Wishful Thinking Wrapped in Pie Crust

5 09 2008

You see, here in Texas, as Liz recently noted, rather than having fall around the corner, we have more summer. Lots. TONS. It stays hot for what feels like an eternity here in Texas.

We have a brief autumn in October if we’re lucky, November if we’re not, and then it’s a drab, snowless, 40˚F winter, with occasional ice that causes everything in any city in Texas to close down completely (thankfully, have you ever seen a Texan drive on ice? No? That’s why you aren’t dead).

Anyhow, that short fall season happens also to be my favorite (one of many reasons I’m considering a move to someplace less like a “godforsaken frying pan,” a moniker Sam coined last September). And so, when apples and pears come ahead of fall, I start dreaming. My lovely friend Nic and her roommate Jacob invited Sam and I over for dinner, and how could I turn her down? We all know I love food. Indeed, the dinner was delicious – a crunchy, elegant “sandwich” of two breaded, fried eggplant slices with goat cheese medallions between them, served on a bed of tarragon tomato sauce from scratch. Because I am lame, I had feta on mine. One of the lingering food items I cannot abide is goat cheese, but of course this is my own shortcoming and not that of Nic’s cooking. Dinner was amazing, and accompanied by a delicious salad (courtesy Jacob) with a sweet-and-tart apricot vinaigrette.

Anyhow, my contribution was this:

Red-Wine-Braised Fall Fruit Galette



  • 2 lg pears, peeled, cored, and sliced
  • 4 medium apples, peeled, cored, and sliced (I actually used 6 tiny galas, but the apples I get from the farmer’s market are eensy)
  • ¾ c red wine (I used a blend that tasted good enough to drink while cooking. Probably part of why it was tasty!)
  • 2 tbsp vegan margarine
  • ½ c granulated sugar
  • 1 tbsp vanilla bean paste
  • 3 tbsp cornstarch
  • ¾ c granulated sugar
  • ½ tbsp vanilla bean paste

Crust (recipe from Donna Diegel, and her claims are founded in reality. It really is the best crust I’ve ever made, and I’ve made a lot of them as Rich, Liz, Sam and I watched all of Twin Peaks by watching one or two episodes a week, always with pie and coffee):

  • 3 ½ c all-purpose flour
  • 1 c vegetable shortening, cold (preferably earth balance, as it’s expeller-pressed and organic)
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¾ c cool water


  1. Preheat oven to 425˚F
  2. Put your apples and pears into a large saucepan and add the wine, vegan margarine, 1/2 c sugar and vanilla bean paste. This is not strictly a braise as you add the margarine and the wine at once, but hey. A little leeway, if you please, and you won’t be disappointed.
  3. Cook the fruit until softened but still firm to bite. You don’t want to make “Applesauce Galette” instead. Well, maybe you do. It sounds pretty gross to me, though.
  4. Strain the fruit and place in mixing bowl; set aside and let cool
  5. Make pie crust. Follow Donna’s directions. She will not lie to you.
  6. Roll out pie crust and cut into a circle. Use a protractor (kidding). I put my crust into a tart pan because I was transporting it to North-Central Austin and didn’t want galette-juice all over Sam’s car, and I think it actually came out better for it. However, you can just put it on a baking pan/stone if you want.
  7. Add 3 tbsp cornstarch, 3/4 c sugar and vanilla bean paste to your fruit mixture; toss well.
  8. Place fruit in center of galette crust. Mix up a little extra soymilk and vanilla paste (not much! not much!) and brush the crust with it; sprinkle with sugar. Cover edges with foil, leaving the center open.
  9. Bake for 15 minutes at 425˚F; remove foil. Bake until pastry is golden and fruit is browned and bubbly.
  10. Cool; EAT. Enjoy.

Note: I had some extra pie crust, so I made a tiny, tiny galette and took it to Liz and our friend Merri at work. Why let it go to waste when you can share? If you want to do this, just cut up one extra medium-sized apple or two little ones. The ones I get from the farmer’s market tend to be pretty tiny.

Lovely fall fruits, taken on some of the red color of the wine!

Look at the baaaaaby.




3 responses

5 09 2008

Loved the recipe!! And the post is so true!!!

5 09 2008

We really don’t get much of a fall do we? Your galette looks delicious, and it could definitely make it seem kind of like fall here!

5 09 2008

Baby pies are exactly the reason pie crust recipes make “just a little too much”…because really, what’s not to love about a wee little version of a great big treat?

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