à la Béné including Pâte Brisée and Pâte Sablée
When we arrived home from Paris last summer, I threw my baggage into the house and scooted back to the raspberries bulging on my bushes bursting with perky summer sass. How I adore raspberries. I had them picked and plunked (ever so carefully) on top of a creamy French Raspberry Tart with Vanilla Cream in 60 minutes flat. Then, came the laundry.
I cannot aptly express the torture I endured traipsing around Paris last summer eying sparkling raspberry tarts in almost every window in town. I did not stop and indulge once. Oh, how I coveted just one moment alone in a quaint pâtisserie with my very own French Raspberry Tart. But, the time was never right (and I definitely got more than my share of thrills that trip). The triumph of my first French Tart was quite a little moment: the epitome of solemn self-indulgent solitude. I can still recall the mouth feel, flavour and taste. But, that was the last of the fresh raspberries that season.,, wait until this one!
Meanwhile, I learned that Béné, the Queen of the French Macaron, also is the Ultimate French Tart: her Pâte Brisée and Pâte Sablée are second to none: trés manifique! Below is her Tarte au Chocolat. Above is the one I made after the class, with, I confess, out of season (oh, I could not resist) raspberries. Again, the epitome of self-indulgence!
And the quiche! I have never had a “real quiche” until I ate this one. Somehow, it is just right: creamy, rich and satisfying with that little touch of magic. I am not sure what it is, but when I ate it I think I heard French Bistro Music from the mid 40’s whispering through the air ever so faintly.
And these lovely gals came to one of my classes and had a blast making these delicate pleasures.
And here is the other group of gals that took the first class.
And our lovely teacher, Béné, below.
For the Pâte Sablée: a medium bowl mix the butter with the sugars (icing sugar and regular sugar).
For this recipe, the butter needs to be at room temperature.
Add the egg; mix until combined, then add 85g of flour to combine, adding the remaining 250g of flour until it forms a ball.
Stop mixing once you have an homogeneous dough and cover the dough in plastic wrap, refrigerating for 1 hour, at least, before using.
To make the Pâte Brisée mix flour with salt in a large bowl; cut the soft butter into small pieces and add to flour/salt mixture: the dough should resemble coarse crumbs. Then, create a well and pour the egg yolk and the water into the well.
Above, Béné uses the age old method of mixing the Pâte Brisée with her finger as generations of French woman have done before her as she combines all ingredients: once it forms a soft ball, engage in the “fraiser” (countersinking) method demonstrated in the photos, below 3 or 4 times, until the dough is homogenous (with attention not to overwork it).
Gather dough into a ball, cover with a plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for approximately 30 minutes
Roll each pastry our between two pieces of plastic after it has rested.
Place the ring mold on a parchment covered cookie sheet and lay the pastry gently over the ring, gently pushing it into place, leaving the plastic wrap on top, so that the right angles are crisp at the base of the ring. Then, roll the rolling pin over top of the pastry overlapping the ring to cut it off.
Before it is baked, several fork holes are punched in the bottom of the pastry and the plastic wrap is left inside of it, filled to the top of the ring with rice, and par baked to ensure the sides of the crust do not shrink.
Above, the pastry rings have just come out of the oven and are par baked. One has had the rice removed, and one has not. Below, the rice is being removed and then pastries are returned to the oven to finish baking. The rice can be used over and over. And, no, amazingly enough, the plastic wrap I used did not melt: it worked perfectly.
Time for a treat! BÃ©nébrought each class one of her tarts to enjoy during a break so they knew what to expect!
While the dough is in the refrigerator, fry the lardons until almost crisp; remove from the pan and drain.
Below, the pastry for the quiche is being trimmed by the rolling pins rolling over the tart pan.
The creamy filling is mixed together. Fresh nutmeg is added to personal taste. We did discover that the cheese is best added last, after the filling has been poured into the partially baked tart shell.
Group two are just getting started.
See the rice in the tart ring, below, getting ready to go into the oven?
While the Pâte Sablée was baking in the oven (and it needs to fully bake, as the filling is just poured in and left to set), the gals shredded the chocolate.
As soon as the tart shells chilled, the chocolate ganache was poured into each, and then not moved, to ensure a velvet or satin finish. Expect a good 90 minutes to 2 hours for your tart to set.
Chris popped up to assist with some preparations at the end of the day. Béné and I have a moment and the gals below “say cheese” for a group photo!
The Pâte Briséeis only partially baked before the filling is poured in and they are back in the oven for some serious baking time. The par bake accomplished two things: to ensure the sides do not shrink, and to ensure the bottom crust is not gummy or doughy.
I love my new business as I learn with my students and get to meet a lot of lovely people!
Tarte au Chocolat
Ingredients for the Pâte Sablée:
- 200g butter (7/8 cup)
- Pinch of salt
- 85g icing sugar (3/4 cup)
- 40g sugar (1/3 cup)
- 1 large egg
- 335g of flour
- 85g (3/4 cup)
- + 250g flour (2 cups)
Ingredients for the chocolate filling:
- 230g dark chocolate (1.5 cups) (Callebaut dark)
- 250g (1 1/2 cup) whipping cream
Instructions for the Pâte Sablée:
- In a medium bowl mix the butter with the sugars (icing sugar and regular sugar)
- Add the egg; mix until combined
- Add 85g of flour, then add the remaining 250 g of flour
- Stop mixing once you have an homogeneous dough
- Cover the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour before using
- Roll out the dough between two sheets of cling wrap and place into a 22cm tart ring
- Refrigerate again for 20 to 30 minutes
- Poke holes in the dough, line the crust with parchment paper and fill it with beans or rice to keep the bottom from puffing and the sides from falling
- Prebake crust for 15 minutes at 360°F
- After 15 minutes, remove beans or rice; cook for another 10 to 15 minutes (until rim is light golden) and remove from oven to cool
Instructions for the filling:
- Melt the chocolate in a double boiler and slowly add the cream
- When melted and mixed together, pour on the dough; let the tart rest for 15 minutes and place in the refrigerator for a few hours
Ingredients for the Pâte Brisée:
- 250 g flour (2 cups)
- 125 g butter at room temperature (0.55 cup)
- Pinch of salt
- Pinch of sugar
- 1 egg yolk
- 3 tbsp water (more or less water may be necessary depending on consistency of dough)
Ingredients for the filling of a 10 inch pan:
- 250 g of double smoked bacon cut into small pieces (lardons)
- 100/150g of gruyere cheese (optional)
- 200 g milk – (4/5 cup)
- 250 g whipping cream – (1 1/4 cup)
- 2 eggs
- 2 egg yolks
- pinch of salt/ pepper
- pinch of nutmeg
- In large bowl, mix flour with salt; cut the soft butter into small pieces and add to flour/salt mixture: dough should resemble coarse crumbs
- Create a well and pour the egg yolk and the water and combine all ingredients using your finger
- Once it forms a soft ball, engage in the “fraiser” or “frÃ¢ser” method demonstrated in the photos, above: 3 or 4 times, until the dough is homogenous (with attention not to overwork it)
- Dough is ready when it holds together and is soft to the touch
- Gather dough into a ball, cover with a plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for approximately 30 minutes
- While the dough is in the refrigerator, fry the lardons until almost crisp; remove from the pan and drain
- Roll out the dough between two sheets of cling wrap and place into mold/ring
- Preheat oven to 360 degrees F
- Poke holes in the dough, line the crust with plastic wrap and fill it with beans or rice to keep the bottom from puffing and the sides from falling
- Prebake shell for 15-18 minutes
- Beat eggs, milk, and cream together with the salt, nutmeg and pepper
- Pour everything into the pie shell, sprinkle with cheese, if desired
- Bake for 30 – 40 minutes (until cooked)