Berries and fall fruits, such as plums, peaches and apples are great to have on board when making pies or galettes. Last week, I decided to make some French galettes with a blend of white spelt and almond flours, some plant-based butter, a bit of coconut sugar and lots of fresh seasonal fruit. Featured above, is a wild blackberry and plum galette.
If you want to make a real French pastry crust with a healthier twist and without any animal products, this recipe works well. Plant-based butters are often lower in saturated fat and higher in heart-healthy mono- and polyunsaturated fats than regular dairy butter or lard. There are many types of vegan butter; they tend to vary depending on where you live. You can read on some of the best North American vegan butters here.
Some vegan butters are made with palm oil but I try to avoid those products for environmental reasons. I’ve looked around in Switzerland and France and found two plant butters that I liked. They are advertised as “margarine” but taste like a light, soft butter. The ingredients are natural and without synthetic colouring agents or preservatives. You can view them here and here.
Below is the step-by-step recipe for making fresh fruit galettes the French way, but without the dairy butter.
Fresh Fruit Galette
- 3 cups (500 gr) of berries or sliced stone fruit or apples or a mix * (see notes)
MARINADE & GLAZE
- 4 to 6 tablespoons (tbsp) coconut sugar * (see notes)
- 1/3 cup (75 gr) lime or lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon (tsp) lime or lemon zest
- 1½ tsps cornstarch
PIE OR GALETTE CRUST
- ½ cup (100 gr) cold plant-based butter
- 1½ cups (180 gr) white spelt flour/ farine d’épautre claire (or 1½ cups (200 gr) all-purpose flour)
- ½ cup (55 gr) white almond flour, sifted before measuring
- 2 tbps coconut sugar * (see notes)
- ½ tsp fine salt
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 2-4 tbsps very cold ice water
* Note: can use raspberries, blackberries, strawberries, blueberries, plums, peaches, apricots, pears, apples. With stone fruit and apples, rinse them well, remove pits or core, keep peels on and slice them very thin, about 0.5 cm or 0.2 inches. Can substitute the coconut sugar with granulated date, cane, maple or brown sugar.
Rinse and strain the fruit with a large sieve. If using stone fruit or apples, slice them very thin (0.5 cm or 0.2 inches). Place the fruit in a medium-size bowl. Set aside.
In a small bowl, add the marinade ingredients: coconut sugar, lime or lemon juice and lime or lemon zest. DO NOT ADD THE CORNSTARCH YET. Mix with a fork, pour the syrup into the fruit and gently toss to coat all of the fruit. Cover and put in fridge to marinate for at least 1 hour. Gently toss the fruit a few times while marinating.
Meanwhile, if making your own pie crust, you can make it now.
CRUST (made in food processor)
Measure or weigh the amount of butter needed and place it immediately in the fridge to keep it cool. If using a butter that has a soft spreadable texture, put the amount you need into a small bowl and place it in the fridge. With a harder textured butter, slice it into teaspoon-size cubes and put in fridge.
Aerate, fluff and move the flour around in the bag or container by mixing it with a fork prior to measuring or weighing it. Sift the almond flour and then measure or weigh it.
In a medium-size bowl, add the flour and sifted almond flour, the sugar and salt. Stir with a fork until COMPLETELY mixed (at this stage, the dry ingredients need to be hand-mixed outside of the food processor).
Now you can transfer the flour mixture into the bowl of your food processor fitted with a blade and process for 5 seconds to blend. Then, add the chilled butter, either by scooping it out in teaspoons if it’s soft or by directly adding the cubed butter. Process for 10-15 seconds to get a moist crumbly and clumpy mixture.
With motor turned off and blade still in place, just use a fork to work around and further breakdown the bigger clumps and integrate them more with the flour. The mixture should be moist and crumbly all over.
Add the 1 tbsp of apple cider vinegar and process for 5 seconds.
Add 2-4 tbsps of ice water (start with 2 tbsps) and process until a ball forms. If the dough is too moist or creamy, a ball won’t form (this often happens), so just add a bit more spelt flour, starting with 1 tbsp and process for a few seconds and repeat this until a ball forms. Or, if the dough is too dry (this happens less often), add another tbsp of ice water and process. As soon as the dough gathers and forms a ball, your dough is ready.
Gather all of the dough with floured hands and form a round ball. It will feel soft and tender. Wrap the ball with a piece of parchment paper that is about 32cm or 14 inches in diameter (you will use this paper for rolling out the dough later). Chill the dough ball in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
Note: The dough ball can keep in the fridge for up to 48 hours. You can also freeze it in a deep freezer for 4 months by tightly wrapping it with heavy foil on top of the parchment paper. Make sure to allow the dough to soften and come to room temperature before rolling it.
ASSEMBLING THE GALETTE
- Oven: Fan oven: 180°C / 350°F or Conventional oven: 200°C / 400°F
- Total baking time: 40 minutes
- After 20 minutes of baking, take out and add the glaze and bake for another 20 minutes
Take out the marinating fruit from the fridge and transfer to a sieve supported by a bowl to strain the fruit and collect all of the juice/syrup in the bowl. In the bowl, you will have fruit syrup. Stir the syrup with a fork and set this aside. You will use it later for the glaze.
Place the chilled dough ball on the parchment paper that was used to wrap it up. If the dough has been chilling for a long time, let it stand for about 10-15 minutes, or until it is softer and ready to be handled, before rolling.
Place a second piece of parchment paper on top of the ball. Press down lightly with the palm of your hand to flatten it and ensure that the top paper sticks to the dough. Roll the dough between the two parchment papers.
Using light pressure and starting in the centre, roll outwards in short even strokes going North, South, East, West and diagonally. Keep repeating until you obtain a round-ish shape of about 12-14 inch or 30-32 cm in diameter and 1/4 – 1/8 inch or 0.6 – 0.3 cm thick. Use a fork to prick some holes in the middle where the fruit will be placed.
Spread out and arrange the strained fruit on the rolled dough leaving an outer border space of about 2-inches or 5 cm wide. Fold over the border edges in sections so that the fruit get tucked into the dough.
Transfer the galette onto a baking sheet by lifting it using the parchment paper kept underneath (you can also use a pizza palette). Brush the border edges with almond milk or with the fruit syrup that you’ve set aside and put in the preheated oven on the mid-lower rack (I place it one notch above the lowest rack).
While the galette bakes for the first 20 minutes, you can prepare the glaze.
Measure 1/3 cup (80 grams) of the fruit syrup and pour it into a small saucepan. Do not use more syrup than this. There will be a bit leftover syrup which can be stored in glass jar in fridge for sauces, salad dressings, fruit salads, etc.
Whisk into the syrup the 1½ tsps of cornstarch in 4 separate doses (don’t whisk it all at once to avoid clumping). Hand whisk until the cornstarch dissolves completely. Set the syrup aside on the countertop.
After 20 minutes of baking, remove the galette from the oven, but keep the oven heating at the same setting.
On stove-top place the saucepan with the syrup on medium-high heat. Bring to a gentle boil whisking constantly until the syrup gets very thick and glossy, almost like a syrupy jam. This will only take a few minutes.
Remove from heat. Use a pastry brush to dab the thick syrup all over the fruit and brush the crust edges. Use all of the syrup you’ve measured. Place the galette back in the oven, on same mid-lower rack and heat setting. Bake for another 20 minutes.
Take out of the oven. Transfer the galette to a cooling rack by lifting it with the parchment paper kept underneath (or use a pizza palette). Allow to cool completely as it will continue to set and the fruit will gel.
When cooled, slice and serve as is or with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Place leftover galette on a large plate, cover with foil or a large bowl turned upside down and store in the refrigerator. It keeps well for a few days.