On your holidays in the mountains, you may have come across the simple and delicious little pastries known locally as bugnes.
In Méribel, during the Fanfoué fête on the first weekend in August, hundreds of them are prepared for locals and visitors by Jeannine. We asked for her bugnes-making secrets, and we were invited to the home of Mado, former manager of La Croix Jean-Claude Hotel and ‘living memory’ of the Méribel valley.
These two have retained all their humour and zest for life and we encourage you to listen to their jokes and anecdotes in the video below!
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 5 minutes
- 1 kg plain flour
- 9 tbsp caster sugar
- 1 sachet (11g) baking powder
- 1 sachet (8g) vanilla sugar
- 100 grammes butter
- 6 medium eggs
- 200ml crème fraîche
- Sunflower oil for frying
- Icing sugar
<liA few drops of aniseed-flavoured liqueur
- Melt the butter in a saucepan. Meanwhile, tip the flour, sugar, baking powder and vanilla sugar into a large bowl.
- Add the eggs and mix well.
- Once the butter has melted, add the crème fraîche to cool it down (this prevents the eggs from cooking).
Tip: add a dash of aniseed-flavoured liqueur to give the bugnes extra flavour.
- Add this mixture to the bowl. Mix well and knead until it forms a smooth pastry.
- Using a rolling pin, roll out as much of the pastry as you require to a thickness of 0.5cm.
Tip: if you don’t want to use all the pastry straight away, you can keep it several days in the fridge or even the freezer. Divide it into several pieces so you can defrost as much as you require.
- Once you have rolled out the pastry, cut it into strips with a pastry wheel (called a ‘rzolu’ in Savoyard patois). Cut each strip into lozenge shapes and mark the middle of each lozenge with the pastry wheel.
- In a frying pan or deep-fat fryer, heat the oil to 190°C and fry the bugnes until golden brown. Remove with a skimmer and place on absorbent paper.
- Serve on a dish with sieved icing sugar to decorate.
The remains of the pastry can be used to make Rzoul! These are bugnes filled with apple compote.
Here’s how to make them:
<liMake a thick apple compote with a little sugar and cinnamon (you can also use other fruit such as pears or quince).
- Roll out the pastry to a thickness of 0.5cm.
- Make ravioli using the compote. Make sure you push out all the air and seal them well so the compote doesn’t spill out when fried. Cut them out with a pastry cutter.
- Découper-les avec la roue à pâtisserie.
- Fry the Rzoul until golden brown. Remove with a skimmer and place on absorbent paper.
- Decorate with a little icing sugar.
Gourmet tip:Bugnes are traditionally eaten at tea-time or as a dessert, with mulled wine or home-pressed fruit juice.