#FirstontheFirst: Gateau Larsson

1 Sep

First on the First Kitchen Adventure

If you cook, it’s pretty safe to say that you probably have a few favorite food bloggers that you now follow.  Most likely, along with discovering their personal brands of kitchen genius, you’ve also been drawn in by their adorable personalities or hilarious outlook on life.   One of the pretty awesome things about being a quasi-food blogger is that I now have an excuse to interact with some of those personalities I’ve enjoyed so much beyond the comment line of their blogs.

Recently I’ve joined Kate from Food Babbles– one of my own personal favorite food bloggers- and the rest of the First on the First crew to challenge myself to make something I’ve never tried each month.  This month we committed to making Gateau Basque.

Gateau Basque is a traditional pastry in the Pays Basque region of France- for you non-Francophiles that’s a region that borders Spain’s Basque County and Navarre- made from an almond pastry crust filled with custard.  There seems to be some disagreement over the authenticity of the often added brandied cherries.  The more I read, the more I began to feel the addition of fruit made it decidedly non-Basque and more of a mainstream French pastry.  But the truth is, fruit flavors perk up what would otherwise be a rather plain pastry.  It’s the reason in life that the cheese Danish is never the first to go.  So I decided that my Gateau Basque would have to have fruit.

Go Running, Mama!: Gateau Larsson- Almond pastry with custard and lingonberries

In honesty, my Gateau Basque began to take shape immediately after returning from vacation which is my nice way of saying I was feeling a bit lazy and cut some corners.  My crust pays homage to Daniel Boulud’s Gateau Basque crust without being as complex or fussy (Forgive me! Fussy in the best way, Daniel… I just couldn’t hack it this week!)… and without five eggs.  My custard is simply the same tried and true custard I’ve used for many kitchen applications gussied up with vanilla bean paste in place of vanilla extract or another flavoring.  I baked mine in a cake pan  and left it in the pan to serve instead of using a spring form pan because I just didn’t feel like searching again for the spring form pan that I’m pretty sure was left at a holiday gathering last year (My kitchen is crazy organized, so if it’s missing it must truly be missing!).

And I opted for lingonberry jam in place of the brandied cherries because I was far too busy unpacking to fuss with drunken fruit- but if you’ll allow some posturing on my part I’m going to say I selected the lingonberries to honor our family’s Scandinavian roots.  Thus the Gateau Larsson was born!

Go Running, Mama!: Gateau Larsson- Almond pastry with custard and lingonberries

Gateau Larsson

For the Crust:

  • 2 c all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 c almond flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
  • 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter
  • 1 c sugar
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1/4 tsp pure lemon oil
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract

For the Custard:

  • 3/4 c whole milk
  • 1/2 c heavy cream
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1/3 c sugar
  • 3 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste

For Assembly:

  • 1 egg yolk
  • water
  • 1 c Lingonberry jam
  • vanilla infused sugar

Directions for Dough:  Whisk together flour, almond flour, baking powder, and salt.

In a stand mixer, combine butter and sugar on medium speed until pale and fluffy.  Add egg yolks, lemon oil, and almond extract; mix until smooth.  While mixing on low, slowly add flour mixture.  Beat until mixture is thoroughly combined.

Divide into two portions- one slightly larger than the other.  Flatten each portion into a disk, wrap each in plastic, and refrigerate at least three hours up to one day.

To prepare the custard:  Heat milk and cream in a small saucepan on medium-low heat.

Whisk together egg yolks, sugar, and cornstarch.  When milk mixture is hot, slowly pour it into the yolk mixture while whisking continuously.

Return mixture to the saucepan and cook over medium heat, whisking continuously until custard becomes very thick.  Remove from heat and whisk in vanilla bean paste.

Transfer custard to a medium bowl, place plastic wrap directly on the surface, and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

To assemble:  Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Grease the sides of a 9 inch cake pan and line the bottom with parchment paper.

Roll larger half of dough into a 10 1/2 inch round.  Place dough in the bottom of the pan, pressing against the edges of the pan.

Add custard, spreading evenly.  Dollop the Lingonberry jam on top of the custard and spread to smooth.

Roll remaining dough into a 9 inch round.  Place on top of filling, crimping down edges of dough to seal.

Whisk together egg yolk and 1 tbsp water to form an egg wash.  Brush egg wash over entire crust, including crimped edges.  Sprinkle edges with vanilla sugar.

Using a fork, lightly drag the tines across the surface area of the crust to create a crosshatch pattern.

Bake of 20 minutes at 400 degrees.  Reduce heat to 350 a bake 15 minutes more or until cake id golden brown.  If crimped crust edges are browning too fast, cover edges with foil.

Cool for at least 45 minutes before serving.

Don’t forget to check out all the other #FirstOnTheFirst bakers’ Gâteau Basque this month!

11 Responses to “#FirstontheFirst: Gateau Larsson”

  1. LFFL September 1, 2013 at 1:57 pm #

    Looks delicious!

  2. poet in the pantry (@PoetInThePantry) September 1, 2013 at 5:08 pm #

    Yay! What a fantastic way to start out with First on the First! I love how you took a tradition and made it your own, honoring your own roots. So cool! The greatest thing about Gateau Basque is that it really can be so non-fussy and easy. Perfect thing to throw together when you don’t have the energy to do something fancy.

  3. omeletta September 1, 2013 at 5:21 pm #

    Your gateau turned out fabulous!! I went a similar route- couldn’t decide between pastry cream OR cherry jam, so I did both 🙂 Our cakes look a lot alike! So happy to have you baking along with us this month, it was a fun challenge.

  4. FoodBabbles September 1, 2013 at 6:14 pm #

    I am in love with your gateau larsson! I love that you took this classic recipe and really put your own unique spin on it. I can imagine how wonderful this cake was with both jam and pastry cream in it. Perfection! And I adore that you honored your roots in the process. Wonderful job!! Thanks so much for joining in our group. So happy to have you here!

  5. Alyssa D. {Suitcases & Sweets} September 1, 2013 at 6:19 pm #

    Welcome! Glad to have you baking with us. Your first entry is quite a success — looks and sounds fantastic. 🙂

  6. Anna (Hidden Ponies) September 2, 2013 at 5:39 am #

    Love your personal twist, and so fun to have you join the group! Kate is wonderful, isn’t she?


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