Fresh Fruit Tart
My second week of classes at the French Culinary Institute were a lot less nerve-wracking. I had calmed down a lot since the start of class, allowing me to make some really great things in class. We're in the tarts and cookies unit of the course until February 2nd, and we continue to make more and more of these two pastries.
I hadn't ever really contemplated how many tarts one can possibly make. I had never made an actual tart on my own (only pies), and that has quickly changed over the past couple weeks. I am now on my way to becoming the Queen of Tarts.
The class is extremely fast-paced and every class, in the matter of only five hours, we make between 3-5 completed pastries, depending on whether we have a sanitation lecture as well (that exam, my first at school, is this week!). Because we make all components from scratch - doughs, fillings, etc., it takes a bit of time to get to the finished product.
Pots de creme
The tarts we made this week were Tarte Bourdaloue (poached pairs and almonds), Fresh Fruit Tart, Apricot Tart, Tart Alsacienne (apple & custard), and mini fresh fruit tarts. In addition to this, we made gingersnap cookies, Vanilla Kipferls (vanilla hazelnut cookies), and Chocolate Heaven cookies, and pots de creme (kind of like chocolate custard).
Apricot Tart pre oven
Apricot tart after baking
The most exciting moment of the week was learning how to flambe. Being scared of both fire and knives, the choice of going to a culinary school may seem dubious, but I'm determined to overcome both in these next 9 months. I'm already making progress- I cut myself and lived and this week lit a pan on fire (on purpose).
Chocolate Heaven Cookies
For the Tarte Alsacienne, the apples were first sauteed and then using apple brandy, lit on fire. It was very cool! Seemingly unrelated, right after we were done flambeing, we saw a couple of firefighters walk by our classroom. They must have gotten word that there were beginner students playing with fire.
Fresh fruit mini tarts