Epic fail. That is the best phrase that could sum up the past two weeks for me. I originally wanted to post this dessert the other day, but with an oven malfunction that I wouldn't accept until after pulling a raw cake out of the oven 2 hours later. I pulled myself together the next morning and baked it again and alas it turned out the way I had envisioned. It has been extremely unbearably hot here in Chicago, and I now realize trying to bake a cake on the hottest of those days might have been the wrong decision. Whatever, what is done is done, and being that I might not be able to eat this cake, I know that it turned out great.
The first time I had a gateau basque was at Lula Cafe, when pastry chef Kate Neumann introduced me to this delight. It is a cakey tart combined with pastry cream and fruit that is hard to mess up. I wanted to play with the traditional cherry filling and added lavender since my garden finally produced it's first lavender blossoms over the last month. I won't lie, I did eat a piece and it was great. I hope I don't die though.
Cherry and Lavender Filling
1 pound fresh cherries
1/8 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon fresh lavender
1. Place all ingredients in a small sauce pan and bring to a boil.
2. Reduce to desired set. I kept it lose so it would spread better.
1 cup milk
2 egg yolks
1/4 cup flour
1 tablespoon butter
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla paste
1. Beat together sugar, yolks and egg in a medium bowl, then whisk in the flour. Set aside.
2. Bring milk and vanilla to a simmer, then temper with the egg mixture. Return to sauce pan and bring to a boil till thickened.
3. Add butter, let cool.
1 egg yolk
1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup almond meal
10 tablespoons butter
1 cup sugar
zest from one lemon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1. Cream lemon zest, sugar and butter.
2. Add egg and egg yolk till just combined.
3. Add flours and salt till just combined.
1. Butter and flour a 9 inch round cake pan.
2. Roll out 2/3 of the pastry and line the bottom and sides.
3. Fill with cherry filling then the pastry cream.
4. Cover with remaining pastry.
5. Brush with egg wash and sprinkle sugar on top.
6. Bake at 400 F for about 35 minutes or until golden brown.