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Flamiche Recipe – French Leek Pie

A typical French winter classic: leek pie from Picardy which uses 4 egg yolks! For National Pie Day.

Egg Pasta Recipe: Alsatian Noodles

Love pasta? Well, I have a treat for you with these easy French Alsatian noodles. What’s more, they use egg yolks!

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.

egg yolk recipes homemade pasta noodles

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.

egg yolk recipes homemade pasta

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.

Homemade egg pasta

Alsatian Noodles – Egg Yolk Pasta Recipe

Serves 4

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
2 eggs
1 tsp salt
3 tbsp olive oil

Butter, olive oil & seasoning to serve

how to make homemade pasta noodles

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.

egg yolk pasta recipe

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.

French egg pasta noodles Alsace

Alsatian Noodles - Egg Yolk Pasta Recipe
Prep Time
30 mins
Cook Time
4 mins
Resting Time
45 mins
Total Time
34 mins
 
Alsatian Noodles, an easy recipe using egg yolks for macaron and meringue lovers! To make noodles, this recipe is so much easier using a pasta machine, although it's not completely necessary.
Course: Light Lunch, Main Course, Supper
Cuisine: French
Keyword: alsatian, egg pasta recipe, egg yolk recipes, Noodles
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 564 kcal
Author: Jill Colonna
Ingredients
  • 500 g plain flour + extra for dusting
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
Instructions
  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).
Recipe Notes

Serve tossed in butter and olive oil and season to taste.

 

Jill Colonna

MadAboutMacarons.com

 

 

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!

Alsatian noodles egg yolk recipe

Pastéis de Nata Portuguese Custard Tarts

After tasting the exquisite Pastéis de Nata from Comme à Lisbonne in Paris, I just had to make these delicious Portuguese custard tarts at home. Besides, it’s a great egg yolk recipe for macaron lovers needing egg whites!

Pasteis de nata egg yolk recipe

An Easy Recipe for Custard Tarts

In true lazy gourmet style, I cheat and use ready-made puff pastry.  There’s nothing wrong with that. Just remember to use a good quality all-butter puff pastry. I use either defrosted (here in France, Picard do a good frozen puff), or ready-rolled (these are in packets of 230g and so easy to use). Did you know that in France, you can ask your local boulangerie for some of their homemade puff pastry (normally needs to be ordered in advance). If not ready-rolled, just roll out the pastry to 3-5mm thickness and cut out your circles according to the recipe below.

One factor that’s not easy to control is the traditional extra hot oven needed to make traditional sized custard tarts more genuine looking.  As not all of our home kitchen ovens can go up as high as professional ovens to give them that beautifully scorched look, put it as high as you can – and keep an eye on them!  I’d suggest 7-10 minutes if it’s very hot, otherwise for about 10-15 minutes. Click here for more about Pasteis de Nata and how popular they are in Paris!

pasteis de nata recipe

The Story Behind Pastéis de Nata

As large quantities of egg whites were used for starching clothes in the monasteries and convents around the 18th Century, the monks discovered this delicious way of using up the egg yolks and so a legendary Portuguese pastry was born.  And just for the record, I don’t starch Monsieur’s shirts with egg whites. No surprise – I use them to make macarons – much better fun!

PASTÉIS DE NATA

Recipe inspired by Denise Browning at From Brazil to You, who adapted it from the cookbook, “Cozinha Tradicional Porguguesa”. Denise made mini tarts, whereas I made a slightly bigger, more traditional size like they serve at Comme à Lisbonne. So I used half quantity to fill regular muffin moulds, and cut down the sugar slightly, using a vanilla pod/bean instead of the extract.

Makes 12 tartlets (using 2x 6-cavity non-stick muffin moulds @ 7cm diameter)

Preparation Time: 30 minutes
Baking Time: 8-15 minutes (depending on your oven)

Ingredients:

4 egg yolks
80g sugar
15g cornflour/cornstarch (a lightly heaped tablespoon)
1 vanilla pod/bean, scraped of seeds*
250ml whole milk
230g puff pastry (1 pack of ready-rolled or a pack of frozen puff, defrosted)
Powdered cinnamon (to serve)

* 1 tbsp vanilla extract

1. Chill a bowl in the fridge. Put the egg yolks, sugar, cornflour and vanilla seeds (scraped from a pod cut in half down the middle horizontally) in a saucepan and mix well using a balloon whisk until you have a creamy paste. Gradually add the milk, whisking until mixed well together.

2. Put the pan on a medium heat and whisk constantly until the mixture thickens.  Remove pan from the heat. (If you don’t use the vanilla pod, add the extract at this point). Transfer the custard to the chilled bowl and immediately cover it with cling film to prevent a skin from forming. Set aside to cool.

3. Lightly oil or butter the muffin moulds and preheat the oven preferably to the highest setting – I used  250°C/480°F/230°C mark 9.

4. On a lightly floured surface – roll the pastry if needed – using a cookie cutter or glass (about 9cm diameter, slightly bigger than the 7cm diameter muffin cavity), cut out discs and press them into each cavity.  Spoon in the cooled custard about 3/4 to the top then bake for 7-10 minutes.  Keep an eye on them!

making portuguese custard tarts

5. Leave to cool in the moulds/tins for about 5 minutes then turn them out on to a wire rack.

Serve them slightly warm, lightly dusted with cinnamon.

Portuguese custard tarts and macarons

A baker’s loop. Use yolks for the custard tarts and macarons for the whites…

PASTÉIS DE NATA RECIPE
Prep Time
30 mins
Cook Time
25 mins
Total Time
55 mins
 

Inspired by the egg custard tarts served at 'Comme à Lisbonne' in Paris. As large quantities of egg whites were used for starching clothes in the Portuguese monasteries and convents around the 18th Century, the monks discovered this delicious way of using up the egg yolks and so the legendary Portuguese pastry was born. Keep your egg whites for making macarons!

Course: Breakfast, Dessert, teatime
Cuisine: Portuguese
Keyword: custard tart, pasteis de nata, Portuguese tarts
Servings: 12 tartlets
Calories: 134 kcal
Author: Jill Colonna
Ingredients
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 80 g sugar
  • 15 g cornflour/cornstarch a lightly heaped tablespoon
  • 1 vanilla pod/bean scraped of seeds (or vanilla extract)
  • 250 ml whole milk
  • 230 g puff pastry 1 pack of ready-rolled or a pack of frozen puff, defrosted
  • Powdered cinnamon to serve
Instructions
  1. Chill a bowl in the fridge. Put the egg yolks, sugar, cornflour and vanilla seeds (scraped from a pod cut in half down the middle horizontally) in a saucepan and mix well using a balloon whisk until you have a creamy paste. Gradually add the milk, whisking until mixed well together.
  2. Put the pan on a medium heat and whisk constantly until the mixture thickens. Remove pan from the heat. (If you don’t use the vanilla pod, add the extract at this point). Transfer the custard to the chilled bowl and immediately cover it with cling film to prevent a skin from forming. Set aside to cool.
  3. Lightly oil or butter the muffin moulds and preheat the oven preferably to the highest setting – I used 250°C/480°F/230°C mark 9.
  4. On a lightly floured surface – roll the pastry if needed – using a cookie cutter or glass (about 9cm diameter, slightly bigger than the 7cm diameter muffin cavity), cut out discs and press them into each cavity. Spoon in the cooled custard about 3/4 to the top then bake for 7-10 minutes. Keep an eye on them!
  5. Leave to cool in the moulds/tins for about 5 minutes then turn them out on to a wire rack.
Recipe Notes

Serve slightly warm, lightly dusted with cinnamon.

Jill Colonna

MadAboutMacarons.com

Pasteis de nata portuguese custard tarts

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Black Forest Chocolate Cream Desserts – and a Trip to Germany

Do you really think a sweet tooth determines our family holiday destinations? Well, perhaps it does, as it inspired these Black Forest Chocolate Cream Desserts! It has been 30 years since I last visited Germany and the same, ridiculous amount of time since I practised my rusty high school German. Mein Deutsch ist nicht gut!  It was high time to visit.

We headed to the medieval town of Staufen, south of the Black Forest, a jewel nestled in between lush mountaineous forests, vines, cafés and bakeries.

What amazed us most about the region, is how clean and tidy the towns are. Everything is immaculate, even down to the neat stacks of wood piled outside geranium window-boxed freshly painted houses. It’s also the first time I’ve seen kids paddling about in the gutters! (Well, one of them was mine – was ist das?) The Germans seem particularly eco-friendly: bikes are the norm, an impressive amount of houses have flashy solar panels and their signposting is nothing short of perfection.

We stayed at the Gasthaus Krone (meaning ‘crown’), which is an excellent address in Staufen – including their Michelin ‘Bib Gourmand’ restaurant. Luckily the friendly owner spoke some French, since my painful phrases embarrassingly resembled a mix of German vocabulary, French grammar and stuttering English fillers-in. I am determined to return after doing some homework next time, but at least communication through food is easier!

Meandering down the main cobbled street, serenaded by a solo oboist trying to compete with the local brass quintet oompa-ing around the fountain, the castle ruins and vineyards majestically tower over the local wineries. The city crest is a shield with 3 wine glasses so when in Staufen, it would be rude not to taste; their welcoming barrels proudly strut their tasting offerings.

This is what holidays are made of: sitting back, people-watching, contemplating family postcards, nibbling on a salted bretzel and sipping at the local traditional grape varieties – including the oldest, Gutedel. Personally, I preferred the dry Muscat for white wines but their red wines shone high above the rest with some stunning Pinot Noirs, bursting with jam-like cherry fruits.

Staufen Castle, although now a ruin (built in 850), can be visited to admire the breathtaking vista of the Black Forest and Rhine Valley. Looking out the arched window, we’re reminded by such an enormous tree that we’re in black cherry country.

After such a climb during the heatwave, it was time to follow the tempting signs dotted around the town to the nearest cake shop. It didn’t take us long to discover the Café Decker, undoubtedly the best cake shop and tea salon in Staufen. It was so decadently, deliciously decked in cakes that we admittedly returned three times.

Black Forest Cakes, küchen, more chocolate cakes, redcurrant meringue pies and macarons were just some of the treats that would make anyone go off their sweet trolley. I think I put on three kilos during the week!  So, switching to ice cream seemed a lighter idea: wouah! Teasingly steeped in Kirsch liqueur, it made an ideal excuse for an afternoon nap by the snoring river.

Back home, the Schwartzwald German trip provided inspiration for these gluten free Black Forest No Bake Cream Desserts back home: ideal for using up egg yolks and for serving with your chocolate macarons.  What’s more, it’s holiday style: quick, easy, tasty and no bake!

Black Forest chocolate cream desserts

Black Forest Chocolate Cream Desserts

Serves 8 (mini pots) or 4 (in wine glasses)

Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 10 minutes
Chilling Time: 2 hours

1 gelatine sheet (@2 g)
200ml whole milk
300ml single cream
3 egg yolks
50g sugar
150g dark cooking chocolate, broken into small chunks
1 tbsp Kirsch liqueur (optional)
16 fresh cherries (or Griottine cherries, soaked in Kirsch)

1. Soak the gelatine in cold water. Meanwhile break up the chocolate into pieces in a large bowl. In a saucepan, boil the milk and cream.

2. In another bowl, whisk together the yolks and sugar until light and creamy. Pour over the hot milky cream, mix and transfer back to the saucepan.

3. Whisk vigorously over a medium heat until the cream thickens. Take off the heat then pour over half of this hot cream on to the chocolate. Stir until the chocolate melts, add Kirsch (if using), the gelatine (squeezed of any excess water) and then whisk in the rest of the hot cream.

4. Transfer to 8 mini serving dishes (or 4 if you’re greedy like us), cool and chill for at least an hour. Decorate with fresh dark cherries and/or Griottine cherries soaked in Kirsch and a scoosh of Chantilly cream*. (Or why not roast cherries with a splash of Kirsch as Jamie Schler does at Life’s a Feast?)

If you have a siphon, fill it up half way with chilled cream (no less than 30% fat) and splash in a couple of tablespoons of Kirsch or cherry syrup, fit with the gas canister, shake and chill for a few minutes. Instant, homemade lighter-than-light cream!

Black Forest chocolate cream desserts

Guten Appetit!

 

Food Writer Friday, Lemon Ice Cream and the Orgasmic Chef

This time last year I had a wonderful surprise on my return from holiday. Maureen, aka The Orgasmic Chef, was cheering and doing the macaron dance with her chocolate macarons. She’d perfected making them from the book. It was one of these proud, Auntie McJill moments to hear that she’d made picture perfect macarons and they were delicious to boot (or should I say, foot?)

Today, Maureen came up trumps and surprised me again with her other dynamic project as a natural interviewer for Food Writer Friday and I’ve made a creamy lemon ice cream for her.

Creamy Lemon ice cream

Melting fast in this Parisian heat!

Lemon Ice Cream (Egg Yolk Recipe)

Serves: 6
Ingredients
300ml whole milk
200ml whipping cream
zest of 2 lemons (untreated)
100g caster sugar
8 egg yolks (organic)
1 tbsp dried milk
1 tbsp Limoncello
few drops of yellow food colouring (optional)

Instructions

  1. Cool a bowl in the fridge until step 5.
  2. In a medium saucepan, heat together the milk and cream with the lemon zest and yellow colouring, if using.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the sugar, dried milk and yolks until pale and creamy.
  4. Pour the warmed cream over the mix and return to the pan over a medium heat, whisking constantly until the cream thickens. It’s ready when it can coat a spoon.
  5. Pour the mixture into the cooled bowl and leave to cool in the fridge for at least a couple of hours.
  6. Once chilled, transfer the mixture to an ice cream maker and churn until ready. Spoon in to an ice cream carton and freeze for at least a couple of hours.

Quick! Head on over to read the interview before this ice cream completely melts!

That’s the yolk recipe but the really fun part is my interview with Maureen (The Orgasmic Chef herself!) over at Food Writer Friday.

Lemon Ice Cream
Prep Time
25 mins
Cook Time
20 mins
Total Time
45 mins
 

A creamy lemon ice cream recipe, using egg yolks (recipe requires an ice cream maker)

Course: Dessert, Snack
Cuisine: British, French
Servings: 10
Author: Jill Colonna
Ingredients
  • 300 ml / 11 fl oz whole milk
  • 200 ml / 7 fl oz whipping cream
  • zest of 2 lemons untreated
  • 100 g / 3.5 oz caster sugar
  • 8 egg yolks organic
  • 1 tbsp dried milk
  • 1 tbsp Limoncello
  • few drops of yellow food colouring optional
Instructions
  1. Cool a bowl in the fridge until step 5.
  2. In a medium saucepan, heat together the milk and cream with the lemon zest and yellow colouring, if using.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the sugar, dried milk and yolks until pale and creamy.
  4. Pour the warmed cream over the mix and return to the pan over a medium heat, whisking constantly until the cream thickens. It’s ready when it can coat a spoon.
  5. Pour the mixture into the cooled bowl and leave to cool in the fridge for at least a couple of hours.
  6. Once chilled, transfer the mixture to an ice cream maker and churn until ready. Spoon in to an ice cream carton and freeze for about 2 hours or more.

Recipe Notes

Jill Colonna

MadAboutMacarons.com


More egg yolk recipes on the Bonus Recipe Index

Touching Moments at the French Market

After twenty years of living in France, there are still many items on my French fascination list. One of them is touching fruit or vegetables at the farmers’ markets.

As a Paris new arrival, you can imagine my shock seeing ‘Ne touchez pas!’ prominently written on blackboards above stacks of grapes and bananas at our local street market. It was in the 7th arrondissement’s rue Cler, which is a permanent market street (as opposed to temporary market stalls that set up at certain times in the week) and just a 10 minute walk from the Eiffel Tower. Tourists would pop along, grabbing just one or two fruits to go, which made the touchy Parisian sellers go bananas.

Hey! How come Madame is serving herself?

I learned my lessons in these early days, pathetically trying to state my case with a pigeon French accent before disappearing à l’anglaise down rue Cler, tail between my legs, carrying the forbidden fruit that I’d touched in little brown paper bags. It’s no wonder we had to move to les banlieues, on the outskirts.

Here, at our local market in St Germain-en-Laye, it has taken a while to avoid the rotten surprise apricots at the bottom of the bag or the mouldy bottom layer of loose expensive Gariguette strawberries. I’d play safe and go for the pre-packaged.

Was it the accent? Was it being polite and remembering your s’il vous plaît and merci talk, which the French – quite rightly – love?

My first tactic, to avoid them hearing the accent, was to push my French children forward and let them do the talking. En plus, they received freebies for their girlie grins and cute curls. Gradually, with more confidence and just taking the French language by the sweet corns, the best way has been simple: just be your chatty self (chatterbox=bavarde, meaning you salivate a lot, ahem).

Case of the rhubarb last week: greeted seller with Ah! La rhubarbe! – using the couple of back-of-the-throat spitting ‘r’s in there (throwing the arms in the air, trying not to knock over the old lady next to me) – and, as I quickly passed over 4 large sticks, asked if I could help with these, as it was a long stretch over the stall for him. Voilà.

BTW, if you haven’t tried them yet, you must make these rhubarb and strawberry gratins to serve with your macarons. It’s the archive recipe of the month on the Bonus Recipe List.

As for these Plougastel strawberries straight from Brittany, you can see our job is just to hand over the Euros. No touchy.

Sniffing melons is another case. There’s something extremely fun watching the male sellers seriously juggle their melons about. The French take it for granted that if a Provençal melon from sunny Cavaillon is to be served in 2 days, they need to sniff to check it will be perfect by Sunday lunchtime. Normally they expertly sniff for you and get it right. You want to sniff them yourself? Flattery is the buzzword. Tell them they have lovely looking melons? Nope. You try that one! (I was just checking to see if you were still reading at this point.) Seriously, though, squished melons from prodding are not fun.

Admiring the bundles of asparagus, at least you can see if the produce is fresh by the looks of their spear heads (firm, compact and dry). If you haven’t already tried it yet, taste this Asparagus Clafoutis from Le Bristol’s chef, Eric Fréchon (using green or white asparagus), another recipe in the egg yolk collection.

Now, if you were caught touching and checking out this fresh horseradish from Germany, cellophane-sealed in all its glory, what on earth would happen, do you think?  Would they take you seriously or would you seriously be taken away by the local Gendarmes?

Madame was kind. She politely went straight up to the seller and asked if she could help herself to the kiwis and, before he could even answer, she was in there picking the best ones out. The seller pretended not to look and was remaining calm, although do you wonder how he felt inside?

Quick! Nobody’s around here. Let’s be daring and touch a pineapple! Fancy a sticky pineapple recipe? Coming up next on le blog.