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These Sablé aux Olives Noires from Pierre Hermé Pastries take a lovely sablé / shortbread base and incorporates one of the most unexpected add-ins ever: oil-cured black olives and olive oil. Pierre Hermé is a french Pastry Chef who is famous for his macaroons, by the way. He often makes use of savory ingredients in his desserts: traces of balsamic vinegar, Parmesan, or olives in his cakes and layered dessert cremes. This is  an unlikely duo of sweet-buttery and salty-bitter that works in a way that’s innovative and elegant.

Makes about 50 sablés


1 hard boiled egg, yolk only
2 1/4 cups flour
6 tablespoons potato starch (fécule de pomme de terre)
1/2 teaspoon fleur de sel de Guérande (or other fine sea salt)
215 g / 15 tablespoons sweet butter
1/3 cup olive oil
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
2/3 cup / 140 g  pitted olives, chopped roughly


Grate the hard boiled egg yolk, set aside
Using a mixer with a paddle attachment, beat the butter until soft and creamy
Add the olive oil
Add the egg yolk and mix well
Add the confectioners’ sugar
Add the rest of the dry ingredients, preferably sifted
Mix until all comes together
Add the olives and stir through
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface
Divide it into 3 and form logs
Wrap each log into plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight
The following day:
Preheat the oven to 160 C / 325 F
Remove one log from the refrigerator at a time and slice the log into slices about 1 cm / 1/3″ thick and arrange onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper
Bake for about 20 minutes until firm but not coloured
If using a traditional oven, rotate the baking sheets back to front and top to bottom once during baking
Transfer the cookies to wire racks and cool completely
Repeat with the next log (be sure the baking sheet is cool)
Serve with apéritif

Note:The logs can be frozen for up to 2 months, there’s no need to defrost before slicing and baking.