When we closed our Culture Lab cafe, we’d just restocked for the week to make loads of juices, smoothies and hot lunches. So, we now have a load of perishable food and are working on ways to preserve or use it up.
My kids and I brainstormed all of the things that we could make with the ingredients we had, and decided that we could make something from fruit and flour.
The Lab is gluten free; we use primarily almond flour or oat flour but to hold anything I make together, I’d need to make a binder from either flax or chia.
So in my mind, fruit + flour = Galette. We have loads of frozen berries and fresh apples. We decided on apple/blueberry galette.
But as I mentioned above, the tricky part of cooking without glutinous flour is the lack of a binder and stretch.
I mixed up 1 cup almond flour, 1 cup of oat flour, 3 tbsp flax, ½ cup coconut milk, ½ tsp salt and 3 tbsp water in the food processor. I mixed the ingredients until it was a soft mass but I noticed that the flax seeds had not been ground up by the food processor. I had thought that if I left the moist mass to sit then the flax seed would do their magical job – but it didn’t work out that well. My first batch came out ok, and tasted great, but it wasn’t perfect.
the not so good dough
My boy and I prepping the apples
The filling is simple – finely cut up apples, add blueberries, lemon, sugar and cinnamon. The ratio of apples and blueberries is up to you but for every 4 cups of blueberries I suggest using 1 lemon (the zest is a nice addition) and 3 tbsp of cinnamon powder. So:
- 4 apples, cored and diced
- 2 cups of blueberries
- 1 lemon zested, then squeezed
- 3 tablespoons cinnamon
- ¼ cup cane sugar
- ½ tsp vanilla
- ¼ tsp salt
Mix together and set aside – can be refrigerated for up to a week
Making the crust
The easiest way to make this recipe is with white flour and butter – this combination will react very well and taste as expected. Here is the ‘traditional’ recipe:
- 3 cups white flour
- ¼ cup sugar
- ½ cup butter
- ½ tsp salt
- Water for texture
Put the flour, sugar, butter and salt into a food processor and mix till combined. Add water 1 tsp at a time until the mixture is a solid, that is not too sticky to the touch. Wrap in your Abeego wrap and refrigerate for 20 min.
No gluten, no butter, no problem
I cook with very little gluten, and totally without butter. I grew up a vegetarian, but butter was a main fixture in our kitchen as my mom was against most oils except some olive oil as my dad likes to drench his food in it. Learning to cook without butter and gluten has been more interesting than hard, and we’ve actually developed a love for certain flavours. Have you cooked with chickpea flour? It’s fascinating as it’s kinda yucky raw, and doesn’t smell that good, but wow, when you cook with it the flavour is deep, rich and nutty. I’ve been using it in pasta and the kids LOVE it. In this recipe you could easily replace the oat flour with chickpea flour and probably have an even tastier finished product.
Almond flour from the store is expensive. We press our own Almond milk every second day so I have lots of leftover meal. You can dry the meal in a dehydrator or in your oven at the lowest temperature for at least 6 hours.
Without gluten you need a binder. As I wrote about above, it’s best to activate the binder in water before you add it to. A good binder is either xanthan gum, tapioca, chia or flax. I like using chia or flax as I always have them around.
How to make the binder
- 1 tbsp ground flax or chia
- 3 tbsp water
Mix together and set aside. It will thicken up into a paste in a few minutes
Make the dough
- 1 cup almond flour
- 1.5 cup oat flour
- ½ cup unrefined coconut oil/paste
- ¼ cup sugar
- ½ tsp salt
- Binder mix
- A bit more water if needed
Add all ingredients, less the additional water, to a food processor and mix till well combined. If the mixture is dry and crumbly, add a bit of water step by step, until the mixture is a solid, that is not too sticky to the touch. Wrap in your Abeego wrap and refrigerate for 20 min.
From this point, the rolling and making is the same no matter what dough recipe you’ve used. The images below are using the gf/dairy free recipe.
Weigh your dough, and cut into even pieces – either 2, 4, 6n or 8. This all depends on the size of dessert you’re making. My kids love this treat so I make the batch of 6 and make them as individual servings. 2 will make 10” pies, and 4 into 7”, 6 into 4”, and 8 intro 2.5” – or there about.
Hand roll your dough into balls, massaging any hard parts that became too cool in the fridge. Press the balls into disks. Using some extra flour, roll each disk into shape so it’s about an ⅛ to a ¼ in thick.
I use a pizza peel to transfer the dough to the sheet pan. Load the center with as much or as little filling you’d like. This is personal preference and you can’t really do wrong as long as you have some dough around the edge to roll up and over the filling. This will hold in the juice.
Some I like to wrap up quite tight.
and others I like to leave open
Transfer each pie onto the sheet and bake for 35 min at 375 degrees
Let cool for 10 min and serve. My kids like some whipped coconut cream with theirs!
What’s the difference?
I grew up eating a traditional galette, which is yummy yum yum, but as I grew I came to realise that I had a dairy sensitivity – toot, toot! Also, over time, I’ve found that gluten is an inflammatory trigger for me. In the past, when I was eating gluten, I would need quite a few days to recover from a strenuous activity, like a marathon. Now, without gluten, I recover in about 1/2 to 1/3 the time. This is all anecdotal of course, and works for me, but it does help me steer clear of gluten.
But the biggest bonus is the taste – we, kids included, find the flavour of some ‘alternative’ flours better. We use chickpea and almond all the time, and prefer it to traditional. The only exception is a sourdough – nothing beats real artisanal sourdough!