Whole Wheat Rye Sourdough
Sunday, April 07, 2013
Since this was (a) a Mark Bittman column and (b) featured in the Sunday Times Magazine, it’s doubtful that too many people missed his article on whole wheat bread. I was most pleasantly surprised by the sourdough rye loaf, into which I incorporated about 1/4 cup of rye berries that I soaked overnight. It was the first whole wheat sandwich I loaf that I’ve been happy with - and all with the tang of a sourdough.
Posted by Kevin on 04/07 at 10:02 PM
Pici with Swordfish
Wednesday, April 03, 2013
I know I’m repeating myself, but I really love Shore Catch’s offerings through Winter Harvest. Although, perhaps I love them too much because I was having difficulty imagining yet another night of pan-grilled swordfish steaks. (That’s rather spoiled, isn’t it?) Thankfully, I had also been wanting to make pici because of Emiko Davies.
Pici are incredibly simple to make, and Emiko’s instructions are as easy-to-follow and accurate as always. However, I would recommend watching a couple of youtube videos about how to roll them out. Seeing the physical process was immensely helpful. There is no locally-grown semolina flour (yet), but I combined Bob’s Red Mill Semolina with Daisy Organics White Pastry to get this:
These had a really cool, chewy texture totally unlike any egg pasta that you may have made before. I can easily imagine pici sauced in hundreds of ways; this sauce (canned tomatoes, onion, garlic, and oregano from the few sprigs popping up in the garden) was worlds away from the duck sauce of Emiko’s original. Regardless, if you mess up irrevocably (though I can’t imagine how), you won’t have sacrificed any egg yolks, and if you find your pici too misshapen, then just start over again. I will caution you, though, not to make them too perfect. The lack of uniformity is part of the charm.
Posted by Kevin on 04/03 at 09:18 PM
Thursday, March 28, 2013
I really hope this is the last of the winter produce recipes until Thanksgiving, not because I don’t love hard squashes, cabbages and brassicas, but because I am really just sick of winter. My longing for asparagus and rhubarb is starting to become acute, and each of these spring snows is making me despair that tomato season is never coming.
While we’re all cursing the groundhog, this butternut squash spread is at least a bright and sunny color, and warmly spicy enough to maybe convince yourself that you’re in the Mediterranean, if you close your eyes. It’s adapted from Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi’s beautiful cookbook, Jerusalem, and combines caramelized roasted squash and tahini into a hummus-like dip. This version has been made vegan by replacing the original yogurt with soft cooked red lentils and a hit of lemon juice, and instead of plain cinnamon I used a Syrian spice mix. You could use za’atar, ras el hanout, berbere, or any similar blend if you prefer.
Roasted Butternut Spread
(Adapted from Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi, Jerusalem: A Cookbook, 2012)
For roasting the squash:
1 large butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into roughly 1-inch cubes
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon Middle Eastern spice mix of choice
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
For the spread:
1/4 cup red lentils
1/2 cup water
5 tablespoons tahini
1-2 garlic cloves, minced
Juice of 1/2 lemon
2-3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Salt to taste
Preheat oven to 400 F. Toss the butternut cubes with the oil, spice mix and salt in a roasting pan. Cover the pan with aluminum foil and roast the squash until soft all the way through and slightly caramelized on the edges, approximately 1 hour. Cool completely.
Boil the lentils and water in a small saucepan over medium heat until the lentils have completely broken down, adding just as much water as needed to prevent them from drying out until they reach that point.
Combine the roasted squash, cooked lentils, tahini, garlic and lemon in the bowl of a food processor and pulse just until chunky. Add more lemon juice and salt as needed, then add the olive oil and pulse a few more times to combine.
Serve in a shallow bowl, garnished with an additional drizzle of olive oil, and with pita chips or crudités on the side.
Brewer’s Plate 2013
Wednesday, March 13, 2013
It’s a mark of the vitality of Philly’s local food scene that we have multiple annual events that celebrate local food. After all, it takes a thriving local food culture to make any of these events possible, much less all of them. How many cities across the US would be able to do this?
Chief among these events is Brewer’s Plate, held Sunday night at the Constitution Center. The Fair Food fundraiser pairs dozens of breweries and restaurants in one long beer-and-slider fueled evening. Imagine the spirit of an old-style beef & beer function, with the beef and beer diversified by a factor of thirty, and you will have some idea of the variety offered on Sunday night.
Going in to Brewer’s Plate, I had extremely high expectations for both the beer and the food, and - somehow - even those expectations were exceeded. Normally, you expect to sacrifice quality for an event of this scale, and you accept that since, you know, it’s for a good cause. But what I had to eat and drink rivaled many sit-down meals I’ve had at individual restaurants, and the crowd was more good-natured and enthusiastic than I could have hoped.
Food wise, what stood out? My personal highlights include:
- Pork pate and a beer cracker from Southwark, paired with BPA from Nodding Head
- Victory’s “White Monkey” - Golden Monkey beer aged in Chardonnay barrels
- Brooklyn Brewery’s Sorachi Ace Saison, paired with sliders from Varga Bar and brewed with Champagne yeast.
- Bent Spoon’s Wort Ice Cream - served on the cutest ice cream cone imaginable.
- Aimee Olexy’s cheese-and-beer tasting, in which she proved equally conversant in describing the qualities of beer as cheese, giving us not only a lesson in fantastic local cheese, but in different ways to pair flavors.
- Lancaster Coop is also a buying club with drop offs at many of their CSA locations.
When you attend an event like the Brewer’s Plate, the “danger” (if I can call it that) is that you will take it for granted, that of course the food and beer is local. Local food and drink have come so far so quickly, that it is difficult to remember their humble and relatively recent origins. I was reminded of this as Aimee Olexy discussed the immense effort it took to procure quality local cheeses only a 10 years ago. With credit due to local food advocates such as Fair Food, we can all enjoy these labors of love, and the artisans that create them can command a fair price.
Here’s counting down to the Farm Fest on April 14th.
Posted by Kevin on 03/13 at 07:59 PM
Neighborhood Foods Accepting 2013 CSA Applications
Tuesday, March 05, 2013
When searching for a CSA, I imagine most Philadelphians look outside of the city and into the lush farm land that so fortunately surrounds our city. Most people would reason that a small urban farm could not possibly supply all of their food needs, especially when taking part in a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) Program. But when an urban farm looks like this:
buying from the local urban farm becomes a pretty good deal, especially when the farm can build community through feeding people. And that’s what Neighborhood Foods is doing in West Philadelphia. In partnership with Urban Tree Connection, a 501(c)(3) non-profit, Neighborhood Foods runs educational programs for people of all ages, bringing neighbors together through events and making fresh local produce accessible in low-income neighborhoods. All of the income from their CSA goes to support these programs.
They aren’t growing all of the food on their land. They are also partnering with local Philly food businesses including Green Aisle jam, Philadelphia grown honey, Four Worlds bread, and Green-street/La Colombe coffee to provide a well rounded and value added CSA share. They have drop-off locations all over the city and the CSA runs from May 24th through October 25th. Sign up now at neighborhoodfoods.org.
Once again, being able to support progressive community development while getting to enjoy healthy local food is why I love this city. So go show your love to Neighborhood Foods and sign up for a share.
Posted by Nic on 03/05 at 09:29 PM
Winter Harvest Plug: Fresh Seafood
Saturday, March 02, 2013
Not too long ago, I would lament that fish was either sustainably raised/caught or local, but not both. It may be that I simply wasn’t aware of my options, that those options had expanded, or both. But this past year I’ve made two very happy discoveries about seafood. First, there is the peerless Ippolito’s Seafood in South Philly. I’ve already written about this fantastic fishmonger, and if you haven’t already shopped there, do so. Second, Farm to City’s Winter Harvest Buying Club, has fresh, flash-frozen seafood by Shore Catch (caught off the coast of New Jersey) available for purchase. The options include scallops, flounder, cod, tuna, monkfish, and swordfish. Though I’ve tried them all, this was the latest delivery: sushi-grade tuna. The original recipe, from Mark Bittman, called for salmon, but any fish steak should work.
Based on Mark Bittman’s Four Spice Salmon
Salt and Pepper
1 tbsp coriander seeds
1 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
4 six-ounce tuna steaks brought to room temperature
Grind the coriander and cumin seeds with a mortar and pestle until a coarse powder forms. (You don’t want too fine a rub, or you will lose the crunch.) Salt and pepper the fish steaks and rub the spice mixture onto both sides. Film a skillet (I like to use cast iron here) with oil over medium-high heat. Cook for two minutes and each side.
Note: If you wish to have the fish fully cooked, you can preheat the oven to 400 and then put the skillet directly into the oven to finish for 4-8 minutes, depending on your preference.
Sunday, February 24, 2013
Traditional spaghetti carbonara is pasta tossed with crisped pancetta and a mixture of raw eggs and parmesan, which cooks just enough from the heat of the pasta to form a silky, creamy sauce. It’s not vegetarian-friendly, obviously, which is why when I decided to use the beautifully golden-yolked eggs from the market in a carbonara-esque dish, I had to replace the meat with something sufficiently flavorful and colorful.
The answer was a combination of shredded brussels sprouts and sun-dried tomatoes in the pasta itself, and a topping of fresh breadcrumbs, crisped in olive oil and seasoned with a combination of garlic and Spanish smoked paprika. Brussels sprouts keep well, stay wonderfully green as long as they’re not overcooked, and add both brightness and a punchy contrast in flavor. The tomatoes add both a bright pop of color and a slightly chewy texture, and the crumbs add both the missing crunch and the smokiness that comes from the pancetta in the original dish. The smokiness is further enhanced by a handful of shredded smoked cheese after the pasta is sauced.
This recipe is very, very loosely adapted from one in Deborah Madison & Edward Espe Brown’s The Greens Cookbook (1987). In theory, you could further adapt it into a still-flavorful and pretty vegan dish by leaving out the eggs and cheese, although you couldn’t really call it carbonara at that point. (Then again, most people wouldn’t consider it carbonara the minute the meat is taken out.)
Spaghetti Carbonara with Brussels Sprouts, Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Smoky Breadcrumbs
3 slices multigrain bread (the heels of the loaf are fine)
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 clove garlic, run through a microplane grater or garlic press
1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
Salt to taste
8 ounces spaghetti
3 tablespoons olive oil
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon red chili flakes
1 dry pint brussels sprouts, shredded
1/4 cup dried tomatoes, diced
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
1/2 cup grated smoked Gouda or other semi-firm smoked cheese
Roughly tear the bread slices and pulse in a food processor long enough to form medium-sized fresh crumbs. Warm the garlic in the olive oil in a wide nonstick sauté pan over medium heat just until the garlic begins to release its aroma, then add in the breadcrumbs and toss to evenly coat in the oil. Continue cooking, tossing or stirring frequently, until the crumbs are well-toasted and crisp, stir in paprika and salt to taste, and remove from the pan.
Boil the spaghetti in well-salted water until al dente, according to the package directions. Meanwhile, heat the garlic and chili flakes in the remaining oil in the pan until the garlic begins to color lightly. Add in the brussels sprouts, sun-dried tomatoes and a generous sprinkle of salt, sautéing just until the sprouts have wilted but remain brightly green. Taste and adjust salt as necessary.
Just before draining the pasta, quickly whisk the eggs and parmesan together in a large bowl. Drain the pasta and immediately place it into the bowl containing the egg mixture, tossing quickly with tongs to completely coat the spaghetti. Add the brussels sprouts mixture and smoked cheese and continue tossing until everything is evenly distributed and lightly coated. If the egg mixture appears too raw, return the pasta to the pan and very briefly cook, tossing continuously, to desired doneness.
Serve immediately in warmed pasta bowls, sprinkling generously with the toasted breadcrumbs.
Winter Harvest Plug: Mushroom Mix
Saturday, February 16, 2013
Like many of you, I rely on Farm to City’s Winter Harvest buying club for most of my local food in the winter months. Their product list is constantly expanding, and new this year are mushrooms from Oley Valley Mushrooms. Our particular favorite is “Mushroom Mix 2.” It’s just enough of four different kinds of mushroom for three very different uses: the shiitakes mushrooms in a stir fry; the cremini on pizza; and the trumpets and oysters roasted with garlic, rosemary, and salt.
Posted by Kevin on 02/16 at 03:05 PM
An Earthship Sets Sail
Friday, February 15, 2013
Readers of this blog may remember an article I wrote a year and a half ago about the Earthship greenhouse that we commissioned at Emerald Street Urban Farm. If you didn’t catch that article, here’s a little recap. Earthships employ a style of architecture that relies on the use of trash, earth, and natural systems to create a living house. This design style was developed and championed by Michael Reynolds in the New Mexico desert, and after watching the movie Garbage Warrior that tells his story, I knew that I wanted to bring something like this to Philadelphia.
As fate would have it, I met Earthship activist Rashida Campbell who then introduced me to Eric Fulks who was a student of Earthship biotecture at the time. Eric was looking for a project to cut his teeth on, and when I proposed building an Earthship Greenhouse at Emerald Street, he bit. We built the back wall of the greenhouse out of stacked courses of tires that are packed with dirt to retain thermal heat from the sun. We built the front wall out of discarded two-liter soda bottles to let passive solar through. And we built the frame from re-claimed wood and windows. In all, the structure cost us $300 to make, plus volunteer time. And we were able to propagate many of our flowers and spring crops for Emerald St.
But aside from getting a greenhouse, our main purpose was to create a project that would serve as an educational model for such a structure in an urban environment, and troubleshoot any possible problems. After a few more stints on Earthship workcrews in New England and New Mexico, Eric Fulks is back in Philadelphia to follow through on the original intention of that greenhouse he designed two falls ago—he’s bringing an Earthship House to Philadelphia.
Through a partnership with the Village of Arts and Humanities, land has been secured for an Earthship in north Philadelphia. To get this project off the ground, Eric and the Village are hard at work educating and developing the workforce of volunteers by constructing another greenhouse on the site where the final Earthship house will stand. If all goes to plan, they anticipate breaking ground for the Earthship house in early summer. If you are interested in what they are doing, or what like to attend a workshop tomorrow Feb. 16th at the Village of Arts and Humanities to learn the basics of Earthship design and construction, then please visit their facebook page for more information.
Posted by Nic on 02/15 at 04:01 PM
Life Hands You A Dwarf Lemon Tree
Friday, February 08, 2013
It may seem strange to see a blog on local food in and around Philadelphia, PA include a post on lemons, but I can assure you that these lemons were grown right here in Philadelphia. More specifically, I can assure you that they were grown in my house in Queen Village. We’ve had a dwarf Meyer Lemon Tree for several years, and we’ve gotten impressive (if intermittent) fruit. Nonetheless, last Sunday I picked four lemons.
Of course, I was then left with a quandary of what to do with them. These lemons were far too special (organic! Meyer Lemons! grown in my house!) to just use for their juice or zest. So, I decided to preserve them according to River Cottage Preserves. It’s a basic recipe: salt, lemon juice, bay leaves, and black peppercorns. You sterilize a wide-mouth jar, add all of the ingredients, and then wait four weeks for the rinds to soften. It is probably the easiest preserve recipe I have ever tried.
And the results? I’ll let you know in another three weeks, but I generally prefer them diced as a condiment to fish.
For the Bleak Midwinter
Friday, February 01, 2013
We’re in the time of year when things start looking a little bleak, produce-wise, and you start longing for spring to change things up again. That doesn’t mean you can’t create some wonderful things from the sturdy winter items that do hang around the markets this time of year, though.
This vegetarian version of cassoulet makes good use of the root vegetables and hearty greens that can easily be found, and is the perfect way to warm up on an icy, stormy night. Being vegan, very low-fat and high in all kinds of nutrients is an additional bonus, if you’re trying to stick with any New Year’s resolutions or just detox from the holiday excess.
White Bean, Parsnip and Kale Cassoulet
(Adapted from Eric Tucker & John Westerdahl, The Millennium Cookbook)
5 cups white beans, cooked or canned
1 large yellow onion, diced
2 large parsnips, peeled and diced
2 large carrots, peeled and diced
3 cups vegetable stock
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon dried sage
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon ground celery seed
1 large bay leaf
1 tablespoon sea salt
1 teaspoon ground pepper
1 bunch kale, shredded
Preheat the oven to 350 F. In a large, oven-proof pot with a lid, combine the beans and vegetables. Mix together the stock, mustard, maple syrup, herbs and spices in a large measuring cup and pour over the bean mixture. Cover with the lid and bake for 60-75 minutes, until the liquid has reduced and thickened.
Add the kale to the beans, re-cover, and bake 15-20 more minutes, until the greens are tender but not mushy. Remove the bay leaf and serve as a main course or side dish.
We Kept the Farm in Philly!
Friday, January 25, 2013
I wanted to post an update to my post this past Tuesday. On Thursday I sat in City Council and listened as Council President Darryl Clark called to action Council Bill 120917, and asked the bill’s sponsor Councilman Brian O’Neill to introduce the bill. Council O’Neill paused for a second, gathered some papers, and informed President Clark that he proposed an amendment to his original bill that his fellow council people have reviewed. President Clark looked around and made called for a vote on the amendment. And with each council person voicing approval, Urban Agriculture was restored as an As-Of-Right Use in CMX 2 and CMX 2.5 zones in the zoning code.
This is a huge win for all supporters of Urban Agriculture and Community Gardening in Philadelphia. Not only were we as a whole able to achieve a legislative win, but it was done by mobilizing a very well organized and amazing group of advocates and organizations that have come together under the Campaign for Healthier Foods and Greener Spaces. This campaign consists of many partner organizations all across Philadelphia, and is being headed up by the Public Interest Law Center of Philadelphia. I’d like to give Amy Laura Cahn, a lawyer at the public interest law center, a huge shout out for all of the work she did on organizing this campaign and getting everyone the information to make this campaign successful.
And I’d like to give a big thank you to anyone who read this blog and who called their council person or helped spread the word. As I said in the title, we kept the farm in Philly. And now I’m looking forward to a great growing season.
Posted by Nic on 01/25 at 07:09 PM
Help Keep the Farm in Philly
Monday, January 21, 2013
I took advantage of the warm temperatures this weekend by spending both days on Emerald Street Urban Farm cleaning out the chicken coop, checking up on the bees, rethinking the horticulture design of our perimeter, and working with our friend Eric to redesign the Earthship Greenhouse we built last year. The greenhouse was constructed by using reclaimed windows and recycled plastic bottles to allow passive solar power to enter the structure. The back wall is then built from salvaged tires packed with earth that act to retain heat in the thermal mass. If you’ve been following my writing on this blog, you’ve most likely read about this already, along with stories of my bees, my chickens, the food we grow at Emerald Street Urban Farm, and the people whom we feed.
I’m sure anyone who reads this blog has read many other great stories about great events, and even more importantly, the great food that comes from the farms in and around Philadelphia. However, changes to the Philadelphia Zoning code threatens to put all of this in jeopardy.
Almost four years ago, the citizens of Philadelphia voted for a comprehensive overhaul of our city’s obsolete zoning code. Over those four years, the city held many community meetings, as well as partnered with the many universities and institutions in the area to redesign a zoning code that would realize the dream of making Philadelphia a world class city of the 21st century. These goals were in line with the current mayoral administration’s Green Works Plan, as well as the comprehensive 2035 Plan for the city. And for the first time, Urban Agriculture was a recognized use for land. However, with the zoning code only 3 months old, Councilman Brian O’Neill proposed amendments to the code prohibiting many uses in CMX 2, CMX 2.5 (Commercial Mixed Use) zones. Some of these prohibited uses were prepared food, transit stations, pet grooming, and most notably, community gardens and market farms. This land accounts for almost one quarter of the land in Philadelphia and would threaten almost 70 gardens that already exist in Philadelphia. A very thorough explanation of this bill and its implications can be found of the Public Interest Law Center of Philadelphia’s website.
After a city council hearing on the bill in December many community stakeholders, as well as some of Councilman O’Neill’s colleagues in CIty Council, got him to amend his amendment to allow community gardening and market farms as a “special exception,” which acts much as a variance acted under the old code. However, this process would cost a community group a minimum of $250 in fees, and for non-profits, it would require the extra financial burden of hiring a lawyer. The only reasoning Councilman O’Neill’s office has provided for this amendment is for giving the communities more of a voice over what is built in their district. However, through the zoning code process, the mayor’s Greenworks plan, and the many people like you who are reading this blog, Urban Agriculture is an overwhelming priority for the people of Philadelphia. And we are not asking for anything other than for Urban Agriculture to be recognized under the original designtation in the code, which is to allow it in CMX 2 and CMX 2.5 zones.
I usually stray from bringing up anything political on this blog. As you can tell from my posts, I love the outlet of Farm to Philly to talk about the fun I have on our urban farm growing food, cooking food, and building community. And even though the lots of Emerald Street Urban Farm are not on CMX 2 or 2.5 land, there are too many gardens that are. Allowing this amendment to pass would compromise all of the great stories of improved food access and a vibrant city. So if you like my stories, and the stories you find on this blog, please call your district’s council person and all of the council members at large, and tell them to vote against City Council bill 120917.
Posted by Nic on 01/21 at 09:04 PM
Philadelphia’s Restaurant Week
Sunday, January 20, 2013
It’s Restaurant Week again here in Philadelphia. For the uninitiated, that means a three-course dinner for $35 at some of the city’s best restaurants (and sometimes a $20 three-course lunch, too). Last year, the theme of Restaurant Week was eat local, which was huge news for the localvore scene in the area. This time around I’m not so sure there is a theme, but it’s still possible to find some locally grown foods if you know where to look!
Of course you’re going to find local farmers represented on the menus as FARMiCIA and C19, but where else? 10 Arts, for instance, is serving Pennsylvania brook trout during the dinner service, and Barbuzzo has a few locally-sourced ingredients on the menu for dinner as well, as does Bistro 7, Butcher & Singer, City Tavern, Cuba Libre, Knock, Meritage, Pumpkin, Square 1682, Twenty Manning Grill, and Winthorpe & Valentine. With that many options, it’s still a sure bet that the eat local movement isn’t dead.
Still, we do hope there’ll be another Restaurant Week aimed at locally-sourced ingredients!
Posted by Nicole on 01/20 at 08:59 PM
Easy Holiday Entertaining
Thursday, December 27, 2012
Everyone needs a quick and painless go-to dessert for entertaining, and this galette is mine, which is why I made it for Thanksgiving and again this past weekend for a holiday party. It’s lovely, elegant, and pretty much foolproof—exactly what you want during this busy and demanding season.
The very thin layer of quince jam beneath the thinly-sliced apples insulates the pastry, so it stays perfectly crisp and flaky, and it adds a nice floral note while intensifying the apples’ flavor. A very light sprinkling of fresh thyme or rosemary after the galette has been baked and glazed adds just a bit more sophistication and a lot of visual appeal.
I used Granny Smith the last time around, but you can use pretty much any kind of apple you prefer and can find at your market. If you don’t have access to quince jam and jelly (I only do because I make my own every fall, provided I can find quinces), you can substitute apple butter under the apples and use either apple jelly or apricot preserves as the glaze.
Adapted from Cook’s Illustrated, All-Time Best Recipes
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons cornstarch
½ teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon granulated sugar
1 ½ sticks (12 tablespoons) cold unsalted butter, cut into ½ inch cubes
8-10 tablespoons ice water
1 cup quince jam or thick apple butter (preferably not highly spiced)
3-4 medium firm pie or eating apples of your choice
2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into very small dice
¼ cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons quince jelly, apple jelly, or apricot preserves
1 tablespoon water
1-2 sprigs fresh thyme, stripped or 1 small sprig fresh rosemary, minced
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cornstarch, salt, and sugar. Using a pastry cutter, work the butter into the dry ingredients until the butter is evenly dispersed in pieces about the size of peas. Sprinkle 8 tablespoons of ice water over the dough and stir in with a fork, until a crumbly mix forms that holds together when pinched between your fingers. If necessary, add more water, 1-2 tablespoons at a time, to achieve that consistency.
Turn the dough out onto a large piece of parchment paper or a Silpat and gather into a rectangular mound around 4 inches wide and 12 inches long. Starting at the top and working your way down, push the dough away from you using the heel of your hand. Repeat this process 1-2 more times, until you have a dough that’s starting to cohere but still shows flat, thin layers of butter. Pat the dough into a rough rectangle about the size of your hand, wrap tightly in a zip-top back or plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 2 hours.
When ready to bake, roll the dough on a lightly floured piece of parchment into a rectangle around 1/8 inch thick and 16 x 12 inches long. Trim the edges, then roll them over twice to make a ½ inch border. Transfer the pastry on its parchment onto a rimmed baking sheet, then gently spread the bottom of the dough with the quince jam or apple butter in a thin, even layer. Refrigerate the pastry for about 10 minutes to chill it back down before filling and baking it.
Preheat the oven to 400F. Peel and core the apples, and cut into 6-8 segments (I use a corer-slicer for this). Slice the apples evenly and thinly into 1/8 inch slices, and, starting at one corner of the chilled dough, lay them in a single overlapping, diagonal layer completely covering the entire surface of the pastry.
Dot the apples with the 2 tablespoons of finely-diced butter, and sprinkle evenly with the ¼ cup of sugar. Bake on the middle rack of the oven for 45-55 minutes, until the apples are caramelized and the pastry is golden brown on the edges and crisp on the bottom when you gently lift up a corner. Set on a cooling rack while preparing the glaze.
In a microwave-proof container, mix together the jelly and water, and microwave until bubbling, around 1 minute. Brush the glaze over the apples, and scatter a small sprinkling of thyme leaves or minced rosemary evenly on top. Cool the galette at least 15 more minutes before slicing into 8-10 servings. Although it’s not necessary, the galette is especially nice accompanied by a spoonful of unsweetened softly whipped cream.