How to make healthy choices every day

Plum Yummy Galette

If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you will be very familiar with my food-foraging obsession. Free, organic produce I can pick myself? What’s not to love? So it will come as no surprise that at the family reunion this past weekend, my attention was often diverted from meeting another extended-family cousin to more “important” things, like picking plums. Oops.

It was epic, I tell ya. There was not one, but three plum varieties: red Victorias, purple Belle de Louvains and even golden Mirabelles. Talk about hitting the stone fruit jackpot! They were so juicy, ripe, sweet, and literally falling off the trees. I shoved about as many in my mouth as I felt appropriate, and tucked the rest into my bag for later use in the kitchen. I felt a galette coming on.

And what exactly is a galette you ask? That would be a rather intimidating name for a delightfully unintimidating and foolproof tart that requires nothing more than a rolling pin and a baking sheet. No fancy pans or tart tins. Let’s throw the terms “rustic” and “free form” in there to drive the point home. Trust me, anyone can make a galette. You will also appreciate the not-getting-the-hands-dirty food processor method, which makes dough total child’s play.

Plum Dandy
Plums aren’t just a pretty face – they are loaded with good-for-you stuff too. One of the few purple foods (think anthocyanins, friends!), plums are low in calories, but high in vitamins A, C, E, K, B1, B2, B3, and B6. They also contain good doses of minerals such as calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, and phosphorous.
Plums help lower blood cholesterol levels, relieve constipation due to their fiber content, and eliminate parasites from the body. They contain benzoic acid, which is useful in the treatment of liver disease, blood poisoning, and kidney disorders. [1]
One slightly odd, but perhaps useful thing to note about plums is that the pits contain amygdalin, a compound that is converted into cyanide in the stomach. Crazy. Let’s continue to act like normal people and just eat the plum skin and flesh, okay? Great.

The flavours of this tart are familiar yet surprising. For the crust I used rolled oats, ground into a meal, and rye flour for extra flavour and colour. I like when baked goods have a little substance to them – I find even light spelt can just be too paste-y in the mouth. Know what I mean? Poppy seeds give the crust a nice little crunch and unexpected taste. I also threw some fresh thyme leaves into the plum mix to pair a savory herbal note with the sweet fruit – a favorite move of mine. This of course, is totally optional, but I think you’ll agree, it’s delicious.

If plums are not in season where you are, pick any kind of fruit you can get your hands on. The galette does not discriminate – it loves to curl its crust up around anything from spring berries to winter apples. The only thing I can think of that would be a little weird is a banana galette (but of course upon googling this, Martha Stewart has a recipe for this very thing). The point is, choose what is local and in season and you’ll never go wrong.
Oh yeah, this tart is also vegan and sugar-free – not too many galettes can make that claim considering they are classically made with lots of butter and sugar.  The only thing that kind of challenges the vegan side of things, is the awesome organic sheep milk yogurt I served as an accompaniment, which really makes this dessert a ‘wowee’. Something about the sour-sweet combo with dairy that the Danes just love…I think they’re actually starting to influence me! Good heavens.
Vegans, pass on the yogurt. It will still be amazing.

Plum Yummy Galette
Serves 4 to 6

Plum filling:
2 cups sliced plums (choose a variety!)
2 Tbsp. maple syrup
2 Tbsp. rye flour
1/3 vanilla bean pod, scraped, or 1 tsp. vanilla extract
zest of one organic lemon
½ tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. fresh thyme leaves, or ½ tsp. dried (optional)

1 cup rolled oats
½ cup rye flour
1 Tbsp. poppy seeds
1/3 tsp. sea salt
scant ½ cup coconut oil, very cold
2 Tbsp. maple syrup
¼ cup ice water

1. In a food processor pulse the rolled until they are finely ground and resemble flour. Add rye flour, poppy seeds, and sea salt; pulse everything to combine.  Add cold coconut oil and pulse until the mix has a sandy consistency. Add maple syrup, pulse, then slowly dribble in the water one tablespoon at a time just until the dough comes together (you may not need to use all the water – I only used 2 tablespoons). Do not over process.
2. Empty the food processor onto a piece of plastic wrap, knead until it barely comes together. Roughly form a disc. Wrap with plastic film and place in refrigerator to chill for at least 30 minutes.
3. While the dough is chilling, make the filling. Pit and slice the plums, then place in a bowl with flour, maple syrup, vanilla, cinnamon, lemon zest, and thyme. Gently toss to coat. Set aside.
4. Remove the dough from the fridge, unwrap it, and place on a large piece of parchment paper. Roll out the dough as circularly as possible, to about 1/8 inch thickness. (At this point you can use a knife to cut the dough in a circle, but as you can see from mine, I just left the edges ragged ’cause I dig it.) Preheat oven to 375°F.
5. Place plums in a ring formation or in rows, overlapping them slightly. Fold the edges up around the fruit in a shape you like. Place in the oven and bake for 30 to 35 minutes until the crust is golden brown and crispy. Remove from heat and let cool slightly before slicing it up.

Wait – did you just ask if this tart was acceptable to eat for breakfast? Obviously! What do you think I ate Monday morning?
Happy baking everyone!

[1] Balch, Phyllis A. Prescription for Dietary Wellness. New York, NY: Penguin, 2003.

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