This is one of the easiest pies ever! But before we get into this specific recipe, let’s start with some baking basics.
Many popular recipes for pastry call for butter or lard, ie. for saturated fats that solidify at room temperature (around 22ᵒC). We cannot substitute oil for butter at a one-to-one ratio as this would not give us a good result. We usually need 30% less fat when baking with oil than when baking with animal fats. There are unsaturated fats available that have been made to artificially solidify through an industrial chemical process called hydrogenation (margarine and other types of spreads). These are called hydrogenated fats (please go ahead and google what doctors and nutritionists think of those). To bake with plant-derived unsaturated fats (that remain liquid at room temperature) such as extra virgin olive oil, a couple of small adjustments need to be made when baking.
- part of a saturated fat’s molecular structure contains water, whereas this is not the case with unsaturated fats like olive oil. This water in saturated fats creates steam when it heats up during the baking process and this steam in turn results in the flakiness in a crust. So when baking with extra virgin olive oil we need to make up for the water that is missing by adding water (or a watery liquid such as a plant milk) to our mixture.
- To help the dough rise a small amount and make room for the steam, we need to incorporate a small amount of baking powder.
- We will get a wetter dough than if we had used butter or lard. To roll the dough into a pastry sheet, we need to roll it out between 2 sheets of baking paper – that way it will not stick and will create a nice, smooth sheet.
Now some people will substitute butter in baking with margarine, a plant-derived solidified fat, which has however undergone the chemical industrial process of hydrogenation to become solid, the same process that also creates trans-fats. If you have an interest in choosing fats that have not been industrially chemically transformed for your food, it is best to steer clear of plant-based solidified fats.
For the pastry:
2 2/3 cups plain flour
Pinch of salt
1 teaspoon of baking powder
2 tablespoons brown sugar (*)
2/3 cup Opus olea extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup almond or other plant milk (you may need more depending on how absorbent the flour you are using is)
1 tbs vanilla extract
For the filling:
4 large apples, quartered, peeled, cored and sliced
A few blackberries (optional)
Juice of half a lemon
3-4 tablespoons brown sugar (depends on how sweet or tart your apples are)
1 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground cloves
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pre-heat your oven to 200ᵒC.
Start with the pastry crust by placing the flour, salt, baking powder and sugar in a bowl and mixing everything well together with a hand held whisk. Make a well in the middle and add your Opus olea extra virgin olive oil. Cut the oil into the dry ingredients either with 2 knives or with a pastry cutter until you have a consistency resembling coarse crumbs, just like you would do with butter. Then add your almond or other plant milk and combine with a fork to bring your dough together without overmixing. Cover the dough in clingfilm and rest in the fridge for about an hour.
While the pastry is resting, wash and prepare your apples and place them in a bowl. Mix in the brown sugar, fresh lemon juice, ground cinnamon, ground clove and vanilla extract. Combine well.
Place the dough between 2 sheets of baking paper and roll it out. Once rolled out, place the dough on a baking sheet with a rim. Remove the top sheet of baking paper.
Place your apple filling in the middle of the pastry sheet, spread it so it has about the same thickness throughout and lightly fold up the edges of the pastry all around so that the filling is securely contained.
Put your galette in the middle of the pre-heated oven for about 40-50 minutes, until filling is bubbling and caramelising and pastry is golden-brown. Remove from oven and let cool for at least 20 minutes. Serve with some whipped cream or some good vanilla ice cream, if desired. Enjoy!
(*) If you would like to reduce your sugar intake, you may consider substituting the brown sugar with stevia according to the packaging instruction for substitution.
To buy Opus oléa click here.