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Christmas – ‘Pompe à huile’
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Serves 4.

Ingredients: 20g baker’s yeast, 500g flour, 10ml olive oil, 125g sugar, 1 teaspoon aniseed, 7 soup spoons of orange flower water, grated zest of 1 orange and 1 pinch of salt.

Preparation: Dilute the baker’s yeast with 3 soup spoons of warm water. In a large bowl (note that the dough will double in size), mix the yeast, flour, olive oil, sugar, salt, aniseed, water, and orange flower water. Knead the dough and leave it to rise for 3 hours in a warm place, the bowl covered with a cloth.
Once the dough has doubled in size, spread the dough into a pancake on a greased baking tray. Leave it to rise for another hour, again in a warm place. Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 7 (200°C). Make notches with a knife. Bake for 15 minutes.

This ‘pompe à l’huile’ is the queen of these 13 desserts.

Recipe taken from ‘Promenade gourmande en Terre Varoise – volume 2’ written by Var farmers. Self-published by ‘Terre varoise réalité et promotion’ in Hyères.

Pompe à huile - a Provençal Christmas tradition©Fotolia