Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Week Eleven: Tarts, Pies, Biscuits, Scones, Strudel

I have officially fallen a week behind in my posting.  So to get back on track and not stress myself out, the recap of last week's adventures in pastry school will be quite brief.  I did manage to take some nice photos of my work, so I'm hoping this, combined with some brief commentary, will serve as a nice supplement.

MONDAY: Apple Galette
I absolutely loved this free-formed mini apple pie.  They were the perfect size to make it seem quite special to have one all to yourself, even if it was not much larger than a slice of apple pie.  These are currently being held in my freezer so a special visitor next week can taste it with the cinnamon ice-cream.

MONDAY: Peach pie
I was beyond disappointed that we had to use canned peaches to make this pie.  How am I supposed to rival the best peach cobbler I've ever tasted (at the "Troth" in Georgia) using canned peaches?!  Despite my disgust, this dessert was a huge hit at work, with many people saying it was the best yet.  Which leads me to question some people's qualifications for being my taste testers...

TUESDAY: Linzer tart
I had only ever had linzer in the form of a cookie, which I remember coming across in a cookbook when I was pretty young.  I begged Mum to make them one New Year's Eve and she did so, despite the intricate nature of the dough and the fact that I was really the only one who liked them.  A few years later it was my turn and I chose to make the tart with the darker dough, which used hazelnuts instead of almonds.  The raspberry jam could have been better - but I still loved the taste of this treat.

TUESDAY: Biscuits
What can I say?  There were four versions made Tuesday evening; my version was a sweet biscuit.  Upon tasting this foreign biscuit recipe, my involuntary reaction was to spit it back out into a napkin and reach for a large bottle of water.  My chef-instructor laughed and said, "You must be used to a more Northern biscuit."  Precisely.

I was excited to make scones as I had been having an unusual craving recently for a small, delicious scone and a good cup of coffee.  But I was disappointed to find that all but one of the recipes used currants.  The chocolate scones were tasty, which was confirmed by Mike the following morning.

WEDNESDAY: Pear Breton
I hated working with the breton dough.  HATED.  At first, it wouldn't roll out enough.  Then it started breaking.  Placing both the bottom and top layers in the pan ended up being quite a frustrating venture.  I froze this tart and transported it to upstate New York for the Fourth of July weekend.  Despite my frustration in assembling the tart, it was quite tasty.

WEDNESDAY: Individual tarts
These were quite time-consuming little treats, but I enjoyed making them.  We could choose which flavor to make from a list of about twenty versions and I immediately claimed almond - only because the butter cream in the middle had amaretti cookies (my newest obsession) crushed into it.  In fact, the only thing that made this tart "almond" was the almond slice on top of the awful-green colored marzipan.  I did not like the taste of the marzipan at all, so I removed it from the top to better taste the amaretti butter cream.

Have you ever seen someone make strudel dough?  I had not.  But it is quite an incredible sight to watch and even more-so to do yourself.  The dough is stretched paper-thin; so thin, in fact, the entire dough is stretched over a table! (See example)  I created the classic apple strudel which was scrumptious.


  1. I have to remember not to look at these when I am hungry. Everything looks so good it would be impossilbe to make a choice. Like a kid in a candy store. Yummy.......

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