A day of Pastry

It was a rather calm day today as I started at 2 pm, but I decided to take advantage of my free time and get my kitchen vest embroidered, and I’m so happy, it looks great!

Today we had Patisserie class and made La tarte aux pommes. It is one of my top favorite desserts so I was very excited to be making it (alongisde eating some sliced apples and remaining apple sauce during production time…oops!). I find that compared to our Cuisine class, Pastry is a little bit more relaxed, which is great but it is super cold in the pastry kitchen as it is meant to keep doughs and other cakes well maintained. Another difference is that unlike Cuisine, one cannot taste the recipe during production time, therefore EXACT measurements of flour, sugar, salt, egg yolks, etc…are very important. I actually had some trouble with my dough (flour and butter) at first as instead of breaking it down to small pieces, it was stuck to huge blocks, but the final result shows all ended well! Our Pastry Chef below is Thierry Jamard, who has worked around the world and also in China for a couple of years. 

So for the dough, first, you must incorporate the butter and flour together and rub them between your hands until you get a crumble like texture (in small pieces).

Chef Thierry explaining how to incorporate butter into the flour

Next, you make a hole in the middle of the flour and add in salt, sugar and 1 egg yolk mixed with water.
Now start making a circle with your hands and slowly incorporate the flour to the center

Once you get the doughy result, you use your rolling pin and flatten out the dough – but it can’t be too soft nor too hard..just right – I had to do this twice as I messed it up the first time. Then place it on a buttered ring and use une pince to make those fancy looking outlines on the edges of the tarte you’ve always wondered ‘but how do they ever make it look so nice?”
Of course, the dough’s consistency and presentation is PARFAIT

We then sliced up apples (about half went to make apple sauce – made up of butter and apples) to be cooked and then spread onto the chilled dough. You could add sugar and cinnamon but thought it wasn’t necessary. Then the ‘nicer’ looking apples are thinly sliced (1-2mm thick) and placed on top of the apple sauce and then covered in a coating of clarified butter.

Apples must be 2mm apart and in a ‘eventail’ manner (like an asian fan)

Mine (left) and Roberto’s tarte aux pommes before baking time (Mine obviously not as professional looking but hey I was in a rush)
End Result….with a layer of apricot glaze on top (so that it does not dry up!)
Hey! Not too bad for a first-timer…Now, where’s the vanilla ice-cream?
Next week: Pâte à choux…can’t wait!!


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