Orange Blossom Pomegranate Rice Pudding with macarons from Teatime in Paris!
A deliciously zingy, creamy topping for crepes or pancakes this February.
A typical French winter classic: leek pie from Picardy which uses 4 egg yolks! For National Pie Day.
You know how I love sharing egg yolk recipes with you – especially if you’re mad about macarons, financiers, meringue and such likes that use egg whites. But just because the blog’s name has the word macaron in it, I realise now that I shouldn’t shy away from posting my favourite savoury recipes here too.
When the girls were younger, one of their best party souvenirs was based on a homemade pasta theme. They adored dusting the strands of pasta with flour, as well as on themselves, flour-dusting the kitchen floor as everyone took turns to rotate the pasta-maker’s handle and watch the strands appear for the grand finale like a beaded curtain found in Mediterranean yesteryear groceries.
The best part was at the end, watching them all tuck in around the table, tongues twisting with concentration as they twirled their lovingly homemade noodles around giant forks as they lapped it all up just tossed in butter with a few fresh herbs from the garden. Suddenly last week, Lucie asked to make homemade pasta again during the school holidays. And I’m so glad she did, even if this time it was just a party for two.
This egg pasta is extra special as it uses so many egg yolks. I first discovered the classic recipe for them as Alsatian Noodles (Nouilles à l’Alsacienne) by the late Chef Bernard Loiseau, who loosely called for 8-10 yolks, or 5 whole eggs but over the years I’ve used a couple of eggs in there with 6 yolks and find it so easy to work with.
Normally the beautifully rich noodles are simply tossed in good butter, a little olive oil, freshly cracked pepper and often served with slow-cooked stews such as Lapin Chasseur, a right old French grandmother’s rabbit dish.
Alsatian Noodles – Egg Yolk Pasta Recipe
Preparation Time: 30 minutes
Resting Time: 30 minutes + 1 hour
Cooking Time: 3-5 minutes (depending on the thickness of the noodles)
To make noodles, this recipe is so much easier using a pasta machine, although it’s not completely necessary.
500g plain flour + extra for dusting
6 egg yolks
1 tsp salt
3 tbsp olive oil
Butter, olive oil & seasoning to serve
1. Ideally, using a food mixer, mix all the ingredients at low speed until well mixed. (If you make this by hand, make a large well in the flour, add the salt and crack the eggs and oil into it. Gradually mix in the flour with the hands until you have a non-sticky dough). Divide the pasta dough into 4, cover each with cling film and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
2. Lightly flour the working surface. Taking each ball of pasta at a time, flatten the dough with the palm of your hand and press into the first and largest setting to flatten it out. Repeat each step a couple of times with each of the 4 balls until the dough runs through easily. Continue the process on setting 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 until the pasta elongates into beautifully long sheets. Sprinkle with flour, then pass through each sheet through the noodle attachment. (If making by hand, flatten to 2mm using a rolling pin, sprinkle with flour, then roll the dough into a spiral and cut into thin strips using a sharp knife).
3. Spread out the long noodles, coating them with some flour so that they don’t stick together and leave to dry for about an hour.
4. Place a large pot of water to the boil with a couple of tablespoons of salt and plunge in the pasta, stirring immediately to prevent any noodles from initially sticking to each other. The noodles are ready as soon as they remount to the surface, after about 3-5 minutes (depending on thickness).
Serve tossed in butter and olive oil and season to taste.
This is also delicious served with my favourite dinner party recipe for Autumn-Winter, which is slow-cooked pigs’ cheeks. I must post it for you soon since when you try it, you’ll be asking for seconds!
In the meantime (don’t tell the lovely French from Alsace!), I mixed Alsace with Italy and tossed the noodles in a most deliciously easy sauce, thanks to my lovely Scottish-Italian friend, Christina Conte of Christina’s Cucina (you heard me rave about our escapade together in Bordeaux and then in Charentes-Maritime, where we took part in Karen’s Lavender & Lovage Cookery School). You must watch Christina’s Dad making this anchovy sauce recipe! Although it’s not traditional with these noodles, we thought it was fantastic.
Now you’ve used 6 egg yolks for the pasta, leave the egg whites in a clean jam jar with lid on for up to 5 days and enjoy making macarons, financiers and meringue-topped French tarts from Teatime in Paris!
The last time I made this French Apple Custard Tart, I earmarked the recipe and put it aside in a special file called “Best egg yolk recipes: must make for le blog”. That was last autumn.
Luckily this delicious custard tart and I were reunited with me falling on the stairs – there’s always a silver lining! A forced foot-rest due to ankle sprain and torn ligaments has had me rather house-bound and frustrated at cancelling pastry and chocolate walks in Paris but an office clean-out has meant that the tempting yolk recipe file has resurfaced from the back of the cupboard!
This French Apple Custard Tart recipe is also ridiculously easy – especially if you cheat and buy ready-made pastry. However, I do urge you to make your own sweet pastry here, as adding that extra touch of cinnamon in the base had even my cinnamon-avoiding husband ask for a THIRD slice.
Techniques such as blind-baking the pastry beforehand is also cleverly replaced by simply laying out the apples and baking them before adding the filling. For macaron, meringue, and financier lovers, then you’ll appreciate having another egg yolk recipe up your sleeve and the good news is that this filling uses 4 egg yolks! The filling couldn’t be simpler – just whisk the whole lot together and pour on top of the apples.
French Apple Custard Tart
Recipe adapted from ‘Tarte aux Pommes à l’Alsacienne’ in France the Beautiful Cookbook by the Scotto Sisters – with extra cinnamon and reduced sugar in the filling. If you make tartlets, either butter tartlet moulds or use 6 tartlet rings.
Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 45 minutes
Makes one 25cm tart or 6 tartlets
300g sweet pastry (with 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon)
2-3 apples (Golden Delicious or Cox’s Pippin)
4 egg yolks
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
200g double (heavy) cream
1. Preheat the oven to 210°C/410°F (gas 6 1/2). Butter a 25cm tart tin (no need to butter if using non-stick moulds) or tart ring. Roll out the pastry dough larger than the tart tin (about 4cm larger) and press into the tin. Chill in the fridge.
2. Peel, quarter and core the apples. Cut each quarter into 4 slices and arrange them evenly over the pastry, starting from the outside and overlapping the slices slightly in the form of a rose. Bake for 15 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, using a hand whisk, beat the egg yolks, sugar, cinnamon and cream. Pour over the apples and bake for 30-35 minutes (20-25 minutes for tartlets) or until the apples are tender.
No need for any ice cream or cream; just enjoy on its own served warm with a cup of your favourite tea for the perfect Sunday teatime treat.
Standing in the buzzing queue of many of Paris’s best pâtisseries, I often realise that decision-making has never been one of my strong points. Well, how can you blame me? With such sumptuous choices to ponder over, there are a number of pastry classics that look up from the shiny museum-like glass counters, saying “Go on – don’t forget me! Pick me!”
Admittedly, picking one or two out has become quicker, thanks to taking around eager testers in the chocolate and pastry groups with Context Paris. What a responsibility it can be to choose a wide enough variety of fabulous samples without them all floating off into a sugar coma.
One of the lighter popular classics is a giant pink macaron garnished with pastry cream and surrounded with fresh raspberries. What’s more, it’s gluten-free. However, it’s not that easy to cut up into sample pieces!
Pierre Hermé, dubbed by Vogue Magazine as the Picasso of Pastry, christened the most famous of giant raspberry macarons the Ispahan, named after a tender, fragrant Iranian rose. The giant pink macaron is filled with a rose and lychee cream and finished off with beautiful fresh raspberries.
So many pastry shops in Paris have drawn on his inspiration with their own take on it. Even our local pâtisserie had their version (above) with the bottom macaron shell upside down…
As you can imagine, such Parisian pâtisserie temptations are a constant source of exciting inspiration. For this dessert classic I replaced the lychee and rose with a zingy passion fruit filling, adding that extra acidic touch to the raspberries.
Truth be told, I ran out of passion fruits as I thought two would be enough. But after tasting the cream, I felt it needed another passion fruit for that extra fruity punch. So instead I added some extra passion fruit purée as an emergency back-up. I use an excellent passion fruit purée from Monin. Incidentally, I also love their floral syrups to quickly and easily add that delicious fragrant touch to pâtisserie recipes such as rose, elderflower and violet for a summery Teatime in Paris.
Passion Fruit Cream Filling for Giant Raspberry Macarons
I used the basic macaron recipe in “Teatime in Paris” adding a pinch of deep raspberry pink powdered colouring (if using “Mad About Macarons”, use the measurements specified in the Annex of the book, under “Egg White Reference Chart” based on 100g egg whites). This will make 12 large macarons. The filling is based on a classic pastry cream (recipe also in “Teatime in Paris”) but I’ve adapted it here based on the liquid of the passion fruit. Don’t forget that macaron shells can be frozen, so I often prepare them in advance and defrost them the day of a dinner party and the rest is easy to put together.
Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: about 15 minutes
Chilling Time: 1 hour (minimum)
250 ml full-cream milk
1 vanilla pod/bean, seeds scraped out (optional)
3 egg yolks
50 g sugar
30 g cornflour
juice of 3 passion fruits (the equivalent of 4 tbsp once seeds removed)
2 punnets of fresh raspberries
1. In a medium saucepan, gently heat the milk with the vanilla seeds, if using. Meanwhile, using a balloon whisk, mix the egg yolks and sugar in a large bowl until creamy, then whisk in the cornflour until smooth. When the milk is hot (but not boiling), add half of the hot milk to the beaten egg yolk mixture. Whisk vigorously then quickly add the mix to the rest of the milk in the saucepan while whisking continuously.
2. Continue to whisk over the heat until the mixture thickens. Cover with cling film so that no skin forms on the surface and leave to cool for about 10 minutes then chill in the fridge for at least an hour.
3. Meanwhile, using a sieve, strain the juice and remove the seeds.
4. When chilled, whisk in the juice of the strained passion fruits and continue to chill until closer to serving time.
Spoon or pipe out the filling into the middle of 6 giant macaron bases and arrange about 8-10 raspberries (according to size) on the outside and finish off by topping with a macaron shell.
Speaking of passion fruit, have you tried the passion fruit and lemon meringue tartlet recipe from Teatime in Paris yet? My lovely friend, Christina, of Christina’s Cucina has just made them and posted the sample recipe! You must pop in for a Parisian teatime in California – and please say hello from me.