Gluten Free Vegan Apple Galette with Cornmeal Crust
Like most people here on Long Island, September and October means apple and pumpkin picking. The East End of Long Island has the most amazing farms and wineries that draw people in all summer and fall. The Orient Point ferry brings visitors from Connecticut for fun day trips, and sleepy towns have become the place to be over the past decade or so. All of our hidden gems have been discovered!
My absolute favorite time of year is from September to the New Year and all the holidays in between. It is also my favorite time to bake and be creative in the kitchen. Casey and I have birthdays 2 days apart the first week of November and Halloween is always kicked up a notch around here. Apples, pears and cranberries find their way into a lot of my fall baking and with a huge haul from apple picking a few weeks ago I made this galette with some of the sweetest small Gala apples we got.
A galette is a rustic open-faced tart and is great for the amateur baker who wants to attempt an impressive pie or tart but is intimidated by pie dough. This cornmeal dough is a redesigned favorite of mine, the cornmeal balances so well with the apples and makes the dough surprisingly lighter with an awesome texture. It is very forgiving even though it is made with the same method as a pie dough because there is less gluten and less of a chance of dough shrinkage. This is formulated dairy and gluten free but can just as easily made using butter and regular all-purpose wheat flour.
The apple filling couldn’t be easier! I normally cook apples when making apple pie, but because this is open faced the moisture evaporating from the cooking apples isn’t making crust mushy or creating a space between the fruit and the crust that can happen with a regular pie. Feel free to substitute pears for the apples or toss in some dried cranberries or raisins. It works great!
This is such a great fall dessert and here’s a little inside tip-it freezes and reheats great! Prep it early in the week for a dinner party or get together, freeze and reheat. I make them mini for my boys and Casey loves it with some Oatley ice cream on top.
Cheers to the autumn and as always, be safe and well! 💙👩🏻🍳
**As always, please check which brands are safe for your needs**
Ingredients and Substitutions
- Flour – I use a gluten free all-purpose blend (King Arthur Measure for Measure) with xanthan gum and if your blend does not have just add ¼ tsp. xanthan gum per 1 cup of gluten free flour. All-purpose flour can be used as well of course. I always stick to the 140 grams to 1 c. of wheat flour when making substitutions, and the weight of all gluten free flour blends are different.
- Cornmeal – You want to use a finer ground cornmeal here, not a large texture cornmeal used for polenta or grits. It leaves a wonderful texture and flavor in the crust, but if you use the coarser grind it won’t soften, and it will be tasteless. I use Goya brand.
- Dairy free/vegan butter/butter – Whether you choose to use your safe dairy free/vegan or regular butter, just make sure it’s COLD! Cut ahead of time and refrigerate and take out just when you need it to keep the proper consistency. Remember, this is like a pie dough. Palm or regular shortening works as well but I don’t love the flavor with the cornmeal.
- Apples – A firmer apple is needed for this recipe so it will not break down during baking. Soft apples become mealy and you want fruit that has body to it. If using a tart apple, like a Granny Smith, you may want to up the sugar in the filling a bit. Have the apples cut consistently as well so it all bakes evenly. If using pears, a firmer Bartlett or Bosc is the way to go.
- Turbinado sugar – This, to me, makes the galette special. The rough crunchy sugar texture is so great against warm apples and crust, and the rich flavor of the dark sugar offsets the cinnamon and nutmeg. I use Wholesome brand; they are a very allergy friendly company with amazing customer service.
**As always, please check which brands are safe for your needs.**
Gluten Free Vegan Apple Galette with Cornmeal Crust
Author: Katie Martino Lopez
Prep Time: with dough chilling time, 2 hrs. 45 minutes
Cook Time: 35-45 minutes
Total Time: approximately 3 1/2 hours
- 1 c. (5oz., 145 g.) fine cornmeal
- 1 ¼ c. (2 oz., 200 g.) gluten free all-purpose blend with xanthan gum or wheat flour
- ¼ c. granulated sugar
- ½ tsp. salt
- 1 c. (8 oz., 2 sticks) nondairy/vegan or regular butter, cut in even pieces and kept cold in the refrigerator
- ¼ c. (may need more or less) ice water
- 2 Tbls. safe milk
- 3 Tbls. turbinado sugar
- 4-5 apples (about 3 c./12 oz.), peeled, cored and sliced in ¼” slices
- 2 Tbls. sugar
- 1 Tbls. cinnamon (or more to taste)
- Dash nutmeg
- 1 Tbls. cornstarch (can use arrowroot powder)
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 2 Tbls. apricot jam/preserves (optional)
- Measure out water, add ice and keep cold.
- Cut the butter into pieces and keep cold in the refrigerator.
- In a bowl whisk together cornmeal, flour, sugar, granulated sugar, and salt.
- With a pastry cutter, two knives or fingertips, toss the cold butter in the dry mixture and mix until the fat is the size of peas. Do not squeeze! If the fat gets too small the dough will turn pasty and dense and not take the water properly.
- Add the ice water, starting with about ¼ cup, drizzling around the perimeter of the bowl. Mix until the dough comes together like pie dough. It should not be wet but not dry or crumbly either. You may need more water. If you made the butter too small you will not need as much.
- Shape the dough into a circle and flatten. Wrap and chill at least 2 hours and up to 2 days. It can be frozen up to 2 months at this point as well. It shouldn’t be refrigerated for longer than 2 days, especially if it is gluten free, as the dough will be rubbery and tough.
- After the crust has chilled, let sit 10-15 minutes at room temperature to be workable to roll out. Shortly before you’re ready to roll the crust out, preheat the oven to 425 degrees and begin the apple filling.
- Peel, core and slice apples (or pears if using) into ¼” slices. It is important they are uniform size, or they will bake inconsistently. Toss apples with sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, cornstarch and vanilla. Set aside while rolling out cornmeal dough.
- On a piece of parchment, roll out the dough to a 12-14-inch circle. Try to keep it as round as possible, and if the dough breaks just lightly squeeze to patch. The dough will be wider than the parchment, but it will fit once the edges are folded over.
- Place the apple filling in the center of the dough, don’t pile the filling but work outward leaving a 1” space from the edge. There will likely be liquid at the bottom of the bowl, don’t add it to the galette. Lightly fold the outside crust edge over the apples, overlapping as you go but not making any spots too thick. The apple filling should be exposed in the center. Transfer galette on the parchment to a sheet pan, picking up opposite ends of the paper to make the transfer easier.
- If the dough became too soft, chill in the refrigerator for 15 minutes.
- Brush the dough with safe milk and sprinkle liberally with turbinado sugar.
- Bake in the preheated 425-degree oven for 35-40 minutes or until golden and crust is baked through.
- If desired, warm the apricot preserves quickly in the microwave with a small bit of water and brush over the apples, sealing in the fruit and giving it a beautiful shine.
- Serve warm or cool completely and wrap storing at room temperature. Warm in the oven before serving. The galette can also be frozen when cool.
- The galette dough is forgiving but do not overwork it in the mixing process. Keep the mixing light so the butter doesn’t get too soft or flat.
- Cut the apples uniformly so they will bake consistently and still have bite to them.
- The galette dough can be frozen as well as the frozen tart itself. Defrost in the refrigerator and heat back in the oven to crisp up.
- Add raisins or cranberries to the filling if desired as well!
As we all know, reading labels and preparing food when managing allergies is a job within itself with much responsibility. All the brands I use are ones that I have contacted, and Casey has eaten safely. That being said, I must remind…
Please do your own research when deciding which products and foods are safe for the allergies you manage. These are the ones that are safe for our needs but may not be for you. Everyone has different comfort levels with manufacturing and production procedures.
And, as a friendly reminder, always have 2 epinephrine auto injectors on hand!