French pastries landing on the surf coast: le Palet Breton
This month I’d like to introduce you another of my little french pastries: le palet breton. This close cousin of the shortbread comes from the Brittany region, in the North-West part of France, famous for its traditional buttery cuisine. Let’s have a little throwback to its origins and what makes it so special.
The palet breton will always be a highlight of my childhood memories, as it probably is for many french people! Back home, the palets usually come in tin boxes, this way you can keep them for quite a while and it’s very convenient when you need to prepare an afternoon snack for your kids every single day as it’s the case in french traditions. During my summer holidays in Brittany, my parents always had a box somewhere and I was sometimes given the permission to open it and have one (or two!) after the meal or as a snack on a beach…
This small and perfectly round biscuit takes its name from a game that has been played in Brittany since the 14th century. The players tossed small discs of stone, lead or wood, called “palet” onto a playing surface aiming to make them land as close as possible to another little “palet”. Le palet breton is also called the royal biscuit, not a surprise given that its delicious and rich recipe was initially prepared for the French bourgeoisie to enjoy!
The recipe of the palet is as simple as it is generous: flour, eggs, sugar and of course... butter!
When baking my palets “made in Surfcoast”, I prepare them with my usual favourite cultured butter from Lard Ass. It is slightly different in taste from a traditional butter, more hearty and wholesome. Strong point: because it is a cultured butter, it is kind to your guts and therefore easily digestible.
Another characteristic of my recipe is the use of “fleur de sel”, or flower of salt in English, shipped from France by my beloved friends or family back home. If you’re not familiar with this type of salt, it is actually a salt that forms as a thin and delicate crust on the surface of seawater as it evaporates. It is obviously harder to harvest than regular sea salt, which makes it so special and keeps its flavour perfectly pure. I add a hint of it to lift up the taste of the butter, miam!
I hope I’ve succeeded in bringing to you a little piece of this culture of simplicity and I invite you to savour a palet with your tea or coffee, dipping it in s’il-vous-plait, the French way!
Where to get your next Palet Breton?
If this reading whets your appetite, you can come find us and the palet breton (among many other pastries and cakes) every weekend at the local farmers' markets on the Surfcoast and in Melbourne! Follow us on Instagram or Facebook to find out where we’ll be next!
Last but not least! Our online shop is open every day! We’ll be very happy to prepare your favourite treats and we deliver if possible!