Over the past weeks I explored quite some recipes for the tart pastry. They were all great and all work best for a specific purpose. One thing I learned that works perfect every time is to soften the butter. It makes mixing the pastry way easier and if you give it an at least 2 hour chilling time after mixing, you will still end up with a crumbly tart. It actually works best to make the pastry one day ahead, if you like planning your meals like I do 😉
This is the last last recipe for a tart pastry. It’s a very crumbly, almost shortbread like, pastry with an addition of ground almonds. Traditionally this cake is made in the Basque part of France. It can have two filling: a classic pastry cream or a cherry preserve. I used them both in one cake, keeping the cherries on the inside and cream on the outside of the filling.
This cake has a very nostalgic feel to it (not only to French people) and is filled with well known and comforting aromas. It’s perfect for the upcoming winter evenings.
One more note: you will use more egg yolks than egg whites (as usually). Hold on to the whites, you can store them safely in the fridge for up to 3 days. I will soon post a nice cake recipe to use all the leftover whites 🙂
Buttery Basque Cake
adapted from Christophe Felder
For the Basque Pastry:
- 175 g of butter, softened,
- 125 g of sugar,
- 85 g of ground almonds,
- zest from 1/2 lemon, finely grated,
- 1 egg yolk,
- 25 g of a beaten egg (reserve the other half of the whole beaten egg for the egg glaze),
- 225 g of flour,
- pinch of salt.
- Beat together butter, sugar and ground almonds with a spatula.
- Mix in the lemon zest.
- Beat in the egg yolk and 1/2 egg.
- Add flour and salt and beat until smooth.
- Form into a flat disk, wrap in a plastic and chill for at least 2 hours.
For the fillings:
- 250 ml full fat milk,
- 3 egg yolks,
- 45 g of sugar,
- 20 g of flour,
- 30 ml of dark rum,
- 120 g cherry preserve (not too sweet).
- Bring the milk to boil over a medium heat.
- Whisk the egg yolk with the sugar and flour. Mix until the sugar is dissolved.
- Slowly add the egg mixture to the milk, whisking constantly. Cook until it thickens.
- Add the rum and continue cooking for a minute (still whisking). Take off the heat.
- Cover the cream directly with a plastic wrap and cool in a room temperature.
Assemble the cake:
- Cut the dough in a half. Roll out one half to about 4 mm thick. Transfer into a 24 cm tart pan with a removable bottom. Cut the sides to the tart form (Note: You should make the sides a bit thicker, so that you can glue the top and the bottom of the cake together easily – do that by making a rope from the leftover dough and place it around the tart form).
- Dip you finger in water and lightly moisten the edge of the crust (the top of the rope). Prick the base with a fork.
- Spoon the pastry cream on the outside of the tart.
- Spread the cherry preserve in the centre.
- Roll out the second piece of pastry (until 4 mm thick).
- Place it delicately on the top of the tart and trim the edge with a side of the rolling pin.
- Brush the top of the cake with an egg glaze.
- If you want you can make a pattern with a fork.
- Bake for 30 min at 180 degrees in the middle of an oven.
- Cool in the tart form.