blackberry and chocolate chip galette
On the back of my new copy of Aristotle’s The Nicomachean Ethics, it says “The supreme happiness, according to Aristotle, is to be found in a life of philosophical contemplation; but this is only possible for the few…” Well, I think it’s obvious that I don’t need to actually read
the book to determine that I’m one of those few. I love
just sitting around and thinking. I do it all the time! Seriously, you can frequently find me sitting on the couch with my dog and, you know, contemplating things. In fact, I think this makes Clio a philosopher, too, because she’s a contemplator. Oh yes, she’s almost always in an attitude of thoughtful contemplation, when she’s awake. All joking aside, I do actively enjoy thinking. I always have. This is why I’m never bored. This is why our recent 14-hour car trip, aside from the stress of driving and the achiness of my back, was no real hardship. I brought books to read and to write in, but mostly I just sat and thought, and that felt good. I tried to steer my thoughts a little bit, to head them away from things I didn’t want to think about, and head them in the direction of things I did want to think about. I tried to focus them on stories I hope to write or the movie I want to make. But I wasn’t too successful at any of this, and in the end I just let my mind wander where it would. But I think that’s fine, because most of the time my best ideas and my best writing–my brightest strings of words–come when I least expect it, when I’m concentrating on something else. I think it’s healthy and even productive to take some time, once-in-a-while, to let your mind meander–not to try to figure anything out or write anything down, just to let it go. I think it was good for my boys, too, to be away from television or video games, and just to sit and watch the world go by, and think their thoughts, and snooze, and wake to watch the world go by again. I feel very grateful to have my thoughts, I feel like they’re valuable. Sure it’s hard to be stuck in the same mind, all the time
, and my thoughts drive me crazy sometimes, but they’re mine, and nobody can take them away from me. And everybody has this! Everybody has this gift of contemplation and reflection! All the time, whenever we need it. Everybody’s thoughts are valuable, if they’d only recognize that this is true, and nobody needs to be bored ever.
I believe this galette is what one would call a rustic fruit tart. Which mostly means that you don’t have to worry about getting the crust perfect. You just sort of fold it up on itself. And because the crust has hazelnuts and brown sugar in it, it’s like a big cookie, so you don’t have to worry about making it super-thin. Hazelnuts, chocolate and blackberries are lovely together–juicy, bitter-sweet and nutty. There’s a sort of baked custard that hold everything together in this. If it seeps out of the edges of your crust, don’t worry about it, just break these parts off before you serve the galette.
Here’s Tom Waits with Everything You Can Think.
1 cup flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 t salt
1/2 cup hazelnuts
1 stick butter, frozen
Toast the hazelnuts, and then wrap them in a clean tea towel for about five minutes. Rub off the skins as best as possible. (Don’t worry about getting them all.) Process them briefly in a food processor or blender until quite fine but not powdered – you want a bit of crunch. Combine the brown sugar, flour, salt and hazelnuts in a big bowl. Grate in the butter, and mix with a fork till you have a coarse and crumbly consistency. Then add enough ice water to bring into a workable dough. Knead for about a minute to be sure everything is combined, and then shape into a disc and wrap in foil. Chill in the fridge for at least half an hour.
1/2 pint of blackberries (+/-)
1/3 cup blackberry jam
1/2 cup bittersweet chocolate chips
1 T cream
1 egg yolk
1 T flour
1/3 cup icing sugar
1 t vanilla
In a processor combine the cream, egg yolk, flour, icing sugar, vanilla and salt and process until completely smooth.
Preheat the oven to 300.
Roll the dough into a circle about 1/8th inch thick. It doesn’t need to be a perfect circle.
Spread the jam in the center of the circle, leaving a two-inch rim all around the edge. Sprinkle the chocolate chips over the jam and the blackberries over that. Fold up the edges, leaving a hole in the center and press lightly to seal. Pour the custard into the center hole.
Bake for about 20 minutes, until the crust is golden and firm to the touch.
Let cool slightly, dust with powdered sugar, slice, and serve with whipped cream or ice cream.