Even though I’m skeptical, I begin each day by reading my horoscope. I’m partial to…
…Phil Booth. I like his writing, his sweet and often eloquent turns of phrase, his positivity, (apparently that is a word), and the odd little typos that slip into his horoscopes and make me smile.
For the past few years, Booth has been telling me, a Pisces, to follow my heart, to act on my dreams. I’m sure that’s sound advice no matter your sign or the source – but I like the reminder.
Booth also writes a generic ‘daily thought’ and this is where I often learn about such things as the alignment of the stars and planets. Astrology is, after all, about the movements and relative positions of celestial bodies and their influence on human affairs and the natural world. But from my perspective, I’m merely interested in knowing that the beautiful shiny star in the sky that appeared about a week ago right beside the paper-thin crescent moon – was actually not a star but the planet Venus. And for that bit of knowledge, I have Phil Booth to thank.
Today, Booth wrote about Carl Jung. About how Jung was one of the great ‘thinkers’ of the 20th Century. How he coined a number of terms like archetype, extrovert, introvert, and synchronicity. (We also have Carl Jung to thank for the term: collective unconscious.)
I never studied psychology and for the record, I’m as skeptical of psychology as I am of astrology. But I find our love affair with both topics interesting and of course, I’m open to thinking about them.
Jung is known for many things – for being the father of analytical psychology; for his troubled relationship with Freud which began with Freud calling Jung his adopted son and ended with neither speaking to the other; and for his travels and writings. Jung believed he could see spirits. He also believed in, and had, several open extra-marital affairs. At age thirty-eight, fearing he was having a psychotic break, he induced his own hallucinations and meticulously recorded them. Carl Jung has been called everything from a genius to a complete flake.
Jung also wrote these thoughtful lines below (thanks to Phil Booth for including them today in his daily thought):
“Your vision will become clearer only when you look into your heart…
Who looks outside, dreams.
Who looks within, awakens.” ~ Carl Jung
So while I’m busy peering within myself, I thought I’d head into the kitchen and do a little searching in the pantry too. It’s so cold outside that I needed to bake. And because one of my family members has given up chocolate for Lent (seriously, chocolate! and despite all my protests…) I had to make something chocolate-free. I haven’t given up anything though I briefly considered chocolate, desserts, alcohol, kale (the mere thought of which made me crave kale), swearing, and complaining but in the end, I decided that I really like all those things, in moderation of course, too much to give any of them up.
My nod to Lent is this chocolate-free dessert. An easy, pressed crust fruit flan. If you’ve never made a pressed crust tart or flan – it’s the fastest easiest crust you could ever want to make. So much easier than pastry. And elegant too. My own recipe calls for an egg, but I was so busy peering within that I forgot to add the egg and everything still worked out perfectly. I think this is more like a tart without the egg. And conversely if you add the egg – it’s more like a flan (a slightly cake-ier texture.) So the good news is you can make this with or without an egg – depending on how you feel. And call it whatever you like. The eggless version is vegan. Use the fruit you have on hand. I’ve made countless variations (see here and here). You could also drizzle some melted dark (or white) chocolate across the top of this for added effect…
Pressed-Crust Cranberry, Pear and Plum Tart
- 1/2 cup butter, margarine, or coconut oil
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 large egg [OR NOT – see text above]
- 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
- 1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
- pinch of salt
- 1 large cooking apple, washed and sliced finely
- 2 cups of fresh or frozen cranberries
- 2 tbsp brown sugar (or more to taste but I like this tart tart)
- 2 tbsp sliced or slivered almonds
- 2 tbsp jam
- optional whipped cream and or Greek yoghurt to garnish
Heat oven to 350 deg F. Oil or butter a large tart/flan tin, a spring-form pan, or a large glass pie plate.
Cream the butter and sugar. Add the egg [OR NOT] and beat until well mixed. Gradually add the flour and salt, stirring to combine. The dough will be somewhat soft. Less so when you forget the egg. Press the dough into the greased tart tin with floured hands.
Arrange the sliced apple and cranberries on top of the dough, pressing gently but not submerging fruit. Sprinkle with brown sugar and almonds.
Bake for about 30-35 minutes or until crust is golden. Let cool at least slightly. Meanwhile warm the jam until slightly liquefied and pour over the tart. Let cool.
Serve with whipped cream and or thick Greek yoghurt.