Many things can be a croustade, which nearly always involves a crispy pastry, sometimes flaky, sometime puff, and sometimes like a crumble (although ‘crumble’ has become a French word as well, although half the time the recipes are for savoury versions with vegetables).
In southwest France, pastry reaches a kind of epiphany in a dessert called a croustade or tourtière, made with a very thin pastry called pastis like the apéritif.
We watched a demonstration of how the pastis is made in the Ecomusée de Curzals in the Lot.
A rather large table is essential. But you don’t need a rolling pin.
Instead you stretch it and stretch it, thinner and thinner...
Until it covers the whole table and beyond. Then you cut slices and layer them to look like a pile of leaves on top of the prunes or apples...
and bake until golden. They come in various sizes and are never cheap, but you can see why.
Images by Dana Facaros, El Mono Español, Nefertyna