Apple and fennel galettes

Apple and fennel galettes

Sticky Fingers Green Thumb
Tara Pearce, Tim Hillier

Fennel brings a lightly perfumed fragrance to the tart cooking apples used in these rustic, wholesome galettes, with both ingredients being tossed in cardamom, nutmeg and lemon zest to help marry them. The galette dough is crumbly and nutty thanks to the addition of spelt flour, and the fennel fronds add veins of green throughout. I love how generous and slightly wobbly they look. Serve with ice cream, please.


Quantity Ingredient
6 cooking apples
1 fennel bulb, halved, stems removed and fronds reserved for pastry (see below)
3 tablespooons raw (demerara) sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
1 lemon, zest
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg, freshly grated
4 teaspoons ground almonds, plus extra for sprinkling
1 egg
1 tablespoon water
4 teaspoons fennel seeds
40g unsalted butter, chilled

Fennel frond pastry

Quantity Ingredient
4 teaspoons fennel fronds, finely chopped
375g plain (all-purpose) flour
75g spelt flour
2 tablespoons caster (superfine) sugar
1 teaspoon salt
310g unsalted butter, chilled and cut into cubes
80ml water, ice-cold, plus extra if necessary


  1. To make the pastry, mix the fennel fronds, flours, sugar and salt together in a bowl. Using your fingertips add the chilled butter and rub it through the dry ingredients to form a rough dough, then add the cold water and gently mix everything together. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface (being careful, as the dough will be very crumbly), divide it into two equal-sized portions and knead each gently to bring the dough together a little more. Roll the dough portions into balls, cover in plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
  2. While the dough is chilling, make the filling. Peel and core the apples and cut them into roughly 3 mm thick slices with a mandoline or a very sharp knife, then cut the slices into semi circles. Thinly slice the fennel bulb halves lengthways as per the apple, then trim the pieces into the same shape as the apple slices. Toss the apple and fennel slices together with the sugar, lemon zest, cardamom, nutmeg and ground almonds in a bowl to coat evenly.
  3. Preheat the oven to 180°C . Line a baking tray with baking paper.
  4. Once chilled, divide the pastry balls in half to leave you with four pieces in total. Place a pastry portion on a floured work surface and knead gently to bring the dough together, adding a little splash of chilled water as you go if you need it to help it bind, then roll out into approximately 5 mm thick rectangles or circles. Sprinkle an extra ½ teaspoon or so of ground almonds and raw sugar over the dough, then arrange the apple and fennel slices in an even layer on top in a pattern of your choice. Fold the edges of the galette up to the outer edges of the slices to form a rough border. Repeat with the remaining dough pieces and apple and fennel slices, then place them on the prepared baking tray.
  5. Whisk the egg and water together to form a wash, then use it to brush the pastry edges. Sprinkle over the fennel seeds and an extra 1 tablespoon or so of raw sugar, dot with the butter and bake for 40 minutes, until golden brown around the edges. Remove from the oven and leave to cool slightly on the tray, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
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