Vegan Plum and Nectarine Galette
Back in the fall of 2007, I was lucky enough to live and work near 4 farmers markets in downtown Toronto. At one particular market I found luscious, locally grown Victory plums and yellow nectarines. Until then, I’d eaten fresh plums only twice in my life, and they were the red kind usually found in grocery stores. Then I ate a Victory plum and thought, “Where these lovelies have been all my life?”
I was in a pie-making kind of mood at the time, though I am terrible at making a proper double pie crust. So I made a plum and nectarine galette instead. A galette is a French style of free-form pie crust, perfect for people like me who just can’t get a top crust on a pie without the whole thing falling apart. It’s supposed to look rustic, as mine certainly did, so it doesn’t have to look “perfect”. For some reason I can’t quite recall now, I added toasted, finely ground pecans to the dough, which gave it a crispness and richness I hadn’t been expecting. My mister, skeptical of both the nuts and the combination of fruits, wanted seconds before he was done his first slice.
Since it’s not quite time for plums or nectarines yet in Canada, you can use whatever fruit is available. Or, you tuck this recipe away until late spring or early summer and wait with bated breath for local plums and nectarines.
1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
3 tbsp sugar
1/2 cup + 4 tbsp Earth Balance buttery sticks
2 tbsp cold water
1/3 cup toasted pecans, finely ground in a food processor
2 cups ripe plums, seeded and cut into slices
2 cups ripe nectarines, seeded and cut into slices
3 1/2 tbsp sugar (depending on how sweet or sour your fruit is)
1 tbsp flour
2 tsp cinnamon
1. Preheat the oven to just a few degrees below 375°F.
2. In a medium bowl, combine the flour and sugar and cut in the margarine with a fork or pastry cutter until it looks like a pea-sized coarse meal.
3. Add in the water and mix with hands until the mixture forms a ball of dough. Do not over knead – just mix the dough until it is combined.
4. Line a cookie sheet or pizza pan with parchment paper. Transfer the dough to a clean working surface, patting it into a disc and then rolling it out into a large circle of about 1/5″ thickness. Let the dough rest, covered with a damp but well wrung out tea towel, while you prepare your filling.
5. Cut the plums and nectarines in half and deseed them. The easiest way to do this is with a knife follow the cleavage line of the fruit from the stem section and cut all around. Gently twist the halves apart. You may have to use the knife to carefully cut around the side with the pit to coax it out of the fruit.
6. Combine the fruit in a mixing bowl with the cinnamon, sugar and flour and turn gently with a spoon to combine the ingredients.
7. Remove the tea towel from the dough and gently fold the dough in half, transferring it to the prepared baking sheet. Once you have it positioned, unfold the dough.
8. Pile the fruit mixture in the centre of the dough. Gently gather the sides up and over the filling. You may or may not end up with a few cracks around the edges of the galette. Not to worry – simply pinch the dough together or patch it up with a pit of extra dough from the top of the galette. The edges will be rough and will not cover the entire top of the galette, and they’re not supposed to. You may have some of the juice from the filling run out, but this is supposed to be a rustic sort of pie and a little juice will likely come out of little seams anyway.
9. Place the sheet with the galette in the oven for about 40 minutes, keeping an eye open to make sure it doesn’t burn. When it is done, remove the galette from the oven and let sit for 15-20 minutes before serving.
Makes 6-8 servings.