If I had to choose between savoury or sweet, savoury would win hands down every time! What about you? Moving into some savoury baking is very welcome and in this lesson we made, Salmon and Cherry Tomato mini Quiche, Chicken, Mushroom and Leek Pies and Apple Jalousie Tart.
There is a lot of resting time with pastry, but there was more than enough to do whilst the pastry ‘relaxed’ in the fridge. Puff pastry takes the longest to make and is a labour of love, which pays off if your pastry turns out buttery and flakey… which I’m pleased to report mine did. There is a lot of pinning, (aka rolling), and folding which creates the lovely layers you are looking for. I’ve made Puff from scratch a few times but have never used ‘sheet butter’ before, using this means you don’t have to bash the cold butter to the required shape…what a good idea. Once the base ‘Puff Paste” has rested, it is pinned to what should be a cross shape, the butter is placed in the middle and the four edges folded in, pinned and ‘turned’. For this pastry we did 5 ‘turns’; 1st roll x 2 turns then rest, 2nd roll x 2 turns then rest, 3rd roll x 1 turn then rest. After the final resting period the pasty should have nice lamination & is good to go.
Making Shortcrust Pastry is much more straight forward and the quality points are; don’t over-mix once the flour is added or it will get tough, don’t over handle or it will get tough, use your finger-tips only as your hands are warm and will heat the pastry, roll/pin the pastry in different directions to reduce shrinkage, keep a well floured board when working with the pastry so it doesn’t stick, be fast and finally, rest the pastry sufficiently after each roll. A good little cheat to speed things up is to grate the cold butter into the flour ( I love these little tricks). Look at the difference in colour of the Puff Paste, before the butter is added to the shortcrust which has the butter added….
The Shortcrust pastry was used for the base of the pies and the mini quiche, whilst the Puff was used for the tops of the pies and the Apple Jalousie. The mini quiches were easy. The tart tins were docked to assist in cooking the base, the pastry was rolled to 3mm and cut to size and moulded carefully in the tart tins before distributing the salmon, dill and tomatoes amongst them. The quiche mixture, (eggs, cream, a pinch of cayenne and seasoning), was added to 3/4 full and a final flourish of grated cheese was added before popping in the oven to bake at 175C for 30 – 35 minutes, or until light brown.
The Chicken and Leek Pies were very tasty and the quality points are; ensure the pie filling, (chicken thighs, leek, mushroom, garlic, seed mustard, chicken stock, flour, sour cream, tarragon and seasoning) is cold when it goes into the chilled tart cases and don’t overfill them, spray and dock the tart tins but not the pastry itself, ensure the puff pastry tops are cut slightly larger than the bases and make incision on top after egg washing to allow steam to escape. The bases were not blind baked before filling, topping and baking at 175C for 30 – 35 minutes or until golden.
The final task was to make the Apple Jalousie Tart. In French, the word Jalousie can either mean jealousy or shutters and the tart borrows its name from the second as, usually, the top is slashed with horizontal lines which when baked resemble shutters. Ours did not have this particular decorative finish, but looked lovely just the same. The pastry was pinned to 4mm thick and the bottom docked before piping frangipane (almond cream) down the middle and covering with thin slices of Granny Smith apple and the edges egg washed. The slightly larger top was put on and sealed before making the slashes and crimping the edges. The top was egg washed and the tart was baked in a hot oven for 12- 15 minutes.
The next class is all bread, it’s yeasted bread and not the kind I usually make at home, which is sourdough using my sourdough starter, but nonetheless a process with which I am very familiar. I hope you come back to see the last lesson in this block. Until then….
Apple Jalousie Tart
This is very easy but impressive looking tart, particularly if you use a good quality shop bought Puff Pastry. All you need is some frangipane (almond cream) and a few uncooked Granny Smith Apples…can’t get easier than that. Once made, a sprinkling of icing/confectioners sugar finishes the tart nicely.
- 50 gm Caster sugar
- 50 gm Butter, unsalted
- 50 gm Almond meal
- 1 Egg
- 10 gm Plain flour
- .25 Lemon zest, of a lemon
- 2 Apples, Granny Smith
- 1 Egg
- 50 ml Milk
- Water, dash
- Icing sugar to dust
Make the frangipane:
Beat the caster sugar, softened butter and grated lemon zest until pale and creamy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the flour and almond meal until just combined and place in a piping bag.
Prepare the Apples:
Peel core cut in half and slice apple into thin slices
Prepare the pastry:
Roll out to approximately 4mm thick. Cut 2 strips, 1 at @ 10 cm wide (bottom) and the other @ 11cm wide (top).
Dock the base only and pipe the frangipane down the middle – don’t pipe too much.
Place the sliced apples atop the frangipane.
Egg wash the sides, top with the other strip, seal, crimp, make slashes across the top and egg wash.
Bake in hot oven (200C) for 12 – 15 mins.
Dust with icing sugar before serving.