Hi everyone, here is my Gateau Basque from the Pie & Pastry Bible! I was so excited to make this, I’ve been thinking about doing it off and on since Rose posted about it (August 2008), and her mention of it in RHC as one of her favorite pastries brought it back to mind.
I followed everything to the letter, except I made leaves from the leftover pastry scraps to decorate the top. I made the pastry cream and almond dough the day before, it went together pretty easily once those components were made. Rose’s method of rolling out the pate sucree and laying it over the bottom of a smaller pan, then putting the larger pan over that and flipping them, worked like a dream. I baked the leaves separately on a cookie sheet, then attached them with a little egg white as soon as the gateau came out of the oven (while it was still piping hot). I did need to add the cream mentioned in Rose’s errata for this recipe.
The only issues I had were minor and easily fixed. My bottom crust didn’t get as crispy as the top crust, next time I won’t put any foil under the pan (I was afraid the springform might leak) and I may try starting the pastry out on a pizza stone. The other issue I had was that I vented the crust before glazing, rather than after, so some of the vents were sealed by the glaze. When the filling gave off steam, the crust puffed up and cracked a little near the edges.
One note I have is that when making Rose’s pastry cream, I find it simpler, with the eggs, to just remove the chalaza with my fingers as soon as they are cracked open, rather than whisking in hot dairy and straining them out.
I loved the flavors of this pastry- almond sweet crust, vanilla-rum pastry cream, and cherries, all wonderful together. The Morello cherry conserve I found (Crofter’s) was utterly delicious, and organic. I’m going to buy more, soon. The label says it’s produced in Canada.