Category Archives: French Recipes

French Biscuit Recipe – Palets Bretons

Palets Bretons French Biscuit Recipe

La Bretagne, Brittany, is a region in the North West of France that is famous for many things including its deliciously buttery and very crumbly biscuits.
There are two kinds: ‘Sablés Bretons‘ and ‘Palets Bretons‘.
‘Sable’ = sand, and ‘palet’ = disc.
Both are round, crumbly biscuits full of salted butter, and the difference is that ‘Palets Bretons’ are thicker, usually about 1.5cm tall.
‘Palets Bretons’ biscuits are named after the discs used in a traditional game from Brittany called ‘jeu de palets‘. Players throw discs onto a board placed five metres away on the ground. A game called ‘Shuffleboard‘ is sometimes played in a similar way.

Cooking essentials:
Oven temperature – 180C, or 160C in a fan oven.
Muffin Tin: A pastry chef would have individual moulds for each biscuit, but a non-stick muffin tin works extremely well. There is no need to grease it as the biscuits have enough butter in them.
Moulds or a muffin tin are essential, to stop the butter from oozing out of the biscuits while they are cooking.

Ingredients for Palets Bretons:

180g salted butter, softened
150g sugar
4 egg yolks (5 if they are small)
250g plain flour
6g (1tspn) baking powder

Method:
Beat together the sugar and eggs
Beat in the soft salted butter
Mix the baking powder into the flour, and fold it slowly into the buttery mixture.
The consistency should be perfect to be able to roll it very gently with your hands into a sausage on a very lightly floured piece of baking parchment on a flat surface.

Use a ruler to make the sausage dough 32cms long.

Roll up the sausage of dough in the parchment and place it in the fridge for half an hour.

Now use a sharp knife to slice the sausage in half (at the 16cm mark) and then cut 11 biscuits from each half, making a total of 22 biscuits.
Do not worry if the underside edge of the dough is a bit flat. This will sort itself out in the oven.

One muffin tin is fine. Bake the first 12 biscuits in the middle of the oven for 15-20 minutes. Wait a couple of minutes and then lift them gently onto a cooling rack.

Wait for the muffin tin to cool down, and then bake the final batch of 10 biscuits.

BISCUITS …  Cooked twice!

Did you know that the word ‘biscuit’ means ‘cooked twice’?
Bis = x2, Cuit = cooked (in French)!
Palets Bretons should be crumbly, NOT the texture of a cake.
If you realise that your biscuits are not crumbly all the way through, bake them again for another 5+ minutes.
They will taste better for it.

ENJOY!

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Find out more about La Bretagne, the region in France where palets bretons biscuits come from, and its links to the United Kingdom:
KS3 French Activity – La Bretagne

French Cooking Vocabulary:
de la farine           – some flour
de la levure          – some baking powder
du sucre                 – some sugar
du beurre                – some butter
un oeuf                     – an egg
un jaune d’oeuf     – an egg yolk
salé                            – salted, salty




French Leek Tart Recipe




French Leek Tart Recipe

Tarte aux Poireaux:
Delicious recipe for a French leek tart adapted to the UK by using mature cheddar cheese.  (Gruyère cheese is more authentic but cheddar works very well).
Video Clip with French/English subtitles.

Vocabulary:
Ingrédients       ingredients
Préparation       cooking instructions
Un moule            
mould or tin
La pâte brisée  
shortcrust pastry
Une cuillerée    a teaspoon
Un rouleau         a rolling pin
Le fond                
the base

Verbs:
Préchauffez         Pre-heat
Mélangez              Mix
Étendez                  Roll out
Coupez                   Cut
Ajoutez                   Add
Assaisonez           Season
Chauffez                Heat
Versez                     Pour

Ingredients:
shortcrust pastry
(100g plain flour, 60g butter, 1tspn French mustard, cold water to bind pastry together)
1kg leeks
50g watercress
7 eggs
100g serrano or parma ham
200g grated mature cheddar cheese.
28cm tart tin

Strong tip: Make the pastry base as thin as possible and cook the pastry base blind before adding the rest of the ingredients.

Printed recipe instructions in French.

PRÉPARATION:
Préchauffez le four à 210C
Prenez un moule à tarte anti-adhésif de 28cms.
Faites une pâte brisée avec 100g de farine, 60g de beurre, une cuillerée de moutarde et de l’eau froide.
Étendez la pâte au rouleau.
Piquez le fond avec une fourchette.
Maintenant il faut préparer un kilo de poireaux.
Retirez les feuilles vertes.
Coupez le bout de chaque poireau.
Lavez bien les poireaux.
Ensuite mettez 25g de beurre dans une casserole,
et chauffez les poireaux.
Faites cuire pendant 10minutes.
Faites écouler l’eau avant de répartir les poireaux sur le fond de pâte crue.
Ajoutez 50g de cresson,
100g de vieux cheddar râpé,
et 50g de jambon.
Mélangez sept oeufs dans un bol.
Assaisonez.
Versez les oeufs sur la tarte.
Ajoutez encore 100g de vieux cheddar râpé, 50g de jambon, et du poivre.

Temps de cuisson:  Environ 30 minutes

Une belle tarte aux poireaux!
– – –
Challenge:
Translate the verbs in the recipe instructions (highlighted in bold) into English.

If a sweet tart appeals, this is a delicious recipe for French strawberry tart:
Tarte aux fraises – French strawberry tart!

image for French leek tart

French Resources

Galette des Rois




Galette des Rois Recipe

A Galette des Rois is a traditional French Three Kings’ Day cake prepared for 6th January, Epiphany.
This is an easy recipe + video clip for a Galette des Rois using bought pastry.
It’s fun, delicious, and the video clip provides instructions + listening practice for anyone learning French.
The instructions in French and English are also printed below the video clip.
French/English Christmas traditions:
A coin is often hidden in the Christmas pudding …  In France a tiny figure called a ‘fève‘ or an almond is hidden in the galette des rois – Watch the video and see the fève nestled in the almond mixture.

Ingredients:
1 packet de pâte feuilletée    
puff pastry
50g de pâte d’amande          
     marzipan
50g de sucre glace                       
icing sugar
1 oeuf battu                          
           beaten egg
un peu de farine                  
         a little flour
extrait d’amande                  
        almond extract
extrait de vanille                  
        vanilla extract
une fève ou une amande      
   figurine or almond
FOUR:  15mns à 210C              
Oven 

How to make a Galette des Rois:

Downloadable Worksheet

image for a galette des rois - three kings' day cake

Main French Page:  French Resources

Biscuit Recipe in French




Biscuit Recipe in French

Follow two children as they make ‘happy face’ biscuits with commentary in French.
– Learn French cooking vocabulary
– Video clip + Description in French of two children making biscuits
– Easy biscuit recipe
– Downloadable Gap Fill PDF Worksheet

The Recipe:
ingredients                  les ingrédients
175g butter                 100g de beurre
175g sugar                   175g de sucre
350g plain flour          350g de farine
1 beaten egg                 un oeuf battu
vanilla essence            de la vanille 

Method:
Mix the butter and sugar. Add the flour. Add the egg and vanilla.  Mix the dough with a little milk.  Oven Temp: 180C. Time: 12-15mns

Préparation:

Mélangez le beurre et le sucre.  Ajoutez la farine.  Ajoutez l’oeuf et la vanille.   Mélangez la pâte avec un peu de lait. Température du four: 180C
Temps de cuisson: 12-15mns

French Cooking Vocabulary:

la farine           the flour
le sucre            the sugar
le beurre         the butter
la pâte              the dough/pastry
la cuisson       the cooking
le four              the oven
le glaçage       the icing
la confiture    the jam
la vaisselle     the washing-up
temps de cuisson (m)  cooking time

Downloadable Gap Fill Translation PDF Worksheet

Video transcript in French:
La Recette
Mélangez:
200g de farine,
150g de sucre,
150g de beurre

Température du four 180C

Maintenant regardez et écoutez:
Un frère et une soeur font des biscuits.
Le frère roule la pâte.
Il fait des visages!
Il met les biscuits dans le four.
Temps de cuisson:  10 à 15 minutes.
Les biscuits sont cuits.
Le garçon sort les biscuits du four.
Sa soeur met du glaçage sur chacun, et de la confiture.
Elle finit les biscuits.
Le premier biscuit est terminé.
Ils ont l’air bon!
Maintenant il faut ranger.
Et il faut faire la vaisselle.
Il y a des biscuits pour tout le monde.

Cooking in French for Children: Biscuit Recipe

Follow up:
Here is a recipe for for delicious French biscuits from Brittany.  They are called ‘Palets Bretons’:
Recipe for Palets Bretons

French Strawberry Tart




Recipe for Tarte aux Fraises

There are four stages to making a homemade French strawberry tart:

1. Make shortcrust pastry, roll it out thinly, lift it into a 30cm tart tin, and bake it.
2. Make a thick vanilla-flavoured custard (crème pâtissière), pour it onto the cooked pastry case and let it set.
3. Cut strawberries in half and place them neatly over the set custard.
4. Make a sugary glaze to brush over the strawberries

RECIPE INSTRUCTIONS:
30cm metal tart tin
Oven Temperature:  180 C

1.  Shortcrust Pastry (= pâte brisée):
150g plain flour
75g butter

Method:
Rub the butter into the flour using just the tips of your fingers.
Add just enough cold water to turn the mixture into a ball of pastry dough.
Roll out the dough with a rolling pin, as thinly as possible, on a cool floured surface.
Make sure the pastry is at least 3cm wider than the pastry tin.
Lift it into the tin.  Cut off the leftover pastry with a knife and press a fork around the edges.
Cover the pastry base with greaseproof paper and something heavy that can go in the oven, e.g. baking beans:

image of baking beans

Bake for 15mns at 180 C
Check that the base is cooked, and leave to cool.

2.  Thick custard – Crème Pâtissière:
1/2 litre milk
4 egg yolks
100g sugar
1 tspn vanilla
30g plain flour
pinch salt
Method:
Heat the milk in a saucepan.
Mix egg yolks, sugar and flour in a bowl.
Gradually pour the warmed milk into the egg mixture, stirring all the time.
Pour the custard back into the saucepan and bring it slowly to the boil until the mixture starts to thicken.
Add vanilla + a pinch of salt and continue stirring for about a minute.
Turn off the heat, wait a few seconds, and then pour the custard into the pastry case.

3. Strawberries:
Cut 750g of strawberries in half, or quarters if very large, and place neatly over the crème pâtissière, starting from the outside of the tin and moving in circles into the middle.

4. Glaze:
Heat 2 tablespoons of fruit jelly/jam (Blackberry jelly is great) with 1 teaspoon of water, and brush over all the strawberries with a pastry brush.

Voilà!

image for French strawberry tart


– – – –

TARTE AUX PRUNES   (Plum Tart):
Delicious variation on the recipe for Tarte aux Fraises:
Follow the recipe for tarte aux fraises but use 2lbs of fresh plums instead of strawberries.
The big difference is that the plums need to be cooked first:
Cut the plums in half, take out the stones, and place them flesh down onto a heavy-based non-stick pan.
Sprinkle them with lots of caster or granulated sugar.
Bake until the skins of the plums look/taste quite caramelised.
Slide each of the plums carefully onto the custard trying to keep the plums whole and with their skins on top.
Cool and eat!

TARTE AUX POMMES (Apple Tart):
Another absolutely delicious variation on Tarte aux Fraises!
This time lightly butter two baking trays.
Slice about 6/7 apples (thinly but not too thinly) and lay them on the trays.
Bake them until soft.
Peel them off the trays and put them on the crème pâtissière.
Brush on a sugary glaze like the one in the strawberry tart recipe above.

Bought from a good French pâtisserie, these pastries are quite expensive, a really lovely treat, beautifully made with care and precision.
Much cheaper versions are available in large supermarkets, but they never look or taste quite as special.

French Resources