There’s a marvelous story about how Tarte Tropezienne came about as told by Dorie Greenspan. It’s worth the read and I encourage you to take a look. However, I don’t use her recipe. I use my Sixty Second Brioche which goes together so much faster without burning out the motor of your mixer. Continue reading
Due to the confusion over adding the gelatin in last week’s blog, I thought it might be a good idea to post a complete tutorial on Lemon Curd. This actually applies to most curds I have made with the exception of the Cranberry Curd which does not need a boost from gelatin because it has a lot of natural pectin which sets it.
When I first started making large batches of Lemon Curd at the bakery, we piped it into small pastry cups for petit fours. I noticed that towards the end of each piping bag, it would lose its stiffness. So I started adding a bit of gelatin to help keep it stable and allow it to keep its shape when piped. I find it makes all the difference in the world and use it in all of my curds today. Continue reading
This Torta Rustica is a savory Italian pastry which I am assuming means Rustic Tart. Its memorable crust holds a filling of spinach with cheese, eggs, onions and bread crumbs to bind it. It is layered with red peppers, artichokes and provolone. It is hard to go wrong with these ingredients. The one caveat here is to thaw the spinach completely and squeeze all the water from it. It is important it is dry when combined with the other ingredients.
We would squeeze 30 pounds of spinach to make 12 Torta Rustica at a time. No matter how long we thawed the spinach it would be freezing cold when we squeezed it. We would keep a bowl of warm water next to us to dip our hands into to warm them as we prepared the spinach. Continue reading
Triple Chocolate Heart Tarts – gorgeous, sophisticated, stunningly flavorful and easy – what more could you want in a Valentines dessert? When I had my bakery, we made so many of these both for Valentines day in these adorable tart shells and during the year when we made them in 12” European tarts it was amazing. What’s “so many” you ask. What about 1500 pieces which amounted to 125 tarts for banquet desserts usually with only a few days notice? If you can’t find 4 1/4” heart shaped tart pans, use 4 1/4” round ones – the dessert will be just as gorgeous, sophisticated, stunningly flavorful and easy!
Because these tarts are very short, there is only a small amount of “crust” on the bottom to anchor the filling. The majority of the filling is poured over the bottoms and allowed to set up in the cooler. The remainder is heated just to loosen it and combined with whipped cream for a third layer of chocolate. The finish I have used here is the one we used at the shop. The rosette is piped on with a bit of buttercream which we always had around. I have included a chocolate ganache if buttercream is not to be had. Continue reading
At the retail shop, the clientele loved this Goat Cheese Pesto Tart. It is the perfect example of a savory tart and we did many of them. This Goat Cheese Pesto Tart came from my love of peppers and basil – in this case, pesto. While I appreciate goat cheese, I find it very astringent and usually cut it with cream cheese to mellow it out as I have done here. I used this filling for small crostadas which we used as appetizers. We crossed slivers of red and yellow pepper on the top and they made a dazzling display on a tray when passed. They can be made, as can the tart, ahead and frozen.
For the crostadas, I would freeze them without the peppers on top, adding them after they had been reheated. I particularly like to use this filling for the crostadas as it didn’t lose its shape when heated. We would pipe it on with a large star tip. Continue reading