Jalousie: mid 18th century, French, literally ‘jealousy’, from Italian geloso ‘jealous’, also (by extension) ‘screen’, associated with the screening of women from view (Oxford Languages). The internet is a wonderful thing.
In this case a jalousie is a puff pastry pie with the top slashed to resemble (allegedly) a jalousie or louvred blind. It can be savoury or sweet and in this case proved to be the perfect vehicle for the greengages I picked from our tree, although you can use any plums you have handy.
My recipe is inspired by one from Jane Grigson’s Fruit Book, which at this time of year rarely leaves my kitchen table. I admire all her books but this, along with Vegetables, probably gets used most. But if you don’t have them, buy English Food and Good Things and what the heck, all the others. Every home should have the entire collection.
Greengage and Almond Jalousie
400g puff pastry, preferably all butter
2 tbsp ground almonds
About 12 greengages, halved and stoned
2 tbsp flaked almonds
1/2 tspn ground cinnamon
3 tbsp sugar (I used Demerara)
1 egg, lightly beaten
Turn the oven to 220C/425F/Gas Mark 7.
On a lightly floured surface, roll the pastry into an oblong 30cm x 32cm, then with a sharp knife cut it into two 15cm x 32cm rectangles, making sure the edges are neat. Put one to the side for now.
Line a baking sheet with baking paper, transfer the other piece of pastry and egg wash a 2cm rim all around. Scatter the central section with the ground almonds – these help to soak up the fruit juices and keep the pastry crisp. Place the gages on top, cut side down, in rows of three. Sprinkle with the cinnamon, flaked almonds and 2 tbsp sugar.
Take the second piece of pastry, dust lightly with flour and fold it loosely in half lengthways. Make a series of horizontal cuts through the fold, about 1.5cm apart, leaving a 2cm border on the other three sides.
Without unfolding it, place it on the fruit-filled rectangle so that one long edge and the two short edges align. Unfold it to cover the fruit and press down the edges, then crimp with the tines of a fork.
Brush with egg wash, sprinkle with the remaining sugar and put the pie in the oven. Cook for 20 minutes then reduce the heat to 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4 and cook for about another 10 minutes until the gages are tender.
Serve tepid, with cream or crème fraîche. It’s best eaten on the day it’s made.