Showing posts with label puff pastry. Show all posts
Showing posts with label puff pastry. Show all posts

26 February 2014

Making Jésuites, a French Patisserie Classic



Jésuites from the market in Old Cahors, 2008

Each visit to France has had its own flavor as we explored both city and countryside, north and south, examining the differences.

I love the constant street noise in Paris, even after midnight, but I also love the deep quiet of the dark countryside at 2 a.m.

Both city and country have one thing in common: Incredible outdoor food markets, filled with produce, cheese, meat and baked goods. The baked goods found in Paris seem a bit more inventive and elegant while the pastries of the south are rooted in tradition.

14 September 2012

Frugal French Friday: Tomato-Onion Tart with Gruyere Cheese



Tomatoes from the super market are a poor substitute for tomatoes from the farm market. But I have some and I must use them up. This post, from 2012 has inspired me: 

Today's recipe for Onion-Tomato Tarte with Gruyere was easy to make after work, taking only about 40 minutes prep time and about an hour in the oven; mine took only 45 minutes.

The tomatoes came from a variety of local sources, including my own back yard, and the onions were from Immerfrost Farm. The herbs came from my own garden. The cheese was in my cheese compartment and was part of my ongoing Clean Out the Fridge Month effort.

I cheated and used store-bought puff pastry.

I used two types of tomatoes, one large robust-looking burgundy heirloom tomato, and about a dozen cherry tomatoes. I used plain black olives, leftovers from another meal. I also tossed in about two tablespoons of chopped thyme, and added a dash of herbes de Provence before popping it in the oven.

To keep the bottom crust from getting soggy, I let the tomato slices dry for about 30 minutes on paper towels before using layering them in the tart.

The tart was delicious: Juicy and tangy with a slight herb-y undertaste, and not soggy when reheated. I paired it with a green salad and whatever leftover I had on hand, including my Sautéed Turkish Orange Eggplant.

Cost: This meal was pricier than most of my frugal efforts. The total came to about $15, but the recipe gave me five generous servings for a cost of $3 each.

Wine Pairing: A Sauvingon Blanc is recommended; I think I'd go with a simple white table wine. These wines may get a bad rap from wine snobs, but they are often very versatile.

26 August 2012

Leek-Olive Tart with Pave d'Affinois & Parmesan Cheese


It all started when I bought a small brick of creamy Pave d'Affinois cheese (see photo below) at the Italian market across the river. This creamy relative to Brie is heavenly, with a light grassiness and a hint of green apple.

I could have spread it on a slice of baguette, but I wanted something a bit more complex. But not complicated.

A Google search brought me to this recipe from Martha Stewart and I captivated by the rustic look of the tart. I had all the ingredients, save for the leeks, but I was pretty sure I could buy those from the Immerfrost Farm growers at the Saturday farm market.

I love these guys, and most of the other vendors. They know what I want. One of the vendors saves her odd-shaped vegetables for me. She knows I think vegetables are people. More on that one some other time.

I followed the recipe almost exactly, but followed the reviewers' suggestions and sliced my leeks differently. It was easier to eat this way. I'd suggest cutting back on the salt used on the leeks, too, as the Mediterranean olives I used provided plenty of salty flavor. As you all know, I am liberal with herbes de Provence, so I added a dash of that, too.

The thyme came from my own garden, but other than that, only the leeks were local. I would like to report that I made my own puff pastry, but I cannot tell a lie. It's on my to-do list for rewirement. Only 22 more work days!

Since I trimmed the cheese brick before melting the cheese on the tarte, I suspect it will turn up in a soup recipe sometime down the line. With Pave d'Affinois, the rind is edible.

Meanwhile, the tart was perfect for breakfast, too.

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31 January 2009

Chocolate-Brie-En-Croute with Walnuts

Some tastes just work together. Which ingredients should be paired with other ingredients is a matter of individual taste.

For me there are some basic rules for pairings in a recipe.
  • The flavors must have something in common.
  • The flavors must balance each other.
  • There must be a counterpoint, a foil.
Brie-en-croute is a favorite dessert we tried a few years back when my husband's incessant channel surfing stopped for five minutes while Emeril Lagassé was kicking it up a notch. Emeril's version, which paired walnuts with brie and brown sugar in a pastry shell, sounded tasty. I flew to the computer (this was long before we had a laptop and an iPad) to locate the site and print out the recipe.

Brie is creamy and earthy and comforting. Bland with a tang. To my palate, a creamy chocolate with a hint of salt seemed a good match for it. See what you think:

Chocolate-Brie-En-Croute with Walnuts
  • 1 package pre-made puff pastry or similar product, thawed
  • 1 8-ounce round of brie cheese
  • 1 large or 2-3 small pieces of high quality milk or dark chocolate
  • 1/4 cup coarsely-chopped walnuts
  • egg wash
  • flour for dusting work surface

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Roll out the pastry on a floured surface to form a round shape, about the size of a pie crust.

Place the round of brie in the middle of the circle. Press the chocolate down into the brie. Fold the puff pastry up so that it encloses the brie, smoothing down seams and trimming off excess dough. (Save the excess and use cookie cutters to create shapes for decoration.) Top with walnuts.

Place ball of filled dough on a parchment lined baking sheet. Coat with egg wash. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until pastry turns golden brown.

My pastry was too cake-y, not flaky enough. But the taste was heavenly. It would even better with homemade pastry dough.

My chocolate was from Jean-Paul Hevin.