July 28, 2013

Spiced Caramel Chiboust with Hazelnut Streusel and Peaches

We are finishing off the Tarts chapter with a recipe that is a bit more difficult both in its composition and components. Our bakers did an incredible job tackling it. The way the tart is structured is very much like how many pastry chefs are presenting tarts these days, a thin layer of crust with a molded strip of "filling" placed on top. It is drastically different than how we've done tarts thus far- roll out dough, press into a pan, bake and pour in filling. Second, the components require careful reading of the instructions to make sure everything is timed properly. Again, much praise for the great writing in the book because it's not impossible, just a step up from what we've done before which seems fitting now that we are half way through the book.

July 22, 2013

Lemon Meringue Tarts

Once again, Thomas Keller takes a classic dessert and refines it. Lemon meringue pie is an Americana delight, often found in diners and grandmothers' kitchens. The swirly peaks of toasted meringue are both sweet and light, offset by the tart and tangy lemon curd inside. Here, we elevate the dessert into individual tarts, including a layer of lemon madeleine cake to stabilize the meringue. Our bakers enjoyed this challenge with great results. 

Serious Eats has posted the recipe their website if you'd like to give it a try!

July 15, 2013

Plum Tart with Almond Cream

This is a very versatile tart in that you can substitute the fruit for a seasonal option of your choosing. In the book, plums were selected for their beautiful color especially in contrast to the blond/brown color of the almond cream. I could also see this with apricots, peaches or nectarines all of which are in season now and pair well with the almond flavor. This week, Pastry Chef Sebastian Rouxel, co-author of the Bouchon Bakery cookbook happened to make this tart as well. How timely!

July 7, 2013

Rhubarb Tart

This week, our bakers were pleasantly surprised by the rhubarb tart. Although it's a little late in the season for rhubarb, this tart was worth searching out the special ingredient. There were only a few components: pate sucrée, rhubarb, brown butter filling, and toasted almond streusel. The tart is baked in a quarter sheet pan to show off the long stalks of rhubarb, instead of cutting it up, like most pies do. The result is a more elegant tart, suitable for a dinner party or a picnic.