Lesson 36 marked the beginning of a new section of the program, we were moving into tarts and pies. To start the class, we learned about three different mixing methods to creating pie dough. The first method was the flaky method, used for Pate Brisee, or broken dough. This dough is created by rubbing butter into the dry ingredients until it forms pea size pieces. Then add the liquid, mixing gently, and chill. This type of dough cannot be reused, so great care must be taken when rolling it out. Usually Pate Brisee is used to form empty baked shells, which are “blind” baked.
The second type of mixing method is the mealy dough method, used for Pate Sucree and Pasta Frolla, or sweet dough. This method is very similar to the flaky method, however, the butter is rubbed into the dough until the mixture resembles cornmeal. Pate Sucree can be patched together, re-rolled, and baked without significant resting. Sucree dough is usually baked with a filling, so it is not necessary to dock the dough before lining a pan with it.
Lastly, we learned the creaming dough mixing method, in which butter and sugar are beaten until they are light and fluffy. Then eggs are added one at a time and flour is finally stirred in until combined. Interestingly, when creaming butter and sugar, there is practically no way to overbeat it, so until adding the flour, don’t concern yourself with over beating at all.
If you know these three mixing methods, you know how to make almost any pie dough someone will throw at you.
We also learned how to make frangipane, which is a nut cream used as the base of many tarts and different citrus curds. Ever wonder why lemon curd tastes so great? Probably because even for a small batch, there are 8 egg yolks used!
Using all of these delicious new recipes, we made lots of different tarts, including rainbow tarts – which are generally filled with pastry cream and then covered in different fruits and some apricot nappage.
We also got to make all different frangipane and fruit tarts, lattice tarts, and lots more.