Ok, so, today was a pretty fun day, aside from the test. We rolled our pâte sucrée dough, so that we could chill it for our clafoutis. Clah-Foo-Tee. Yes, I like saying “clafoutis.”
Next up, we made Spritz cookies. These are very traditional cookies that you see in bakeries everywhere. Ours were made with almond paste and a ton of butter. We piped them into rosettes, which was actually pretty difficult. Chef Joseph tried to show me the proper way, but I don’t think I really got it. I guess I better practice, eh? Despite the piping problems, we filled the centers with raspberry jam (blech!) and popped them into the oven. I guess they didn’t look too bad in the end, but they’re far from perfect. They tasted good, though, despite the aforementioned raspberry.
At the same time that we were making our cookies, we made more pâte brisée, but this time we made them in an industrial food processor. Seriously, you guys, it took about 45 seconds. Amazing! Now that I know I can make brisée that easily, I might just keep a few batches in the freezer just to have on hand! Who wants onion tart?! Everyone wants onion tart, that’s who.
Next we moved on to filling our blind-baked tart shells for the clafoutis. A couple things for you, since some of you have told me that you don’t necessarily understand all the terms I’m using.
· Blind baking is when you bake a tart shell with no filling. You would use this method if you’re making a tart that doesn’t get baked, such as banana cream or fresh fruit tarts. Alternatively, you would blind bake a tart shell if the filling would otherwise cook more quickly than the shell, as in the custard in clafoutis or quiche.
· Clafoutis is a traditional dessert from the Limousin region of France. It is traditionally made with cherries with the pits still intact. Wacky Frenchies and their choking hazards...amirite?
Anyway, we made our custard, poured them over the cherries (we used pitted cherries, of course), and popped them in the oven. Mine came out ok, but the crust came out a little uneven. I do demand perfection, you know. We had some of Chef Cynthia’s, and it was delicious. I haven’t tried mine yet, but it seems like it has to be good.
Our final project of the evening, before our clean-up, was to make our first stirred custard, Lemon Curd. Basically, you combine milk, cream, butter, sugar, vanilla, lemon juice, lemon zest, and of course, eggs, and put it over a double boiler to thicken. As with pastry cream, you have to whisk like a madman to ensure that everything incorporates evenly. It is very delicate, as it can overcook very easily, which is gross. Ours came out pretty well, I think. We’ll see the final product on Saturday, though, when we make our lemon tartlets.
Clafoutis. That is all.