Fresh strawberry pie that’s easy, pretty and delicious? Yes, please! This vegan strawberry galette is made with a no-fail oil pastry slathered with a homemade hazelnut chocolate spread and fresh berries. Top this rustic pie with vegan ice cream while it’s still warm from the oven for an amazing summer treat!
What is a Galette?
A galette is basically a free-form pie. You don’t need any special pie baking plates, or pastry making cutters or pie making skills for that matter! We mix flour with oil, and add only enough water to hold the mixture together to get a shaggy dough. From there, we roll out the pastry into a rough circle and cover with the toppings, leaving a 2-inch border. Fold the sides over the filling so to create a crust, brush it with plant-based milk, and sprinkle with sugar. Now, it’s ready to bake!
Galettes, sometimes called crostatas, are my favorite pies. They are easy to customize to your tastes by changing up the fillings, and can even be made into an easy, yet elegant, dinner. Curious about what a savory galette might be like? Check out my recipe for Vegan Cherry Tomato Galette with Pesto and Cashew Cheese! Another delicious sweet option is my Vegan Blueberry Ginger Galette if you’re in the mood for more summer fruit pies!
Tips for the Strawberry and Hazelnut Chocolate Filling
Strawberries: Use the freshest berries you can find for your vegan strawberry galette. The best berries are the ones that are available seasonally and have ripened in the field. They are sweeter, generally smaller but have way more flavor! If you have a mix of sizes, cut the larger ones in half. This helps ensure even baking.
Hazelnut Chocolate Spread: While Nutella might be what pops to mind when you think about hazelnut chocolate spread, it’s not vegan so let’s change gears. For this recipe, I used my own hazelnut chocolate spread recipe which I dare say is better than store-bought! It has more hazelnut and chocolate flavors because there aren’t any fillers…just lots more, well, hazelnuts and chocolate!
My version firms up quite a bit in the fridge, so should be warmed gently before applying to the pastry. While the consistency might be okay for, say, a bagel, the pastry is much more delicate. To prevent tearing, we want it to be easy to spread like a sauce but not so hot that it heats up the pastry.
Tips to Get Flaky Pastry
While galettes are dead easy to make, there are a few things to know to ensure your success. Pastry, whether it’s in a pie plate or free-form like a galette, should be flaky and delicate.
Be gentle – don’t over-mix the dough. You don’t need to be too fussy when mixing the oil and flour, but once the water is added, we need to be gentle. Handling the pastry as little as possible once water is added is important so that the gluten in the flour isn’t worked. Hydrated, stretched gluten creates fibers that strengthen the pastry, making it less lightly to be flaky and delicate.
Once the oil and water have been added to the flour, the dough should be shaggy, streaks of oil will show, and bits of the flour may still be dry. While an over-mixed dough might look and feel more put together, it will create a tough pastry.
Don’t worry about perfection – part of the appeal of a galette is its rustic style. Not fussing and over-working the dough to perfect edges ensures you’ll have nice flaky pastry!
Adding a layer of hazelnut chocolate spread serves a couple of purposes. One is obvious: it’s delicious and goes perfectly with the strawberries! The second is that it creates a barrier between the juicy berries and the pastry. Pastry can easily become soggy on the bottom when fruit is cooked directly on the top, but not when we have some dreamy chocolate hazelnut spread in there!
Tips for Assembling the Fresh Strawberry Galette with Hazelnut Chocolate Cream
When assembling the galette, gently warm up the hazelnut chocolate spread. Again, we don’t want it hot because it will be hard on the pastry, but at the same time we don’t want it stiff. If the spread is too hard to spread, the pastry may tear. If you have any left, it’s pretty amazing heated up and drizzled over the top when serving!
Don’t let the strawberries hang out too long once the sugar has been added. Sugar draws out the juices. This will happen a bit in the oven, but we want to minimize this before baking so that the strawberries aren’t dried out and swimming in a too much thin juice.
Cornstarch is added to help thicken what juices do leach out during baking. Don’t be alarmed if some leaks out underneath the galette. Be prepared and make sure the baking sheet you’re using has some sides on it so the juices don’t drip onto the bottom of the oven.
Add texture and some glitter to the crust by sprinkling it with turbinado sugar. Turbinado sugar, or raw unrefined sugar, has larger crystals than brown sugar which are really pretty on the tops of pastry, cookies, etc. Because the molasses has not been removed, it has a slightly darker, amber color. It’s also really nice in hot drinks, as it lends a somewhat toffee flavor!
Fresh Strawberry Galette with Hazelnut Chocolate Spread
For the Pastry:
- 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/3 cup avocado oil (may use another neutral oil eg canola)
- 2-4 tbsp ice-cold water
For the Filling:
- 4 cups fresh strawberries, large ones cut in half
- 3 tbsp cornstarch
- 3 tbsp granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup vegan hazelnut chocolate spread warmed slightly for spreading, plus more for serving
- 1-2 tbsp turbinado sugar (coarse sugar)
- 1-2 tbsp plant-based milk
- chopped toasted hazelnuts for garnish, optional
For the Pastry:
- In a medium-sized bowl, mix the flour with the salt. Stream in the oil, and mix until you have crumbles. Add the ice-cold water a tablespoon at a time, gently folding together just until a shaggy, loose dough forms being careful not to over-mix. The dough should just hold togther if you squeeze it in your hand.
- Oil your hands and gather the dough, placing it in the middle of a sheet of plastic wrap. Shape and press it into a disc shape, then wrap tightly and refrigerate for 30 minutes or overnight.
For the Filling:
- Combine the strawberries, cornstarch and sugar together, mixing well.
To Assemble the Galette:
- Preheat the oven to 375°F. Cut 2 large pieces of parchment paper, about 20 inches in length. Roll the chilled dough between the 2 pieces of parchment paper to about 12-14 inches across and 1/8 inch thick. Always start rolling from the center of the disc turning the parchment to roll the dough in all directions until you have a rough circle. Don’t worry if the edges are jagged or uneven, this is part of the rustic appeal!
- Spread the hazelnut chocolate spread over the pastry leaving a 2-inch border of crust
uncovered. Pile the strawberries over the hazelnut chocolate spread and gently fold up the
sides of the dough over the edges of the filling. Overlap the dough as you go around creating pleats. Brush the dough with plant-based milk and sprinkle with turbinado sugar. Slide the galette onto a baking tray, keeping it on the parchment.
- Place on the center rack of the preheated oven and bake for 40-50 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown and strawberries are bubbling a bit, turning the galette around half way through baking. Serve with chopped toasted hazelnuts, warm hazelnut chocolate spread and vegan ice cream if desired. Best eaten the same day while warm or once it’s cooled to room temperature.