I'm running a week behind on my posts from school, but as I was lucky enough to squeeze in some time to go visit family in Florida, I feel I have a good excuse. So my recap of last week's classes will be rather brief, but hopefully the photos will serve as a good supplement.
It was a tough week of classes, not due to the material or work load, but I was still recovering from my emergency oral surgery the previous Friday, which left me with four gaping holes in the back of my mouth and an inability to eat anything requiring chewing for a week. I was still on pain killers on Monday and Tuesday, which made class especially interesting.
On Monday night, we used the sfogliatelle and canoli doughs we had so painstakingly created the week before. The little pastries came together quite quickly and, at least visually, I could appreciate the effort required to produce them.
While I could not taste either the sfogliatelle or canoli, Mike gave a thumbs-up on the canoli.
We spent the entire class on Tuesday preparing doughs and fillings for the following two evenings. Pate brise, pate sucree, pastry cream, various flavors of frangipane (walnut, praline, almond and pecan) and various flavors of curd (lemon, lime and orange).
We started using these components Wednesday evening as we created tarts and tartletts. The design of the fruit on each large tart was to be created by each individual in the class. I decided to form my design using all berries, not only because I love these flavors together, but also because berries are especially ripe during the summer months.
I took the fruit tart to work the following day and it seemed to be hit among the co-workers. I also took in the individual chocolate praline tartletts, which I thought were especially tasty.
On Thursday night, we were assigned a new chef-instructor for the following few weeks. Her personality and teaching style was quite different from our previous instructor and it put the class in a whirlwind for the evening. Teams worked to create a sheet pan tart and 12" and each individual chose a 10" tart to create. My team worked on the rhubarb cheese sheet pan tart and the fromage blanc.
I was excited for my trip to Florida the following day and kept this in mind while selecting which tart I would create that evening. I chose the blueberry tart, but decided to use walnut frangipan as the filling instead of the suggested almond. I love the flavors of blueberries and almond together, but if we were given to room to be creative, I was going to take the opportunity to create something I thought would be a bit more rustic.
The result was beautiful and after freezing it overnight, it transported beautifully the following morning.
It had been strongly hinted that my hosts would enjoy a sampling of my pastry school activities, so it was not entirely unexpected that I gave up half my suitcase to ensure this request was fulfilled. It was immediately cut-into upon taking it out of my luggage and the reactions were quite in favor of my flavor combination, despite the usage of New Jersey blueberries. It was such a treat to watch everyone nibble at it over the weekend.