Friday, June 10, 2011

Cages Poached Pears, Conversations and Galettes

Today was a very yummy puff day indeed~ The body does somehow detect the overdose in butter and sugar. Trust me. It knows. Craving for savoury foods all day everyday now!

Today we had the pleasure of baking these wonderful caged pear tartlets. Aren't they just precious~~~

 To make them, we first cut out pear shaped pieces of dough and another which we will use to lattice and make the cage

 What you can't see is a dollop of almond cream to fill the cored out pear halves. These pears have been poached in a poaching liquid consisting simply of white wine (alot of it), sugar, vanilla and lemon juice

 Next, using a lattice cutter, cut the rectangle sheet of dough and drape over the pears. Crimp and trim the edges making sure the fruit is well sealed within, and add on some leaves

A little egg wash gives the puff its golden brown colour 

So good.

 So good infact, they didn't even survive the trip home! Hope you and your class enjoyed them Mimi~~~

What is this? It's a Conversation.
 No seriously, that's what they're called!

 A little tartlet ring is lined with puff pastry and well docked

 It is then filled with creme d'amandes otherwise known as almond cream.
Tip: Do not whip too much air into the cream during the making of the cream as it will add to the rise of the conversation later. Also, do no fill the cream to more than 1/3 of the height of the tartlet as it will souffle!

 Cover with another layer of puff pastry and spread on a layer of royal icing.

 Here it is out of the oven. Everything souffles and the design above is the traditional design, made with a cross of puff. The royal icing bakes so nicely and becomes like a crispy meringue. The flavour of which was exactly the same as the meringue mice my mother used to bake me when I was a child. The lost flavour was instantly recalled and memories came flooding back. Amazing how a taste and smell can magically transport you back in time to the exact moment of the very first encounter.

 Sadly in my transfer of pictures, I seem to have lost the images on how to construct this apple galette. Bear with me though as I walk you through it.

First of all, cut out a round of puff pastry 6 inches wide and 1/8 inch thick. Egg wash the outer inch of the circle and place filling in the middle. You can add any fruit you may desire or is in season. Stone fruit work exceptionally well, just avoid fruit that have too much juice as it tends to make the pastry soggy upon baking.

Next, create a free form gathering and pinching of the egg washed outer edge, lifting up the dough and moving it towards the centre as you do so. This brings up the edge of the galette and creates a well for the filling.

 A final egg wash of the sides of the galette followed by a sprinkling of raw sugar around the edges and on top of the filling completes the tart. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 25 mins or till puff pastry is golden brown. Sooooo delicious. Filling used today was an apple compote consisting of diced apples, lemon juice, sugar, vanilla and water. Alternatively, a flambe apple filling is also mundo delicioso.

Tip of the Day!
Working with puff pastry, always remember to be careful with the egg wash. Applying egg wash to the sides where the lamination/layers are exposed can prevent a proper rise. Too much brushed on top of the dough can also weigh it down and prevent rising to its full potential. 

P.S. Soon to come... Mushroom Risotto! Recipe and technique taught by a true Italian!
Pictures and perhaps a video of me participating in the recent Annual FCI Hot Dog Eating Competition!!! 30-inches of wiener in a long long bun. That's all I'm saying for now...


  1. update, update! :) The pear was like ages ago ... -sk

  2. Lol thanks for the push Sharon Koh! It is crazily updated now~~~