Here are just a few of the things I’ve baked the past few months. There’s so much more than I just didn’t have time or forgot to photograph — sorry.
Practicing Palmiers at home for my Classic Pastry practical back in October. I blame the cheap butter.
Some sort of chocolate chip bar cookie… not for school. I honestly can’t remember what they were or where the recipe came from.
Dutch Apple Galette, from first day of Pies and Tarts class.
Lattice Apple Pie, also from Pies and Tarts class.
Ungarnished but partially eaten Turtle Pie.
Chocolate Cream Pie — a big hit with the kids at Thanksgiving.
Lemon Curd Tartlets (my favorite) and Fruit Tartlets.
This is actually from the first day of Winter Trimester — Linzer Torte from Cookies and Petit Fours class.
Here’s another goodie from my Classic Pastry class — Napoleons.
I’d only had Napoleons once before, many years ago at the bakery of my best friend’s mom. At the time, I couldn’t see what all the fuss was about. I don’t know whether my tastes have changed or if this formula was more to my liking, but these were awesome. Three crisp layers of puff pastry with layers of diplomat cream in between, topped with poured fondant. Every single morning last week, I had half a Napoleon with my wake-up coffee and the second half mid-morning with my tea. It’s a miracle I can still button my jeans!
Here is a better picture of the pastries, taken after I got home (using my usual camera and not my phone). Here’s what the boys got to see and eat… the rest of the pieces of pastry ended up in a dining room at school.
Here are some pictures from my day in Classic Pastry class yesterday:
Above is the Jalousie I made. A Jalousie is made with puff pastry and is filled with frangipane (almond cream) and slices of apple.
Next is my Band de Fruit. Similar to an open-faced Jalousie, the Band de Fruit has a layer of pastry cream and is topped with strawberries, orange slices, raspberries and kiwi.
And last is my favorite — the Pithivier. Between the two sheets of puff pastry is a smear of apricot jam and a mixture of frangipane and pastry cream. I love how it looks!
More fun with laminated dough — I also made croissants! Believe me when I say they were beautiful — plump with a little curve to them — before I baked them. When they came out of the oven they were more straight across, kind of like… I don’t know what. But the layers were clearly defined and they were buttery like you read about. C. told me I “should make these all the time.” I’m delighted he loves them, but I fear I might have to go live in a padded room if I make them too often. Or maybe worse, I might get really good at them and the world would experience a butter shortage due to our croissant consumption habits.
This weekend, I tackled a longtime baking fear of mine — laminated dough. Ever since I watched Julia Child make puff pastry on one of her shows (I was so traumatized I couldn’t retain that information), I thought — “that is something I will never, ever, make.”
Making laminating dough involves alternating layer upon layer of dough and butter. Puff pastry, probably the most well-known laminated dough, apparently has 729 layers. My laminated dough had just 81. (I still can’t imagine ever making puff pastry.)
One of the end results of my dough production were these apple danishes. I sprinkled cinnamon sugar on the dough before I coiled them into the classic danish shape. I also filled them with an homemade apple filling — I wasn’t thrilled with it, but I thought it would cook down more in the oven (it didn’t). I didn’t glaze them with the traditional confectioners’ sugar/water glaze because I was still out of confectioners’
. As a result they are barely sweet, which is actually kind of nice. Although I wished they had browned more, the pastry is flaky as promised, and they still really, really good. And what’s more, they taste better the day after.