Having been skeptical before, then pleasantly surprised by a savoury sablé (David Lebovitz’ seaweed sablés) on another French Friday, this week’s French Fridays with Dorie recipe (Pierre Herme’s Olive Sables, p 12)was one I was looking forward to a lot. Salty olives in a sweet shortbread – has to be be good, right? To be truthful, this dough gave me problems – even after I rested it in the fridge overnight, rolled tightly into a log, hoping desperately that it would “come together”.
The dough is a little unusual in that it contains the yolk of a hard-boiled egg (this helps with making the pastry flaky apparently – that’s what I learned at Bonnie Gordon College of Confectionary Arts in the International Cookies class a couple of weeks ago too!) and potato starch. I didn’t have any potato starch and whilst I know it’s easy to find here, I subbed corn starch as I know it works well in “short” cookies. I only made 1/4 of this batch as Neil and I don’t really need 60 of these hanging around the house. This made 10 quite fat cookies – they were literally falling apart as I was cutting them and I had to squeeze them hard to make sure they didn’t crumble to bits before they even went in the oven…
Surprisingly these held it together in the oven (even though they look cracked and – err – very rustic!) and we took them to a dinner party last weekend as part of an olive and cheese plate for l’apéritif. Errr… then we found out that our hosts dislike olives and never eat them. Once we had arrived and were setting up the plate. Ok then. Encouraged by other guests, including me, they took a tiny bite. Just to be polite. Then a bigger bite. Then popped entire sablés in their mouths, declaring “these don’t even taste like olives”. Which, to be fair, they didn’t.
What I had loved about the seaweed sablés was that there was a distinct salty flavour. Not so much with these. The olives I used were not salty enough and I didn’t add enough salt to the dough – they really needed a sprinkling of sea salt on top before they were baked. So an intriguing concept – and a popular dish with our dinner party – I’d love to try it again with a saltier olive and hope that they stay together a little more – they were a tad crumbly for easy apéro eating… 😉
French Fridays with Dorie participants do not publish the recipes on our blogs (though this week’s recipe can be found online here); we prefer if you purchase Around My French Table for yourselves which you can do here on Amazon or Amazon Canada. Or for free worldwide shipping, buy from The Book Depository. Go on, treat yourself then join us here!
Canadian readers – did you enter my Pati’s Mexican Table giveaway yet? Closes Thursday April 11th.