Week 2 at Ferrandi: more tarts! This time we worked on pâte sucrée, which is a sweet pastry dough frequently used for fruit tarts. Compared to pâte à foncer that we made last week, pâte sucrée is significantly more fragile and breaks easily during the rolling and molding process. The key? Refrigerate the dough, and work very quickly. We first used pâte sucrée to make two types of tarts: tarte aux poires (pear tart) and tarte aux figues (figs tart). As usual, the chef started with a demo:
Fill pastry crust with crème d’amande, or almond cream.
Top with sliced poached pears.
After baking, the almond cream will puff up a little and fill the pie crust, enveloping the poached pear slices.
For a simple tart using pâte sucrée and almond cream, top the tart with sliced almonds and you’ve got a tarte amandine.
We also used pâte sucrée to make tarte aux figues (figs tart). Simply top baked almond cream with a thin layer of crème pâtissière (pastry cream), then top with thin slices of figs and raspberries.
Leftover figs and raspberries? Let’s turn those into jams.
We took our tarts home to taste, and I became a huge fan of our tarte aux poires. The baked almond cream, with a hint of rum, was supremely aromatic and very moist thanks to the poached pears – all enveloped in a crumbly sweet tart shell…délicieux!
Tarte aux figues was also quite lovely, though I thought it was a bit dry since the fruits were not incorporated into the almond cream. On the other hand, it was undoubtedly the prettier of the two tarts and would be sure to win applause with its sheer beauty…
Next up, two variations of tarte au citron!