Cuisine Fiend

What to cook this week

I struggle to find good eating apples. Spot on in season, they should be aplenty, local and fresh. Instead, if New Zealand is not the country of origin, it's Argentina and the taste leaves a lot to be desired. Perhaps it's just me?

Luckily the cooking apples are faultless, or I'm less demanding of them. Autumn may not pass without a proper apple cake or two, so an apple confection with cinnamon a ...READ MORE

Thursday, 27 October, 2016

Gâteau Basque

RECIPE NAME: gateau basque

Gateau Basque

Interesting how two quite remote French regions have very similar local specialities. Brittany and le Pays Basque each have their own version of round, buttery and melting, sweet shortcrust tarts.

I might, at the risk of my friendship with both sides, say they are virtually the same confection. The difference is in the egg yolk content and in using melted or only softened butter. Inside, vanilla crème pâtissière or cherry preserve in one, nothing or prune conserve in the other. Both boast a swirly pattern (or the Basque lauburus) on top, rendered in an extra egg yolk.

The pastry is awfully rich, buttery and heavy, like a posh relative to shortcrust. Easy to put together, especially that, unlike shortcrust, it doesn’t need chilling in the fridge - mix and press into the dish, smoothing out the crumbs. It’s a bit more fiddly when you want to bake it with a filling - hence my version is plain and easy.

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