Thursday, 11 October 2012

My First Pastry Class: Dutch Apple Pie and Fruit Tartlets/Barquettes

I went to my first ever pastry class and I have a brand new lesson to add to the The Rules of Baking: Dont Panic!!! Let me explain the situation. 
15 people wanting to weigh up the ingredients between 4 sets of scales. So I did weigh out my ingredients out incorrectly, but luckily this was corrected swiftly. 
It was chaotic. As you can imagine but we all managed. 
Also, since we were all so keen to see how all our pastry was doing, the oven kept getting opened and closed. This lead to a couple of peoples pastries being uncooked, including my barquettes and tartlets. 
Once again in The Rules of Baking, no matter how badly you want to open that oven DON'T!! You let out the heat and can make cake's sink or make pastry under cook. 
Lesson 1 was concerned with basic sweet pastry, apple filling and french pastry cream. 

(Please note that next time I'm going to take loads of pictures but didn't get the chance too as it was an unfamiliar kitchen)
My Dutch Apple Pie and Fresh Fruit barquettes and tartlets

A traditional Dutch Apple Pie (Appeltaart) is often decorated with a lattice and flavoured with cinnamon and lemon juice. This is the recipe that I have used. You can serve it with ice cream , custard or cream. However in the U.S.A, a Dutch Apple is served with a streusel topping.  
An example of a dutch apple pie picture from Food Gawker:
http://foodgawker.com/post/2010/03/14/54134/ 

A barquette is a small boat shaped pastry which can be filled with a variety of sweet or savoury ingredients. 

An example of a barquette picture from Auckland Catering website
 http://www.edencatering.co.nz/page.aspx?pageid=392
Pastry cream is a type of custard that comes from France and is also known as crème pâtissière. It  is a combination of milk or cream, sugar, egg yolks, a type of starch like flour and flavouring such as vanilla, lemon or chocolate. 

Recipe: Sweet Pastry 
  • 240g flour (Plus extra for greasing)
  • 130g unsalted butter (Plus extra for greasing)
  • 60g caster sugar
  • 50g egg/1 egg 
  • A few drops of vanilla essence
  • Lemon zestA pinch of salt 
  • (plus the fruit for the tarts/barquettes such as strawberries and kiwi's)

Equipment: 
  • Mixing bowl  
  • Wooden spoon or Scraper  
  • Sieve
  • Metal 7 inch ring
  • 3 x Round models
  • 3 x Barquette models
  • Silicone paper
  • 2 x small baking trays
  • Knife

  1.     Cream the sugar and butter for a few minutes until light and fluffy.
  2.     Season with the lemon zest. Add the pinch of salt to add bite. 
  3.     Pour vanilla into the cap and add a few drops to the mixture.
  4.     Sieve the flour into the bowl and cut the butter into the flour mixture.
  5.     Work the butter into the mix using your hands until it looks like breadcrumbs.
  6.     Add the egg and bring the mixture together. The amount of eggs will depend on how much moisture there is in the mixture. If you need to add more egg, break one into a little bowl and break down with a fork. 
  7.     The mixture should feel wet and sticky. Knead it into a ball using your hands.
  8.     The mix should be put in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. 
  9.     When the mixture has been chilled enough. Cut into 3 equal sections. 
  10.     Place silicone paper onto the baking trays and butter and flour the molds and 7 inch ring. Roll out 1/3 of the pastry to fit a 7 inch ring, around 3 mm thickness. Cover the metal ring and dent around the edges.
  11.     Add the apple filling to the pie base (see the recipe below) to the 7 inch case.
  12.     To make the lattice, roll out 3mm thickness on a floured surface and measure the dough so it fits over the 7 inch case. 
  13.     Cut into 8, 1cm strips. To make it easier to move place on baking parchment. 
  14.     Assemble the lattice and flip onto the flan. Cut the silicone paper into a circle and blind bake in the oven on 200-220c for about 40 minutes. 
  15.     Assemble the tarts/barquettes as above but fill with the pastry cream (see the recipe below) instead of the apple filling. Decorate with fresh fruit.
My barquettes and tartlets filled with pastry cream and decorated with fresh kiwi, strawberry, plum and grapes.

Recipe: Apple filling

  • 400g cooking apples
  • 100g sugar
  • Pinch of cinnamon
  • 50g sultanas 
  • Lemon zest/juice
Equipment: 
  • Peeler/sharp knife
  • Waste bowl 
  • Pan
  • Wooden spoon
1.    Peel, core, wash and slice apples.
2.    Place into the sauce pan with the sugar.
3.    Partly cook the apples, add the cinnamon and lemon zest/juice
4.    Add the sultanas, mix and leave the apple mix to cool
My Dutch Apple Pie filled with the above recipe's apple filling.

Recipe: Pastry Cream (using French custard powder)
  • 500ml of milk
  • 75g sugar 
  • 48g French custard powder
  • 100g/2 eggs
  • 25g butter
Equipment: 
  • Peeler/sharp knife 
  • Waste bowl 
  • Pan
  • Wooden spoon
  1.     Heat the milk slightly but not so it’s boiling.
  2.     Whisk the egg, sugar, and custard powder.
  3.     Add a little milk to the custard mix a little at a time. 
  4.     Stir until thick.When thick, mix in the butter.  
  5.     Cover with cling film if needed.  
  6.     For the tarts/barquettes fill with custard and decorate with fresh fruit.
I hope you find this recipe as much fun as I did. 
Bake On!
Penny 
Bake On! Penny x
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