Gâteau de la bergère. Rum raisin shepherd cake.

Why shepherd ? You could think it’s because it looks like a sheep. It’s a woolly moist cake, deliciously flavored with the liquor infused fruits.

There is a relation with the shepherd pie too. The recipe is a little unusual. Apparently that was done a lot in France in the early 19th century as this ingredient had not been yet type-casted as savory side. Yes, a potato dessert ! And it’s delicious. Actually this is a great base to bake cakes without gluten nor grains nor nuts, so that may be a useful recipe for people with certain food intolerances. Anyway that’s good for everybody to vary.

RECIPE :
Beat in that order :
1 egg yolk + 1 or 2 tbs of sugar
+ 2 tbs of coconut cream + a splash of vanilla extract.
+about a cup of mashed potato flesh
+ water to get a creamy texture.
Mix in 1/4 cup of raisins soaked in rum overnight (there were goji berries too).
Add in 3 times the egg white (beaten and sweetened with 1 tbs of sugar).
Bake at 160 degrees Celsius till top is firm and golden.

Let cool a few hours. Serve chilled.

Nobody will guess what the main ingredient is. That appears like some baba au rhum soaked biscuit.
Well, the presentation could be better. That’s not a good idea to take it out of the mold. Next time, I’ll serve in individual cups or cocottes like a flan.

Patates rosies

Let’s open the pot :

Patates rôties, like this classic. The twist is I’ve added some beetroot.

We had 2 ways to eat them in my family. The easy one is with fromage blanc (French unsalted cottage cheese)… But no, I didn’t have that. That’s tofu. It’s different, but I like it too.

The true amateurs will want a raw egg.

It curds if the potatoes and the plate are hot enough.

How to NOT make “pommes soufflées”

For me, the sticks of fried potatoes are Belgian fries. The pommes de terre soufflées are the real French fries, the pride of the snobbish chefs. They are light crispy ballooned potatoes, so tender inside.
I don’t get why such a fuss. That so easy to make. Let’s go if I can make them…

Don’t : take new crisp potatoes
Do : take relatively starchy potatoes, old ones

Don’t : wash them after peeling nor let the skin.
Do : wash and THEN peel the potatoes.

Don’t : make irregular slices, too thin, too thick, etc…
Do : make all slices of the same size (use the odd ones for another recipe) and make them 2 or 3 millimeter thick

Don’t let them wet.
Do : Pat them dry + let them dry.

Don’t fry them in oil that is too hot.
Don’t fry a huge batch that fills your pan at the maximum.

Do : fry a handful at a time. Stir to prevent them from sticking together.

Don’t : cook the potato till they take color
Do : keep them pale

Don’t : put them all at the same time for the second bath.
Do : fry 4 or 5 at a time. It’s very quick. Do as many batches as you need.

Don’t : Fry them a second time in oil at the same temperature than the first time.
Do : Fry them the 2nd time at a temperature at least 20 degrees Celsius upper than the first time.

SUPER FAIL !
First and second baths were too hot. They are scorched.

FAIL !
The second bath was nearly at same temp as the first…they are boursouflées (=they have blisters). That said they are not bad.

Do :
-first bath with oil at 130 to 150 degree celsius (a few minutes)
-second bath 160 to 170 degrees (a few seconds)

I have made all the mistakes for you. Thank me and don’t imitate.

That said, I think you will probably fail partially the first batch as that depends on your equipment and how you measure temperature. Oil was hotter than I thought. So start with very small amounts to find the good heat and time.
But, yes, that’s totally doable :

More in this post, click.

So, a little salad : mizuna leaves, myoga and konnyaku. For dressing, only Chinese black vinegar. To eat with the edible fries :

Patates rôties

Les patates. That’s the real specialty of Lorraine.

There was always a cocotte full of this on the wood stove at my grand-parents. Potatoes were the staple food, and whenever la Mémé (Granny) asked how we wanted them : “rôties”.
We were not eaten them everyday. We had some at every single meal.

It’s simple, but not many people know how to make the patates rôties. The principle ingredient is time. A long time on the stove.
Just potatoes and some fat are necessary. Cook longly in a cast iron pot. Add salt and pepper.
I added a little onion in melted lard, you can use oil and start by frying a little bit of bacon in it.

The crunchy orange bits are everybody’s favorite parts.

With slices of pork.

And a stir-fry of shimeji mushrooms and turnip greens.

The meal :
Calories :654.8 F17.3g C98.6g P31.5g

Casser la croûte. On the table, at the farm…

Let’s break the bread crust and the meal starts… Casser la croûte, breaking the crust is eating for the French. That’s the magic : close your eyes. Your are in a French farm in the timeless era of fairy tales. There is a herd of unicorns grazing in the field…

Break the bread and put food on it…

That’s a meal. No, I forgot to take photos of the wine.
At our farm we make everything from scratch… but not the wine.

Un pain de campagne. Merci Kiki, la MAP (home bakery machine). It’s an old style peasant bread with a little rye flour in it.

3 terrines that you’ve seen before :
terrine de canard aux marrons et aux noix (chestnut marron duck )
terinne de volaille aux herbes (herb poultry)
pâté au foie (liver)

Salade de chou rouge (red cabbage).

Flavored with apple, Italian parsley (despite the name, it’s not foreign at all in France, it’s persil plat, the common flat parsley). Of course, a cider vinegar vinaigrette.

(to go to the posts, click on the text not the photos)

pickled cornichons

pots de pommes de terres et champignons (mushroom, potato)

Dessert chausson

I hope you enjoyed the visit !