Sometimes in life we win the roommate lottery. I've been lucky to have had a ton of great ones over the years. From the ones that always did their dishes, to the councillors who would always lend an ear, and the ones that we're never home, or the baristas who would always make sure that the house had coffee. But the best ones yet have been the bakers. When I lived in New York over two years ago, I lucked out by living with not one, but two pie aficionados who worked at the famed and swoon-worthy Four + Twenty pie shop in Brooklyn.
My entire life I've dabbled in baking, but pies have always daunted me. Cakes and cookies are a little bit forgiving which allows people like me, who lack caution when measuring, space for error. But pies, and pastry! That stuff is precise. Or so I thought until my roommates showed me how simple pies actually can be.
From what I've found, the secret to pie making is acting like you don't care that much. Less mixing is best. Forget the dough in the fridge overnight, even better. Oh yeah, and cook it like 5-10min past the point of you thinking it's cooked, and you'll get the tastiest flavours. And finally, don't bother with the top crust. Or the pie plate. Heck, just fold the dough haphazardly and you're set. Basically, make a galette and you'll never want pie again.
When I posted this galette on Instagram last week, I didn't think it would get the response that it did, as dessert recipes aren't the most popular. Yet the idea of spelt crust, or lavender crust, or both, really seemed to peak a lot of interests, which I'm super jazzed on, because I love to make galettes- and I love to eat them even more!
This is my basic technique and proportioning to make most fruit galettes. And after a while you'll be able to make this without even looking, and be the envy of all your friends who don't know how easy it truly is. For the filling here I used the deepest, darkest purples and blues I could find, but a similar version of all reds (red currants, raspberries, strawberries) or yellows (peaches, apricots, +plums), would be just as pretty. The recipe below has an option for adding the lavender to the crust, because blueberry and lavender are a match made in heaven, but it's not essential. Lemon zest, cinnamon, or vanilla paste can all be added to the filling for an extra punch. Here I've outlined some of my favourite flavour combinations
- Peach + Black Pepper
- Fig + Orange Zest
- Apricot, Nectarine, + Vanilla
- Cherry, Cinnamon, and Almond
- Strawberries + Thyme
- Apple + Rosemary
AS YOU LIKE IT DEEP DARK GALETTE
Makes 1 Galette. Print Recipe Here.
PASTRY DRY INGREDIENTS
1 ¼ Cups Flour of Choice (see below) *
1 tablespoon Unrefined Cane Sugar
3-4 tsp. Dried Food Grade Lavender Blossoms (Optional. Skip if adding cinnamon to the filling)
½ tsp. Sea Salt (Omit if using salted butter or Spectrum Shortening)
½ Cup Fat of choice (see below) **
PASTRY WET INGREDIENTS
½ Cup Cold Water
Two Ice Cubes
1 Tbsp. Vodka or Apple Cider Vinegar
3 Cups Dark Fruit (see below)***
3 Tbsp. Unrefined Cane Sugar (you can use more or less depending on your fruit, but I find this amount good)
1 ½ Tbsp. Arrowroot or cornstarch (again if you make an all cherry galette or something super juicy, you may want to up this to 2 Tbsp.)
Optional flavourings - a dash of cinnamon, some vanilla paste or extract, or a teaspoon of lemon zest.
A splash of nut milk or creamer to wash (or an egg, if that suits you)
Small handful of coarse turbinado sugar to sprinkle
- Start with the pastry. Combine the flour, sugar, lavender (if using) and salt in a bowl. With your finger tips work in the coconut oil/vegan shortening/or butter until small pieces, no larger than a pea-size (this process will take longer for the butter and less time with the coconut oil).
- In a small bowl combine the cold water, ice, and apple cider or vodka. Slowly add a tsp. of this mixture to the flour, gently tossing to combine, until the flour is just starting to come together as a pastry (generally speaking white flour with butter will take a couple of Tbsp., but whole grain flour with coconut oil will take much less).
- Form this pastry into a disk and wrap it in plastic wrap or a reusable alternative, and refrigerate for a couple of hours. I find coconut oil based dough is good to use within 1-2 hours, while vegan dough is great in about 4-6, and butter is ready to use in 6 or left overnight. Any of these doughs can be used before this, but you may have issues with them shrinking a little more. And of course, all the doughs can be left longer.
- When it's time to make the galette, remove the pastry and let it sit out for a few minutes until it's workable, but still chilled.
- To make the filling combine the fruit with the sugar, cornstarch, and flavouring (if using). Set this aside while you roll the pastry.
- Place the pastry onto a piece of parchment and, using a little flour, roll so that it's about a 13 inch (33 cm) disk (give or take).
- Next move the pastry and parchment to a baking sheet. Using a big spoon transfer the berries to the centre of the pastry, leaving about a good 2-3 inch ring of pastry around the fruit to make the crust (see photo above). If you find that your fruit mixture has a ton of liquid left in the bowl, it's best not to add it to the galette as it will make for a over spilled tart.
- To make the galette shape, gently fold up the outer ring of pastry onto the berries, making a little envelope sealing them in. I find that using the corners of parchment paper here really comes in handy to lift the pastry. Gently press all the seams to make sure nothing will leak out before you chill it. Next, pop the galette in the freezer just to chill for 15-30 minutes while you preheat the oven.
- Turn the oven to 190 C (375 F). Just before you pop the galette in the oven, you can give it a quick wash with milk on the exposed pastry area (I've actually found the vegan coffee creamer works excellently), and a quick sprinkle with the coarse sugar if desired. If eggs are part of your diet, you can also whisk up an egg with a pinch of salt and a splash of milk and use that instead of the vegan milk.
- Set the galette in the oven and bake for 35-45 minutes or until the middle is bubbling and the crust is golden. I tend to make mine a little darker as I like the caramel flavour, but feel free to cook it to suit your tastes.
*I've made pie dough with sifted spelt flour, organic white flour, and a mix of white + whole wheat pastry flour, and found that all worked wonderfully. Using whole grains will result in a coarser and slight harder to work with dough (re: sticky), but it brings a nice nutty flavour. Spelt can be a bit of a pain, so personally I like to do half spelt / half wheat, but you can totally make a 100% spelt dough (my mum does all the time). One suggestion when making an all-spelt dough it to use slightly less water than you'll think you'll need as spelt absorbs liquid differently than conventional wheat. Personally, I don't have much experience using gluten free flours, so I can't really attest to how the dough would work with one.
**Options include chilled Spectrum shortening or other vegan shortening. If butter is part of your diet you can use cold unsalted or salted butter. To use coconut oil, make sure your oil is solid but not hard (room temperature solid is best) and reduce the amount of fat to ⅓ cup. If you want to use olive oil, follow this recipe up until the shaping.
*** For this recipe I used about 1 cup blueberries, 1 chopped nectarine, ½ cup blackberries, ½ cup pitted and chopped sweet cherries, and a handful of black currants. Feel free to use any or all of these fruits at different levels. Sometimes we make this tart just with blueberries and it's great. If you use lots of juicy fruit like cherries, plums, and nectarines you'll have to add a touch more thickening agent to compensate for the juiciness. If you are using frozen berries, defrost and drain them before using.