Gâteau Basque is probably the ultimate afternoon cup-of-coffee-and-a-good-book pastry. It’s definitely got a less-is-more thing going on. Sweet and crumbly, it’s the kind of cake you can nurse along for half the afternoon, savoring the vanilla, brown sugar, and black cherry filling. Despite all the steps you’re about it to see here, there’s no magic to the process. You can pull one together with very little work or worry. Start with the dough. Whisk the dry ingredients together in a medium bowl.
I think for a gâteau Basque I want to go to a lady who really knows: Dorie Greenspan. This recipe is an American adaptation of a recipe she got in Basque Country (where she claims she ate gâteau Basque three meals a day). It appeared on the NPR site as an accompaniment to a radio feature she did in 2009.
10 ounces (2 cups) all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
5 ounces (1 stick plus 2 tablespoons) butter, at room temperature
2 ounces (1/4 cup) light brown sugar
1.75 ounces (1/4 cup) sugar
1 large egg, room temperature
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
about1 cup black cherry preserves or pastry cream
1 egg beaten with 2 teaspoons water (for the glaze)