Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Puff The Magic Pastry

Hi all…sorry I haven’t posted in a while, but we had a test, and it was Thanksgiving, so I kinda lost track. Anyway, as mentioned, we had our pâte à choux test, which I did well on, even if it was rough getting there.
Our next unit is pâte feuilletté, or puff pastry. In our class just before Thanksgiving, we made two versions of this versatile dough, rapide and classique, and in last night’s class we made the inverse version. They’re all very similar in that it requires making a dough similar to pâte brisée, rolling it out, and then rolling butter into it. After that, you have to fold it up, roll it out again, fold it up again, before chilling it for a while. You repeat this step several times to get many layers incorporated into the dough.
Essentially, they’re almost interchangeable, and the rapide is not much more “rapide” than the other two, so I’m not exactly sure why we need three kinds. Not to mention that we were basically told that most commercial kitchens use store-bought puff pastry, because puff pastry is very labor intensive and store-bought is just as good. Sigh…I guess this is like Algebra for pastry—you need to learn it, but there’s no real world application for it. In any case, it’s buttery, flaky deliciousness.
Last night we made several items. The first thing we did was to roll out some of our rapide dough to make palmiers. Palmiers are very similar to elephant ears, and they’re really delicious. They are just puff pastry which has been coated in sugar and rolled up to form a cookie, of sorts. We’ll be baking those on Thursday.
Next, we rolled out our classique dough to make a fresh fruit “bar” tart and mini apple tartlettes. These are both versions of tarts we made earlier in the course, but now we’re using the puff pastry instead of the traditional tart doughs. Here are my pictures!

The other item we baked was a tomato tart. Now, I have no idea why they included this in the puff pastry unit, but the tomato tart is great…super easy and tasty, and it makes a great lunch! We started by making tomato sauce…which included a little knife-skills lesson. We then mixed in some egg to make a custard and a little parmesan cheese. When baked, it smelled like pizza and had the consistency of a quiche. Really delicious, and not completely terrible for you, if you can look past the butter in the pâte brisée!

Well I think you’re all caught up. I’ll be focusing on puff pastry for the next few weeks, so be prepared for pictures of vols-au-vents, napoleons, and much more!


  1. No problem whatsoever looking past the butter.
    Oh, by the way, what time is lunch? LoL!
    Tomato tart ... Yummy!

    Many of your creations here are just magnificent Brett! However, these gifted talents run in the Rappaport genes.
    Sandy ~

  2. Your baked goods look like the bakery at Wegman's...not too shabby. Remember to send me the tomato pie recipe. Love, Mom