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Happy-Gourmand

Easy as pie

It’s harvest season. At Rabbit Hollow, our humble property on the Westside, that means an embarrassment of riches.

We are grateful and overwhelmed with the bounty our yard offers in fruit, vegetables and herbs; we work daily to preserve, freeze and dry as much as we can to enjoy through the winter.

Some days picking and pitting and washing it just seems like hard work, and then I feel like I’ve been written into a chapter of Little House on the Prairie. But in the dead of winter, nothing brings a smile faster than using some of that goodness to make a meal.

We do cook some of the harvest fresh as well. I have eaten green beans sautéed in pasta sauce, chopped in salad, and added to caponata.

Peaches have been in chutney with pork and in salsa with salmon.

And don’t get me started with tomatoes … even eating them for breakfast, lunch and dinner they are still piling up.

The fun dishes to make when we are up to our ears in healthy food are the desserts, of course. One of the dishes I make while gathering the fall fruit is a galette, a rustic version of pie that is easy to throw together, tastes delicious and even looks hip in this age of everything artisanal.

Galettes can be made with any kind of stone fruit or a mix of stone fruit and berries. You can adjust the spices as you like and use different sweeteners to your taste.

The galette recipe I use is from a cooking site I trust and enjoy, The Kitchn (sic). They allow for adaptations, and I have a few more if you try the recipe.

These are general tips that work for any galette or pie baking:

  • Don’t build your galette or pie until you are ready to put it in the oven. This helps prevent a soggy bottom.
  • Bake on the bottom rack of the oven (the other secret to prevent the dreaded soggy bottom).
  • Start with a hot oven for the first 10 minutes, then turn it down for the remainder of cooking time.
  • Watch the crust and if it browns too fast, tent a piece of aluminum foil over it until the last 5 minutes of baking. If it doesn’t brown fast enough, use the convection bake setting for the last 5-10 minutes of baking.
  • Ensure your filling will set by using a thermometer – especially if you use corn starch, it must boil for thickening to happen, so you need a filling temperature of 200F.

Maybe you’re not into pie, or at least not into baking one. If that’s the case, here are my suggestions for places to go for pie:

  • Shuswap Pie Company, Salmon Arm (worth the drive – lots of flavours and you can watch them making pie, too) 
  • Davison Orchard, Vernon (there’s something cool about getting pie from where the fruit is grown) 
  • Sandrine French Pastry & Chocolate (this might be the fanciest pie you’ve had, but it still tastes just as homemade) 
  • Joy Road Catering, Penticton Farmer’s Market (they make lovely galettes) 
  • Wild Pies, Oliver – also at the Penticton Farmer’s Market (they make hand pies, so you don’t have to share)

Any way you make it or buy it or slice it, pie is a fun and easy way to celebrate the harvest season.

I hope you’ll do your part to support the local farmers and producers and have at least one piece.



More Happy Gourmand articles

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About the Author

Kristin Peturson-Laprise is a customer experience specialist by trade, which means she is someone passionate about people having a good time. 

Her company, Wow Service Mentor, helps businesses enhance their customer experience through hands-on training, service programs, and special event coordination.

Kristin enjoys her own experiences too, and that is what she writes about in this column. She and her husband Martin Laprise (also known as Chef Martin, of The Chef Instead) love to share their passion for food and entertaining.  

Kristin says:

"Wikipedia lists a gourmand as a person who takes great pleasure in food. I have taken the concept of gourmandise, or enjoying something to the fullest, in all parts of my life. I love to grow and cook food, and I loved wine enough to become a Sommelier. I call a meal a success when I can convey that 'sense of place' from where the food has come . . . the French call that terroir, but I just call it the full experience. It might mean tasting the flavours of my own garden, or transporting everyone at the table to a faraway place, reminiscent of travels or dreams we have had."

 

E-mail Kristin at:  [email protected]

Check out her website here:  www.wowservicementor.com

 



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The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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