I feel that lately I've been completely neglecting my Eating France duties, and a lot of my loyal readers have been wondering what's been going on. Am I tired of the project? Am I mortally ill? Have I stumbled into some bad food cycle involving only frozen pizza and the occasional potato chip? Nope, sorry to disappoint. Nothing quite so dramatic, I'm afraid, so no need to worry! I wasn't going finish the journey prematurely and I think it's time to move on from Midi-Pyrénées to Aquitaine. Agreed?
Originally I wanted to make cannelés de Bordeaux, but I didn't have the required cannelés moulds, and anyway, the last (and only time!) I had one – on the steps of the Sacré Cœur in Montmartre – it was a far cry from my expectations (though I've promised myself to give it a second shot if I'm ever in Bordeaux!) Anyway, so what to make? You'd think I'd have a complete list of what I want to make from each region, but alas, I think you'll find I'm one of the most disorganised girls in Scandinavia. The very thought alone of making the unknown kept me awake for a good couple of nights, until my brother oh-so-discreetly revealed his heart's desire (cake for dessert!) to his friend.
My ears pricked like a cat, and my heart instantly knew what it desired: a nutty tart from Périgord, in northern Aquitaine. Aquitaine is a lovely region (I mean, I suppose it is, I haven't actually been there, now, have I?) in south-western France, bordering Spain, Midi-Pyrénées, Limousin and Poitou-Charentes. The region is famous for its truffles, foie gras and walnuts, as well as its Basque cuisine and the many pastries of Bordeaux. Mmmm... The French and their food. It's tempting, it really is.
I rolled out some sweet pastry, shaped it to fit a tart mould, baked it and let it cool. I then combined some milk, cream, eggs, sugar and walnuts together and whisked it with a pinch of salt until it looked right. The latter was poured into the former, thrown into the oven and half an hour or so later, voilà! My cake was complete. It made me smile. Really. It did.
If you're like me and keep a batch of pastry ready for any occasion, this cake won't take more than 40 minutes of your time (30 of those baking in the oven). If you have to make a new dough, don't worry, it will only take about five minutes.
As for the taste, I mean, it's heavenly. The tart is sweet without being cloying, creamy, yet not in an overdose-of-lactose kind of a way. The crust is thick and tasty, with just a hint of eau de burnt, but that's how I prefer my crusts – I find it gives them a little something extra. However, if you prefer your crusts golden and light, that's perfectly fine as well. I'm liberal like that. And the nuts! Ooooh the nuts! Now they're crispy. I mean, they're crispy! And they're tasty and they're darn good! I've never been one for explaining, so I suppose you'll just have to try the cake yourself to define those nuts. Don't be put off by the pictures. It might not be a pretty sight, but it's mighty tasty!
|Tarte aux noix du Périgord :: Walnut Cake from Périgord |
Recipe by Recettes de France
100 g. roughly chopped walnuts
200 g. pâte sucrée (sweet dough - see recipe below)
A handful of flour to roll out the dough
2 fresh eggs
140 g. caster sugar
140 ml. heavy cream
200 ml. milk
10 g. butter
Pinch of salt
1.Preheat oven to 180°C.
2.Roll the sweet dough on a floured work surface and shape to fit a buttered tart mould. At this point you can place the tart mould with dough in the fridge, as the dough should be cold when you put it in the oven.
3.Line the tart shell with aluminum foil and fill with ceramic beans or any other weight so that the dough doesn't swell. Place in oven and pre-cook for 10 minutes.
4.In a bowl, mix the eggs with the sugar, then add the cream, milk and walnuts. Whisk together. Add a tiny pinch of salt. Pour the filling into the tart mould and place in oven. Reduce the temperature to 150°C, and bake for 20-30 minutes, or until firm in the centre.
Pâte sucrée :: Sweet Pastry Dough
Recipe by Meilleur du chef
250 g. flour
100 g. butter
100 g. powdered sugar
A small pinch of salt
1.In a bowl, mix the butter and powdered sugar together to form a homogenous dough. Add the egg, mix, then add a little vanilla extract. Blend well.
2.Next, add the flour and salt and mix until a dough is formed. You should do this by hand, and if it gets too sticky, just add some more flour. Be careful though to not add too much, as it may ruin the dough! Keep cold until ready to use.
|Tarte aux noix du Périgord :: Valnøttkaka frå Périgord |
Oppskrift frå Recettes de France
100 g. valnøtter, grovhakka
200 g. pâte sucrée (søtdeig - sjå oppskrift nedafor)
Litt mjøl til å kjevla deigen med
140 g. sukker
140 ml. fløyte
200 ml. mjølk
10 g. smør
1.Varm omnen opp til 180°C.
2.Kjevla deigen på eit arbeidsbord og ha til ei terteform. No kan du leggja terteforma i kjøleskapet. Deigen bør vera kald før han leggjes i omnen.
3.Dekk forma til med aluminiumsfolie og legg på ris eller bauner slik at deigen ikkje hevar seg. Ha i omnen og steik i 10 minutt.
4.Bland egga med sukkeret i ein bolle. Ha i kremen, mjølka og valnøttene. Visp saman. Hell fyllet i terteforma og ha i omnen. Skru ned varmen til 150°C, og steik i 20-30 minutt.
Pâte sucrée :: Søtdeig
Oppskrift frå Meilleur du chef
250 g. mjøl
100 g. smør
100 g. melis
1.Bland smøret med melisen i ein bolle, og kna saman til ein deig. Ha i egget, bland saman og ha i vaniljeekstrakten. Bland godt saman.
2.Deretter knar du saman mjølet og saltet ein deig. Dette bør du gjera for hand. Hald deigen kald til du er klar til å bruka han.