Easy-peasy Pain d’épi

Pain d’épi is a baguette made to look like a stalk of wheat. Since this French bread looks super fancy, naturally I thought it must be difficult to make.

But I learned that you can make this beautiful loaf quickly and easily using canned dough – who knew?

You will need

  • baking sheet
  • parchment paper
  • glass pie plate
  • 1 cup of warm water
  • scissors
  • a sprinkle of flour
  • 1 can of dough, like the one pictured below:

Pillsbury French Bread can of dough

Instructions

  • Heat the oven to 350°F
  • Put a glass pie plate filled with warm water on the bottom rack of the oven (the steam will help create a nice crust)
  • Place the dough from the can on the baking sheet lined with parchment paper
  • Sprinkle a little flour on the dough and lightly flatten

Cutting technique

At about a 30° angle, cut the dough to make a “leaf” then move it to one side:

Make another cut, then move it to the opposite side:

Repeat, alternating sides until the whole loaf looks like this:

Bake at 350°F for 24 minutes.

Voilà! Easy-peasy Pain d’épi!

Serve with butter or jam or enjoy as-is: nice and warm! Bon appétit! 🥖

I Made an Apple Cranberry Flaugnarde with Crème Fraîche

One summer, I went to a pick-your-own-fruit farm with my family. We had brought home a bag full of cherries so I decided to make a dessert out of them.

I made a Cherry Clafoutis, the simple yet elegant dessert that’s originally from the Limousin region (now part of Nouvelle Aquitaine) in central France. It was easy to make and I liked how it turned out.

Now that it’s fall, I wanted to make the dessert with Granny Smith apples and fresh cranberries.

But then I learned that technically it wouldn’t be a clafoutis (also spelled clafouti) simply because there wouldn’t be cherries in it.

What’s a flaugnarde?

When using fruit other than cherries, this flan-cake is called a flaugnarde (sounds like “flon-yard”)!

This is how I made an Apple Cranberry Flaugnarde with Crème Fraîche!

You will need:

  • 9-inch glass pie pan
  • 2 mixing bowls
  • 1 teaspoon of butter
  • 1/2 of an apple, sliced
  • 1 cup of fresh cranberries, whole or sliced in half
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/3 cup of granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup of flour
  • 2/3 cup of crème fraîche
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • powdered sugar to sprinkle on top (optional)

Preparation:

  • Heat the oven to 350°F
  • Butter the pie pan and sprinkle granulated sugar on the butter
  • Add the sliced fruit to pan, then set it aside
  • In one bowl, mix the dry ingredients (flour, sugar, salt)
  • In another bowl, mix the wet ingredients (eggs, crème fraîche, milk, vanilla extract)
  • Whisk the dry ingredients, while slowly adding in the wet ingredients. Mix well. The consistency should be like pancake batter
  • Pour the mixture over the fruit in the pie pan
  • Bake it for 40-45 minutes

As it bakes, it poofs up! But it will slowly deflate as it cools.

it looks like pizza

Before serving, sprinkle some powdered sugar on top:

Like quiche, this dessert can be served warm or cold. It’ll add a simple yet elegant French touch to any holiday feast! Bon appétit!

Tell me in the comments below: what’s your favorite dessert to make?

Quiche Vosgienne

I recently learned that when you add cheese to a quiche it’s called Quiche Vosgienne! The name refers to the Vosges area in eastern France, near Germany. I love learning something new every day!

While I’m not a big fan of eggs, I decided to take the learning a step further by trying my hand at making the savory dish. Here is my interpretation of the simple and delicious meat and cheese French tart using a gluten-free crust.

I’ve taken the traditional recipe for Quiche Lorraine (crust, eggs, cream, bacon, salt & pepper) and added a blend of Swiss and Gruyère cheeses.

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Ingredients

  • 1 frozen 9-inch gluten-free pie crust
  • 4 ounces of cubed pork belly (The French call it lardons, the Italians call it pancetta, and I call it yummy bacon!)
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup of shredded cheese, a blend of Swiss & Gruyère
  • 1 cup of half & half
  • salt & pepper

By using pre-made crust, pre-cubed bacon, and pre-shredded cheese, I saved lots of time.

Instructions

First, I thawed the gluten-free pie crust for 10 minutes. After poking the crust with a fork, I baked it for 15 minutes at 350°F.

While the pie crust was in the oven, I mixed the following ingredients in a large bowl:

  • 3 eggs, plus 1 egg yolk
  • 1 cup of half & half
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon of black pepper

In a small, ungreased frying pan, I browned the pancetta, which I then drained on a paper towel.

Next, I filled the blind-baked crust with a 1/2 cup of the shredded cheese blend:

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I added the pancetta:

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Then, I poured in the egg, cream, and salt & pepper mixture:

Finally, I topped it off with the other half of the shredded cheese:

I baked it for 45 minutes at 375°F and then let it cool down for about an hour.

Et voilà!

Here it is: a Pancetta & Swiss/Gruyère French tart in a gluten-free crust, my interpretation of Quiche Vosgienne!

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Enjoy it hot or cold!

Do you like quiche? What flavor combinations do you like? Tell me in the comments below.