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Saturday, October 4, 2014

Culinary School - Session 21: Fruit Strip, Bar Tart, Mille-feuilles en Forme Ronde and Vols-au-vent

Culinary School: Session 21 (10.03.14)

Fruit Strip, Bar Tart, Mille-feuilles en Forme Ronde and Vols-au-vent

From famine to feast...

I should have known better than to complain about coming home from class empty handed on Monday. With the ovens blasting from the moment class began until well after it was scheduled to conclude, Friday ended in a barrage of finished products. By 10:30 pm, I had so many pastries cooling on the speeds racks, I conceded defeat.

Hand me the plastic wrap! After 10 minutes of hotel wrapping sheet trays, my haul was safely packed into the refrigerator. Rest well over the weekend, puff pastry. On Monday, I'll return with Tupperware!

Fruit Strip (Tarte Feuilletee)

- Ingredients Running Tally -

Maybe all of those tarts during the first few weeks of culinary school shocked my sugar taste buds, but I'm sort of lamenting the relative lack of sweetness in all this puff pastry

Don't get me wrong. Buttery pastry is great. And I know, I know! All these puff pastry fruit tarts have lots of natural sugar. But I wouldn't say "no" to a jar of icing and a spoon right about now.

Ingredients used to date (10.03.14):
  • Flour: 7,580g
  • Eggs: 4,450g (89x)
  • Sugar: 4,700g
  • Butter: 4,750g
  • Milk/Cream: 4,525g

- The Recipes -


Fruit Strip (Bande de Tarte aux Fruit)

A puff pastry shell lined with lightened pastry cream (Creme Legere), thinly sliced fresh fruit and a coating of Nappage... finished with a fine dusting of powdered sugar. 

Focus Techniques:
- Cutting a rolled sheet of puff pastry (Pate Feuilletee) with a very sharp edge to prevent layers from being crushed. 
- Forming a puff pastry shell by attaching strips of dough to the tart using a light egg wash.
- Rolling the side strips of dough in place (rather than lifting and dropping them) in order to more precisely align the edges of the strips with the base. 
- Chilling the assembled shell for 30 minutes before baking to ensure that the butter in the dough is not too soft. This is critical for all puff pastry. 
- Blind baking puff pastry, docking the base and covering the shell with parchment to moderate the final rise.
- Trimming the ends of the baked shell with a serrated knife for a cleaner final product.

Fruit Strip (Bande de Tarte aux Fruit) Dough Strips

Fruit Strip (Bande de Tarte aux Fruit) Baked Shell

Fruit Strip (Bande de Tarte aux Fruit)  Baked Shell

Fruit Strip (Bande de Tarte aux Fruit)


Bar Tart (Tarte Feuilletee)

A caramalized puff pastry crust baked with a layer of almond creme (Creme d'Amandes) and thinly sliced pineapple... finished with a trim of crushed pistachios.  

Focus Techniques:
- Baking puff pastry compressed between sheet pans to create a densely packed, although still extremely flaky, crust.
- Coating the puff pastry crust with corn syrup in the final minutes of baking to produce a white caramel coating.
- Trimming the final shape of the crust while the delicate dough is still warm and somewhat tender.

Caramalized Puff Pastry Base for Fruit Strip Tart (Tarte Feuilletee)

Almond Creme Layer for Fruit Strip Tart (Tarte Feuilletee)

Fresh Fruit Layer for Fruit Strip Tart (Tarte Feuilletee)

Baked Fruit Strip Tart (Tarte Feuilletee)


Mille-feuilles en Forme Ronde

A traditional, round form Mille-feuilles (Thousand Leaf) pastry with alternating layers of compressed, caramelized puff pastry and lightened pastry cream (Creme Legere), all topped with a dusting of powdered sugar and a decorative cross-hatching (Quadrillage) pattern.

Focus Techniques:
- Making Feuilletine, or puff pastry crumbs, from scraps of baked puff pastry.
- Stablizing lightened pastry cream (Creme Legere) with gelatin.
- Adding gelatin to a cold pastry cream by dissolving a bloomed sheet in a small amount of liquor over a water bath.
- Intentionally overfilling the layers of pastry cream to prevent any gaps at the edges.
- Creating a Quadrillage design on the top of the Mille-feuilles using metal skewers that have been heated over a very hot flame.
- Resting the assembled Mille-feuilles in the refrigerator before serving to allow the pastry cream to fully set.

Mille-feuille en Forme Ronde



Literally meaning "windblown" or "flight in the wind", these are bite-sized (Bouche) puff-pastry shells, perfect for sweet or savory appetizers and desserts.  

Focus Techniques:
- Creating a shell from two layers of puff pastry: a well-docked base and an undocked rim. The rim rises during baking to form a puff pastry cup.
- Aligning the decorative edges of the puff pastry dough to ensure the outside trim of the final Vols-au-vents matches.

Vols-au-vents Dough Forms

Unbaked Vols-au-vent

Unfilled Vols-au-vent

Goat Cheese and Chive Cream Filled Vols-au-vent

Take a look at the full syllabus

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