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Cranberry Lime Galette

By its very nature, a galette is rustic and not meant to be perfect. It's a round of pie dough folded over the edges of a filling, and what makes it so charming are its pleats, bends and wrinkles. The glistening cranberry filling in this galette is gorgeous and luscious. It's a mix of tart, spicy cranberries, ginger and lime and soft, mellow brown sugar, apples and raspberry jam, and it teeter-totters delightfully between sweet and puckery. On the practical side, the galette is both festive enough to serve at a dinner party and easy enough to make for a weekday meal (and, as beautiful as it is, it can be made ahead, frozen and baked on demand). I created it for a Thanksgiving dinner, fell in love with it and serve it all through the fall and winter.

I find it unwieldy to make the galette any larger than about 9 inches in diameter. If you've got more than six people around the table, double the recipe and make two galettes.

Good for Almost Everything Pie Dough for a single crust (recipe below), chilled

1/3 cup moist, plump dried cranberries (optional)

3/4 cup (packed) light brown sugar

3 tablespoons ground nuts (walnuts, almonds, pecans or skinned hazelnuts)

A 1 1/2-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped

Grated zest of 1 lime

3 tablespoons dry bread crumbs (store-bought unseasoned crumbs are fine)

Juice of 1/2 lime

3 tablespoons raspberry jam or jelly

2 cups cranberries, fresh or frozen (if frozen, thaw and pat dry)

Decorating (coarse) or granulated sugar, for dusting

1 medium apple, peeled, cored and cut into 1/2-inch chunks

Confectioners' sugar, for dusting

GETTING READY: Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Line a baking sheet with parchment (see below) or a silicone mat.

To make it easier to move the pie dough onto the baking sheet, roll it between sheets of parchment (in which case, you can use one of the rolling sheets to line the baking sheet) or wax paper or plastic wrap. Alternatively, work on a well-floured surface, taking care to keep the dough moving by turning it and flouring the surface often.

Roll the dough into a large 1/8-inch-thick circle. Using a pastry wheel or a paring knife, trim the dough to a 13-inch diameter. Transfer the dough to the baking sheet and keep it covered in the refrigerator while you make the filling.

Mix together the nuts and bread crumbs.

Toss together all the remaining ingredients (except the decorating and confectioners' sugars for dusting) in a bowl, stirring just to mix.

Remove the crust from the refrigerator. Using a cake pan or pot lid as a template and the tip of a blunt kitchen knife as a marker, gently trace a 9-inch circle in the center of the dough -- this is the area for the filling. Sprinkle the center circle with the nut and crumb mixture and top with the filling. Now gently lift the unfilled border of dough up and onto the filling: as you lift the dough and place it on the filling, it will pleat. Brush the dough very lightly with a little water, then sprinkle it with a teaspoon or two of decorating or granulated sugar.

Bake the galette for 35 to 40 minutes, or until the crust is brown, the cranberries have popped and the filling is bubbling. Place the baking sheet on a rack to cool for 10 minutes.

Very carefully slide a small baking sheet or a cake lifter under the galette and slip the galette onto a rack to cool. Serve the galette when it is just warm or when it has reached room temperature, lightly dusted with confectioners' sugar.

SERVING: The galette is so beautiful that it should be brought to the table uncut, but before you present it, give it its dusting of confectioners' sugar. The cake is good with ice cream or sweetened whipped cream.

STORING: The galette is best served the day it is made, preferably shortly after it has come from the oven. If it has had to wait, you can reheat it for 10 minutes in a 350degree-F oven.

Playing Around

CRANBERRY ORANGE GALETTE: If you'd like a filling that's a little less edgy but no less enticing, replace the lime zest and juice with orange zest and juice (use the zest from 1/2 orange and 1 to 2n tablespoons juice) and replace the raspberry jam with good-quality orange marmalade.

Good for Almost Everything Pie Dough

The name says it all. You can use this flaky, flavorful easy-to-roll dough for pies, galettes, turnovers or even tarts. If -- heaven forbid -- you could have only one dough for crust in your repertory, this would be the one to choose.

You'll need a large-capacity food processor to make a double crust. If your machine isn't large enough, make the dough in two batches.

For a 9-inch Double Crust:

3 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 cup sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

2 1/2 sticks (10 ounces) very cold (frozen is fine) unsalted butter, cut intro tablespoon-size pieces

1/2 cup very cold (frozen is even better) vegetable shortening, cut into 4 pieces

About 1/2 cup ice water

For a 9-inch Single Crust:

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons sugar

3/4 teaspoon salt

1 1/4 sticks (10 tablespoons) very cold (frozen is fine) unsalted butter, cut into tablespoon-size pieces

2 1/2 tablespoons very cold (frozen is even better) vegetable shortening, cut into 2 pieces

About 1/4 cup ice water

Put the flour, sugar and salt into a food processor fitted with a metal blade; pulse just to combine the ingredients. Drop in the butter and shortening and pulse only until the butter and shortening are cut into the flour. Don't overdo the mixing -- what you're aiming for is to have some pieces the size of fat green peas and others the size of barley. Pulsing the machine on and off, gradually add about 6 tablespoons of the water if making a double crust, 3 tablespoons if making a singe crust -- add a little water and pulse once, add some more water, pulse again and keep going that way. Then use a few long pulses to get the water into the flour. If, after a dozen or so pulses, the dough doesn't look evenly moistened of form soft curds, pulse in as much of the remaining water as necessary, or even a few drops more, to get a dough that will stick together when pinched. Big pieces of butter are fine. Scrape the dough out of the work bowl and onto a work surface.

If making a double crust, divide the dough in half. Gather each half into a ball, flatten each ball into a disk and wrap each half in plastic. Or shape the dough for a single crust into a disk and wrap it. Refrigerate the dough for at least 1 hour before rolling. (If your ingredients were very cold and you worked quickly, though, you might be able to roll the dough immediately: the dough should be as cold as if it had just come out of the fridge.)

TO ROLL OUT THE DOUGH: Have a buttered 9-inch pie plate at hand.

You can roll the dough out on a floured surface or between sheets of wax paper or plastic wrap or in a rolling slipcover. (I usually roll this dough out on the floured counter.) If you're working on a counter, turn the dough over frequently and keep the counter floured. If you are rolling between paper, plastic or in a slipcover, make sure to turn the dough over often and to lift the paper, plastic or cover frequently so that it doesn't roll into the dough and form creases.

If you've got time, slide the rolled-out dough into the fridge for about 20 minutes to rest and firm up.

FOR A DOUBLE-CRUSTED PIE: Fit one circle of dough into the pie plate, allowing the excess to hang over. Trim to a 1/8- to 1/4-inch overhang. Fill the pie and moisten the edges of the bottom crust with water. Center the second piece of dough over the filling and press it against the bottom crust. Using a pair of scissors, cut the top crust's overhang so that it extends about 1/4 inch over the bottom crust. Tuck the excess top crust under the bottom crust and flute or pinch the crust to make a decorative edge. Alternatively, you can seal the doubled-up crust by pressing it with the tines of a fork. Follow the pie recipe's instructions for baking.

FOR A SINGLE CRUST: Fit the dough into the pie plate and, using a pair of scissors, cut the excess dough to a 1/4- to 1/2-inch overhang. Fold the dough under itself, so that it hangs over the edge just a tad, and flute or pinch the crust to make a decorative edge. Alternatively, you can finish the crust by pressing it with the tines of a fork.

TO PARTIALLY OR FULLY BAKE A SINGLE CRUST: Refrigerate the crust while you preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Butter the shiny side of a piece of aluminum foil, fit the foil, buttered side down, tightly against the crust and fill with dried beans or rice or pie weights. Put the pie plate on a baking sheet and bake the crust for 25 minutes. Carefully remove the foil and weights and, if the crust has puffed, press it down gently with the back of a spoon. For a partially baked crust, return the pie plate to the oven and bake for about 8 minutes more, or until the crust is very lightly colored. To fully bake the crust, bake until golden brown, about another 10 minutes. Transfer the pie plate to a rack and cool to room temperature before filling.

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