool in the pan on a rack for 10 to 15 minutes, then remove from the pan if you like.

Dust the top of the cake with powdered sugar and serve with whipped cream, if desired.

In All Its Fullness | Tuscan Olive Oil Cake

In All Its Fullness | Tuscan Olive Oil Cake

Tuscan Olive Oil Cake | Delightful CrumbHopefully this finds you surrounded by loved ones, reveling in the season, belly full of cookies. I wanted to get this Christmas greeting out before the day itself, but we’ve been busy, and I imagine I’m not the only one. Thankfully, I’ve never minded stretching out the season.

This, of course, is because I love Christmas. I mean, I really, really love Christmas. I am a sucker for twinkly lights and gift giving, for traditions and holiday treats, for sparkling wine and parties large and small. I love picking out the tree, listening to Christmas music, pulling out the holiday decorations from where they’ve been perched in the closet, re-watching movies, carefully wrapping presents, rehearsing old traditions, making new ones. This to say, I’m all in with Christmastime.

I realize, however, that some people don’t love Christmas, for a whole host of reasons, and this less cheery sentiment is often shamed—but it shouldn’t be. We’re living life, after all, which is amazing and awful and everything in between. Earlier this month, a friend’s father passed away unexpectedly. Another friend’s newborn baby spent two trying weeks in the hospital—I read an email update from her while en route to a fancy holiday party and wondered at the disparity. We were gathering to celebrate while people died in Aleppo. We are living and dying and laughing and weeping, all at once, all the time.

And if you ask me, Christmas isn’t about ignoring this complexity. I have no interest in closing my eyes to the pain of the world just because I’ve been swept up in festivities, nor do I think this brokenness means we can’t celebrate what’s good. In fact, just the opposite: we need to celebrate, because the shocking, glorious thing is that there is light pushing through the darkness, goodness along with the pain. And if we examine the story that kicked off this whole celebration, it’s quite clear that there was nothing easy or rosy about it. came to give life, Jesus said later on, life in all its fullness. What I think he’s getting at here is that he came so we could have the fullest experience of the world—that we could love far beyond our imagined capacity, that we could actually feel our own heartache and even that of others, that we could really, truly live.

So that’s what I wish for you this holiday season, as we ease on into a new year, mustering up all of the hope and courage we’ve got: that you might live life in all its fullness, with great joy about the good stuff, sorrow and mourning in times of sadness, righteous anger when it’s needed, a soul full of feeling.

I also wish you cake. This isn’t technically a holiday recipe, but it’s pretty dang appropriate for the season. It’s made with olive oil and full of whole oranges, rosemary, wine-soaked raisins and pine nuts, with a snowy layer of powdered sugar atop. It’s fragrant and not too sweet, with a woodsy note from the rosemary. The topping is pleasantly crumbly and crisp, but the cake itself isn’t a bit dry, with a lovely crumb. I hope you’ll make it sometime soon to ring in the new year.

Tuscan Olive Oil Cake | Delightful Crumb Tuscan Olive Oil Cake | Delightful Crumb

Olive Oil Cake with Oranges, Rosemary & Boozy Raisins

Adapted from Nancy Silverton and Carolynn Carreño’s Mozza at Home, via Food52

This recipe is from Dario Cecchini, butcher and restauranteur in Panzano, in Tuscany, by way of the fantastic Nancy Silverton. The original recipe calls for vin santo, but I used a dessert wine similar to the French Sauternes, and it worked perfectly. I think bourbon or rum would work as well, though with an obvious impact on flavor.

Also, a quick note on the oranges. While it may seem out of the ordinary to include whole oranges, they soften up while baking and taste delicious. I make an extra effort to use organic citrus when using the zest or peels.

1/2 cup plump raisins (about 5 ounces)

1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sweet dessert wine (see note)

1/3 cup pine nuts

Butter or olive oil for the pan

1 1/2 navel oranges, unpeeled and halved through the stems, seeds discarded

2 large eggs

2 teaspoons Italian leavening (like Benchmate or Paneangeli) or 1 teaspoon baking soda plus 1 teaspoon baking powder

3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons cane sugar

1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1 3/4 cups pastry or all-purpose flour, plus additional for the pan

Rosemary tufts pulled from 2 long sprigs of fresh rosemary

Confectioners’ sugar for dusting

In a small saucepan over high heat, bring the raisins and wine to a simmer. Turn off the heat and set the raisins aside to absorb the wine for at least 30 minutes, up to overnight.

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

Spread the pine nuts on a baking sheet and toast them in the oven while it is heating, until they are fragrant and golden brown. Check on them every few minutes, shaking and turning the pan. They will be toasted in about 6 to 10 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and set them aside to cool to room temperature.

Increase the oven temperature to 400 degrees. Grease a 10-inch bundt or angel food pan with butter or olive oil. Dust it lightly with flour.

Lay the orange halves on a cutting board, flat sides down. Cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices, including the peels. Cut the slices into 1/4-inch-thick cubes.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment (you can also use a hand mixer), combine the eggs, leavening, and 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons of the sugar on medium-high speed. Mix until the batter thickens, about 3 or 4 minutes. Continue mixing while pouring the olive oil into the bowl in a slow, steady stream. Mix until the batter is combined. Reduce the mixer speed to low. Add one-third of the flour, and mix until it is no longer visible. Add one-third of the raisins, mixing just to incorporate. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl. Repeat two more times, stopping again to scrape down the bowl, until all of the flour and raisins have been incorporated. If there’s a little extra wine that hasn’t been soaked up by the raisins, feel free to add that, too.

Turn off the mixer, and remove the bowl from the stand. Gently fold in the chopped oranges. Set aside the batter to rest for 10 minutes.

Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Scatter the pine nuts on top, then sprinkle the cake with the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar. Stick the tufts of the rosemary into the batter.

Bake the cake for 10 minutes. Rotate it, then lower the oven temperature to 325 degrees and continue baking for another 30 to 35 minutes. Rotate the cake once more during the second baking time. The cake is done when it is golden and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove the cake from the oven, and let it cool to room temperature.

To serve, put a large plate over the top of the pan and flip the cake onto the plate. Invert the cake again onto a large serving platter or cake stand, so that the sugar, pine nuts and rosemary are on top. Use a fine-mesh strainer to dust the top of the cake with the confectioners’ sugar.

Tuscan Olive Oil Cake | Delightful Crumb

Love Will Win | Marinated Feta & Olives

Love Will Win | Marinated Feta & Olives

Marinated Olives & Feta | Delightful CrumbWe’re living in strange times here in America, surprising ones that demand thoughtfulness and action. It’s hard to start a first conversation after the election—even one on the internet—without mentioning this.

I’ve had the full range of emotions, which shows my cards as they pertain to our president elect. Yet regardless of position, I think we all can acknowledge that we’ve learned a tragic truth this election season: we’re even more divided than we thought.

But I have hope.

Because there is a fire in our bellies. All of us who have been made to feel small, who know what it’s like to be mistreated without recourse, who have been told that things would be different if we weren’t women gay black brown immigrant Mexican Jewish Muslim poor homeless

—different.

We, and our allies, we will not sit still. This world is still in the process of becoming, and it is up to us to help make it—we are the makers, bakers, singers, writers, teachers, lovers, builders, dreamers of dreams. We do not sit idly by. We do not sit in ivory towers, thinking without doing. We are noisy. We are big when they say we should be small. We get our hands dirty.

So today, we get to work.

Because I still believe that love will win.

And thankfully, we’re entering into the season of celebration and joy for the sake of it, and that’s something we can all be glad about—we need it more than ever this year. This is the time of gathering, singing, feasting, lighting all the twinkle lights, moving our bodies through traditions that remind us of all of the people who came before us—people who, as I frequently remind myself, made it. People who lived in this complicated, messy, confusing world, just like us, and (for some amount of time or another) survived! As will we.

Last week, I was in London for work. Unlike Northern California, London—like so many places outside of America—is full of reminders of the past. This never fails to capture my imagination. I paid a quick visit to the British Library, which houses an amazing collection of old literary artifacts of many kinds, from a copy of the Magna Carta to original Beatles lyrics to Jane Austen’s writing desk. They also have beautiful religious texts from every major religion, Scriptures carefully recorded and rerecorded, the pages of many hand decorated with colorful illustrations. I could have stared at them for hours. It was a powerful reminder that I’m not the first one here. My questions have been asked before. My pain has been felt, and my joy, too. My laughter is just an echo—a lovely and singular echo. I’m just one small figure moving through a very long story.

Which is to say, take heart. We will remember. We will look ahead. We will work.

And we will celebrate! Here’s a quick recipe for the season ahead; it was one of my small contributions to the very excellent Thanksgiving spread at our friends Joe and Celia’s house earlier this week. It’s a lovely appetizer, a simple embellishment to any dinner and quite a nice gift, too.

Marinated Olives & Feta | Delightful CrumbMarinated Feta & Olives

Inspired by this recipe on Food52

Feel free to follow this recipe loosely. If you don’t have these herbs, use others! If you have no herbs at all, that’s fine. Swap in another citrus for the orange, use crushed red pepper flakes or Aleppo if this is what you have, make this with only feta or olives if you prefer just one of the two. You could also include peppercorns, bay leaves or capers. The possibilities are endless! You can easily scale this up or down, too.

Also note that the olive oil you’re left with will be wonderful in any dressing you might want to make, delicious drizzled atop roasted or steamed vegetables, and an excellent thing in which to dip hearty slices of bread.

8 ounce-block of feta cheese (preferably sheep or sheep and goat milk), cut into cubes

6 ounces Castelvetrano olives

2 sprigs fresh rosemary

2 sprigs fresh thyme

3 whole dried chili peppers

4 garlic cloves, peeled

Strips of orange peel sliced from 1/2 an orange (about 12 strips)

About 1 3/4 cups extra-virgin olive oil

In a 1-quart jar, layer the ingredients: cubes of feta, olives, herbs, chilis, garlic and strips of orange peel. Pour over enough olive oil to cover, about 1 3/4 cups.

Store the marinated feta and olives in the refrigerator. Take the jar out of the fridge a few hours before serving so that everything can come to room temperature (especially important if your fridge is set cold—the olive oil might solidify).

Spoon the feta and olives into a bowl with a bit of the olive oil and any other ingredients that come along—a few sprigs of herbs will look pretty. Serve with crackers or toasts.

London | Delightful Crumb

German Breakfast Rolls

German Breakfast Rolls

German Breakfast Rolls | Delightful CrumbI hope you’ve already heard of Luisa Weiss, author of the blog The Wednesday Chef and the lovely memoir My Berlin Kitchen—and now the new, crucial text on German baking, aptly titled Classic German Baking. In fact, her recipe for an apple galette is what I most recently posted here, not realizing that her new book was on its way into the world! And now it’s here, and I simply must tell you about it, so let this be the autumn of Luisa.

I am a full 50% German, if my last name hasn’t given that away, and yet there aren’t many German recipes in my repertoire. So I was thrilled when I heard that Luisa was writing this book—if there is any way I would like to enter into a cultural exploration, it is by way of baked goods. And Luisa is the perfect guide. She has an American father and an Italian mother but grew up in Germany and the US, then eventually married a German and settled in Berlin—you can read the story of how that came to be in her memoir. With her new book, she gives us an incredibly thorough picture of German baking, sourcing recipes from friends, neighbors, strangers, the backs of packages and more. She really did the digging for us.

I had the happy opportunity to test recipes for the book. At that time, and then again when I received a finished copy, I learned that there’s a lot I don’t know about my people’s baking traditions, including the fact that my love of simple cakes is apparently in my blood. Classic German Baking has a chapter on cakes and a second chapter on yeasted cakes. There are a full four apple cake recipes between them, so you best pick this book up right away and get started on those (I’ve made two of four so far). There’s a yeasted squash bread on my counter right now that is, as Luisa promised, the color of saffron, and last weekend, I made a potato and cheese flatbread that hails from Swabia and is ridiculously good. Plus, the German have the Christmas spirit down pat, another enthusiasm I have inherited, and this book offers a whole host of holiday treats that soften even the blow of a bitterly cold German winter.

Today, I want to share something very simple and entirely perfect. It’s a pretty reliable rule, if you ask me, that the perfection of the basics will be replicated in more complex projects. Here, the classic breakfast roll. Apparently, this is a German bakery staple, playing a crucial role in weekend breakfasts alongside cheese and sliced meats or jam and honey. I can attest that they make a very pleasant centerpiece for an easy breakfast feast. Plus, you can prepare them the night before and pop them in the oven in the morning, with freshly baked rolls ready by the time everyone has been roused from bed and the coffee has finished brewing, which is a pretty lovely way to start a day, indeed.

Cheers to you, Luisa! This book is such a gem.

German Breakfast Rolls | Delightful Crumb

Brötchen (Classic Breakfast Rolls)

From Luisa Weiss’ Classic German Baking

Makes 8 rolls

1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons (150ml) whole milk

1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons (150ml) warm tap water

1/3 ounce (10g) fresh yeast, or 1/2 teaspoon instant yeast

4 cups (500g) all-purpose flour, plus more for kneading

1 1/4 teaspoons salt

2 handfuls of ice cubes, for baking

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Mix 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon of the milk (reserving 1 tablespoon for brushing) with the water.

If using fresh yeast, crumble the yeast into a large mixing bowl and stir in the milk mixture. Continue stirring until the yeast has fully dissolved. Add the flour and salt to the bowl and stir until a shaggy ball just comes together.

If using instant yeast, mix the milk and water mixture with the yeast, flour, and salt at once, and stir until a shaggy ball forms.

Dump the mixture onto a floured work surface and knead until the dough is very smooth and no longer sticky. It will be quite firm.

Place the ball back in the bowl, cover with a warm kitchen towel, and let rise for 1 hour in a very warm, draft-free spot. Then, gently punch down the dough. Divide it into 8 equal pieces (if you have a kitchen scale, use it to weigh them out). Roll the pieces of dough into ovals that are about 3 1/2 inches (9 cm) long and 2 inches (5 cm) wide. Place them on the prepared baking sheet, leaving about 3 inches (8 cm) between them. Cover the baking sheet with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

The next morning, remove the baking sheet from the refrigerator. Place a metal cake or roasting pan on the bottom of the oven, and preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

When the rolls have sat at room temperature for 20 minutes, brush them evenly with the reserved 1 tablespoon of milk and slash them lengthwise with a sharp knife, making a cut about 3/4 inch (2 cm) deep. Then, working quickly, dump the ice cubes into the pan at the bottom of the oven and slide the baking sheet with the rolls on it into the oven.

Bake the rolls for 20 to 25 minutes, until they are crusty and golden and sound hollow when tapped. Remove from the oven and let cool on a rack before serving.

The rolls are best eaten on the day they are made but can be crisped up in a 350 degree oven a day after baking. They also freeze well, again warming nicely in the oven.

As I Am | Apple Galette

As I Am | Apple Galette

Apple Galette | Delightful Crumb
It’s safe to say that every time I have a dinner party, I want to write about it here. And it makes sense, right? I love cooking for myself, and for me and Ben, but there’s something special, something entirely distinct, that happens when you sit down at home with a bunch of people you love over a generous meal and the conversation and wine flow in equal measure and you rise from the table feeling a little more hopeful than before, a little more prepared to face the day ahead. So I’m going to talk about this latest dinner party. If I keep this up, I can give it a name: dinner party dispatches, perhaps…? I’ll try to think of something clever.

It’s becoming a bit of a tradition, these ladies-only dinner parties when Ben is out of town. This time, even though it was blazing hot, I stuck with the early autumn dinner I’d planned, starting with baked feta and figs, roasted Italian peppers, and the tiniest, most beautiful multicolored cauliflowers boiled simply. We drank fresh pink bubbles from the Loire, then moved to a Falanghina from Campania that my friend Erin brought (label owned by another cool lady I know, a perfect fit!).

Over kabocha squash risotto and a big salad, the conversation moved from one topic to the next. We talked about the presidential debates and falling in love and siblings and divorce and paths not taken and work and everything in between. At one point, my friend Annie told a story about a complicated situation she’s navigating that elicited an oh my gosh me too response from someone else at the table. It was so good to be there, in that space where no one was alone.

We finished the night with big slices of apple galette topped with cinnamon whipped cream and splashes of Amaro alongside. Even with all the fans running, wearing summer dress and no shoes, it felt like a most fitting welcome to fall.

Later, when everyone was gone and the dishes were done, I dropped the jar of arborio rice that I was carrying to the pantry, and it shattered all over the floor, grains of rice mixed with shards of glass. On a bad day, this might drive me to tears. But not that night. I turned on the lights and swept up the mess as Joni Mitchell’s Blue turned on the record player for the second (third?) time that night, then I poured myself a glass of wine and sat on the couch, feeling that elusive sense of peace.

Do you know Joni Mitchell’s song “California”? It’s on the aforementioned album. (And yes, this is the album that the inimitable Emma Thompson’s character receives from her husband in the movie Love Actually, the gift that tips her off to the fact that her husband is cheating on her with a younger woman, and she plays the CD in her bedroom, crying, as her children get ready for their Christmas pageant, and she wipes her tears and marches on in a blue dress and red lipstick, and I bawl every time.)

There’s a line in there where Joni sings, “California I’m come home / Oh will you take me as I am.” California isn’t my home home, and though beautiful and nuanced and compelling, the truth is that the Bay Area is as rough around the edges as anywhere I’ve lived. My friends keep moving and the cost of living is out of control and literally every normal life thing feels hard and it all feels a little ridiculous. Yet it is home, for now. And sometimes, when I’m surrounded by friends I met through a combination of jobs and surprising connections and sorrow and serendipity, I think that it really did take me as I am, and it’s given me so much to learn from and so many interesting people to love. At the end of the day, that’s about all a girl can ask for.

Especially when there’s whipped cream, too.

Apple Galette | Delightful Crumb

Apple Galette

Barely adapted from Luisa Weiss’ My Berlin Kitchen

Luisa explains that this galette is the one Alice Waters has kept on the Chez Panisse menu for years, introduced to her by Jacques Pépin before that. It’s incredibly simple, in the best of ways. I recommend serving it with whipped cream, perhaps spiked with a bit of cinnamon. Ice cream or crème frâiche would do nicely as well.

FOR THE DOUGH

1 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting

1/2 teaspoon sugar

1/8 teaspoon salt

6 tablespoons (3 ounces) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces

About 3 1/2 tablespoons cold water

FOR THE FILLING

2 pounds apples, peeled, cored and sliced (reserve the peels and cores)

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

3 tablespoons sugar

FOR THE GLAZE

1/2 cup sugar

TO SERVE

Whipped cream, lightly sweetened and spiked with a tiny dash of ground cinnamon

To make the dough, put the flour, sugar and salt in the bowl of a food processor. Add the butter and pulse just a few times, until the pieces of butter are the size of lima beans. (If you don’t have a food processor, do this in a large bowl with two butter knives.)

Drizzle in up to 3 1/2 tablespoons of cold water, 1 tablespoon at a time, pulsing or stirring after each addition, until the dough just holds together. You might need a little more or less water, depending on your location, the weather, etc.

Place the dough on a lightly floured work surface. Gather it together and form it into a 4-inch-wide disk. Wrap the disk in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, or up to 3 days.

When you’re ready to bake, preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Remove the dough from the fridge and unwrap it. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out with a rolling pin, turning it over frequently so that it doesn’t stick and dusting with more flour as needed. Continue until the dough is about 14 inches in diameter and about 1/8-inch thick.

Place the dough on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Arrange the apple slices in very tight overlapping circles on the dough (they will cook down and sink apart while cooking, so fill the space generously), leaving a 2-inch border. Fold the edges of the dough over the apples to create a rustic crust.

Brush the melted butter over the apples and crust, then sprinkle the sugar generously over the entire tart.

Bake for about 45 minutes, rotating halfway through, until the crust is a deep golden brown and apples are soft and very dark on their edges.

Meanwhile, make the glaze. Put the reserved apple peels and cores in a saucepan with the sugar. Pour in just enough water to cover, then bring to a boil. Cook for 30 minutes. Strain the liquid, discarding the peels and cores, and then return the liquid to the pan. Bring to a low boil and cook until thickened, syrupy and reduced, about 15 minutes.

When the tart is finished, pull the parchment and the tart from the sheet onto a cooling rack. After 15 minutes, brush the apple glaze over the apples (it might take a few rounds of brushing to use up the glaze, and you might have a bit leftover, which is fine because it is divine drizzled over yogurt). Serve warm or at room temperature, preferably with some cinnamon-spiked, lightly sweetened whipped cream.

Apple Galette | Delightful Crumb