So, I ventured into vegan baking again. Yey! Inspired by the season (and this lovely post on gingerandbread.com on German plum traybake aka Zwetschgendatschi), I wanted to bake something with plums – but I didn’t have enough fruit to fill an entire tray. I found a nice recipe for a smaller plum galette by Jacques Pépin on Food and Wine Magazine and decided to veganize it – preferably with the help of olive oil, as recommended by some of you (and by Molly Yeh, who has a mouth-watering recipe for olive-oil based plum cake).
Luckily, after some false starts (the first batch of dough I made had way too much oil) I found the guidance I needed with a simple and margarine-free recipe for vegan pate brisée (the base dough for Jacques Pépin’s galette) on a French blog, Veggie Biquette. The good thing about pate brisée is that it doesn’t contain any eggs, so all that has to be ‘replaced’ is the butter. I have to say this worked pretty well – it’s not as crumbly as a butter-based dough would have been, but crunchy and tasty nonetheless and the following day it was even better as the juices from the fruit had seeped into the crust. I made a tart, not a galette since I felt the vegan dough might not be firm enough for a galette shape – but I’ll test this next time.
Maybe it’s too soon to generalize, but I think I prefer olive oil to coconut oil as a butter substitute, unless you manage to use the coconut flavor in some constructive way I guess. In this case I liked the fact that the olive oil wasn’t influencing the flavor at all but let the plums (and sugar!) shine on their own.
- 200 grams (1.5 cups) of organic all-purpose flour65 ml (2 oz) of olive oil plus a little more for greasing the tart pan
- 65 ml (2 oz) of ice water
- A pinch of salt
- 50 grams (1/4 cup) of brown sugar
- Three tablespoons of ground almonds
- One tablespoon of all-purpose flour
- 50 grams (1/4 cup) brown sugar
- Eight juicy red plums (one kilo)
- Mix olive oil and water, using an electric handmixer or a whisk. In a baking bowl, combine 200 grams (1.5 cups) of flour with the salt. Gently pour the oil/water mixture into it. Knead the ingredients using the handmixer or, if you don't have one, your hands. The dough will be crumbly at first but should come together after two to three minutes of kneading. In case it's too loose you can add a few drops of olive oil but be careful that the dough doesn't become too soft.
- Roll out the dough into a round shape on a lightly floured surface (I don't own a rolling pin so I'm using a cold bottle of wine from the fridge, but if you do have a proper one, even better). Gently transfer the flat dough into a (lightly greased) tart pan and spread it out with your fingers so it covers all the edges. Place the pan with the dough in the fridge and let it cool for twenty minutes. Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius (400 F).
- Meanwhile, prepare the filling. Pit the plums and cut each half into thin wedges. In a bowl, mix the ground almonds with the remainder (50 grams or ¼ cup) of sugar and the tablespoon of flour. Take the tart out of the fridge and spread this mix on the dough. Then, place the plum wedges on top. Sprinkle the tart with the rest of the sugar (I used another 50 grams here, which made the tart quite sweet; Jacques Pépin's recipe calls for even more - you can adapt this to your taste of sweetness of course).
- Bake the tart in the oven at 200 degrees Celsius (400F) for 45 minutes. Et voilà - bon appétit!