Breton Cake with Apples

Choice 7
Apple Breton Cake with Espresso

My boss is sending me on a Special Mission; it happens once in a while, either dropped discreetly around a cup of coffee between a “well, how are you?” and “how would you feel about going on a road trip?”, or an email, extrapolated by my over active imagination which can clearly read: ”  Your mission, should you choose to accept it, involves extracting some of our newest staff from Dublin, bring them to West Cork to see some of the original producers and actors of the Irish cheese and food revival, bring them back with plenty of stories and dreams to share. This message will self-destruct in five seconds”. I swear, that is what I get, this is what I hear, this is what I read.

The Cheesemonger
Agent “Hungry Breton” Franck… Cheesemonger by day… Hungry Breton by night…

As I am taking my task very seriously, I know that I am going to ask my car to do a good few miles… 600 to 700 to be precised ( 1000 kms) give or take. A service was a bit overdue, I took Wednesday off and I left it to the good hands of my local garage, Millbrook in Oldcastle; they are faithful and busy, always a good sign; and yes, they might tell you that your car will be ready at 4pm but truthfuly it will be more likely to be by 6pm; saying that, when I was in a pickle before going to work, the emergency squad was over in a heart beat! And I respect that … The car-less waiting game started so I needed to concentrate on my mission; some people do Martial Arts, some Tai Chi, personally – and to get into character – I bake. I am not a dessert kinda person, but when it comes to serious business, I need to get in touch with my ancestral sense of creativity. So, to kill time and focus on next Monday, I made a Breton cake. But this time, I decided to add some apples in the mix, a sacred fruit in the Celtic region that saw me grow; and this is how it went…

You’ll Need:

  • 250g of organic Flour
  • 250g of Organic sugar
  • 250g of butter ( salted)
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 1 egg beaten for glazing
  • 3 organic apples, cored and peeled

How to: In pictures, it’s easier…

The secret of a good Breton Cake is as follow, like a mission, stick to the plan. Mix the sugar and flour together, then little by little, add the butter portioned in small pieces and work the dough with the tips of your fingers. You don’t want the butter to be too warm, you don’t want to have a shortbread texture, what you want is a nice texture just like below. Take your time, there is no rush…

Choice 1
Knead with the tips of your fingers…

Then, you incorporate your egg yolks; you work a bit harder on that one, until all the ingredients are finding their place together; don’t worry if it is a bit sticky, that is the texture you are looking for. If too wet, add a bit of flour, but very gently. This pastry must remain pretty wet…

Choice 2
Incorporate the yolks… You know, dee yolks like!

The funny thing about the above picture is that I am right handed and I had to take the picture with my left hand; a bit mad looking now to be fair! Let the dough to rest for a little bit in the fridge, peel an core some nice fruity apples and butter and flour a 24cm dish… And “Agent Hungry Breton”… Wash your hands…

Choice 3
Dish buttered and floured

The apples have been cored and peeled at that stage, we know that… Cut the dough in half, and lay a portion at the bottom of the dish. You can use a rolling pin, but the palm and tips of your fingers will do the trick just nice…  Place the apple slices in an nice even design but do not add any sugar, you want that zing to come trough…

Choice 5
Lay the apple slices…

So, you have half of a dough left, this time roll it nicely and gently and lay on to of the apples. Use your fingers as if you were tucking your love one to bed… Once done, take a fork to do the traditional Breton Cake design; latitude longitude, a simple thing with the back of the common utensil( that would be a fork). Beat an egg and brush the pastry…

Choice 6
Breton Criss-cross, ready for the egg wash and baking…
Press it

Bake at 200c for ten minutes, then bring it down to 180c for another 40 minutes, keep an eye on the whole thing and after 50 minutes, stick a thin knife inside to be sure, to be sure… It should come out like this…

Choice 8
A proper baked Breton Cake

The Only way to serve a Breton Cake, is with a good cup of coffee, and as my boss drifted away with his own homemade cappuccino,  to a whatever exciting bosses business do, I took my road map, accepted the mission and swallowed the A4 missive… It didn’t blow up. and that folks, is a good thing!

Choice 9
Apple Breton Cake with Espresso Coffee…

Be safe, Keep Well and Eat Happy…

Slán Tamall





5 thoughts on “Breton Cake with Apples

  1. Was directed here by my hubs Dec, aka unironed man I think it was slightly self serving as I’m the one who bakes🙂 Really looking forward to getting through some of the recipes starting today…when’s the book?

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