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Print this Recipe    Gateau Basque

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Serves 6-8. High-fat, not greasy. Prep 30 min + 1 hr wait, 40 min bake time.

Cake:
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200g (1/2 lb) butter
200g (1 cup) white sugar
2 egg yolks
1 whole egg
300g (2c plus 1 tbsp) cake flour
Pinch of salt
Zest of one lemon (grated peel)

Creme Patissiere:
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250 ml (1 cup) milk
60g (1/3 cup) sugar
25g flour (plain or cake)
Pinch of salt
2 egg yolks, lightly beaten
vanilla to taste (2 tsp)

Notes on ingredients: Cake flour here means flour with baking soda/powder
premixed. If this is not available, mix normal flour and 1 teaspoon of
powder (levure chemique - une cuillere a cafe).

Using cake ingredients:
1. Cream sugar into soft (but NOT melted) butter until smooth.
2. Add the 2 egg yolks, whole egg, and lemon peel; mix well.
3. Add cake flour gradually and stir until well blended.
4. Cover mixing bowl and keep in refrigerator for one hour.

Meanwhile, make the creme patissiere (eclair filling):
1. Mix sugar, flour and salt in a bowl.
2. Heat milk in heavy-bottomed saucepan until very hot but not boiling.
3. Whisk hot milk into bowl of dry ingredients and beat until blended.
4. Return mixture to pan and whisk over low heat until thickened (like
pudding) - 4 to 5 minutes.
5. Add egg yolks and cook 2 or 3 minutes more, constantly stirring.
6. Remove from heat and cool, stirring occasionally. Stir in vanilla.

Butter and flour a regular-sized round cake pan (9 or 10 inches by 2
inches high, I think; around 25 cm by 5 cm).

Assemble the gateau:
1. After the dough is hard, divide not quite equally into two parts.
2. Press larger part into bottom of cake pan, covering bottom and partway
up the sides to make a trough.
3. Spoon creme patissiere into middle of cake.
4. Working quickly, roll out (or try with your fingers) the rest of the
dough into a circle. Lay over the filling and seal at the sides with the
bottom half.

Cook at 180 C (350 F) for about 40 minutes, until golden brown on top.
Serve in wedges.
This recipe is jealously guarded by the Basques and was extricated with
difficulty and trial and error. It is THE traditional sweet in their region.

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