Pastries at the end of class–how would you like to sample all of these at 10:30 PM?
Apple Peach tart with frangipane and peach coulis Chocolate Croissant with chocolate sauce Mixed berry turnover with berry cream
We are taking the next three classes to use various components we’ve made since the beginning of Pastry Pro I. We’ve made pie dough, tart dough, croissant dough, and various fillings and sauces. We can use the components we’ve already made or we can start over and make them fresh. If we wanted to we could have made puff pastry or croissant dough and brought it in but I didn’t choose to do that. I decided to make blitz or quick puff pastry instead. It doesn’t rise as much as real puff pastry but it’s close enough. We were able to choose the finished products to make and for the first week I made blitz puff pastry and chocolate croissants and apple pear tarts with fangipane. I also planned to make berry turnovers if there was time. I didn’t have any trouble with the blitz puff pastry. Fortunately I had practiced a few times at home and even as soon as the night before class so I felt confident in making the pastry. I also decided to use the croissant dough I had in the freezer and make croissants with both blitz and the croissant dough. The first batch of croisssants came out kind of dark but Chef Sively said they looked fine.
I plated one with chocolate sauce I had made in the previous class and some toasted walnuts.
I used the peach and apple filling Kristin and I made in a previous class, as well as the frangipane to make some free form tarts. I made one larger one, about 6 inches, and the rest 4 inch.
One secret I learned is that puff pastry cooks fast on the outside but the inside is often undercooked (convection oven) If I put the pastries in the still oven at a lower heat for 15-20 minutes and covered them with foil then the insides were fine. I added some peach/ginger coulis to the apple peach tarts. I had time to make berry turnovers as well. The blueberry, raspberry, strawberry pie filling I had made during filling class was still very nice. I added some fresh blueberries to it, thickened it with some cornstarch and the texture was good. Since I had practiced I learned that egg wash was important for putting between the folded sides so it would stick while it was baking. I also brushed everything with egg wash and sprinkled sugar on it. With the berry turnover I made berry chantilly cream–an idea I got from a class I took from Jon Bonnell where he made huckleberry empanadas with huckleberry cream.
All my dishes were good for a change (except the chocolate croissant made with blitz–it was undercooked). I was relieved and happy and even enjoyed making the pastries. I think using the ingredients we worked so hard to make in earlier classes was the key to having good finished products. I’m glad to didn’t have to start over with everything–and knowing I can take a frozen filling and add some fresh berries to it was something I never would have thought of.
I also realized that the reason I didn’t like puff pastry before is I didn’t cook it properly. If it was underdone inside I didn’t think about putting it in a lower oven for a few minutes.
I’m looking forward to next week’s class but somewhat concerned about the final exam. More on that next week.