Sugared & Spiced

pâtissière in paris, now shanghai

[Ferrandi] Week 4: Puff Pastries

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In week 4,  we moved on to pâte feuilletée, or puff pastries. Pâte feuilletée is formed with multiple layers of dough and butter, and when baked, the steam in-between the layers push up to form the airy flakiness. To make this dough, start by making a well out of flour and butter, then slowly mix in the water.

Knead the dough with a scrapper.

Form the dough into a ball, cut an “X” at the top, and let rest for 30 minutes in the fridge.

Then, enclose a block of softened butter in the dough. The key is to have the dough and the butter in a similar consistency (i.e. the butter cannot be too soft or too hard), so that the dough can be rolled out evenly.

Roll out the dough into a long rectangular shape, then fold it in thirds. Roll out the folded dough again into a long rectangular shape, and fold it in thirds again. Let the folded dough rest in the fridge for 30 minutes, then repeat this step again. The rolling and folding is what gives puff pastries all its layers.

Before putting in the fridge, always mark the dough with how many turns you’ve done to avoid confusion.

Turn the dough one final time (the dough should now have been turned for a total of 5 times), and it’s ready to be used as a tart shell. Bake, and watch it puff!

To make a tarte aux mirabelles, line a thin layer of almond cream at the bottom of the tart shell, then fill with halved mirabelles.

Bake!

The same puff pastry tart shell can be used to make a tarte normande. First, place sliced apples inside the tart shell.

Then, fill with an eggs-sugar-flour mixture, with just a hint of Calvados and vanilla.

Bake!

Layers of the puff pastry. Flaky goodness!

Another variation – tart soufflé with apple brandy, which is an apple tart topped with Calvados soufflé.

For a more elaborate presentation, use this nifty tool to create a beautiful lattice design for the tarts.

The making of puff pastry dough takes a lot of time (a 30 minute rest period is necessary after every two turns) and energy (rolling out the dough really is quite a workout for the arms), but the end product is beautiful and delicious. Next week – more puff pastry deliciousness!

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Written by sugarednspiced

November 5th, 2012 at 3:42 am