It’s no secret. A look at my lunchbox reveals I’m addicted. Yes, fruit and I have always been friends. Especially berries. Luckily in Australia, strawberries are cheaply available year round. Keeps me a happy lady.
I created this galette on a recent Sunday morning for a going away lunch for our daughter, son-in-law and grandson, to farewell them on their brief trip to America. I used the fruit that was in my fridge: berries and peaches. It’s important to use fresh fruit, not canned or frozen as it will result in soggy dough. I used Bio Buttery, a vegan butter made in Australia to make the crust as its results are excellent. Bio Buttery was bought in one of my local health food stores.
When suggesting vegan products, I often wonder if some of you find it difficult to buy similar products. If your local health food shop stocks the suggested products… I’ve found that if they don’t stock what I want, they’ll usually order the product for me. I shop at two health food stores that are not in the city of Melbourne. One is in the tiny village of Tooradin, on the Gippsland Highway, which we pass on our drive home from work in Melbourne. The other store is in Cowes, the main township on Phillip Island. Luckily, they both sell different products; what one doesn’t have the other does. I've found having a relationship with the owners of health food stores is important, as they’re more likely to order your requests if you’re friendly and support their store.
· Strawberries are an amazing source of folate (the folic acid found in food). Inadequate amounts of folate when you're older can contribute to atherosclerosis, vascular disease and even a decline in cognitive function.
· Strawberries could reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. Strawberries are being studied for their unique ability to suppress the inflammatory responses of the body and reduce your risk of hypertension by lowering LDL cholesterol.
· Strawberries contain more than 100 percent of our daily recommended intake of vitamin C in just one cup.
· Strawberries are high in fibre, which is important for moving food through your digestive system and helping bowel movements. This can help improve digestion, especially with constipation or irregular stools.
· Strawberries contain anthrocyanin, which is a powerful antioxidant that protects you from the damaging effects of your environment, especially the sun. The antioxidant power of the anthrocyanins found in strawberries lasts up to 24 hours after consumption; this makes them a great defence against free radical damage.
STRAWBERRY & PEACH GALETTE
V, SF, DF, GF option
Makes a 25 cm galette
For the filling:
2 cups fresh strawberries, sliced
1 large ripe peach, pitted and sliced
2 tablespoons coconut sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the crust:
1½ cups spelt flour
OR GF option - 1 cup brown rice flour & ½ cup buckwheat flour
3 tablespoons coconut sugar
½ cup unsalted vegan butter, Bio buttery
2-4 tablespoons chilled water
To make the filling, add strawberries, peaches, coconut sugar, vanilla to a bowl and gently stir. Set the mixture aside.
To make the crust, add flour, coconut sugar and salt to a bowl and stir. Using a knife, cut the butter into the flour until the mixture becomes crumbly. Alternatively, rub the butter through the flour with your fingers until the mixture becomes crumbly. Add a little chilled water and bring mixture together to form a ball of dough with your fingers. Add only enough chilled water until the mixture comes together. Wrap the dough with baking paper, and place in the fridge to chill for ½ hour. Preheat the oven to 210’C (425’F/Gas mark 6).
Remove the dough ball from fridge and place between two pieces of baking paper. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough into a disk that’s about 3 mm thick and about 30 cm (12 inches) in diameter. If you used a little too much water when making the dough, you may need to dust the lower layer of baking paper with flour. Take the top layer of baking paper off the disk, and slip the lower layer of baking paper with the dough disk onto a baking sheet. Spoon the fruit (ONLY the fruit, avoiding the juice) into the centre of the dough disk, leaving 5-6 cm (2 inch) border around the fruit. Gently fold the dough edges over the fruit, and spoon a tablespoon of juice over the fruit. Using a pastry brush, brush the crust with some of the fruit juice. You may wish to sprinkle a little coconut sugar over the fruit for added sweetness. Bake for 25 minutes until the crust is golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly, and serve warm, cut into triangles with a dollop of coconut yogurt.