Gateau Breton

I continue to miss the late night, leisurely French dinners that I enjoyed last month during a visit to Paris. Layer upon layer of flavor combine to yield dishes that stimulate all the senses.

(iPhone photos)

Gateau bretons are shortbread-like tarts often displayed in the window of patisseries in Paris; I should have tasted them but I didn’t. Today seemed like a good day to attempt to bring a flavor of France into my TN kitchen.

Gateau Breton

(adapted from here)


  • ½ cup (42g) sliced almonds, toasted and ground
  • ¾ cup (150g) sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 sticks (255g) unsalted butter
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1 tablespoon dark rum
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups (250g) all purpose flour
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten


  1. Toast sliced almonds in 350 degree oven for about 5 minutes; cool; grind in small spice grinder
  2. Brush six-4 inch tart pans with melted butter
  3. Cream sugar, salt, and butter about 4 minutes until light and creamy
  4. Add egg yolks, one at a time, mixing well after each addition
  5. Add ground almonds, rum, and vanilla
  6. Add flour with mixer on the lowest speed; mix only until flour is incorporated
  7. Divide batter among six-4inch tart pans (approximately 125 grams batter per pan) and press to flatten the top
  8. Refrigerate one hour
  9. Remove from refrigerator and draw lines across top of tart using tines of a fork
  10. Brush with egg wash
  11. Bake in preheated oven at 325 degrees F about 25 minutes, or until golden brown

brownie pie

Mama made…..How often do we hear those words in our mind.

Mama made brownie pie.  Soon after removing the pie from the oven, we (Daddy, siblings nearby, and me!) would plunge our individual spoons directly into the pie plate filled with warm, chocolate, almost molten brownie pie.

My recipe varies slightly from the recipe Mom used; however, all friends with whom I have shared “warm brownie pie” react the same—ahhhhh…..

Whether sampling the paper-thin top crust, or simply ‘digging in’ with a spoon, chocolate lovers adore brownie pie.

My friend A is building a new home.  Yesterday, we (A, her sister, their mother-present in spirit, and I) shared a short ‘blessing of the new home’ liturgy as we walked from room to room.  Floors dusted with sawdust, 2x4s posing as walls, and a breeze blowing through the window openings (as if their mother was again with us) could not dampen the spirit of our merriment.  After the short liturgy we celebrated with none other than brownie pie.  A professional food photography shoot we did not have, but the experience was heartwarming, the fellowship filled with hope, encouragement, love and excitement, and the day memorable–all ingredients that together make brownie pie perfect!

Brownie Pie

(adapted from “Reelfoot Legend Recipes” 1975)


  • 2 squares Baker’s semi sweet chocolate
  • 1 stick butter (4 oz)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup all-purose flour
  • 2 whole eggs


  1. Melt the butter
  2. Add chocolate squares to melted butter and stir until chocolate melts
  3. Add sugar to butter chocolate mixture and stir well
  4. Add eggs, one at a time, to above mixture, stirring well after each addition
  5. Add flour to mixture and stir well to remove lumps
  6. Pour into buttered 9″ glass pie plate
  7. Bake in 300 degree oven 30 – 35 minutes
  8. The top of the pie will puff and form a crust
  9. Remove from oven; cool slightly, enjoy with spoon in hand and friends/family nearby

Note: This pie will not cut and form pretty, triangle pieces like most pies.