Gascony Ham Cake


Gascony Ham Cake

August 15th is Julia Child’s birthday! We’re celebrating with a quick bread instead of a cake. One of Chef’s favorite regions located in Southwest France, Gascony is called “The Other South of France” but really known for their hearty cuisine & regional specialties including salted ham. We made a savory quick bread using Villa Graziella Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Enjoy it with a glass of wine as an appetizer or with a salad for dinner. Yields approx. 15 slices.

Simple Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup Villa Graziella Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil, plus extra for brushing the pan

  • 2 cups baked ham or thick prosciutto, cut into ¼ cubes

  • 2 cups coarsely grated or cut Gruyère or Emmentaler cheese

  • 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour

  • 1/2 cup milk

  • 3 large eggs, room temperature, lightly beaten

  • 1 package dry yeast

  • 1 teaspoon sea salt

  • 1 teaspoon cracked black pepper

*1/3 cup small-diced, pitted Niçoise olives (approx. 1 ¼ ounces), can also be added with flour & ham

Easy Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350◦ degrees, arrange rack in the oven to the center. generously brush a loaf pan with olive oil

  2. In a large bowl whisk eggs, milk & olive oil

  3. In a separate bowl combine ham & flour

  4. Add wet ingredients into bowl with ham & flour, do not over mix, combine with 10-12 swift strokes, batter will be thick with a few traces of flour

  5. Fold in cheese to batter

  6. Add salt, pepper, sprinkle yeast & mix

  7. Pour batter into a loaf pan, distribute evenly to each corner & smooth the top

  8. Bake until golden brown 50-60 minutes or if an inserted toothpick or knife into the center comes out clean

  9. Remove from oven & cool approx. 5 minutes, run a knife or spatula around edges to release.

  10. Slice, serve at warm or at room temperature & enjoy with a glass of Villa Graziella Bianco Toscano IGT

Helpful Hints: Overmixing causes bread to deflate once baked with holes. Any extra oil that oozes to the top, pour out before cooling. Overbaked bread is tough & dry, undercooked bread will collapse.

Inspiration recipe found at: Lee Bailey’s California Wine Country Cooking