Gateau Breton is destined to become one of your favorites. An easily made butter pastry sandwiches a fruit filling that can be served for breakfast, as a great dessert, a snack or, if you’re like me, just have a piece whenever.
This marvelous French pastry comes from the Bretagne region of France; which is known for its butter and sea salt. Interestingly enough, unlike most pastry recipes, salted butter is preferred over unsalted for this recipe, particularly salted European Butter.
Back Row: Prunes, powdered sugar. Middle Row: vanilla, water, dark rum. Front Row: butter
See recipe card for quantities.
Step 1. The prunes and water are placed in a small saucepan.
Step 2. Prunes and water boiling.
Step 3. The prunes are cooked until just a little water is left in the pan.
Step 4. The prunes are mashed with a fork while they are hot.
Step 5. The remainder of the filling ingredients are added to the mashed prunes.
Step 6. The finished filling.
Pastry for Gateau Breton
Back row: Flour, Middle Row: Butter and egg yolks, Front row: Sugar
- Salted Butter - European style salted butter is preferred such as Kerrygold or Plugra. It's used for it's higher fat content and it's intense flavor since the pastry is very butter forward.
- Egg yolks - size large are used
See recipe card for quantities.
Step 1. Line a 9" round cake pan with parchment paper. Spray the bottom and sides of the pan with a non-stick baking release. Set aside.
Step 2. Draw a 9" circle on parchment paper. Turn it upside down and set it aside. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Step 3. Cut butter in small pieces and keep refrigerated until needed.
Step 4. Reserve one egg yolk, covered and refrigerated.
Step 5. Place the flour and sugar in the bowl of the processor. Pulse several times to mix.
Step 6. Refrigerated butter is added to the processor.
Step 7. The butter is processed until it is indistinguisable. Do not let it form a ball.
Step 8. Five eggs are added to the processor.
Step 9. The pastry for the Gateau Breton is processed to mix completely. Be sure to scrape down and rearrange as needed until it comes together. Remove from the processor.
Step 10. Divide the dough in half and shape each half into a disc. Place one disc in the bottom of the pan. If it is too soft, refrigerate briefly to firm it up slightly.
Step 11. Cover the disc with plastic wrap and press the dough evenly into the bottom of the pan. Remove the plastic wrap.
Step 12. Spread the filling to within ¾" of the edge of the pastry.
Step 13. Place the second half of the pastry in the middle of the circle drawn on the parchment paper. Place parchment paper or wax paper over the pastry and roll it out to fit the circle. Flip the paper over so the bottom is on top and refrigerate until firm but not hard.
Step 14. Moisten the edge of the pastry with water.
Step 15. Place the top crust over the filling. The edges of the top and bottom are pressed together. Make a cross hatch design on the top and brush with the egg wash.
Step 16. Bake the Gateau Breton for 50 to 55 minutes until the top is a medium brown. Cover loosely with foil if it is browning too quickly. Cool to lukewarm. Go around the edges of the pan with a small metal spatula and turn out. Cool completely on a rack.
NOTE: If the pastry is very soft coming from the processor, chill it just until firm enough to press in and roll out. Do not let it get completely hard or the large amount of butter in the pastry will make it difficult to roll out.
Variations for the Gateau Breton
- Substitute dried apricot for the prunes if desired.
Gateau Breton will keep for at least 5 days at room temperature if kept covered.Print
Gateau Breton is a French pastry that comes from the Bretagne region of France. While professional looking, this easily made pastry features salted European butter and a prune or apricot filling between two layers of pastry made in a food processor or mixer.
- Prep Time: 60 minutes
- Cook Time: 55 minutes
- Total Time: 2 hours
- Yield: 14 servings
- Category: Cake
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: French
- 4 ounces dried prunes
- ⅓ cup water
- 2 tablespoons dark rum
- 1 tablespoon butter, cut into several small pieces (15 grams or ½ ounce)
- ¼ cup powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
Gateau Breton Pastry
- 1 cup salted European style butter, cold (225 grams or 8 ounces)
- 6 large egg yolks
- 2 cups all-purpose flour (280 grams or 10 ounces)
- 1 cup granulated sugar (200 grams or 7 ounces)
- Place the prunes, water and dark rum in a small pan. Bring it to a boil and cook until most of the water has evaporated.
- Remove it from the heat and mash the prunes with the back of a spoon until smooth. Don’t worry if a few small pieces are left.
- And the remaining ingredients, stirring until the butter melts and all is combined. Set aside to cool completely.
Gateau Breton Pastry
- Line an 8” round cake pan with parchment paper. Spray the paper and entire cake pan with a non-stick baking release. Set aside.
- Using the round pan, draw an 8” circle in the middle of a piece of parchment paper. Turn it over and set aside. Preheat the oven to 350F.
- Cut the butter into small pieces and keep refrigerated until using.
- Reserve one egg yolk for the finish. Place it in a small bowl and cover it directly with plastic wrap.
- Combine the flour and sugar in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse to combine.
- Add the cold butter and process until it is indistinguishable.
- Add five egg yolks and process until the dough comes together. Scrape down.
- Rearrange the dough in the processor as needed so it comes together
- Remove the dough from the processor.
- Clean the blade by pulsing several times.
- Bring the dough together in one piece. It will be soft at this point. Do not add flour to the work surface. Just use a gentle motion to bring it together. It will weigh about 770 grams or about 27 ounces. Divide it in half or about 385 grams each or 13 ½ ounces each. Shape into discs.
- If the dough is too soft to work, chill it for about 2 hours or so until it firms up. Do not let it get too hard or it will be difficult to press in and roll out.
- Place one disc in the middle of the pan. Cover it with plastic wrap and press it out evenly to cover the bottom of the pan.
- Spread the filling to within about ¾ inch from the sides.
- Place the second disc of pastry in the middle of the circle on the parchment paper. Place another piece of parchment or waxed paper over the pastry and roll out to fit within the 8” circle.
- Flip the paper over so the bottom is on top. If the pastry does not exactly fit, adjust it now.
- Chill just until firm but not hard, about 10 to 15 minutes.
- In the meantime, stir a teaspoon of water into the reserved egg yolk.
- Dampen the edges of the bottom piece of pastry with water and place the top over the filling. Press the top and bottom edges together lightly.
- Apply the egg wash to the top of the cake. Using a fork, draw a cross hatch on the top layer.
- Bake for 50 to 55 minutes until the top is a medium brown. Cover with foil if it browns too quickly.
- Cool to lukewarm, go around the edges of the pan with a small metal spatula and turn the gateau out. Cool completely right side up.
Alternate Apricot Filling for the Gateau Breton: Substitute dried apricots for the prunes in the filling above.
The filling makes a great spread for toast or English muffins.
- Serving Size: 1 piece
- Calories: 276
- Sugar: 16.5 g
- Sodium: 6.4 mg
- Fat: 16.1 g
- Saturated Fat: 9.4 g
- Trans Fat: 0 g
- Carbohydrates: 30.8 g
- Fiber: 0.2 g
- Protein: 2.5 g
- Cholesterol: 116.1 mg
Keywords: Gateau Breton, French pastry, French cake, prune filling, apricot filling, European Butter, easy to make, Gateau Breton recipe