The first glimpse of fall arrived today; much needed overcast sky, cool breeze and plenty of rain in the late evening. With several forest fires raging throughout the province, the residents British Columbia are likely rejoicing tonight (just a little).
We've been quietly enjoying the arrival of August on the island. Each morning, Connor waits by the back door, pressing his face against the glass asking to go "downstairs" (outside). We end up with toes in the dewy grass, helping ourselves to plenty of strawberries... and I may experience a mild over-reaction from a cold reptile slithering across my feet (thankfully, just a one time encounter with the friendly neighborhood garter snake). We eventually make our way to the blackberries, and I strategize how best to exercise caution as I contort my body in ways I haven't since my gymnastics days. All the while, Connor patiently waits with one berry-stained hand stretched out expectantly for more!
Last Saturday was devoted entirely to picking blackberries from the garden. Lots of scrapes, scratches and purple fingers, but worth it in the end. Fourteen jars of jam, three large freezer bags...and there are still more. The answer to this overabundance? Pie, of course. More specifically, Galettes. And with plenty of basil on hand, inspiration for toady's post hit. It was a flavour combination I hadn't tried yet, which sounded perfect in my mind...thankfully, my taste-buds are happily in alignment with my vision!
The filling has a mild basil undertone which follows the sweet and tart blackberries. Fresh basil chiffonade is not only a lovely garnish, but adds a punch of spicy flavour to this rustic French dessert. I had chosen to use a mixture of all purpose and spelt flour for the pastry, simply because an entirely spelt flour crust was barely workable...at least, with the ratio of ingredients I typically use for pastry. You can omit the spelt if you prefer; just replace it with all purpose flour in equal measure.
While i've never been a big fan of working pastry dough, I'll happily make Galettes any day. They are very forgiving and any imperfections only add to the effortless beauty of this dessert. Top it all off with a big, heaping scoop of non-dairy ice cream and summer dessert dreams are realized...at least for this girl and her little family.
I hope you love this recipe and love the rest of this hot and, hopefully, breezy summer!
WILD BLACKBERRY & SWEET BASIL GALETTE
For the Pastry:
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- ¼ cup spelt flour
- 1 tbsp organic cane sugar
- ¼ tsp sea salt
- ¼ cup room temperature coconut oil soft, but not liquid
- 4-6 tbsp cold almond milk or non dairy milk of choice
- 1 tbsp organic cane sugar for sprinkling
For the Filling:
- 2 ½ cups fresh or frozen blackberries
- 3 tbsp fresh basil leaves chopped
- 3 tbsp organic cane sugar
- juice of 1 lemon
- fresh basil leaves chopped
- non-dairy ice cream
Prepare the pastry:
Preheat the oven to 450' F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a medium bowl, sift the flour, 1 tbsp organic cane sugar and sea salt. Using a fork or pastry blender, blend in the coconut oil and cold almond milk until pea sized crumbs are formed and the mixture starts to come together. Onto a lightly floured surface, form the dough into a ball and flatten into a disk shape. Roll out the dough to 12" in diameter (about ⅛" thick).
Gently fold the dough in half and place it onto the lined baking sheet. Unfold the dough and set aside.
Prepare the filling:
To a large mixing bowl, add the blackberries, lemon juice, basil, organic cane sugar and lemon juice. Gently stir until combined. Let stand for 5 minutes.
Spoon the blackberry mixture (and juices) in the center of the pastry dough. Fold up one side of the dough and pleat. Repeat this process, pleating every 4 inches all the way around.
Baste the outside of the pastry with a small amount of almond milk and sprinkler one tablespoon of cane sugar over the top of the pastry. Bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes. Drop the oven temperature to 375' F and bake for 30 minutes more or until the pastry is golden brown and the juices are bubbling. Remove from the oven and let cool 15 minutes before serving.
Top with fresh chopped basil chiffonade and serve with your favourite non-dairy ice cream.
The consistency of the coconut oil is key in this recipe; you want it to be soft, but not liquid. If it's summer time, your coconut oil is likely liquid at room temperature. Simply place it in the fridge until is firms up enough so that it is scoop-able (but not liquid). Don't be alarmed by the amount of liquid which may come through the pastry while baking, this is normal. If your berries are particularly tart, add about 2 tbsp more of cane sugar to the berry mixture.