Recipe for gateau Basque – The Boston Globe

Makes one 9-inch tart

At Bar Boulud, the tart is served with creme Anglaise, a vanilla custard sauce, a few brandied cherries, and whipped cream. At home, a handful of raspberries or blackberries alongside each slice is all it needs. The tart is best on the day it’s made (after refrigerating, the crust seems to meld with the custard, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing).


9 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 egg plus 2 extra yolks
1 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
¾ teaspoon salt
½ cup almond flour (also called almond meal)

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1. In an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, if you have one, or the whisk, beat the butter and sugar until soft and fluffy. Add the egg and extra yolks and mix until blended.

2. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. With the mixer set on its lowest speed, slowly add the flour mixture and almond flour and mix until fully incorporated. The dough will be soft.

3. Transfer the dough to a clean surface. Divide into 2 parts, one slightly larger than the other. Place each on a sheet of foil, press into disks, and wrap up. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.

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cups whole milk
1 vanilla bean, halved lengthwise
1 egg plus 6 extra yolks
cup sugar
tablespoons flour
¼ cup cornstarch
1 tablespoon kirsch or rum

1. Pour the milk into a large saucepan. Using a small knife, scrape the vanilla bean seeds into the milk.

2. In a bowl, whisk together the egg, extra yolks, and sugar. Gradually whisk in the flour and cornstarch.

3. Bring the milk to a boil. Remove from the heat and slowly ladle about ½ cup of hot milk into the egg mixture, whisking constantly. Whisk in another ½ cup of milk. Slowly whisk the egg mixture back into the remaining milk in the pan. Place the pan over medium-low heat and cook, whisking constantly, for 4 minutes, or until the mixture is smooth and thickens like pudding.

4. Scrape the custard into a clean bowl. Stir in the kirsch or rum. Press a sheet of plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the custard to prevent a skin from forming. Cool to room temperature, then refrigerate. Bring the pastry cream to room temperature before using.


Flour (for sprinkling)
1 egg, beaten with 1 tablespoon milk (for egg wash)

1. Set the oven at 350 degrees. Have on hand a 9-inch French tart pan with a removable base and a large baking sheet.

2. Place a large sheet of parchment paper on a work surface and sprinkle it with a little flour. Working with the slightly larger disk of dough, sprinkle it lightly with flour and cover with a second sheet of parchment. Roll it into an 11-inch round. Remove the parchment. Holding onto the dough and bottom parchment, flip the dough onto the tart pan. Carefully peel off the parchment and gently press the dough into the bottom and up the sides of the pan. (If the dough cracks, use your fingers to patch it with excess pieces.) Use the rolling pin to roll over the rim of the pan to trim excess dough. Refrigerate the tart shell for about 15 minutes or until firm.

3. Roll the slightly smaller disk between 2 sheets of floured parchment into a 10-inch round. Place on the baking sheet and refrigerate for 10 minutes.

4. Fill the tart shell with the pastry cream and smooth the top. Tap the pan on the counter a few times to settle the cream and remove any air pockets. Remove the top sheet of parchment from the dough and flip it onto the cream. Gently press down on the dough to seal the edges. Peel off the parchment. With the rolling pin, seal the edges by rolling over and around the pan rim. Trim off the excess dough. (Make sure to remove excess dough on top or it will puff and flow over the tart pan.)

5. Brush the top with egg wash. Using the tines of a fork, draw it across the surface several times in one direction. Then draw the fork on a diagonal to the first set of lines to make a diamond pattern.

6. Place the tart on the baking sheet. Bake in the middle of the oven for 35 to 40 minutes or until deep golden brown. The custard inside should no longer be wobbly. Transfer the tart to a wire rack.

7. While still warm, run the tip of a small, sharp knife between the pan rim and the crust to loosen the tart. Set the tart pan on a small bowl so the rim falls away. Leave the tart on the bottom round until cool. Use a large metal spatula to remove the tart from the metal round and transfer to a cake plate. Lisa Zwirn. Adapted from Bar Boulud, Boston