We have a fabulous apple tree at our new home, laden with so much fruit we’re going to be eating apple related recipes for months! Like this yummy apple cake. Which is not a bad thing at all.
The blackberries have been abundant too; a wet summer seems to have helped them swell, making them super juicy and sweet. There’s a field just up from our house that belongs to the village. I’ve been up there foraging for blackberries on many occasions over the last few weeks, much to the sheep’s curiosity. They’re a friendly bunch who usually come over to say hi – or more likely to see if I’ve brought them anything to eat!
I love picking blackberries – it’s free food after all and I prefer them much more than the cultivated and highly priced ones you find on the supermarket shelves. It just takes a little effort and courage because there always seems to be stinging nettles just in front of the juiciest, most alluring berries waiting to be picked. Long sleeves and bravado definitely help.
Blackberries are packed with vitamin C and K. Vitamin C acts as a powerful anti-oxidant and is a co-factor for all sorts of other chemicals in the body. Vitamin K is less talked about, but is essential for blood clotting and also bone health. Usually more readily found in leafy greens, blackberries are a sweeter way of getting this essential vitamin.
These lovely little berries also have good amounts of fibre, which we know is good for gut health. But their colour – very dark purple – also indicates they contain the powerful anti-inflammatory phytonutrient anthocyanin which is particularly good for brain health.
If you’ve not come across a galette before, it’s like a small pie but without a top! A single round of pastry is used, and the edges brought up to contain the filling. You can make savoury or sweet galettes and they make a great dinner party mains or dessert. Equally, you can make a batch to keep in the freezer, then use as an easy weekday evening meal (if it’s savoury) or dessert when you’re short of time.
If you don’t follow a whole-food diet, but are just plant-based, then feel free to use shop-bought short-crust pastry (make sure it’s the vegan version). However, if you avoid processed oils and focus on the whole-food side of things, then I recommend using this pastry recipe. Using nut butter or tahini does make the cost of this pastry a little higher. But on the plus side, it does enable those of us following the Overcoming MS programme (or similar programmes for other inflammatory and autoimmune conditions). Which is a mighty good news in my humble opinion.
To save you jumping between recipes, I’ve included the pastry into the apple and blackberry galette recipe below. You will need to increase the amount of flour up to 150g and therefore up the amount of tahini or nut butter. This pastry can be made with a gluten free flour mix too – just make sure there’s some xanthum gum or binding agent like cornflour in there or it might not hold together.
As this is a sweet recipe, you might want to add a little coconut or dark brown sugar to the pastry mix, but it’s not essential if you are avoiding all refined sugars. Some extra cinnamon in the pastry is rather tasty too, and will help you absorb the sugars in the fruit more efficiently.
You can use either cooked or raw apple for this recipe. If you have time, I’d highly recommend stewing the apple in the oven until it’s soft and mushy. The flavours develop and make it taste much more ‘appley’. If you don’t have time however, then raw apple is fine, but I’d suggest using eating apples as they’re sweeter. I cover both options in the recipe below.
If apple and blackberry is not your thing, then this recipe works with lots of different types of fruit, particularly plums, apricots and pears. If your favourite fruit is not in season, then frozen works well too. Just remember frozen berries produce extra fluid when defrosted which could make the pastry rather soggy. So drain this off before popping in (this isn’t a problem when using fresh).
You can eat these galettes warm from the oven or cold. Serve with cream, ice cream or yoghurt (dairy-free of course!) or enjoy with a drizzle of blackberry sauce.
This recipe makes 6 good sized tasty apple and blackberry galettes, or 4 huge ones which can either be cut in half or enjoyed by those with a hearty appetite. Make a batch and pop the leftovers in the freezer for later in the year. I recommend placing them in the freezer on a small baking tray covered with non-stick baking paper until frozen, then pop them into a old ice cream tub or freezer container. This way you can remove one or more when you want them, instead of having to defrost the whole lot in one go (unless you want to of course!).
I hope you enjoy these yummy apple and blackberry galettes. Do let me know how you get on.
Apple and blackberry galettes
For the pastry
- 150 grams wholewheat or gluten free flour
- 2 tbsp coconut or dark brown sugar optional
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon optional but good
- pinch salt
- 3 1/2 tbsp tahini or nut butter of choice
- 90 mls chilled water
For the fruit
- 200 grams chopped apple leave peel on if not too tough
- 100 grams blackberries rinsed well
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon or ground ginger
If you are cooking the apple in advance,
- Pop the chopped apple into an oven-proof dish with a lid. Add a little water, the maple syrup and cinnamon or ground ginger. Stir well to coat and pop on the lid. Place in the oven for 15-20 minutes until the apple is soft and mushy. Remove from the oven and leave to cool until you're ready to use it.
Make the pastry
- Add the flour, cinnamon, sugar (if using) and salt to the bowl. Mix well to combine then measure out the nut butter or tahini into the bowl.
- Rub the nut butter or tahini into the flour mix with your finger tips to form light breadcrumb texture. Shake the bowl to bring any lumps to the surface and rub and big lumps into the flour again.
- Add 5 tablespoons of water and stir into the flour mix first with a spoon, then your fingers, bringing the mix together into a rough dough
- If the dough is a little dry still, add more water a little drizzle at a time until the dough comes together and kneads well but is not sticky. Don't add to much!
- Wrap the dough in clingfilm or grease-proof paper and rest in the fridge for 30 minutes or so.
If you are using uncooked apple
- Place the chopped apple in a bowl with the maple syrup and ground cinnamon or ginger. Stir well to coat.
Make the galettes
- Pre-heat the oven to 180ºC. Cover the baking tray with non-stick baking paper or a silicon mat.
- Remove the prepared pastry from the fridge. Cut into 4 or 6 equal parts (depending on how big you want your galettes to be). Scatter a little flour onto the worktop and roll out one ball to a rough round (it doesn't have to be precise) approx 1.5cm thick. Place on the baking tray and repeat until you have 4 large or 6 smaller pastry discs.
- Place a few spoonfuls or either cooked or raw apple into the middle of the pastry, leaving a 3-4cm gap at the edge. Scatter some blackberries over the top and gently press into the apple.
- Gently fold up the pastry edges towards the centre of the pastry - you won't come up far, but enough to hold the fruit in place. Pinch the edges together so it holds. Repeat for all the pastry rounds. Sprinkle a little sugar over the top if desired.
- Place the tray in the centre of the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes until the fruit is soft and the pastry lightly golden. Remove from the oven and leave to cool for a couple of minutes if serving warm, or leave to cool completely and store in an air-tight container for up to 2 days. These galettes freeze well - see notes in blog post above.