- Use a melon baller to core apples, it creates a nice shape when you slice the apples.
- Always turn your dough so you’re only rolling front and backwards. Rolling sideways creates uneven thicknesses in your crust.
- Use your knuckle to push your dough into your pie plate, and then use a floured piece of dough to push it in the corners. This will avoid ever ripping your dough.
- Roll your rolling pin over the tart mold after you’ve put the dough in to easily cut the dough, rather than using a knife.
Today was predicted to be another ‘mayhem’ day. We had three tarts and a quiche to prepare as well as an exam to write, but for most of us it went pretty smoothly. Personally, I’m finding my stress level is definitely going down – there’s still a ton to do every day, but at least I now feel somewhat in control of what’s going on, it’s just a matter of getting organized and working quickly.
I think it also helped today that I had made all of these desserts before. For me, the clear winner today was the pear tart – thinly sliced canned pears laid out in a sugar crust with frangipane (an almond cream made from almond paste, sugar, butter, eggs, almost extract, almond flour, and cream patissiere that we made previously), and topped with apricot glaze. I was a bit surprised we weren’t using poached pears, but I guess it’s not that complicated to learn to poach your own. The almond cream cooked up and made a very ‘sophisticate’ taste.
We also made two apple tarts, one with a sugar crust (pate sucrée), and one with a flaky curst (pate brisée). I liked the sugar crust, Nina liked the flaky crust. If three pies (I mean tarts – pies have crust on the top)..wasn’t enough, we also made a Quiche Lorraine (bacon, gruyere, parsley, custard, cayenne pepper, nutmeg). This tasted good, but much like…well….a quiche. We started the day with an exam and more-or-less worked through lunch, but finished over half an hour early. We had lots of time for Chef John to take us through today’s powerpoint presentation.
A large contingent of us went out for beers afterwards to the ‘Toad Hall’, an apparent Culinary Center haunt. Several of our teachers were there – it’s always funny to see your teachers ‘outside of school’. I never forget seeing one my high school teachers at a store buying melons – teachers buy groceries? We had lots of fun at the bar, including playing the ‘question game’ and a quick chugging contest. My fraternity days helped out in the chugging contest. It was great getting to know the gang…. and where else would you find someone breaking out two homemade tarts and a quiche right after a chugging contest, for all to devour!!!!
Monday is bombes and pastries.