Monday, May 16, 2011

A Fruitful Day Indeed!

Pardon the pun, but it has really been a very fruitful day today~ Just in terms of sheer quantity it has more than surpassed what I would have imaged we would have accomplished in the few hours we have in class. Four individual fruit tartlets, a large poached pear and almond tart as well as baked chocolate custard puddings!

Everyday, the air in and about our kitchen is perfumed with such wondrous smells, each one topping the one before... Scent of the day today, is a toss up between the nutty almond paste and that of pears poaching in white wine infused with lemon and a full vanilla pod. Utterly Intoxicating. *pun here intended*

So... for those who have never seen a fruit tart before in their life, here's some I made earlier *one day I'll get to say that on my very own tv show or baking class*~ My beautiful little works of art~ *sigh* too bad there's no one to try them! Who wants some?

I've always love the fresh fruit tart, especially those with a custard centre. Today's tart not only has that lovely silky creme pattissiere previously mentioned, but an almond cream souffle base.

The fragrant almond cream rises and puffs to more than double its height in the oven, and gives each mouthful a slightly chewy cake-like surprise within

 We were told to follow the above design for 2 of our 4 tarts and then had free play for the remaining 2

 Left to my own devices I couldn't think of any designs but managed to produced these

 Chef Jeanne and a couple others came over and told me they liked this one best! Its my favourite too~ Too pretty to eat so its currently still sitting in the fridge!

 We then assembled and baked our french tart with poached pears and almonds, the tart shell of this was a pate brisee instead which is thinner and has a more flaky texture

Here are our steaming hot poached pears resting and cooling after a nice warm wine bath :) We each used a huge bottle of white wine, 2.5 lemons and one split and scrapped vanilla pod for the poaching liquid~ By simmering the fruit in this elixir, it basically replaces the liquid in the fruit with the boozy goodness of the poaching liquid.
Tip of the day time!
For all of you who have followed the post till this point, you shall be rewarded with some handy baking tips *hooray*
  1. When working with tart dough, be it a sweet, tender pate sucree or a savoury, flaky pate brisee, work quickly once the flour has been added.
  2. Do not overwork the dough as that develops gluten, the arch nemesis of good tart dough!
  3. ALWAYS be sure to chill the dough and keep it chilled in-between steps.
  4. For the perfect edges to your tart, create a lip of extra dough and chill the shell. Once ready to bake, thin out the lip to the same thickness of the rest of the shell and slice excess with a paring knife. This is known as the final trim.
Hope that you have enjoyed following my exploits so far and find the above tips useful! Do drop me a comment or message when you visit the blog, I do love receiving them! If there are any questions too, please feel free to ask in the comment box below. You do not have to have a blogger account to use it, so please please get and stay in touch.



  2. hi babe! they look so yummy!

  3. Perhaps the secret to making gorgeously delicious food lies in making each object uniquely itself; A fruit tart is not exquisite by nature, but through selecting choice ingredients and delicate arrangements, the tart becomes a gastronomical treat. This I believe is what differentiates the best from the good and I am certain that you are well on your way to achieving that.

  4. Thanks my lovelies~~~ I do miss you all back home and wish I could FedEx pastries made each day to all of you to try!

    Tristan: Thank you! Lemon tart tomorrow!!

  5. Hey.. the tarts look really delicious! Have always wanted to try making them.. but afraid the custard will fail. haha.

    glad to see u're enjoying urself! =)