The French word galette seems to have a few definitions and interpretations – I have made a sautéed and thin-layered sweet potato cake – similar to a rosti – that some would call a galette. Bonne Maman, purveyor of delicious conserves and treats, has a butter biscuit that they call a galette. But usually – in the UK and US at least – galette denotes a flat-ish, open fruit pie.
I like to think of galette as French for lazy-person’s pie, a pie for the non-baker. With this rustic approach there is no awkward transferring to a pie dish, pricking, blind-baking, trimming, worrying about shrinkage, making a faffy filling, worrying about leakage (!), etc. Or even knowing what any of the aforementioned baking terms mean.
In any case, this galette is a tender golden cradle for the best of the autumn fruits – figs and plums. I love these fruits on their own best, but this is my second favourite option. And super-easy too. When you get a teensy bit jaded with the flood of plums and figs that we are seeing in the shops, this might be an option. You can even freeze the dough as a disc and pull it out for a nearly spur-of-the-moment pie.
If you are, like me, a bit rubbish at pastry making then this recipe is for you. Bung it all in a food processor, let it chill a bit, roll out not too precisely, and push up around some fruit. This is now my preferred method for making sweet pies. Truthfully, I don’t often make pies (um, never!) so this might be a dangerous discovery. Since the first fruit galette a couple of weeks ago, there have been six others with various fillings and warm spices (for work, I hasten to add!) . This one, however, is our favourite. For now…
Last year: Grilled Miso-Butter Corn and Tofu
Two years ago: Baked Veracruz Fish with a Twist (a family favourite – terrible pictures!)
Track of the week: London Grammar’s cover of Chris Isaak’s Wicked Game
The crust for this galette is fairly adaptable. You can make it gluten-free by using a gluten-free flour mix such as Bob’s Red Mill (US) or Dove’s (UK); use almonds in place of the oats; choose a different – or no – spice. And of course the fruit is whatever you fancy – apples, blackberries, bananas, blueberries, mango, pears. What I would say is that if you used something with a high water content, like blueberries, definitely toss these in some cornflour/arrowroot or you may end up with the dreaded “soggy bottom.” The best tip for this kind of dough is to have all of the ingredients, including the dry ones, chilled.
Vegans, I would recommend popping your portioned vegan margarine or coconut oil in the freezer to get it as cold as possible and, of course, use vegan cream or milk as the glaze wash. I am going to experiment with using brown rice flour rather than a g-f mix. I’ll post an update when I do. If you do so before I do, do let me know in the comments
140g (1 cup) white spelt flour OR unbleached plain/AP flour
50g (1/2 cup) oats OR almonds – blitzed in a food processor to make a slightly coarse flour
¼ tsp ground cardamom (or ground seeds from 2 green cardamom pods) OR cinnamon
½ tsp fine salt
100g (1 stick, minus 1 tablespoon) unsalted butter OR vegan margarine/coconut oil – very cold and diced
1 tsp apple cider vinegar or lemon juice (I used some of my fruit vinegar)
4 tbsp ice-cold water
25g walnuts, finely ground – divided
6 good sized-plums, stoned and cut into slices
4 ripe figs (I use black Turkish ones – amazing flavour compared to the green ones), sliced
1-2 tbsp maple syrup (or none if the fruit is very sweet)
1 tsp cornflour/arrowroot
1 ball stem ginger, finely chopped OR ¼ tsp ground ginger
1 egg yolk, lightly beaten OR vegan cream/milk
1 tbsp raw/turbinado sugar – optional
1. You really need a food processor to get the best dough, but you can also use a pastry cutter or knife – but no fingers: too warm. Pop the flour, oats, cardamom or cinnamon, the salt and chilled butter in the bowl of the processor. Process until you get floury ‘gravel’ then slowly pour in the water and vinegar (I put them together beforehand), pulsing or stop-starting your machine until the dough just starts to form a ball. This should take just a few seconds. Turn the dough out onto a flour or polenta dusted surface and pat gently into a disc. Wrap in clingfilm and chill in the fridge for at least an hour. Overnight is fine.
2. Just before you wish to bake, toss the fruit, maple syrup, cornflour and ginger together.
3. Remove the chilled dough and roll it out on a sheet of baking parchment that you have lightly dusted with flour or polenta. Roll it out to between a quarter and an eighth of an inch (3 mm), but you don’t need to be precise. If you are using a gluten-free mix or rice flour, press the dough out between two sheets of baking parchment.
4. Sprinkle over a little of the walnuts (this will help absorb some of the fruit juices) and top with fruit. Leave about a 3 inch/8 cm border of dough. With the side of your hands, gently fold the dough over the fruit. Don’t try and make it tidy as it will fold in soft pleats around the fruit. These pleats taste the best!
5. Brush the exposed dough with egg and sprinkle with sugar and add the remaining chopped walnuts to the fruit. Slide the galette and parchment onto a baking tray and bake at 180C/350F for about 30-35 minutes – depends on your oven. The crust will be very golden (I left mine in a tad too long in these photos – I blame the doorbell, but 30 minutes usually works well for me). Serve warm or room temperature, with cream, vegan cream, custard, cashew cream* or something like Oatley.
* Cashew cream: Blend 1 and 1/2 cups of raw cashews with 2 cups of warm, filtered water. Add in a touch of maple syrup and a tiny pinch of salt, to taste.
I am linking this autumnal recipe to a few challenges. First up, to One Ingredient co-hosted by Nazima at Franglais Kitchen and Laura at How To Cook Good Food. I often miss out on this one but glad to have the right stuff this month – Plums! Over at Delicieux and Eat Your Veg, Anneli and Louisa have the fab Four Seasons Food challenge, Sliding Into Autumn. So this is spot on. Last but not least, to Mark at Javelin Warrior’s Cookin’ W/ Luv for his Made with Love Mondays. I feel like I have been visiting him for ages but I think it has only been since last spring. Which seems a long way away now. Brrr.