Lesson 2: An Apple kind of Day
I often have vivid dreams of experimenting in the kitchen and of the smell of baked goods as they come fresh out of the oven. I want to make these fantasies into realities with my own two hands under the guidance of masterful teachers. I want to be able to create works of culinary art and believe that my creativity and passion will make this possible.
Unfortunately, this short prose was just the result of my imagination running wild. Dreams are very rarely close to daily life. But luckily, things on this day were starting to look up. It was a day to celebrate apples in all their glory.
Sadly, vegetables and fruit at local corner stores and supermarkets are of questionable quality and distinguished age, a nice way of saying expensive, old, shrivelled and often rotten. Only the weekly farmers markets come close to the crisp and tasty produce I have been searching far and wide for.
The demonstration was intense and peppered with hilarious jokes from the Chef.
Lesson 3: Assorted Tarts using Sweet Short Pastry ßà Les Tartes assorties en Pâte Brisée
Classic French Apple Tart – “Tarte Aux Pommes”
Tart Tatin – “Tarte Tatin”
Normandy Tart – “Tarte Normande”
Below is the first of many long processes that we will learn during our course… except this is also one of the most important.
The making of a tart casing with delicate pâte brisée and a simple tart ring is meant to become second nature for us. We will rely on developing fast hands and a muscle memory to churn out a perfectly made tart every time. There is no doubt that this certain skill is likely to turn up on our practical exam at the end of the course.
At the end of every class the chef will line up his creations ready for inspections and hordes of students scrambling to take photos. What you don’t see in these photos are the multitudes of hands reaching over the table taking photos in a rough and chaotic manner. We are meant to visually study the cakes and learn the correct and traditional ways of presenting these age old recipes.
The Chef will then, with the aid of his assistants, for example us, cut up and distribute a sample of each of the cakes that we must review in a process of formal tasting, otherwise known as massive sugary consumption. Some of us will smell, analyse and then slowly taste the products in a process similar to fine wine tasting. Others, will quickly eat it all like a cheap buffet line.
Below, for your inspection, and later consumption, are the 3 wonderful cakes of the day, each employing different presentation styles.
1) Tarte aux Pommes – Classic French Apple Tart
A) Prepared with nibs of butter and brown sugar B) Final Product C) Brushed with Apricot Nappage (Glaze) for a glossy sheen
2) Tarte Tatin – Classic Apple Tart Tatin
A) A la natural B) Up close and personal, check out the caramelised apples
3) Tarte Normande – Normandy Tart
A) A la natural B) Dusted with Icing Sugar
↘NOW, FOR MY ATTEMPT…
… MY FIRST EVER CLASSIC FRENCH APPLE TART