Thursday, September 4, 2008

Tart Fillings

Wednesday we made the ingredients for tarts.

Tart dough: Otherwise known as Pate Sucre (sweet dough). Cream butter, sugar, and eggs. Then flour. Obviously these were baked in tart pans; this was before they were going to be wrapped and cooled overnight.
These are my and Tennessee's three doughs: two par-baked, and one fully-baked.
Except the fully-baked one isn't. It needs to be browner on the bottom. We finished it the next evening before adding the filling.

Frangipane: Warm almond paste with hands, then cream with sugar then butter. Put in bag, and refrigerate overnight.

Pear Poaching:
Basic poaching liquid: water and sugar, but can add white wine. We also had cinnamon sticks and lots of other things. Chef actually had it ready for us, so I don't know what went in it. We each cut up one pear into halves, and cored it. Dig a melon baller into the center to get the seed portion, then do v-cuts to get the hard end pieces. Then poach.

Bourbon Pecan Filling: combine eggs with sugar and corn syrup, molasses, bourbon, butter, vanilla extract, and pecans. Tennessee made this while I did the Frangipane and Pastry Cream.

Pastry Cream: This is a staple of a pastry kitchen, because it fills so many things like cakes, eclairs, etc.
Scald milk and sugar (when see bubbles at edge, pull off heat). Whisk eggs, sugar, and cornstarch until smooth, then temper about 2/3 of the milk in (add slowly; allows you to raise the temp of eggs nearer to temp of milk without cooking the eggs). Then whisk all back into remaining milk. Boil, whisking constantly (if you stop, the eggs will cook), making sure to scrape sides and bottom. Whisk for one minute at full boil. Pull off heat, whisk in flavoring (extracts, zest, etc). Whisk in butter and then whisk in chocolate. Put over ice bath to cool. When cold, it will look like gel. It will congeal overnight, and then will be paddled smooth again the next day. It has a 3-day shelf life.

Lessons learned:
Getting out early is a really nice feeling. I don't think Garde Manger (my next class) will be like that. Sad. I like being asleep by 12:30 since I have to get up before 6am.
If you are using real vanilla beans for the pastry cream, split and scrape them and add them when scalding the milk. Extracts, however, go in near the end.

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