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The question mark is not a mistake. I am usually very fond of May and it is my favorite month of the year but this past May was not a blessing. We had a shower of frozen rain in the middle of it and we were plagued with high winds and freezing temperatures. My basil died on the deck, twice, and I had to cover all my seedlings of green beans or they would have suffered the same fate. My daily anxiety was now coated with impatience. “Enough already!” I wanted to shout to any complacent ear.

As usual, my kitchen was my retreat and the baking I chose was something of substance, involving, new, so that I, for a few hours, could escape the burdens of these extraordinary circumstances.

Gateau Basque

Course Dessert
Cuisine French

Ingredients
  

Ingredients for the crust:

  • cups all purpose-flour
  • 1 tsp grated lemon zest
  • ½ cup ground almonds
  • cup superfine sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • ¼ tsp vanilla extract
  • oz unsalted butter, softened

Almond crème pâtissière:

  • 6 egg yolks
  • 7 oz superfine sugar
  • ½ cup regular flour
  • ½ cup ground almonds
  • 4 cup milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Put the cake together:

  • 4 tbsp thick plum or black cherry jam
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten

Instructions
 

Crust Instructions:

  • Mix all ingredients in a food processor and run until the dough starts to come together.
  • Take it out and roll it on the floured counter until it makes a ball.
  • Wrap in plastic and refrigerate while you make the almond crème pâtissière.

Almond crème pâtissière:

  • Whisk together egg yolks and sugar until pale and creamy.
  • Sift in flour and ground almonds and mix well.
  • Bring milk and vanilla to a boil and strain over yolk/flour/almond mixture, stirring constantly.
  • Pour back into clean saucepan and bring to a boil again, stirring continuously. Boil for two minutes.
  • Put on the side to cool.

Put the cake together:

  • Preheat oven at 350 degree F.
  • Roll out half of the almond pastry into a 10 inch tart ring.
  • Spread the jam over the pastry, then cover with the almond crème pâtissière.
  • Brush the edge with the beaten egg.
  • Roll out the remaining pastry and place on top of the pie.
  • Press around the edge to seal the top pastry to the bottom one. Trim the edge.
  • Brush top with remaining beaten egg and score a crisscross pattern with a knife.
  • Bake for forty minutes or until top is golden brown.
  • Serve hot, warm or cold.
Keyword Dessert

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