Basque Cake Recipe (Pastel Vasco)

Gateau Basque
Elizabeth Gaubeka / Getty Images
  • 80 mins
  • Prep: 20 mins,
  • Cook: 60 mins
  • Yield: One cake (16 servings)
Ratings

The basque cake, pastel Vasco in Spanish or gâteau basque in French, is a traditional cake or pie that has a rich cookie-like crust and a creamy pastry cream filling.

Often the filling is flavored with rum-soaked berries or raisins. Although originally the filling was figs or cherries, that changed to pastry cream sometime in the 19th century. This version of the recipe is filled with pastry cream and raisins and is lightly flavored with rum. It goes well with hot coffee for a Merida (Spanish afternoon snack) or a lovely finish to a Spanish dinner.

What You'll Need

  • For the Crust:
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 7 oz. (200 g) granulated sugar
  • 7 oz. (200 g) butter softened
  • Grated peel of one lemon
  • 1/2 oz. (15 ml) rumor Sacha ran (optional)
  • 10 oz. (300 g) white flour
  • For the Pastry Cream Filling:
  • 16 oz. (1/2 L) milk
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 4.5 oz. (120 g) granulated sugar
  • 2 tbsp. white flour
  • 1 oz.(30 ml) rum or Sacha ran (optional)
  • 2 oz. (75 g) raisins

How to Make It

  1. To prepare the crust, in a medium mixing bowl, mix the butter, sugar, lemon peel, one egg and  two egg yolks until well-blended.
  2. Pour in the rum (optional).
  3. Add the flour a bit at a time, mixing until it forms a homogenous dough. Form the dough into an oblong shape and wrap tightly in plastic wrap.
  4. Refrigerate for one hour.
  5. While the dough is chilling, prepare the cream filling. Pour the milk into a saucepan and heat on medium. Place egg yolks, sugar, flour, and rum, or Sacha ran into a mixing bowl and mix well. Stir hot milk into the bowl a little at a time. Stir in the raisins. Pour the mixture back into the saucepan and bring to a boil while stirring. Stir while mixture boils and thickens, for about five minutes. Remove from heat and spoon into a clean bowl and allow to cool on counter for a few minutes.
  1. Chill in the refrigerator.
  2. Heat the oven to 350 F.
  3. Remove chilled dough from refrigerator and divide it into two equal parts. Flour the board and the rolling pin. The dough will be very soft and will easily tear. Roll out dough into two large circles. One should be a bit larger than the other. If the dough sticks to the board, use a spatula to carefully lift dough off.  It will be very soft and will easily tear. Roll out dough into two large circles. One should be a bit larger than the other. If the dough sticks to the board, use a spatula to carefully lift dough off.
  4. Using a metal 9-inch pie pan or a glass pie pan, lay the larger of the two circles of dough into the pan and press into the sides, allowing it to extend over the edges.
  5. Spread the cream filling out evenly over the bottom of the pan. Place the other dough circle over the top and seal the edges by pinching them together.
  6. Beat the remaining egg. Brush the beaten egg over the top crust. To make a traditional decoration on top, drag the tines of a fork across the top crust.
  7. Bake in the oven for 35 to 45 minutes, until the crust, is golden.