A couple of weeks ago I received an email from my mum who had just come in from the bush. She was ecstatic over her gathering of enough wild blackberries to make her annual pie, and was equally pleased that she managed to do it without having to fend off the black bear that lives on their property, or the pesky wasps that often encircle the sweet fruit. Foraging for wild berries is a long tradition for my family, and a longer tradition held on the coast going back thousands of years. At home every abandoned lot, railway, or roadside bank overflows with sweet wild and Himalayan blackberries this time of year. Then there are the Salmon berries, which are the sweetest orange colour and ever so delicate, that line the country road I grew up on. And that special spot on my parents property where a wild red huckleberry bush lives. Or that patch in my mum’s vegetable garden, under the magnolia tree, where the wild strawberries live. I know it all. But that’s at home on the west coast. Here in New York, I think I’d be hard pressed to find such abundance, at least within the city limits.
But location won’t hinder me from tradition. Instead I got on the nearest subway and hit the wonderful weekend markets to grab some fresh and beautiful berries. A totally new type of adventure, but still an adventure none the less! While I used a mix of strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries, any combination of these would work well. You could even add fancy berries like currants, which would be amazing! Even stone fruit like cherries and plums would be delightful.
Easy Vegan Pastry
Recipe: (makes 8 Galettes) Print it Here
(adapted from here, here, and here)
2 1/4 Cups Whole Spelt (or light spelt, or even a mix)
1/2 Cup of Cold Coconut Oil, chopped into small pieces
3/4 tsp of Sea Salt
1 Heaping Tbsp. Evaporated Cane Sugar
1/3 Cup- 1/2 Cup Ice Water
1 tsp Apple Cider Vinegar
Almond or Coconut milk to wash
Sugar to sprinkle 1. In a food processor add the flour, salt, and the 1 Tbsp. sugar, pulse to combine.2. Next add the cold coconut oil, vinegar, and about 1/4 cup of water. Slowly add more water, a tablespoon at a time, just until the mixture holds together when lightly squeezed. 3. Flatten the dough into a disk (you may need to knead it a bit) and wrap in cling film and chill for a couple of hours.4. Once chilled, take out the dough and let soften up for a couple of minutes. I like to work in small batches, so I divided mine in half and rolled each half about 1/8 inch (.30 cm) thick. I used a small bowl to cut out 12 cm (5 inch) circles, but anything around that size will do.
5. Spoon about 1/4 cup of berries (see below) onto each round, leaving a good cm (1/2 inch) of dough circumference. Be sure not to take too much of the juice when scooping the berries as this will make for a wet pastry bottom. Gently pinch up the sides, and wash the pastry with some milk. Generously sprinkle with sugar.
6. Bake in a 205 C (400 F) oven for 18-20 minutes or until golden. Let cool slightly, if you can, before nibbling!
3 Cups Mixed Berries, sliced if large
Zest 1 lemon
Juice 1/2 Lemon
Sugar to taste, I used 2 Tbsp
A tsp. or so of flour if your berries are super juicy
1. Combine the berries with the lemon juice and zest. Taste and add as much sugar as needed. If your berries are super juicy, you may need to mix in a tsp. or so of flour.