Gâteau Basque is a hearty dessert from the Basque region of southwestern France. It is a simple, yet rich and delicious cake with a cookie-like texture. It is most often filled with rich pastry cream or thick black cherry jam (as in our version below).
- 12 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 eggs, at room temperature
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/3 cup Sweet Basque Cherry Confit, chilled
- 1 egg yolk for glazing the tart
In a large bowl, beat together the butter, sugar, lemon zest and vanilla until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time and beat to combine.
Sift in the flour, baking powder and salt and mix until a soft dough forms.
Turn out the dough onto a well-floured surface. Divide it into two equal pieces and form each half into a disc. One at a time, roll each disc into an 8-inch circle between pieces of waxed paper. Place the circles in their waxed paper on a baking tray and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.
Preheat the oven to 350°F and butter and flour the inside of an 8x2-inch round cake pan, shaking out excess flour. Remove the pastry circles from the refrigerator and let them soften for a few minutes.
Remove one pastry circle from its waxed paper and carefully fit it into the bottom of the pan. Spoon Basque Cherry Confit over the pastry and spread evenly.
Moisten the edges of the dough in the tin with a little water. Take the second disc of dough, place it gently on top of the cherry confit and press the pastry edges together. Trim any excess pastry.
In a small bowl, whisk the egg yolk with a little water and brush over the surface of the gâteau. Use the tines of a fork to decorate the top of the tart with any pattern you like.
Bake on the middle rack of the oven for 45–50 minutes, until the pastry has a dark golden color. Let the tart rest in the pan for 5 minutes, then cool right-side-up on a cooling rack until room temperature. Cut into wedges and serve.