Sunday, March 20, 2011

Fleur de Sel Sablés

Fleur de sel ("Flower of salt" in French) is a hand-harvested sea salt collected by workers who scrape only the top layer of salt before it sinks to the bottom of large salt pans. It is an artisanal food product. Due to its relative scarcity, Fleur de sel is one of the more expensive salts. [Source]


Fleur de Sel


I'll say! I bought this mini jar at a French grocery store for €2,40 when I could have gotten regular salt for 40 cents a kilo. Well, I just wanted to know/taste what the fuss was about. Chefs and pastry chefs across the world all proclaim this to be the best salt. The textue is very fine, and slightly more moist than regular salt. Keeping it all French, I decided to make sablés. Easy, delicious and full of beurre! Rating: 4 out of 5.




Fleur de Sel Sablés: adapted from Pierre Hermé's Breton Sablés

Ingredients:
- 2 ⅓ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter, softened
- ¾ cup + 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 ½ teaspoons fleur de sel
- 5 large eggs yolks, lightly beaten
- 2 teaspoons fleur de sel, for garnish (optional)

Instructions:
- Sift the flour and baking powder together and set aside for the moment. Working in a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter until it is soft and smooth. Add the sugar in a slow, steady stream, followed by the 1 ½ teaspoons of salt, and continue to beat, scraping the bowl as needed, for about 3 minutes, or until the mixture is light, pale and fluffy. Add the yolks and beat to incorporate. At this point, the mixture should be light, creamy and satiny. Remove the bowl from the mixer and, working with a large rubber spatula, fold in the sifted dry ingredients, taking special care not to overwork the dough.
- Divide the dough in half and, working on a smooth surface, such as marble, mold each half into a log with a diameter of about 1 ½ inches and a length about 8 inches. The dough is going to be baked inside muffin tins, so you might have to adjust the thickness of the logs to the size of the tins: the logs should be about ¼ to ½ inch slimmer than the muffin cups. Wrap each log in a double thickness of plastic wrap and chill for at least 4 hours.
- Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 325°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Unwrap one log and, using a sturdy chef’s knife, slice the log into ⅓- to ½-inch-thick cookies. Place on baking sheet and garnish with a pinch of fleur de sel. Bake the cookies for 12 to 15 minutes, or until they are just firm. These cookies are meant to be pale don’t let them brown: it’s okay if the bottoms are lightly browned, but the tops should remain uncolored. Transfer the cookies to a rack to cool. Repeat with the remaining dough.


Fleur de Sel Sablés

17 comments:

Chele said...

Fleur de sel is amazing, I was lucky enough to see how it was made when we went on honeymoon. Love the idea of the sables.

Xiaolu @ 6 Bittersweets said...

I've heard so much about fleur de sel that I'm a bit ashamed to call myself a foodie but not to have tried it yet hehe. Love the simplicity of these sables that must be great for highlighting the salt flavor :).

High Heeled Life said...

hmmmm ...Fleur de Sel ... sounds truly decandent!! thanks for posting about it and sharing this fab receipe..HHL

Dianne said...

Would you believe I have a large container of this salt in my pantry it is the creme-de-la-creme of salts.

apparentlyjessy said...

I've never heard of Fleur de Sel or salt toppped cookies. I would like to try a sable and see what the salt/sweet combination is like.

cakeje van eigen deeg said...

And here I was hoping you've bought it at a store in the Netherlands. They look delicately delicious ;)

Sandy at Ooh La Frou Frou said...

These cookies look delicate and delicious! Did you think it would be worth the money to use Fleur de Sel in place of regular salt as a standard in baking?

Paris Pastry said...

@Sandy: Not knowing exactly what else to do with the fleur de sel, I think that's what I'll do with the rest of it. I wonder if I'll be able to taste the difference though!

Moon said...

There 's nothing better than a slice of fine bread (grilled or not), some high quality olive oil and some 'fleur de sel' sprinkled on top. That's truly a must try for dinner parties or actually any event.

Dana @MyCherryPie said...

Nothing beats fleur de sel! Especially when it's something that is sweet and salty. Great post :)

Dana @MyCherryPie said...

OH! and another thing you can try is using it with a caramel sauce. It makes this absolutely delicious combination of sweet & salty. I have the perfect salted caramel sauce in the brownies I made a couple of weeks ago in case I've made you curious.

Much love,
Dana

Paris Pastry said...

@Dana: Thanks for the tip!

Dom at Belleau Kitchen said...

Hi Paris Pastry... just wanted to say that I love your blog and I saw your comment on Art of being Perfect's blog about my Random Recipe challenge and I'd love to have you take part... maybe next month if you have the time!...

here's the link: http://belleaukitchen.blogspot.com/2011/03/random-recipe-two-beatrice-makes-choice.html

Thanks

Dom

Ash said...

Oh, I love sweet and salted anything!!

Tammy said...

How lovely this looks! I have never heard of fleur de sel before.
The cookies sound wonderful though! Thank you for sharing this! You have a beautiful blog!

xx,
Tammy

Champagne Macarons said...

I, too, much prefer fleur de sel.. I have used it for years now.

Lenny's home is amazing, isn't it? I saw him in concert and decided that he was a 'true' rock star. He's amazing. Before our 13 yr old was born, I jokingly told my husband his name would be Lenny ;)
xoxo, B

Lucie said...

Nothing is more comforting than a warm, buttery sable with just the right amount of flecks of salt. Yours look delicious--wish I could bite into one right now!