Sable Breton: In
a bowl whisk the flour with the baking powder and salt.
bowl of your electric stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment
(you can use a hand mixer), beat the butter, on low speed, until
smooth. Add the sugar and beat on medium low speed just until incorporated
(you don't want to incorporate too much air into the batter). Add the
egg yolks (in two additions) and vanilla seeds and beat, on medium low
speed, until incorporated. Beat in the flour mixture, in two
the pastry onto your work surface and gather into a ball. Wrap in plastic wrap
and place in the refrigerator to chill for
three to four hours (or overnight) (the pastry can be stored in the
refrigerator for up to two days or frozen for
about two months).
Once the pastry has
chilled, preheat your oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C).
Butter (or spray with a non stick cooking spray) an 8 inch (20 cm)
springform pan or cake pan. Then line the bottom of the pan with
Place the chilled pastry
a lightly floured surface, and roll into an 8 inch (20 cm) round. (To
prevent the pastry from sticking to the counter and to ensure uniform
thickness, keep lifting up and turning the pastry a quarter turn as
you roll.) Place
the round of pastry into your prepared pan.
Bake in the preheated
oven for about 25 minutes, or until the pastry has risen, is a light
golden brown color, and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out
clean. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool.
a medium-sized heatproof bowl, mix the sugar and egg yolks
together. (Do let the mixture sit too long or you will
get pieces of egg forming.) Then whisk in the flour and cornstarch
until you have a smooth paste.
Meanwhile, in a
saucepan bring the milk and vanilla bean just to boiling (just until milk starts
to foam up.) Remove from heat and add slowly to egg mixture, whisking constantly
to prevent curdling. (If you get a few pieces of egg (curdling) in the mixture,
pour through a strainer.) Remove vanilla bean, scrape out seeds, and add the
seeds to the egg mixture. (The vanilla bean can be washed and dried and placed
in your sugar bowl to give the sugar a vanilla flavor.) Then pour the egg
mixture into a medium saucepan and cook over medium heat until boiling, whisking
constantly. When it boils, whisk mixture constantly for another two
until it becomes thick. (Stir in vanilla extract if using instead of a vanilla bean.) Pour
into a clean bowl and immediately cover the surface with plastic wrap to prevent
a crust from forming. Cool and then place in the refrigerator until it's
about 70 degrees F (21 degrees C).
Pastry Cream: In the bowl of your electric stand mixer, fitted with the
paddle attachment (or with a hand mixer) beat the
pastry cream and butter until smooth and fluffy. Add the pistachio nut paste and
beat until incorporated.
Place the Sable Breton on your serving plate. Spread with the Pistachio Pastry
Cream leaving a 1 inch (2.5 cm) border. If desired, sprinkle the cream with chopped
pistachio nuts. Arrange the strawberries on top of the cream. With a pastry
brush, brush the
strawberries with the apricot glaze. If not serving immediately, cover and
In a small saucepan heat the apricot preserves until boiling. Remove from heat
and strain to get rid of lumps. Add the Cognac or water.
about 8 - 10 servings.