This collection of 60 unbelievably easy, delicious recipes represents the best of essential French home cooking, with an amazing variety of dishes from traditional regional cuisines.
Leave haute cuisine to fussy French restaurants, and dive into simple, comforting classics. Audrey Le Goff, founder of the blog Pardon Your French, dispels the myth that real French cooking is tricky and complicated. Home cooks interested in the popular French approach to cooking for health and happiness, will delight in these authentic, approachable recipes, while devoted French cooking fans will discover delicious staples rarely tasted outside of the French family kitchen.
Drawing inspiration from her childhood in the north of France, Audrey shows readers how to cook simple fare, full of the rich, complex flavours that have made France’s food culture world-renowned. Classics like Alsatian Sauerkraut with Sausages, and Creamy Chestnut Soup are easy to master. Provencal Vegetable and Pesto Soup, from the sunny south of France, proves French food doesn’t have to be heavy or full of butter.
The Thin Crusted Onion, Bacon and Cream Tart boasts incredible layers of flavour from quick caramelized onions, and the Classic Pear and Almond Tart, will blow readers away with a simple homemade frangipane. From Burgundy Cheese Puffs to Salted Caramel Butter Cake, these homey dishes are anything but humble. With friendly instructions and easy-to-find ingredients, readers will and soon feel right at home with French cooking.
Tarte au Caramel et aux Noix de Grenoble (Salted Caramel Walnut Tart)
The city of Grenoble in southeastern France is known as the capital of the Alps, and to many, the capital of walnuts. Nestled at the foot of the mountains, the region exhibits valleys and hills of walnut trees producing the world renowned “Noix de Grenoble,” highly sought after by chefs.
Naturally, this regional gem finds its way into many local specialties, including this luscious tart of walnuts and caramel. I love the twist of using salted caramel—the only way we enjoy caramel in Brittany—for a great mix of sweet, salty, crunchy and buttery.
Serves 8 to 10 / Makes 1 Tart
For the Pâte Sablée
¾ cup (90 g) powdered sugar
¼ cup (25 g) ground almonds
1¾ cups (220 g) all-purpose flour
½ tsp salt
½ cup (113 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 large egg
For the Filling
¾ cup (150 g) sugar
2½ tbsp (53 ml) honey
2 tbsp (30 ml) 2% or whole milk
1 tsp lemon zest
¾ cup (180 ml) heavy whipping cream
¼ cup plus 2 tbsp (87 g) unsalted butter
½ tsp salt 2/3 lb (300 g) walnuts, whole
Fleur de sel or sea salt flakes, for sprinkling
To make the pâte sablée, combine the powdered sugar, ground almonds, our and salt. Add in the butter and the e , and mix with your hands to form a smooth ball. Wrap with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
Preheat your oven to 350°F (180°C, or gas mark 4), with a rack in the middle.
Take the pâte sablée out of the fridge, place it between two large sheets of parchment paper and roll it out to a 12-inch (31-cm) circle. Unpeel the top sheet of parchment paper, transfer the crust to a 9-inch (23-cm) pie dish and poke the bottom of the crust all over with a fork. Line the top of the crust with foil or parchment paper, and fill with pie weights or dried beans to keep the pie crust from puffing when baking.
Bake for 25 minutes until the edge of the crust is golden. Remove the pie weights and foil or parchment paper. Bake for 5 more minutes, until the center of the crust is slightly golden.
Transfer to a cooling rack.
To make the filling, combine the sugar, honey, milk and lemon zest in a large saucepan over medium heat. Swirl the pan to dissolve the sugar. When the mixture comes to a boil, stop stirring and let it caramelize for 4 to 5 minutes. When you get a light caramel colour, remove the pan from the heat and immediately stir in the whipping cream. It will bubble, so be careful and keep stirring until the cream is all incorporated. Stir in the butter and salt. Finally, stir in the walnuts and mix until they are all evenly coated. Transfer immediately into the pie crust.
Chill for at least 2 hours. Before serving, sprinkle with fleur de sel.
Reprinted with permission from Rustic French Cooking by Audrey Le Goff, Page Street Publishing Co. 2019