Festive Strudel Tarte and ‘La Goulue’

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As a follow up from my rather complicated, but very warmly received Christmas cake, here is a VERY simple and VERY adaptable ‘Strudel Tarte’ that I saw featured on French breakfast tv, and in true Taste of Two Cities’ manner, I have tweaked and adapted it, and I am very pleased with the results so far.

Also in true ‘Taste of Two Cities’ manner, I am going to run a little cultural introduction, and this week I have been inspired by a visit to a local restaurant on the banks of the river Marne, ‘La Goulue.

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‘La Goulue’ (real name Louise Weber) was a dancer at the ‘Moulin Rouge’ who was immortalised by Toulouse Lautrec’ in his advertising posters.

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She was in fact the first dancer to introduce the racy dance moves that were to evolve into the famous ‘French Can Can’ by lifting her skirts high while dancing and revealing a heart embroidered on her panties, and would make a high kick, lifting a gentleman’s hat from his head.
She was given the name ‘La Goulue’ (the glutton) as, as she danced past the tables she would sweep up a customer’s drink and down its contents in one!

The restaurant echoes the ambiance of the ‘Belle Epoque’ with Lautrec style murals and Tiffany style glass.
The menu is very typically French with dishes such as ‘Magret de Canard’, ‘Porc Normand’ and ‘Coquilles St Jacques’ and a wonderful selection of traditional desserts all cooked to perfection.
We were there early at a mid-week lunchtime, so I was able, with the permission of the owner, to take some photographs, but at Sunday lunchtime you must book in advance to secure a table.

To return to the Strudel Tarte, the one made on breakfast television contained ‘Nutella’ pecan nuts and pear, as I do not like ‘Nutella’ and I was out of both pecans and pears, I used ‘crème de marrons’ assorted raisons and apple (and a sprinkling of all spice)
My next attempt is going to feature ‘mincemeat’ (to make ‘mince pies’, not ‘minced meat’ to make lasagne – in case any non-Brits are confused!) and cranberries and either pecans or walnuts (whatever I have to hand).
You could equally use fig or apricot jam with figs and dates, or whatever you like – you are only limited by your imagination – and what you have in your cupboards! I am also going to try this out using Cranberry sauce and Brie cheese and walnuts – so watch this space.

All I have to add is that this is one of the easiest recipes that I have tried and it got the ‘Silent’ factor from my usually gregarious beau-fils (step-son) and Monsieur le Frog also…so without further ado…

Ingredients

Two sheets of ready-made ‘puff’ pastry

1 table spoon of crème de marrons (or equivalent – I used ‘crème de marrons du ‘Massif Central’)

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A good handful of mixed raisons

Half an apple finely chopped

1 teaspoon of all spice

1 beaten egg for brushing

2 teaspoons of vanilla sugar

Method

Cut two circles of puff pastry

Cover one with the crème marrons, leaving a 1 inch (2 cm) border

Sprinkle with the raisins, apple and all spice

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Brush the edges with the egg and place the second circle on top, gently pressing down the edges to seal them

Place a glass upside down in the centre and cut into quarters up to the glass, leaving the centre intact

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Cut each quarter into three and twist the edges in a ‘clockwise’ direction

Remove the glass and sprinkle a handful of flaked almonds in the space where the glass was

Brush with the remaining beaten egg and bake in a preheated oven at 180 degrees/gas mark 4 for 20 minutes

Remove from the oven and sprinkle with the vanilla sugar, return to the oven and cook for a further 10 minutes until golden

Allow to cool a little for 5 minutes before serving with a little crème fraiche on the side

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Guaranteed success on a plate…..

 

 

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6 thoughts on “Festive Strudel Tarte and ‘La Goulue’

  1. Osyth says:

    Mahusive thumbs up from here! I adore creme de marron so version one (love that slide show btw 😉 ) is an instant winner but I also love all those other ideas too. Though unfortunately HB2 won’t eat cooked cheese (unless it’s blue obscurely). Actually scratch that – FORTUNATELY HB2 won’t eat cooked cheese which means the brie baby could be all the more for me!! Loved the slice of history too. I never knew – which is one of the things I love about your blog … all the things I learn and then a juicilicious recipe to try out too – winning! xx

  2. lindaravello says:

    Ha ha ha I thought the ‘slide-show’ would impress you – this is ‘grace a toi! Merci mille fois…..
    Take HB2 to Greece and feed him saganaki – that’ll cure him of his cooked cheese aversion..
    Quite a sad ending to this story – maybe I should have included it – Le Gouloe actually died a penniless alcoholic (absinthe addict) actually, selling matches on the corner of the street next to the Moulin Rouge….)
    It was this restaurant that we went to after we made the PACS in France…..

  3. Lynz Real Cooking says:

    I love this post! The strudel looks amazing! It is beautiful and sounds like something I could do! Love the info. and history of the dancer and Moulin Rouge! What a rich culture and so cool that you go to those places like that restaurant! Love this Lyndy!

  4. lindaravello says:

    Thanks Lynz – recipe one of the easiest that I have made.
    Did you read my reply to Olyth about how La Goulue ended her days – very sad.
    Paris is full of quirky little places like this – maybe I posted this before you began following me, but if you read my post on ‘soupe de moules et les Guinguettes’ you will learn a little more about the history of these restaurants on the banks of the river Marne who sprung up to avoid a tax on selling wine in Paris, so glad you liked it x

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