Here’s something you fine, educated folk might not agree with.
Your opinion is wrong if you can’t back it up. Period. It’s not a bad opinion, it’s not a misinformed one, it’s wrong.
People try to act like their opinion matters all the damn time, but for some reason it pisses me off the most when people talk about food. Am I gonna sit here and argue that taste isn’t subjective? Of course not. There’s no way everyone is gonna like the same stuff, and they’re probably going to have decent reasons for the difference. Maybe you don’t like avocado because it’s slimy and mushy, or he thinks Snickers are better than Milky Ways because they have those commercials where Betty White yells at a small child or whatever the fuck it is. And that’s fine, as long as they have reasons at all.
But there’s some people who think opinions are asterisks instead of arguments, and that’s some bullshit. And you’ve definitely ran into one of these assholes before (or you are one of those assholes, in which case you should close this window and go read Reader’s Digest or whatever it is you simpletons like to shove into your eyeballs). The people who argue that the ice cream place on 3rd is THE best place, that no other joint in town has a better scoop and anyone who says otherwise is a blithering idiot. But as soon as you try to argue back and say that no, no, the place on 5th and Crenshaw is obviously way better because they have that awesome sea salt caramel flavor, they come back with a line that makes my very being itch with annoyance:
“Whoa, it’s just my opinion, man.”
BULL. SHIT. You don’t get a free pass because you suddenly decided to wave the white “opinion” flag. See, by calling that ice cream place or steak joint or whatever it may be the best thing ever, the best thing since the fucking genesis of mankind, you’re implicitly calling every other place worse. By definition. You don’t get that shit for free; you have to explain why all those other places are shit. And not only that, but you’re subject to criticism if your reasons suck.
I know this is a rant, like most of these intros are. But it’ll be relevant in a few lines, I promise. All I’m saying is that a lot of people think they get a free pass when they let the word “opinion” spill out of their stupid , malformed mouths, and I wanna make it clear that they’re wrong. Food’s too important to let people get away with that nonsense.
The reason I’m talking about all this in the first place because this week’s recipe has something that nearly everyone I know has one of these “opinions” about: gin. If there’s one thing on this earth people are just flat-out wrong about, it’s gin. It’s delicious and it’s magical, but people think that just because the one time they had it was mixed with grape powerade at a sorority mixer, it’s automatically garbage.
No, you’re garbage, gin-hater. And that’s why I’m showing you how to do it right.
Here’s what you need:
- 5 red delicious apples
- 2 ½ cups AP flour
- ½ teaspoon salt (+ an extra pinch for the apples)
- 2 sticks (16 tablespoons) unsalted butter (you want it somewhere between ice cold and room temp)
- 1/4 cup greek yogurt
- ½ tablespoon white wine vinegar
- 1/3 cup ice water
- 3 tablespoons demerara sugar
- ¼ cup sugar + 2 tablespoons
- ¼ cup light brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 ½ tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 egg
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 cup water
- 1 ½ cups meyer lemon juice (about 8-10 lemons)
- 2 tablespoons meyer lemon zest
- 2 bunches fresh basil
- 1 teaspoon rose water
- 3 ounces Caorunn gin (not that that’s the only gin you can use, but it is the only company that actually sent me some of their gin, so…there ya have it. Also it’s pretty damned tasty.)
Here’s how you do it:
Note: Start this off the night before you want it. I know some of you people don’t bother to read the whole recipe before you start, and then get mad and confused when you hit the “refrigerate overnight” part. That’s why I’m putting it here. Now stop complaining, dammit.
First, the sorbet.
Heat up the sugar and water in a medium pot over high heat, and stir until the sugar’s been completely dissolved (that means clear, folks).
Take it off heat, and add in the basil and lemon peel. You can be a lazy son of a bitch like me and throw the whole bunches of basil in at once; that’ll make it easier to take out later.
Cover the pot and let it cool to room temperature, then take out the basil. DON’T strain out the lemon peel; most recipes tell you to do that, and they’re wrong. Lemon peel’s delicious, and it’s even more delicious when it’s in a mouthful of sorbet.
Put the sugar-water in whatever you plan on chilling this stuff in, and mix in the lemon juice, rose water, and gin. Refrigerate it overnight (aren’t you glad I warned you now?).
Once the sorbet stuff is all nice and cool, give it a run through your preferred ice cream mixer and stick it in the freezer while you make the galette. Be sure to mix up the sorbet a few times while it’s freezing, that way all the tasty gin won’t sink to the bottom.
For the galette, whisk together the flour, salt, and two tablespoons of sugar in a large bowl.
Add the butter in, and cut it in with a pastry cutter until you get a vaguely pebbly texture.
Whisk together the yogurt, vinegar, and ice water in a small bowl and add it into the dough.
Mix together the dough with a wooden spoon or your hands or…pretty much anything, really. If things are looking a little too dry, add a little more ice water.
Once you’ve got your dough formed, roll it into a ball, flatten it into a disk, and wrap it in plastic wrap. You know what’s coming: stick it in the refrigerator overnight.
Preheat your oven to 400.
Dust a cutting board or flat surface with a little flour and roll out the galette dough to about an 1/8th of an inch thick. Keep in mind that this is a galette; they’re supposed to look like shit. Don’t worry about making it the perfect beautiful circle of dough; just get it to where it needs to be.
Prepare the apples by peeling them, slicing them thin with a mandoline, and tossing them in a large bowl with a ¼ cup of sugar, brown sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, and a pinch of salt. Work fast so they don’t get brown and mushy.
Pile the apples in the middle of the galette dough, leaving a couple of inches around the apples free to fold over. You’ll probably have more apples than you need, so take some off if you can’t fold the dough.
Fold the dough over the apples, leaving a small, open hole in the middle. And don’t snicker at that last sentence…I’m watching you.
Crack the egg in a small bowl and add a tablespoon of water. Whisk them together and use the egg wash to brush the top of the galette with a pastry brush.
Sprinkle the demerara sugar on top of the galette. You want a lot of this stuff so it gets all nice and caramelized, so if 3 tablespoons isn’t enough, add more.
Stick it in the oven on a baking sheet for 35-40 minutes, let it cool off for 5, then stick it on a cooling rack until it’s cool enough to eat.
While you’re waiting for that to cool off, check out this week’s beats from Caorunn Gin distiller Simon Bouley. It’s Roll Away Your Stone by Mumford and Sons, and here’s what he has to say about it:
It has nothing to do with the dish; it’s just a good song. Drinking Caorunn should be about having a good time with good friends and good conversation. This song just reminds me of a good time. Sláinte!
Here’s why I treated you lovely people to that rant up there. So this company sends me their gin, has me try their gin, and explains where it comes from. And I’ll be honest: it’s good. It’s damn good. But then they explained how they make the stuff, and told me how essentially one guy (the guy who picked the beats up there) goes out and hand-picks five specific ingredients.
Time they make a batch.
Now, how do you think that guy feels when someone goes up to him and says “gin’s terrible, I want a Bud Light”? Do you think he spent hours and hours in a fucking bog so that worthless clod could say “but it’s just my opinion, man!”
No. I think not. I think he’s gonna throw that man’s beer in the trash, force feed him a martini, and make him explain why the hell he would drink anything else.
But that’s just my opinion.
I’ll see you next time.
You can go here (http://www.caorunngin.com/where-to-buy/usa-distributors/) to find out where you can get some Caorunn Gin for yourself. I suggest you do so. Like…immediately after reading this.