While I was picking berries for this galette, on a cloudy morning on a busy towpath, a young man rode by on a bicycle. He said hello as if he knew me, which he didn’t, and he asked if I had a cigarette. I said, “Sir, do you not see me here, foraging for berries? Do I look as though I have a cigarette?”
I like the idea of foraging, I like animals who forage, I like stories about foragers, but I rarely forage myself. I did manage to get a good cup and a half of mulberries, though I tossed every third berry to the geese swimming impatiently in the water below.
Some scenes about foragers:
I love his gentle, beautiful footage:
“The important thing is to get so far away from civilization that I can be completely alone…”
I wanted to keep this very simple, so that the flavor of mulberries would shine through. I just added a little sugar and lemon to the berries. The crust is almost like a shortbread cookie crust–just flour, sugar, vanilla, and butter. You can adjust the amounts according to how many berries you manage to forage. As I mentioned, I had about a cup and a half. I washed the berries in a couple of changes of water, and you will have to pick off the little stems from each berry one at a time. Your fingers turn purple, but it’s not unpleasant.
This turned out really tasty. I’m not sure I’ve ever eaten mulberries before. They have a very soft, juicy, indescribable taste, not quite like any other flavor I can think of. This was good with whipped cream lightly sweetened with maple syrup and a dash of vanilla essence.
And here’s Culture with Alone in the Wilderness. What a beauty.
1 1/3 cup flour
1/2 cup sugar
4 T soft butter
about 1 1/2 cups mulberries, washed and picked through
2 T sugar
squeeze of fresh lemon
pinch of salt
Preheat the oven to 350 and lightly butter a cake pan or small baking sheet.
Combine the flour, sugar and salt. Stir in the soft butter and vanilla. Work until you have a nice soft dough. If it’s too dry you can add a few spoonfuls of water. Set aside to chill for a short while.
Combine the berries with the sugar, flour,lemon, and salt.
Roll out the dough on a very floury surface. It will probably break apart a bit, but it’s ok, because galettes are supposed to be roughish. Spread on the cake pan, pile the berries in the middle and fold the edges over, leaving an opening in the center.
Bake until the crust is just browning, and the berries are soft and bubbly. Maybe 25 – 30 minutes.
Let cool, slice, and serve.