First Two Weeks at Ferrandi

Tarts, Tarts and More Tarts…….

The first month at school was admittedly quite difficult for me. Baking at home is one thing and baking in a professional environment is a completely different ball game altogether. The tools that you use, the quantity in which you make things was a little intimidating at first for me. 🙂 Nevertheless, I was quite excited and it has been a fun, hectic and hard first month for me.

We started off with tarts and it continued for a good two weeks. We were taught the traditional techniques that French use to make the different doughs, line tart rings etc. And I think it would be appropriate to skip the recipes and share with you interesting facts or techniques that I learn at school!

We started with the basic PATE A FONCER (shortcrust dough).We made only the TARTE AUX POMMES(apple pie) with this dough.
The French use the “SABLAGE” technique (taken from the verb Sabler which can be interpreted as Sand-like).
The flour and the fat (butter, chopped) must be rubbed together lightly until the texture is sand-like. If you over work the dough, the butter melts and you get crumbles. This means the dough shrinks while rolling and after being baked.

Chef's Tarte Au Pommes

Chef’s Tarte Au Pommes

 

The next dough is the PATE SUCRÉE(sweet dough) and we made quite a lot of French classics with this one. The major difference between both the above doughs is the content of sugar. As the sweet dough has more sugar it is more sweet and less elastic than the shortcrust dough. Hence, it is difficult to roll out compared to the shortcrust dough as well.

2 techniques to knead the dough. One, is sablage as explained earlier. The second method is CREMAGE where the butter, sugar and eggs are creamed first and the flour is added thereafter.

Once the dough comes together, the dough needs to be smoothed by the technique called FRASAGE. Form your dough into a log and using a scraper, start to scrape the dough from one in small quantity until all of the dough is smooth. Must be done a maximum of 2 times only.

One the dough is done, it MUST be left in the refrigerator to rest as the gluten gets relaxed and it is easier to roll out the dough.

Technique to Line the TART :
1. roll out the dough and place over the ring.
2. Create a base by pushing the dough in with your thumb.
3. Push in some dough by your thumb at the top to create an edge
4. Crop off the extra dough.
5. Pinch the edges to decorate.

Steps for Lining a Tart ring

Steps for Lining a Tart ring

Apart from the usual apple, lemon, chocolate tarts we also made some different ones like the Tarte Dacquoise, Victoria Tart. The Tart Dacquoise has a baked dacquoise( it is a mixture of meringue and almond flour) base, topped with vanilla cream and topped with tropical fruits. Whereas the Victoria tart has a sweet dough tart base blind baked, filled with sauteed pineapple cubes, topped with pineapple cream frozen disc, decorated with praline cream.

These were my least preferred tarts :

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The tarts that I loved the most :
Tarte Amandine : Sweet dough tart baked with almond cream, topped with almond flakes.
Tarte Citron : Sweet dough tart with lemon curd and confit lemon slices.
Tarte Bourdaloue : Sweet dough tart baked with almond cream and sliced pears.
Tarte Au Figues : Sweet dough baked with almond cream and sliced figs.

Bon Apetit!

Bon Apetit!

Next Post : Puff Pastry 🙂

Although late, I am still taking these tarts over at Angie’s Fiesta Friday! 🙂

PS: Apologies for the disastrous photos!

Berry Tart

 

Summer Berry Tart

Summer Berry Tart

It’s Spring time……….which means it’s time to get berrilicious.I can have strawberries any time of the day, so I sure am making most of the berry season.Back home in India,we would travel to Mahabaleshwar,a hill station located in the Western Ghats, just for the strawberries..There was never enough of the strawberry jam,jellies,the ice creams!
strawberries

Back to the tart story, I along with my hubby was invited to a friend’s dinner party and decided to present them with a beautiful summery berry tart.It seemed like a good idea to take a break from all the chocolate desserts,a breather for my dear hubby as he is not into chocolates.Who can hate chocolate!

Well,I had picked up a lot of strawberries,raspberries and blackberries and ta da….here is a sweet,fresh,light, tangy dessert which will have you wanting for more.

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Ingredients

220 g pâte sucrée (Sweet pastry)
250 g fresh strawberries
250 g fresh raspberries
250 g fresh blackberries
300 g chantilly cream
150 g Crème Pâtissière (Pastry Cream)
a few mint sprigs

Pâte sucrée  (Sweet pastry) :

250 g plain flour
100 g butter, cubed and slightly softened
100 g icing sugar, sifted
pinch of salt
2 eggs, at room temperature

Chantilly Cream :
250 ml whipping cream, well chilled
50 g icing sugar
vanilla essence or seeds scraped from a vanilla pod

Crème Pâtissière  (Pastry Cream) :
4 egg yolks
65 g caster sugar
15 g plain flour
15 g cornflour
350 ml whole milk
½ tsp vanilla bean paste
icing sugar, for dusting

Instructions:

For the Pâte sucrée   (Sweet pastry):

Put the flour in a mound on a work surface and make a well.Put in the butter, icing sugar and salt, and mix these ingredients together with your fingertips.
Gradually draw the flour into the centre and mix with your fingertips until the dough becomes slightly grainy.
Again, make a well and add the eggs.Work them into the flour mixture, using your fingertips, until the dough begins to hold together.
When the dough is well amalgamated, knead it a few times with the palm of your hand until smooth.
Refrigerate for an hour or so.
Roll out the pastry to a round,2- 3 mm thick, and us to line an 18cm diameter tart tin.Chill for at least 20 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 180°C/Gas 5.Prick the pastry base with a fork.Line the pastry with baking paper and fill with a layer of beans to weight the pastry down and prevent it from rising unevenly.Bake for 30 minutes removing the beans for the last 10 minutes.
Remove the pastry from the tin and cool.

Chantilly Cream :

Put the chilled cream,icing sugar and vanilla into a chilled bowl and beat using an electric beater at medium speed for 1-2 minutes.
Increase the speed and beat for another 3-4 minutes until the cream starts to thicken to a light ribbon consistency,do not overbeat.
Use immediately.

Crème Pâtissière (Pastry Cream):

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs and sugar until they turn a pale gold colour.
Whisk in the flour and cornflour and set aside.
Place the milk and vanilla bean paste in a heavy-bottomed saucepan, bring to a gentle simmer, stirring frequently. Remove the pan from the heat and let cool for 30 seconds.
Slowly pour half of the hot milk onto the egg mixture, whisking all the time, then return the mixture to the remaining milk in the pan.
Bring the mixture back to the boil and simmer for one minute, whisking continuously, or until smooth.
Pour the cream into a clean bowl and dust with icing sugar to prevent a skin forming. Cool as quickly as possible, by sitting the bowl of pastry cream in another larger bowl of ice water. When cooled, refrigerate until needed.

Assembling the tart:

Halve the strawberries if they are large.
Delicately fold the chantilly cream into the pastry cream and fill the pastry case with this mixture.
Arrange the berries on top, heaving them up slightly in the centre.
Decorate with mint sprigs and serve.

Bon Apetit!