Pumpkin Barbajuans

Alain Ducasse, Ducasse: Flavors of France by Alain Ducasse / January 2013

Adapted from Ducasse: Flavors of France by Alain Ducasse

For 20 barbajuans

Pastry:

  • 2 cups plus 2 Tbsps. all-purpse flour
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • 1 lg. egg
  • 1/2 cup cold water
  1. Place flour, oil, and salt in a processor; pulse until mixture resembles course cornmeal; add the egg and water; pulse until combined into a smooth ball.

  2. Place dough on work surface; knead between floured palms 1 minute; form into a disk; envelop with plastic wrap; refrigerate at least 1 hour.

Filling:

  • 2 lbs. fresh pumpkin, baked, skinned, and mashed with a fork
  • 1/2 cup risotto rice, cooked al dente
  • 4 sm. leeks, white and light green parts only, washed, minced, and sweated in 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 lg. eggs
  • 3/4 cup Parmesan, freshly grated
  • salt
  • black pepper, freshly ground

Mix pumpkin, rice, leeks, eggs, and half the Parmesan in a bowl; season; mixing with wooden spoon, gradually add remaining Parmesan until well blended; reserve.

Assembly:

  • canola or peanut oil (for deep-frying)
  • fleur de sel
  1. Using a pasta machine, roll out dough to 1/16” thickness (or roll on floured work surface to 13” by 22” rectangle and 1/16” thickness).

  2. With the short side facing you, spoon 20 walnut-sized mounds spaced 1 1/2” apart over the bottom half of the dough; dab water around mounds; fold top halves over; gently press around each mound; cut into even rectangles with pastry wheel; press tines of fork into edges to seal; place on lightly floured sheet pan; reserve in refrigerator.

  3. To serve, heat oil in deep fryer or deep-frying pan to 340°F; deep fry barbajuans 5 or 6 at time; remove with a spider; place on paper towels to drain; sprinkle with salt; serve on a platter or in a basket lined with a napkin.

What to drink: Champagne or aperitifs
Food Arts Note: These fried savory pastries, synonymous with Monaco, can be stuffed in various ways. In his book Grand Livre de Cuisine: Méditerranée, Alain Ducasse supplies a recipe for a spring version filled with a mixture of Swiss chard, spinach, leeks, white onions, parsley, basil, marjoram, chives, garlic, sheep’s milk ricotta, and Parmesan, and a winter one stuffed with buffalo mozzarella, tomato confit, and truffles.