Tarte aux pommes
Monday, September 5, 2011

Class gets serious this week, starting at 8am everyday. This means I have to get up at 6:30am to have breakfast, get ready, and take the subway. And skipping breakfast is definitely not a good idea. We worked nonstop in the lab until 1:30pm. But, 5 hours really doesn’t feel like any time at all when you are doing something you love.

We rolled out our pâte â foncer (shortcrust) dough from last Friday for our tarte aux pomme. There is actually quite a bit of technique involved in something as simple as apple tart. We learned how to roll our dough into a perfect circle and to line the dough into the tart ring so that you get a perfect 90° angle between the tart wall and tart base after baking.

Chef performs a demo for us. To line the tart ring, start by flouring the surface and drawing a ring approximately 1 inch larger than your tart ring.

Here is my first rolling job. To get a perfect (not mine) circle, turn your dough 1/8th of a circle for every 2 rolls (up and down). Also, when rolling, stop just before you reach the edge.

To line the tart ring, we place our circle of dough over and inside the ring and press the dough gently against the wall of the tart ring to stick it to the buttered ring. Then, we do this again but push the dough just slightly (about 2mm) beyond the bottom of the ring so that when you hold your lined tart ring up in the air, the centre of the tart should be sunken down a little (like an upside down dome). Then, we tap the whole ring against the marble table to push the dough that exceeded the ring back inside and you should get a 90° angle between the wall and bottom.

After lining the tart ring, we leave approximately 0.5cm of extra dough along the top of the ring to make a decorative edge.

To make the decorative edge, we use a crimping tool. Chef made it look really easy but it's quite hard to make it nice and uniform. There's a certain angle and direction to do it. Here's my first attempt.

Then, we filled our tarts with apple sauce, and sliced apples. To line apples, we have to make sure that each apple slice lines up towards the centre of the tart.

Rings of apples completed. After a brush of butter, it'll be ready for baking.

I know it looks like a mountain of apples but surprisingly, after baking and cooling, it all collapses and you get a flat surface.

Unfortunately, we didn’t have time to glaze the baked tarts so I won’t be tasting it till tomorrow. Sorry, no taste test report today. Stay tuned for tomorrow’s post.

Well? Let me know what you think. Write me a comment below!