The easy way out.

I needed to make dessert for our Basque club member dinner and I didn’t have a lot of time to spend making the dessert. I chose to make gateau Basque because I could make part of it the day before and keep it in the frig.  There are as many different versions of gateau as there are paellas.  Gateau is from the French side of the Basque Country.   I was fortunate to have tasted some wonderful gateau when I visited St. Jean de Luc in France a few years ago.   One of my friends told me that this gateau reminded him of his mothers! Best compliment ever.   This gateau Basque is adapted from the cookbook Recipes from Basque Restaurants of the West by Clara Salaverria Perkins printed in 1995.  It isn’t a really traditional Gateau Basque…it’s the easy version.  Instead of making the filling  from scratch this recipe uses Jello Cook and Serve pudding mix.

Gateau Basque

Crust

1 cup  butter, softened

1 cup granulated sugar

2 cups all purpose flour

1/3 teaspoon baking powder

1 large egg plus 2 egg yolks

grated rind of 1 large lemon

1/2 teaspoon almond extract

Filling

1 1/2  (4.9 oz.) package Jello Cook and Serve vanilla pudding (Do not use Instant pudding!)

3 cups whole milk

1/2 teaspoon almond extract

1 large egg beaten with 2 Tablespoons cold water for egg wash.

Crust
Cream butter and gradually add sugar.  Sift flour and baking powder.  Beat egg, egg yolks and almond extract.  Add lemon rind.  Add eggs mixture alternately with the flour mixture to the creamed butter mixture.  Mix well.  Place this dough in the refrigerator to chill overnight.

Filling

Combine the milk and pudding mix in a medium saucepan and still constantly until it comes to a boil.  Cook just a little while longer.  Remove from heat and stir in almond extract.  Put pudding in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap and chill in refrigerator.

Roll out 1/2 of dough the same as you would a thick pie crust.  Press it into a 9 inch springform pan.  Pour cooked pudding into the crust.  Roll out the other 1/2 of the dough and put on top of the pudding.  Trim the edges and fold over the edges to seal.  Brush with the egg wash.  (The pudding expands during the baking process and and it will spill over the top if the edges aren’t sealed properly.)

Score the top of the gateau by carefully making diamond designs with the blunt side of a knife.

Bake gateau in a preheated 350 degree oven for about 40 minutes or until it becomes a golden brown.

Note: Do not store it in the refrigerator or put plastic wrap on the gateau after baking.  If you do the top will get soggy.

Cream butter.

Gradually add sugar.

Sift flour and baking powder together in separate bowl.

In another bowl beat the egg, egg yolks and almond extract.

Add lemon rind to beaten egg mixture.

Add eggs alternately with the flour to the creamed butter mixture.  Mix well.

Place plastic wrap on counter and put half of dough on plastic.

Flatten and wrap both halves of the dough the same way.  Put in refrigerator to chill overnight.

(This dough can be made ahead and kept in the freezer until you need to use it. You can make a couple of batches to have on hand.)

Combine the pudding and milk in a saucepan over medium heat and stir constantly until mixture comes to a boil. Cook just a few minutes longer. Stir in the almond extract.

Put the pudding in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap.  Chill.

Roll out 1/2 of the dough as you would a thick pie crust.

Fold the dough in half and then again in half.

Place the dough in a 9 inch springform pan.  You can use a 9 inch pie plate, but I like the springform pan.

Press the crust into the bottom of the pan and up the sides.

Put the filling into the crust.

Roll out the other half of the dough and lay it on top of the filling.  It doesn’t have to be perfect.  I used to fuss over this part wanting it to be perfect, but I learned that when it is baking if evens out. Trim the excess from the edge and fold over.

Beat 1 large egg with 2 Tablespoons cold water for the egg wash.

Brush the egg wash down the sides of the dough to form a seal.  Brush the top with the egg wash also.

Lightly score the top crust with the back of a knife.  You don’t want to go through the dough.

Gateau Basque before baking.

Finished!

If you have leftover dough from roll it out and put it either on a cookie sheet or in a pie plate.

Roll out, score and cut the dough as you would a shortbread cookie dough.  Dust lightly with bakers sugar and bake at 350 degrees for about 10-15 minutes or until golden brown.

6 thoughts on “The easy way out.

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