Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Elephant ears and pies, OH MY!

Day 2, Classic Pastry. Palmiers,Sacristans, and tarte tatin. yum, yum and yummiest.

Today was a faster paced, yet fun day of class. Lecture only lasted about 20 minutes, if that. Aced my quiz, i hope. And then we had probably an hour and a half of demo. For every product we used commercial puff pastry

First Chef demoed how to make the Palmiers, which are more commonly known as elephant ears (elephant footprints?). Puff pastry COVERED in cinnamon sugar.

To shape the palmiers, we rolled out the puff pastry dough thinly using cinnamon sugar instead of our flour to prevent sticking. When it was at the desired thickness, more sugar was added to both sides, and you then lightly press it into the dough with the rolling pin.

First, Take the left hand edge and bring it to the middle of the dough, and do the same with the right. Add more sugar in an even fashion.

First Fold

Then for the second fold, you repeat the first step. Bring both the left and right hand edges into the middle of the dough. Again add more sugar evenly

Second Fold

Then for the last and final fold, use a wooden spoon or ruler to create an indent in between the two stacks of fold (do not cut the dough!) this will facilitate easier folding. Then bring the left side on top of the right folds

Final Fold

Trim off the uneven ends with a french knife. Then mark your desired size (less than one inch) and cut each piece. Place on parchment lined pan, pinch the bottom a little and flair out the "ears". (i was confused too, don't worry, just wing it!)

Pinched and flair

Note: upon experimentation we figured out that if you lightly egg wash each inner layer before sprinkling cinnamon sugar, it will keep the ears together.

Bake 400 F flipping halfway through

Baked Palmiers

Finished they are crispy, flaky, chewy and sugary sweet!


we started off with a sheet of puff pastry and thinned it out a little as before. Then cut in half. On one half you lightly spread your desired filling (don't use too much!). I used raspberry jam and crushed almonds. Then you place the "naked" piece on top and lightly go over the dough with a rolling pin.

Filling the sacristans- (chef used orange jam)

Then mark your desired strip width, (less than an inch). And cut strips.

Cutting the strips

Then, to create the shape, take each strip and tightly twist up the strip as pictured, use a little egg wash to secure the ends to the parchment and prevent unraveling.

Twisted up

Bake at 400 F or so, until golden brown

Baked Sacristans

The finished twists were flaky, and slightly sweet with hinds of the filling through out.

Tarte Tatin

To begin, add white sugar to a dry pan, and stir constantly until it begins to caramelize and turns brown in color, do not burn though. Add the butter, it will spatter. Then stirring vigorously add desired liquor (i used apple brandy). When your caramel is all together, add your dried fruit ( i used dried cherries).

Caramelizing the sugar

Arrange your apple 8ths in a tight circle with the smooth side down, then fill in the spaces between those, with the smooth side up, also fill in the middle with a cut pieces of apple. Basically you do this to make it look nice, and fill up the pan with granny smith apples. I used just short of three peeled apples.

Arranged Apples

To finish the tarte, roll out puff pastry, to be slightly thinner than purchased, use a plate slightly larger than the pan used, and cut out a circle of dough. Place the circle of dough on top of the arranged apples, pushing down any extra dough. Bake at 400 F and then flip out after a few minutes of cooling, serve with whipped cream.

Covered with puff pastry

Finished and flipped out of the pan

And to close....My Perfect Bite of deliciousness.

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