Sugared & Spiced

pâtissière in paris, now shanghai

[Ferrandi] Week 1: Apple Tart & Flan

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After two days of orientation, we finally got our hands on some flour and butter. Our first lesson was on pâte à foncer, which literally translates to “lining dough”. The making of this shortcrust pastry involves flour, butter, sugar, salt, and egg, and the finished product can be used for sweet or savory tarts. Mise en place, ready to go!

Here’s our chef Didier Averty, doing a demo on how to form pâte à foncer. Funny man, and a very good teacher (no, he doesn’t know about my blog and this sentence is not for show, so yes, you can trust it).

Using pâte à foncer, we were to make two types of tarts, starting with tarte aux pommes, a classic apple tart. Making the tart shell requires several steps, including mixing the ingredients into a dough, rolling the dough into a thin sheet, poking little holes on the bottom so the tart shell does not puff up during baking, lining the dough onto the tart mold, ending with making patterns using a pincer.

After the tart shell is done, layer on some apple puree.

Arrange apple slices.

Pattern pattern pattern.

Bake, and finish the tart off with a glaze, et voilà!

Here are two of my classmates concentrating on those tart shells. The chef makes everything looks so easy, but the truth is that even a simple tart shell can be easily messed up!

Using the same pastry dough, we lined a deeper mold for our tarte au flan, which is basically custard baked in a tart shell.

Taking a mid-session break.

At the end of the day, we got to take our tarts home. Two whole tarts all to myself? Oh boy, I better start making some friends in the cuisine program so we can trade food…

I first sampled a slice of tarte aux pommes. Not to sweet, quite lovely.

Then, tarte au flan (usually just referred to as “flan” in daily language).

There goes one slice.

I’m not a big fan of the consistency of tarte au flan – not sure if it is this specific recipe, or flan in general, so perhaps I need to go out there and taste a few store-bought flans to see…:9.

And that’s what we did in the first day in the pastry lab. Not bad, not bad!

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Written by sugarednspiced

September 8th, 2012 at 3:28 pm