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Gâteau Basque
© William Meppem

Gâteau Basque

  • SERVINGS: 8
  • MAKE-AHEAD
  • VEGETARIAN

Plan to use a 9-by-1-inch flan ring.

Plus: More Dessert Recipes and Tips

pastry

  1. 1/2 cup sugar
  2. 1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  3. Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
  4. 1/8 teaspoon salt
  5. 1 large egg
  6. 1 large egg yolk
  7. 1 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  8. 1 teaspoon baking powder

FILLING

  1. 1 3/4 cups whole milk
  2. 1/2 vanilla bean, split lengthwise, seeds scraped
  3. 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  4. 4 large egg yolks
  5. 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  6. 1 tablespoon light rum
  7. 1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract
  8. 3/4 cup black-cherry preserves
  9. Egg wash made with 1 large egg yolk mixed with 1 tablespoon milk
  1. In a food processor, pulse the sugar with the butter, lemon zest and salt until smooth. Add the egg and egg yolk and pulse to blend. In a small bowl, whisk the flour with the baking powder. Add the dry ingredients to the processor and pulse until a soft dough forms. Turn the dough out onto a work surface and divide it into 2 pieces, 1 just slightly larger than the other. Pat the dough into disks, wrap in plastic and refrigerate until firm, at least 30 minutes.
  2. In a medium saucepan, heat the milk with the vanilla seeds and bean until steaming. In a medium bowl, whisk the sugar with the egg yolks until pale. Add the flour and whisk until smooth. Gradually add 1/2 cup of the hot milk, whisking vigorously. Pour the mixture back into the saucepan and cook over moderate heat, whisking constantly, until boiling and thick, about 4 minutes. Strain the pastry cream into a bowl through a fine sieve; discard the vanilla bean. Stir in the rum and the almond extract. Cover and refrigerate until chilled and firm.
  3. Preheat the oven to 325°. Butter a 9-by-1-inch flan ring and set it on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Working between 2 pieces of plastic wrap, roll out the larger disk of dough to an 11-inch round. Ease the dough into the flan ring, pressing it into the corners and leaving a slight overhang. Spread the preserves evenly over the bottom of the tart shell. Add the pastry cream in dollops, then carefully spread it over the preserves. Working between 2 more pieces of plastic wrap, roll out the second disk of dough to a 10-inch round and lay it over the pastry cream. Pinch the edges of the top and bottom crusts together and roll the overhang onto the top crust. Using a knife, make shallow slash marks along the edge.
  4. Using the tines of a fork, deeply score the top crust in a crosshatch pattern. Brush with the egg wash. Bake in the center of the oven for 55 minutes, or until the top is golden brown. Transfer the baking sheet to a wire rack and let the tart cool completely.
  5. To unmold, place a second cookie sheet over the tart and invert. Remove the ring and carefully invert the tart onto a cake plate. Cut the tart into wedges and serve.
Make Ahead The tart can be refrigerated for 2 days. Serve cold or at room temperature.

Suggested Pairing

A versatile fortified Muscat, with fruit that's as luxurious as the cherry preserves, is the best choice here.

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