Bourdaloue-inspired tart with cherries and blackcurrants

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I love tarte bourdaloue in its traditional form with pears, but I also love it with apricots or peaches. There was a time when I had an overdose of apricot-bourdaloue when I was working in Morocco. It was a sweet overdose.

I have previously posted a similar recipe in French where the star of the show was the peach. So you get the picture, you can use many fruits: pear, apple, apricot, cherry, berries…
There is something about these tarts, you get different textures in one bite: from crunchy to moist to soft and melting in your mouth. The fruits bring a balanced sweetness and acidity beside their fruity flavour.
 
 

Ingredients

Makes about 20 cm tart
Prep: 15 min – baking: 25 min approx

Shortcrust or pastry dough

  • 250g of flour
  • 125g of butter in cubes, slightly cold
  • ½ tsp of salt
  • 1 tbsp of sugar
  • 1 egg yolk, beaten with
  • 3 tbsp of cold milk, approx
  • 1 tbsp of almond powder (if used, reduce it from the flour weight)

Almond cream

  • 100 g of almond meal, preferably toasted for 5 to 10 min until it releases its smell
  • 2 eggs at room temperature
  • 100 g caster sugar
  • 100 g of butter, soft at room temperature
  • A pinch of salt
  • 1/2 tsp of vanilla beans or a few drops of vanilla extract 

Filling

  • 400 g of fresh cherries (pitted) and blackberries or any fresh seasonal fruit

Glazing (warm and sift)

  • 2-3 tbsp of apricot jam
  • 1 tbsp of water



 

Preparation 


Tart shell

Mix the flour with sugar and salt. Rub with cold butter until you reach a crumbly consistency. Bring the dough together by adding the egg yolk liquefied with milk. DO NOT OVERWORK the dough so it does not become elastic. Flatten it to an “abaisse”  in a cling film. Cover and place it in the fridge for 2 hours or in the freezer for 10 min.

 

 Almond cream

  • Preheat the oven at 180 C.
  • In the meantime, make the almond cream, whisk sugar, salt and soft butter until creamy, add the eggs and flavourings and whisk again. Fold in the almond meal. Mix to combine and set aside.
 
 
 

Assembly and baking

 

  • Preheat the oven at 170 degrees C (for small ovens) or 180 degrees C (standard ovens).
  • In a lightly floured parchment paper, roll the shortcrust dough to 2-3 mm thickness. Transfer to tart pan and use your fingers delicately to press the dough to the corners. Leave 2-3 mm of extra dough exceeding the edges and cut neatly. Slightly prick the bottom.
  • Place the berries all around and then top them with almond cream. Should you wish to make a real bourdaloue, place quarters of poached pears or peaches or apricot on top of the almond cream.
  • Bake for about 35 -40 min or until the edges and the top take a nice golden colour.
  • Once the tart is out of the oven, place the pan on a grill and brush it with a warm apricot glaze to give a shine but also to protect the fruits from the air. Leave the tart to cool.
  • Do not move it from its pan until it has cooled.
  • Serve the cherries-bourdaloue tart at room temperature.

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Moroccan stuffed batbout (flatbread) with a vegetarian taktouka

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This is a delicious recipe of vegetarian stuffed batbout. The stuffing is spiced up Moroccan-style and trapped inside a a wonderful bread shell.
The taktouka stuffing is actually a North African salad which is served as a starter or a cooked salad.
You can actually make a zaalouk stuffing as well, which is originally a Moroccan cooked salad as well. It’s a good way of using leftovers.
You can make these stuffed batbout in small or larger forms. If always happen to have a batbout or bread dough in the fridge so these are done and served in a matter of 30 min.

If you have a pizza dough, it will work too as it’s still considered as a bread dough.

Ingredients

Serves 4
Prep: 1 h – Cooking: 4 min/piece
 
Batbout dough
  • 300 g of strong white flour
  • 200 g of fine semolina flour
  • 280 ml of water, lukewarm
  • 1 tbsp of dried yeast (or less if you are opting for long proofing time)
  • 1 tsp of salt
  •  1-2 tbsps of olive oil

 

Vegetable stuffing 
  • 1-2 medium-size onion, chopped
  • 1 medium-size tomato, chopped
  • 1 green pepper, chopped
  • 1 green pepper, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, grated
  • 1 tbsp of tomato paste
  • 2 tbsps vegetable oil + 1 tbsp of olive oil
  • 2-3 tbsps of coriander and parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp of sweet paprika
  • 1/2 tsp of cumin
  • Salt, pepper and cayenne to taste
Optional additions
  • Chopped green olives
  • Harissa
  • For a meaty version, add 300 g of minced beef/lamb and double the amount of herbs and spices
 
Preparation
Make the batbout dough
Prepare the dough batbout as shown in the recipe or a faster recipe here. Cover and let rise and double in volume.
Shape it into dough balls anywhere between 8-10 mm diameter. Cover and let them rest for 15 min.
Make the vegetable stuffing
Over a medium heat, heat the oil in a pan then fold in the onion and the chopped peppers. Add the spices, garlic and stir. Cover so the vegetables sweat and cook through. Add a tiny bit of water if needed as it will reduce anyway.
Add the tomatoes and herbs. Stir and cook for a few minutes. Turn off heat and set aside to cool.
Drain any excess of liquid.
Served as a cooked salad, this rough taktouka is drained to be used as a stuffing
If you are adding harissa or chopped olives, it’s the time to do so.
 
Roll and pan-fry the stuffed batbout
Dust the work surface with white or fine semolina flour, Roll a ball of dough as thin as 3-4 mm.
Place the stuffing in the centre.
Bring the edges of the dough to the centre. Pinch them to seal and flip this pouch in order to have the sealed section at the bottom. Gently flatten the pouch to expand the circle. Make sure you give it a quarter turn after each roll and make sure the work surface is dusted with flour so the dough does not stick. See this post to have an idea how we cover this step (look for batbout beche’hma).
Place each rolled flatbread on a dusted kitchen towel.
Over medium heat, place a skillet or a griddle and pan-fry the stuffed batbout on both sides until they look nicely golden.

Serve warm or at room temperature.

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Moroccan stuffed breads: A meal on the go!

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My dad used to call any stuffed bread “khobza be dwazha” referring to a sort of meal on the go, a sandwich to grab and eat. It used to make a nice school sandwich or an afternoon snack.

Different stuffing can be perfectly fine within a bread or puff pastry dough and I will always cherish those moments he picked me up from school with a hot stuffed bread, a chicken chausson (turnover) or a sandwich-croissant. The next thing we did was to stop at a dairy shop (mehlaba) and order a fresh fruit juice..I was all smiles after a long day!

Pan-fried batbouts with vegetarian taktouka stuffing

Southern Moroccans have some truly amazing recipes for stuffed bread, especially when it’s baked in clay ovens or pan-fried over a wooden pile.

For instance, there is batbout be che’hma from the Sahara region where suet, onions and a few spices are used to make the most indulging stuffed flatbread.

Batbout beche’hma (suet) in the making 

Then after pan-frying batbout beche’hma , you get something like this, which goes down very well with a glass of good mint tea.

I love the spicy inside which complement the texture of this bread.

Then there the Berber Aghroum Boutgouri which is pretty much like batbout beche’hma but in this case stuffing could be a mix of finely chopped peppers, herbs and a generous amount of spices, all coming together with a good dollop of butter (or suet). The stuffing is not rolled within the dough but rather spread over one layer of thin-rolled dough then covered with another layer of dough..Which reminds the famous Berber Pizza or Medfouna (watch the Hairy bikers making it here and there or visit my friend’s page for medfouna recipe).

But while Medfouna requires baking, Aghroum Boutgouri, batbout beche’hma and a few other stuffed flatbread recipes only requires to be pan-fried. These happen to be my favourite.

Now stuffing can be meaty, herby / vegetarian. and this will be the subject of the coming post. So stay tuned.

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How to get your flatbread to puff

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You may have tried and failed to have that signature airy pocket which shows that you nailed the recipe. If this is your case, this post is for you.

My homemade garlic naans
I have to confess that I’ve been there too but I passed that stage a while ago.

I know some people who can’t get their flatbreads to puff and have that pillowy form before it collapses (yes it does, but it’s important to have in the first place).

Most of the flatbreads need a trapped steam inside which will split them from within and form 2 distinct layers within a pillow-shaped bread.

Even if the bread will still taste good without that balloon-effect but the puffing is still important for its general texture.

Puffing mini Moroccan batboot being pan-fried


These are the points to follow in order to make flatbread that puffs

1/ Follow the recipe you are given

 
If the recipe calls for resting and/or proofing, make sure you respect that step.
2/ Manipulate the rolled flatbread delicately avoiding the use of any sharp tool that might damage it or a sticky surface that might “pinch” it.
 
A rolled and shaped flatbread should NOT stick!

Once a flatbread has been rolled, it should not stick onto anything: A flatbread sticking to a work surface or a baking sheet means that it will have holes. This is fatal as it lets the precious steam developed by hight heat escape once the bread is being baked or fried.
It’s start when you roll the dough to shape the flatbread. Make sure you have greased your hands as well as the work surface (check Mexican tortillas). Some recipes call for flour-dusting so that is also an option.

This is another moment where most of the flatbreads tend to stick to the surface especially in the case of yeasted ones.

After you shape the bread, you need to transfer it to another surface for resting or proofing. Ideally, cover it with kitchen towel and dust it with flour then cover the bread again with another towel .

 

Shaping Naans over an oiled work surface

 

 

3/ Keep the rolled flatbreads covered so they don’t form a crust.

A crust will break or tear once the bread is cooking, it’s like starting a card game with the wrong set of cards.
4/ Before pan-frying or baking the bread, heat the pan or the baking tool (oven, stone..) before bringing the flatbread

If the flatbread is to be pan-fried or stone-baked, make sure the surface has been preheated and greased whenever the recipe calls for that. If you are baking the flatbread, the oven as well as the baking stone should be hot.

Naan hitting the hot pan and starts bubbling right away

5/ If the bread is going to be baked, do not move it from the stone or the baking sheet until you are sure the bottom has been baked and sealed or you will tear it.

 

Transfer the flatbread to the frying/baking surface delicately: nails are flatbreads’ enemies, so is the spatula with sharp corners..

Also, baking implies that you don’t move the bread until it forms a crust and do not tear. It’s more difficult to pan-fry than to bake but sometimes the first option is what’s required.

 

My Indian Naans in the oven

6/ Pan-fry the surfaces evenly

There is an acceptable method of pan-frying flatbread but there is an even better method. So why settle for less?

Some airy pockets are better than others..Actually, some airy pocket are just wrong! How?

 

 

If the bread is pan-fried, follow this method to have an evenly cooked surface.
Sometimes, big uneven bubbles complicate the pan-frying process.
In picture 6, it’s becoming difficult to pan-fry the bottom side
 while in picture 7, I avoided this problem from happening
When you flip the flatbread to cook the other side, do it delicately, using your fingers or a flat spatula with a round front-corners. I personally use a cheap one (2 £ worth) which has been discoloured with curries.
The moment you see bubbles starting to form, delicately flip the bread, basically this happens after 20 seconds of contact with a heat surface.
Flip a few times every 20-30 seconds while adjusting the heat of the pan in case it gets fuming hot.

 

Once the dough starts puffing it’s time to flip it for the first time.
Do not wait until the craters get bigger
 is to flip it constantly and not wait for one surface to colour then flip!
If we analyse the 3 pictures above, here is what we see:
  • Left: the air is so far under control, the crust at the bottom is just forming and it’s time to flip.
  • Bottom right: uneven pockets of air which may not necessary come together, making some unwanted craters instead of a pillowy puff.
  • Up right: I’m pushing the air around by applying a pressure and helping it finding its way to the edges as well
In summary, It’s highly advisable to pan-fry one side of the flatbread for a few seconds just to seal it (not to completely cook it). Once you see some air bubbles forming, flip the bread for a few seconds.
Do it about 3 times for each side and you should have 2 wonderful flat sides. While some breads are even better with that, Moroccan batbout should ideally be pan-fried evenly.
I love burned spots over a Naan. In this case, uneven baking is the perfect method.

7/ I followed all previous step but still no major puffing happening

 

It might take about 2 minutes before you see that pillow we are all after. But you can help it finding its way by gently pushing one side on the other.If you see a big bubble forming, it’s even better, push it delicately and it will spread all its hot air all around.

 

I’m pressing delicately to spread the steam faster and all around.

 

 Somehow, this method allows the upper side to split and you miraculously see it puffing!
My batbout on the right looks like a pillow. I’m just finishing off the edges.
So, when is your next batch of flatbreads?Share your pictures on the facebook page (click on the Facebook icon to join us if you haven’t done so yet).
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