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Apples are autumnal fruits, but thanks to modern science, they live perennially in the produce aisle and in refrigerator crisper drawers, bunking with many other out-of-season fruits and vegetables. I'm guilty of consuming the forbidden fruit year round, however, bake with them? Absolutely not.
A cooked apple, glossy, glazed, tender, concealed in warm soups, tossed in the oven with a roast beast, peeking through the criss-cross of a flaky lattice, is simply out of place on a flowery spring day or a sulfurous summer afternoon. But, crisp and windswept, the first chill of fall begs for apples to be peeled, cored, sliced, and baked.
As October exhausts itself, apples in all their glorious shades and colors pile high in outdoor market bins and are turned into warm cider and doughnuts. Some of my favorite costumes for apples are sugary coatings like scarlet candy shells, and particularly, sticky caramel blankets. With that in mind, melted caramels lurk in a mound of tart Granny Smith apples bubbling in butter, brown sugar, and vibrant lemon. Hot and tangy crystallized ginger pierces boldly through this wonderfully amorphous galette whose charm lies in its rustic simplicity and the ease of draping and folding flaky pastry around fall's bounty.