So, it’s not every day that you find out that the Jacque Pepin Foundation is following you on Instagram and liking your posts. I immediately went onto their Instagram and dropped into a deep rabbit hole of French recipes. The first one I saw was Monsieur Pepin’s beautiful Berry Galette, and although French desserts are not French without butter and cream, lucky for us vegans, the days of no-butter and no-cream are long gone. My local grocery store had everything I needed to recreate this beautiful breakfast-dessert (this is a real category of food, y’all) in less than half an hour. It was so easy and delicious, I actually made two of them! One for me and one for my family (with whom I was having dinner). Parting words from my mom as I walked out the door to go back home: “Joanne, that dessert was EXCELLENT!!”
Why You Should Make This Vegan Berry Galette
- It’s so easy, anyone can make this, even if you’ve never baked anything in your life.
- It’s fairly healthy, as far as desserts go–you can even ditch the sugar in this recipe, if you’d like.
- It’s beautiful–everyone will “ooh and ahh” when they see it and think you’re a kitchen deity.
- It’s mouthwateringly delicious–I could NOT believe how good it was!!
Prepping the Vegan Puff Pastry
So, this recipe starts out with puff pastry. And I know, I know–doesn’t puff pastry have a ton of butter in it? Perhaps. After all, “puff pastry” is known for being a light “laminated dough”–a dough that is made by alternating layers of butter and dough. But there’s at least one brand of puff pastry–Pepperidge Farm–that doesn’t have any dairy in it. You can find it in the frozen foods aisle of the grocery store. Make sure that it’s slightly thawed before you try and unfold it–otherwise, it will tear and you will be sad. I let it sit in the fridge for half the day and then out on my kitchen counter (right above the dishwasher) for about 10 minutes.
Now, it comes in a square, a fairly small one. In order to lengthen it, you take a rolling pin and roll it out to a 9 x 11 inch sheet. It doesn’t need to be perfect. This not only gives you more surface area to work with, it also creates a flakier and lighter crust.
You add some sugar to both sides, in order to caramelize the crust. I then used my rolling pin to press the sugar into the dough, making sure to flip the sheet every once in awhile to ensure it didn’t stick to my surface (you can also dust your surface with a little flour).
Once you’ve added sugar to both sides, take a small knife and score the sides, about 1-inch from the edge. Make sure to do this gently, as you don’t want to actually cut through the dough. What this will do is allow for a delightful little pocket in which to pour your beautiful berry filling when the pastry puffs, per its namesake. Stick this baby in the oven at 425° F for about 10 to 12 minutes, until you have a beautiful golden “pillow” as my mom described in amazement as she watched it puff in the oven.
Prepping the Very Berry Filling
The filling is about as easy as peanut butter and jelly. Take some fresh berries–I used raspberries and blueberries, but you can use whatever berries you like (e.g., strawberries, blackberries, etc.). In lieu of using sugar, pop some fruit preserves into the microwave for about 30 seconds until it gets nice and runny. Pour that over your raspberries to give them a little extra sweetness.
With the blueberries, squeeze a bit of lemon juice over the top and add a touch of sugar (or agave or whatever sweetener you like (or no sweetener at all!)) and give it all a good mix. And that is it! Easiest filling EVER!
Bringing It All Together
When the puff pastry is done baking, step back and admire the glory, the audacious beauty of it before you do anything.
Then, take the back of a spoon and tap the center in, which should be quite easy if you scored the dough as we discussed above.
Then, pour the berries in. You can arrange them in a specific way or you can just dump them in so they look more happenstance and rustic (I prefer the latter).
And of course, what sort of dessert would this be without whipped cream? Now, Monsieur Pepin of course hand-whips his own cream. I am not only without cream, but also the upper body strength to whip anything that would have the desired consistency. So, here, I rely on store-bought vegan whipped cream. There are a lot of varieties of this out there, believe it or not! The kind I used is the stuff you squirt out of a can (yes, I know, Jacques is probably moaning in agony at the thought). It’s made out of almond milk and tastes pretty darn good. The only problem is that the squirting mechanism dies about halfway through the bottle. So, perhaps you should just buy the kind you have to scoop out.
Then, cut yourself a corner and have at it. I found (and my husband agreed) that eating it like a pizza, instead of trying to use forks and knives, was the best and most scrumptious way to attack this breakfast-dessert!
Quick Tips on Making Berry Galette
- Partially thaw the puff pastry before trying to use it, otherwise it will tear
- Use a rolling pin to thin it out and give yourself more surface area
- Microwave a bit of fruit preserves to add extra sweetness to the filling
- Use store bought whipped cream as making your own vegan whipped cream is a bit of a pain
- Eat it like a slice of pizza like a barbarian in lieu of using silverware
Vegan Berry Galette
- baking tray
- Parchment paper
- Rolling Pin
- microwave oven
- Preheat your oven to 425° F.
- Place a sheet of puff pastry on a flat surface and begin rolling it out with your rolling pin. To avoid having the pastry stick to your surface, flip it at least once. You should have a 9 x 11 inch rectangle.
- Sprinkle 1 tbsp of sugar over the puff pastry and impress them into the dough by using your rolling pin. Flip and repeat.
- Using a sharp knife, score all around the dough, one inch from the edge (so that you have a rectangle within a rectangle–refer to photograph or video). Make sure not to actually cut the dough.
- Place the puff pastry on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake in the oven for 10 minutes.
- While the puff pastry is baking, microwave the raspberry preserves for 30 seconds. They should be very runny.
- Add the melted preserves to your fresh raspberries and stir until the berries are evenly coated.
- Add 1 tbsp of sugar to your blueberries, together with lemon juice. Stir.
- When the puff pastry is golden brown, remove from the oven. Gently tap the center of the sheet with the back of a spoon and press it down.
- Pour the raspberries into the center and spread them out. Next, add the blueberries.
- Top with a little whipped cream and serve.