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French Fridays with Dorie: Pierre Herme’s Olive Sables

Olive sable cookies by Pierre Herme and Dorie Greenspan Around My French Table French Fridays with Dorie

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”.

Olive sables Pierre Herme Dorie Greenspan Around my French Table French Fridays with Dorie

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…

Olive sable cookies Dorie Greenspan French Fridays with Dorie Around my French Table Pierre Herme

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!

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16 Responses to French Fridays with Dorie: Pierre Herme’s Olive Sables

  1. Liz April 5, 2013 at 06:43 #

    How nice that the olive shunners found these to be tasty, too! I was pleasantly surprised! My slice and bake cookies always crumble…I was a bit shocked that most of these held together well for me.

  2. Anne Marie April 5, 2013 at 07:19 #

    Mine tasted like olives, no mistaking the flavor. I think that so much of this cookie depends on the olive, everyone’s cookies probably all tasted differently. I’m interested in seeing how many people enjoyed them.

  3. Cher April 5, 2013 at 08:09 #

    So THAT’s why the egg yolk is used. Mystery solved!

    I used a very mild olive and my fussy eater even ate these – I usually stink at slice & bake cookies, so was happy when this dough was relatively cooperative (I probably did something wrong…)

  4. Cher April 5, 2013 at 08:10 #

    Oh man, I think I lost my first comment…

    These really were a great treat & it is good to know why the egg yolk was used. Mystery solved.

  5. Kendra April 5, 2013 at 09:28 #

    Thanks for letting us know why we used the hard boiled egg yolk…that was a little strange to me! Sorry you had trouble with your dough…but I am sure they still tasted good!

  6. Sara April 5, 2013 at 11:43 #

    I think you sables look very nice! Rustic, as you say. I think they do need a nice, salty olive to get the best flavor out of them, but I also like the idea of a little sea salt on top. These were definitely winners for us, and we rarely have olives in the house. Have a good weekend!

  7. Cakelaw April 5, 2013 at 18:37 #

    I will have to remember your suggestion to sprinkle salt on top if I make these again. I really liked them, although found them more sweet than salty.

  8. yummychunklet April 5, 2013 at 18:41 #

    Ooh, great idea with the salt sprinkling!

  9. Paula @ Vintage Kitchen April 5, 2013 at 19:29 #

    I agree with the need for a little extra salty kick. So great that they were a hit! I used cornstarch too and it worked perfectly. Have a great weekend Mardi!

  10. Kathy April 5, 2013 at 20:24 #

    My olives were not that salty either…but I used a Tahitian lime olive oil. It added such a lovely flavor to these sables. Sorry you had a problem with the dough. Mine was a tad dry, but workable. I think yours baked up delicious looking. Have a great weekend!

  11. Betsy April 5, 2013 at 20:52 #

    My olives were pretty salty, yet I still like your idea of sprinkling these with sea salt. They were pretty sweet too. Glad to hear your dinner party liked these even though they wouldn’t have thought so. I loved them!

  12. Teresa April 6, 2013 at 03:20 #

    So nice that these were a hit with your friends, especially the olive-shunners. They look beautiful, no matter how much trouble they gave you.

  13. Nana April 6, 2013 at 15:47 #

    I actually added some sea salt on about 6 cookies just to try it, but mine were okay without that addition. However, I was wondering how a salty green olive might taste with this recipe. I’m
    glad they were a hit with your friends, it certainly is an interesting recipe.

  14. Viviane Bauquet Farre- Food and Style April 6, 2013 at 18:50 #

    These sables are everywhere! :) Yours look so tasty, Mardi!

  15. Mary Hirsch April 7, 2013 at 12:02 #

    That’s what makes the world tick (or, not tick), our different tastes. I did not particulairly like David’s seaweed sablés, but I loved these. I do agree that they need a saltier olive than I used (although Dorie told us to use a greasy, salty olive) and I have noted your suggestion about a sprinkling of seasalt on the top. Wrote it in my ckbook.

  16. Colette @ JFF! April 8, 2013 at 18:41 #

    Those look buttery & crumbly.

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