Recipe: La Varenne Gougères

by Virginia Willis

La Varenne Gougères

photo by Virginia Willis

La Varenne Gougères

Makes 20 medium puffs

This is a savory version of the classic French pastry dough pâte à choux used to make profiteroles and éclairs. Gougères are a classic Burgundian treat commonly served with apéritifs at parties, bistros, and wine bars. You can increase the recipe (see Variation, following), but do not double it, as it does not multiply well.

A note of encouragement: don’t panic when you are adding the eggs and the dough starts to look awful. Just keep stirring and it will come together.

3/4 cup water

1/3 cup unsalted butter

3/4 teaspoon coarse salt

3/4 cup all-purpose flour

5 large eggs, at room temperature

3/4 cup grated Gruyère cheese (about 21/2 ounces)


Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line a baking sheet with a silicone baking sheet or parchment paper.

To make the dough, in a medium saucepan, bring the water, butter, and 1/2 teaspoon of the salt to a boil over high heat. Immediately remove the pan from the heat, add the flour all at once, and beat vigorously with a wooden spoon until the mixture is smooth and pulls away from the sides of the pan to form a ball, 30 to
60 seconds. (This mixture is called the panade.) Beat the mixture over low heat for an additional 30 to 60 seconds to dry the mixture.

To make the egg wash, whisk 1 of the eggs in a small bowl with the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt until well mixed; set aside. With a wooden spoon, beat the remaining 4 eggs into the dough, one at a time, beating thoroughly after each addition. (It will come together, I promise.) Beat until the dough is shiny and slides from the spoon. Add the grated cheese.

If using parchment paper to line the baking sheet, “glue” down the paper at this point with a few dabs of the dough.

To form the gougères, use either a tablespoon for a rustic look, or for a more finished appearance, a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2-inch round tip. Spoon or pipe 12 mounds of dough about 2 inches in diameter onto the baking sheet, spacing them at least 2 inches apart. Brush the puffs with the reserved egg wash.

Bake until puffed and golden, 25 to 30 minutes. To test for doneness, remove one puff from the baking sheet and let it cool for 45 to 60 seconds. If it remains crisp and doesn’t deflate, it is done. If not, return it to the oven and continue baking 5 to 10 minutes more.

…..

Virginia Willis is the author of Bon Appétit, Y’all:  Recipes and Stories
from Three Generations of Southern Cooking.

For more about Virginia, visit www.virginiawillis.com

Reprinted with permission from Bon Appétit, Y’all:  Recipes and Stories
from Three Generations of Southern Cooking by Virginia Willis, copyright ©
2008. Published by Ten Speed Press, a division of Random House.

Purchase Bon Appétit, Y’all:  Recipes and Stories
from Three Generations of Southern Cooking.  Visit the SoFAB Store.

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One Response to “Recipe: La Varenne Gougères”

  1. April 2010 | Southern Food and Beverage Museum Says:

    […] Tags: Southern Food and Beverage Museum, Virginia Willis, La Varenne Gougères, Southern Cooking, Bon Appetit, Ya’ll, Ten Speed Press Posted in Baking, Hors d’œuvres, Recipes | Leave a Comment » […]

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