Like most people who enjoy food and cooking, I love Julia Child. Yes, she was a little before my time — I grew up watching Good Eats, not The French Chef — but Julia Child’s sensibilities about food were still a prominent part of my learning to cook, and are still more relevant than ever.
Last Friday would have been Julia’s hundred and second birthday, and in honor of her I thought I’d share some of my favorite Julia Child quotes. Also, the recipe for this summer berry galette, which I think is fitting because it is both very simple, and very French.
“You don’t have to cook fancy or complicated masterpieces – just good food from fresh ingredients.”
“Certainly one of the most important requirements for learning how to cook is that you also learn how to eat.”
Two of the best pieces of advice I can think of in cooking. It doesn’t have to be fancy. No matter what you’re making, good food starts with good ingredients. And, if you want to cook well, you have to develop your tastes. Words to live by.
“One of the secrets, and pleasures, of cooking is to learn to correct something if it goes awry; and one of the lessons is to grin and bear it if it cannot be fixed.”
This one is a hard lesson to learn, because as with all things, cooking comes with a lot of failures. To that she said, “The only real stumbling block is fear of failure. In cooking you’ve got to have a what-the-hell attitude.”
Well said, Julia.
And of course, “People who love to eat are always the best people.”
Ain’t it the truth.
Do you have a favorite Julia Child quote, or bit of wisdom she shared that stuck with you? I’d love to hear it. Another favorite of mine is, “Dining with one’s friends and beloved family is certainly one of life’s primal and most innocent delights, one that is both soul-satisfying and eternal.” I really believe that one. It’s why I fell in love with cooking in the first place, and in a way, it’s why I share my recipes here with you. It’s almost like we’re dining together in some weird, cyberspace cafe. (If I could, I would meet every single one of you and share a real meal together, but until then, this is the next best thing.)
- 1¼ cups all-puprose flour, lightly measured, plus more for dusting
- ½ cup unsalted butter, thoroughly chilled and cut into cubes
- 1 TBSP turbinado sugar (or regular granulated sugar
- ½ tsp. kosher salt
- 3-4 TBSP ice cold water, as needed
- ¼ tsp. almond extract (optional)
- ¼ cup almond flour (or whole almonds, toasted then ground in the food processor)
- 8 TBSP turbinado sugar (or regular granulated sugar), divided
- 1 pint each of fresh blueberries, strawberries, and raspberries (or a mix of any other berry that is in season), about 4 cups
- zest of 1 lemon
- 1 TBSP corn starch
- 1 TBSP fresh thyme, plus more for garnish
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- Add the flour, sugar, and salt to the food processor, and pulse a couple of times to combine. Add the butter, and pulse until it is cut roughly into almond-sized pieces. Add 3 TBSP of water, and the almond extract, and pulse again to distribute the water evenly.
- Dump the flour mixture into a bowl, and use your hands to press and squeeze the dough until it starts to hold together. If necessary, add the remaining TBSP of water.
- Once the dough just holds together, shape it into a ball, and place on a sheet of plastic wrap. Flatten the dough into a disc, about 1 inch thick, and wrap it tightly. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Can be made up to a few days in advance.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- In a small bowl, mix together the almond flour and 3 TBSP of the sugar. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine the berries (washed and dried, strawberries hulled and cut into quarters), lemon zest, corn starch, and remaining 5 TBSP of sugar. Remove the leaves from the thyme and chop finely, then toss in with the berries.
- On a well floured surface, roll the dough to about 12-14 inches in diameter, and about ⅛th inch thick. Carefully transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet.
- Spread the almond flour mixture evenly onto the center of the disc of dough, leaving a boarder of about 2 inches around the edge. Pile the berry mixture on top of this, then fold the edges of the dough over the berries.
- Brush the edges of the dough with the beaten egg, and optionally, sprinkle with a little extra sugar.
- Bake for about 50-60 minutes, or until the crust is golden and the berries are bubbly. (Your time may vary. I actually cooked this particular galette on my grill (see recipe note), so yours may take a little more or less time. I suggest peaking in on it about 40 minutes in, and checking periodically until the crust is done.)
- Let cool slightly before serving. Perfect with a dollop of whipped cream, a scoop of vanilla ice cream, or just as it is.