Gateau Basque is a traditional French pastry from the Basque region. Despite the gateau in the name, it isn't a cake, it's more like a pie or tart. But the dough is really quite different from other pie doughs, and it is fantastic. It gets puffy and light from a hefty dose of baking powder, but has a lovely fatty, rich toothsomeness from enriching almonds and eggs. It seems like there will be way too much dough, if you made an American style pie with this kind of dough-filling ratio, it would be an overwhelming dough monster. It seems like it would be too dry. But this super enriched dough is not excessive or overwhelming. It melds together with the pastry cream to make an almost frangipane-like alchemy on the inside, and a crisp, caramelized outside. It's just sweet enough without being cloying.
Gateau Basque is traditionally made with vanilla pastry cream and cherries, which is fantastic and feel free to do that instead. But I had some blackberries left over from fall in my freezer, and I needed to clear them out to make way for the rhubarb that is on it's way. You can also just use jam without any extra fruit, or just use pastry cream (double the recipe), swap out or remove the nuts...choose the flavours that you like best.
Note: pistachio paste here means pure ground pistachios, which you can buy or grind yourself if you have powerful food processor and a lot of pistachios. Use 6 tbs finely ground pistachios if you can find any paste or don't want to grind it for ages. The tart dough makes twice as much as you need - the extra will last a few days in the fridge or a couple months in in the freezer.
adapted from Food and Wine
- 3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 tbs baking powder
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup plus 2 tbs butter, softened
- 2 cups sugar
- 3 large egg yolks
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
- 1/4 tsp almond extract
- 1 cup almond flour
Combine flour, baking powder, salt and almond flour in a medium bowl. Beat butter and sugar in a stand mixer on medium speed until fluffy. Add eggs and yolks, vanilla and almond extracts and beat until well mixed. Reduce speed and add flour mixture gradually until thoroughly incorporated. Scrape dough out onto a work surface and divide into four equal portions. Form them into disks and wrap in cling wrap. Chill at least 4 hours.
adapted from Martha Stewart
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 2 egg yolks
- 2 tbs cornstarch
- pinch salt
- 6 tbs pistachio paste
- 1 cup whole milk
Combine sugar, egg yolks, cornstarch, salt and pistachio paste in a small saucepan. Whisk in milk until smooth. Cook the mixture on medium heat, whisking constantly. When the mix comes to a boil, cook for 1 minute, continuing to whisk and scrape the bottom. Pass the mixture through a fine sieve. Chill, plastic wrap pressed directly on the surface of the cream to prevent a skin from forming.
- 1/2 cup blackberry jam
- 1 cup fresh or frozen blackberries
- 1 egg
- 1 tbs milk
Roll out one disc of dough to 1 cm thick, drape over tart shell so the dough rises up the sides of the pan. Trim away excess. Spread jam in an even layer over the bottom of the tart. Sprinkle blackberries over jam and cover with pastry cream.
Roll out second dough disc to 1 cm thick. Place over the top of the tart and press around the edges to trim off excess dough. Gently press around the edges to seal. Score a grid pattern into the tart with a paring knife. Beat milk and egg together and brush all over the top of the tart.
Bake at 350° on the lowest shelf of your oven for 20 minutes. Wrap the top of the tart in tin foil and move the tart to the upper shelf. Bake around 40 more minutes, until dark gold on top. Transfer to a rack to cool.