Five culinary specialities from the South West

The meal is important and so is the dessert! Especially when it is a speciality of the South-West. Brighten up your taste buds with these delicious sweet dishes: 

  • Merveilles with lemon zest

Merveilles are typical doughnuts from the South-West of France (Gascony, Bordeaux, Charentes, Périgord). 

The necessary ingredients are: 500 g flour, 1 sachet yeast, 1 sachet vanilla sugar, 4 eggs, 100 g cream, warm water, zest of 1 lemon and 1 pinch of salt. 

Prepare the dough with all the ingredients, except for the warm water. Mix it with a glass of water. Roll out the dough with a rolling pin until it is as thick as a coin. Cut the dough into squares of about 8 cm each. In each square, make three parallel cuts without touching the edges of the square. Fry each piece of dough in a pot of hot oil. As the pieces swell and turn golden, remove them from the pan, drain them and sprinkle them with icing sugar.

  • Cannelés of Bordeaux

Specialities of Bordeaux, you can also find them under the name of canelé. In both cases, it is delicious! This flan-shaped cake from Bordeaux is made of soft, tender pastry and flavoured with rum and vanilla. Its cylinder shape is about five centimetres high and five centimetres in diameter. They are baked in an original copper mould, which gives them a fine caramelised crust. A pure sweetness! 

  • Périgord walnut tart 

For the shortcrust pastry: 125 g flour, 75 g butter, 25 g caster sugar 

1 egg yolk, salt, 25 ml water. For the filling: 500 g walnut kernels, 150 ml fresh cream, 60 g sugar, 1 whole egg, 1/2 vanilla pod, icing sugar. 

Preheat the oven to th.7 (220°C). Mix all the ingredients for the shortcrust pastry. Spread the shortcrust pastry in a pie tin. Set aside. Choose the most beautiful walnut kernels and keep them for decoration. Place the others in a blender and grind them into powder. Add the cream, sugar and whole egg. Open the vanilla pod and scrape out the inside with a knife. Add the black beans to the previous mixture. Pour the mixture over the pastry. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes. Leave to cool before sprinkling with icing sugar and placing the kernels in a rosette on the tart.

  • Basque cake 

This sweet dish comes from the Atlantic. It was first eaten in Bayonne on feast days and now it can be eaten whenever you like! It is a typical cake from the Basque Country, traditionally filled with black cherries, or with almond or rum/vanilla custard. 

  • Tourtière with Agen prunes

Ingredients: 200 g pitted prunes, 1 roll of filo pastry, 1 apple, 120 g caster sugar, 120 g butter, 5 cl orange blossom water, 10 cl Armagnac, 1/2 tsp cinnamon. 

Slide the hot tourtière onto a round dish and serve immediately. Butter the cake tin, place two sheets of buttered and sweetened filo pastry on top. Sprinkle with apple slices and sweetened drained prunes. Repeat and finish by folding over the edges of the sheets and crumpling up those on top. Add sugar and bake for 20 minutes. Unroll the filo sheets on a damp cloth and cut them to a diameter greater than that of the tourtière. Preheat the oven to th.6 (180°C). Peel, core and slice the apple. Melt the butter in a saucepan over low heat. Add the orange blossom water, the armagnac and the cinnamon. Soak the prunes in the Armagnac for 30 minutes.

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