Virtue is all very well and good, of course. But sometimes virtuous eating falls totally, utterly, by the wayside and into a very deep culvert.
Lured by a taste of a friend's dessert last week, I stopped by Cravings in Webster Groves for a single-item lunch: the caramel apple galette. And, yes, I had been right. This is a splendid piece of work. The pastry is fabulous, tender and crumbly, what the British cookery books refer to as "short". And happily, the filling lives up to the crust. Thin slices of tart apple rest on what seems to be an apple confit, adding some chew and some softness to the crunch of the pastry. Topped with a generous dollop of softly whipped cream, possibly enlivened with a little creme fraiche, its coolness an offset to the heat of the galette - which is baked to order, from all appearances - it's a delight.
It is, of course, available with ice cream, but that's a combination I see no sense in, especially when the pie or near-relative is served warm. The frozen ice cream takes too much of the warmth away and the melted ice cream is antithetical to keeping good pie crust at its proper texture.
The photo is unmistakably just part of the galette. Owner Tim Brennan stopped by to chat for a while just before the galette was delivered from the kitchen, and I wasn't about to let it get cold. Tim tells me he's using Granny Smith apples right now, occasionally Fujis, but when local apples are in season, that's his go-to supply.
8149 Big Bend Blvd., Webster Groves
Lunch Tues.-Sat., Dinner Fri.-Sat.
Credit cards: Yes
Wheelchair access: Good