Posted by Brette in Food

You know how some families have holiday meal favorites like green bean casserole or candied sweet potatoes? In my family we have gougere. My parents were galloping 70s gourmets, so it’s no surprise that a treasured family recipe would be a French pastry hors d’oevre.

Martha has a recipe for Gougeres with Parmesan and Black Pepper in July Martha Stewart Living. A new twist on an old family favorite? I was excited. In my family, gougere is served as an hors d’oevre, but I whipped this up one night to have instead of bread with dinner (and here I must comment on the overall Martha project – never in a million years would I have seen myself casually whipping up Gougere for a week night dinner. This is what Martha has done to me!)

Gougere might seem a little imposing to make if you’ve never done it, but actually it’s really easy. Martha has included this in the magazine as part of the French cooking lesson and the instructions involve a mixer. Bah. I do it by hand and it’s very fast. First you boil butter, water, sugar and salt. Stir in flour until it pulls away from the sides and makes a film on the bottom of the pan. Then you stir in eggs until it becomes glossy and smooth. This all happens very, very quickly.

gougere1Martha’s instructions say to use a pastry bag. Bah. I just use a spoon. My mom often makes a ring of gougere which is very pretty. Martha says to brush them with egg wash and sprinkle salt and pepper and parmesan cheese on them. Then you bake them. This is essentially a cream puff dough, so it puffs up when it bakes very nicely.

As for taste? This is not a winner in my book, simply because it cannot compete with the family recipe. If you make this, I suggest you put the cheese IN the puffs, not on top where you can’t taste it. I didn’t care for the pepper on it either. Other than that though, these puffed up nicely and were very pretty. gougere2

Because I believe it is far superior, I am going to share the family gougere recipe, which I think is head and shoulders over Martha’s:

Big MarthaAndMe’s Gougere

1 cup hot water

1/2 cup butter

1 cup flour

4 3ggs

1 1/2 cups grated Gruyere cheese

1 tsp Dijon mustard

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp dry mustard

Preheat the oven to 450. Combine water and butter and bring to a rolling boil over medium high heat. Add the flour and beat with a wooden spoon until it forms a ball. Add eggs one at a time and beat with spoon until smooth and shiny. Add the rest of the ingredients.  Form clumps on baking sheet into a ring, so they touch each other. Bake for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 and bake for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 325 and bake until puffy and lightly browned, about 15 minutes.

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