Friday, October 22, 2010

The Boy Who Played With Fire

Ok, everyone, so I'm just going to cut to the chase. We got to flambé apples tonight, and it was awesome! I mean, sure, my apples got a little burnt, but come on! Fun with fire! And I still have my eyebrows!

Ok, ok, I've calmed down a bit. On to last night’s lesson. I guess what I can say is that we played a little catch up. We didn’t necessarily learn that much that was new, but we did get to reinforce some of the skills we’ve learned, such as making dough, pastry cream, and the like. It felt pretty good to accomplish all that!

Anyway, as soon as we got into class, we baked off our tartes bourdaloues. It’s a tart made with poached pears and almond cream. What do you think?

Second, and most important, we had to make another batch of my nemesis, pâte brisée, and I have to say, it came together pretty well! Only two weeks into my program, and I’m already starting to see some improvement. Huzzah!

After that, we quickly put together our Viennese Vanilla Crescents, a very simple cookie made with hazelnut flour. We baked them, as well as the gingersnap dough we made last week, and we portioned the cookies out into similarly sized pieces, which we then quickly baked.

However, before we broke for dinner, we put together our second tart of the evening, a baked fruit and custard tart. We made ours with apricots, and it was delicious! It looks a little burnt in this picture for some reason, but I swear it's not.

After dinner, we got down to business and started assembling our tarte alsacienne, a tart made with cuastard and flambéed apples.  We were given instruction on how to sauté the apples, being gentle with them so they held their shape, caramelized some sugar, and added the brandy, which quickly burst into flames. Ah, good times. Apparently, not only does flambé-ing burn off the alcohol, but it also enhances the flavor of it. The more you know (cue shooting star graphic).

Anyway, it was a pretty busy night. We got a lot accomplished, but the highlight is seeing some improvement. Not only did my dough come together pretty well, I also noticed that my tarts are shaped more evenly in the tart rings. My crust on both tarts didn't have a jagged edge; they actually look pretty!


  1. I have long said you need to know how to be a flamer....

  2. Actually, Fran says

    I can attest to the deliciousness (a word?) of the tarts and the hazelnut cookie (although I only got to taste 1/3 of one). Samples were sent to Cherry Hill via Todd. It's a good thing you don't live closer.