Jambon (Ham) de Bayonne was originally created in France sometime circa the 14th century and has been enjoyed in many ways ever since. It is perfectly delicious on its own, with a chilled glass of wine on your terrace for aperitif. But if you’d like to step up your apero game this summer, Chef Aurelien Dufour of Dufour Gourmet offers up this French Style Savory Cake made with Bayonne Ham and Gruyere cheese. It is a sunny savory cake made for a sunny day. Chef Dufour describes it as “the perfect comfort food” and something that always reminds him of home.
What makes Bayonne Ham so special? Chef Dufour agrees that it is the salt from the region as well as the sality in the air, added to the pure craftsmanship that goes making each slice of ham so perfect.
The legend goes that while hunting, Gaston Phoebus, count of Foix and a hero from Bearn, wounded a wild boar, which was not found until four month later when it was laying perfectly preserved in a salty spring in Salies-de-Bearn, in Southwest France. As a result, the practice of salting pork and making ham developed around the Adour River. Today, Bayonne Ham is salted and cured using salt from Adour for 7 months minimum.
A few tips for success from Chef:
- Remember that cooking/baking the Bayonne ham will make it saltier. You do not need to add any extra salt to the cake batter!
- Grease the loaf pan really well or line it with parchment (or do both like I did below)
- Julienne the ham into thin slices and make sure the filling is spread evenly throughout the cake
- Use a mix of black and green olives
- 1 cup flour
- 8 grams (1¾ teaspoons) dry yeast
- 3 eggs
- ½ cup olive oil
- ½ cup whole milk
- 200 g Bayonne Ham, julienned
- 1 cup shredded Gruyere cheese
- ⅔ Kalamata olives (or a mix of green and black olives), diced
- Preheat oven to 350F. Grease a standard loaf pan and line with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, mix together the flour and yeast. Add the eggs into the middle of the mixture.
- Slowly pour in the olive oil and milk and mix well until combined.
- Fold in the shredded cheese, Bayonne Ham, and olives. Make sure everything is distributed evenly throughout the batter.
- Pour the batter into the loaf pan and bake for about 45 minutes until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Let cook before serving.
The Savory Cake will keep, well covered, in the fridge for several days.
The Bayonne Ham Council provided products for editorial consideration.