Low-stress, low-cost, high deliciousness.

Holidays mean pies, usually at scale. And that is great if you are an accomplished pie maker. But for the rest of the world, the presumption of pie at the end of a holiday meal can be a bit fraught. Because pies can be both fussy and time consuming, and you don't really know until you cut into them if the filling is set or soupy, the crust crisp or soggy, baked through or raw. And who needs to add that kind of stress to the festive season?

The easiest holiday dessert: the apple galette

So, I turn to the easiest holiday dessert, the apple galette. This freeform tart couldn't be easier to make. A store-bought crust, (or a disc of homemade dough if you love to make pastry), a couple of apples, some butter and sugar. It takes just a few minutes to assemble but has serious flavor and wow factor. Even better, it is elegant enough for a holiday meal, garnished with whipped cream or ice cream, but is simple enough for a fast weeknight dessert.

Apple Galette
Credit: Getty / istetiana

How to make an apple galette

1 pie crust (store bought or homemade)

2-3 apples (I like Fuji or Honeycrisp)

1 tablespoon cold butter

2 tablespoons sugar (granulated or demerara) plus extra for sprinkling

Milk or cream (optional)

2 tablespoons apricot or fig jam

Powdered sugar (optional)

1.Heat your oven to 400°.  Line a sheet pan with parchment. 

2. Peel and core apples, then slice into 1/8-inch slices.

3. Unroll your premade crust on the sheet pan. Twist or fold and pinch the edges of the dough to make a little rim. Shingle the apple slices in a pretty pattern over the center of the crust in one layer, slightly overlapping. You may not need all the apples depending on their size.

4. Cut butter into small 1/8-inch cubes and dot all over the apples. Sprinkle with sugar. If you want, brush the crust edge with milk or cream and sprinkle more sugar on for extra crunch.

5. Bake for 45-60 minutes, turning halfway through, until the pastry is crisp and browned on the bottom and the top is golden. Cool 5 minutes on the pan then transfer to a rack to cool completely.

6. Melt jam with 1 tablespoon of water and brush over the apples to glaze them, or dust with powdered sugar before serving.

The galette can be left covered at room temperature for up to three days, but doubtful it will last that long given how delicious it is!