Le Cordon Bleu Paris – Day 3: All About Apples

I hate it because class yesterday ended at 10pm and today, we started at 8am. I was also PMSing over the past couple of days. I didn’t feel like talking to anyone at all actually, including my mum. And yes, the dreaded time of the month has arrived, dead smack in the middle of demo class this morning. What a great way to start the day!

For demo, Chef prepared tarte aux pommes and tarte tatin. Both are classic French apple tarts but prepared quite differently. I think I prefer the tarte aux pommes a little more, as it isn’t as sweet at the tarte tatin. The tarte tatin has caramelised apples which I find a little too rich. Both use the same pâte brisée (shortcrust pastry). I think shortcrust pastry is easier to work with than pâte sucrée (sweet pastry). It also helps that we have a professional kitchen which is air conditioned and a beautiful counter to work on. This keeps the butter cold so that it is easier to work with pastry dough.

Our practical class was right after the demo. I was nervous, of course. As I’ve mentioned, I’ve only ever made a tart once in my life. It also happened to be an apple tart, but not in the French style. For that, I used a sweet pastry, and in Singapore’s terrible weather, it was not ideal at all.

The making of the pastry went well, up to the point of easing it into the mould. Then it became difficult trying to ensure that the pastry was even throughout. The worst part was crimping the crust. I had no idea how to use the pastry crimper! Remind me to find out.

Apparently, we will be tested on this bit, up till the crimping, for our exam. Chef encouraged us to purchase a ring mould and practice at home. Looks like I really have to.

We then made the apple compote and sliced the apples to go on top while the dough rested. I also had trouble peeling the skin off the apples, because I’ve never peeled apples with a peeler before. I’ve used a knife. Don’t ask me why though. I do have a peeler at home too. We had to slice the apples thinly to arrange on top of the compote. The knives we got are super sharp. I kid you not. I think these are the sharpest knives I’ve ever handled. I was glad that by the end of the session, I didn’t hurt myself.

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Tarte aux pommes

Chef commented that though the arrangement of the apples was nice, I should have ensured that the apple compote at the bottom did not peek out at the sides.

After baking, the crimping also became hardly noticeable, even for those that went into the oven looking nice and distinct. So I guess mine didn’t look too bad then.

IMG_0389

Sliced tarte aux pommes

Here you can see the layer of shortcrust pastry at the bottom, followed by the apple compote and then the sliced apples. The apple compote is delicious because it is sweetened, flavoured with vanilla powder and also cooked in butter. #CozButter

I rushed home after practical to take my medication, thinking that the next class was at 3.30pm (that’s what my screenshot says), so I rushed back. I saw my classmates walking out of school and then they told me that class was at 7pm, not 3.30pm. Seems like they updated the calendar since I took that screenshot and I didn’t know. So I walked home again. Workout of the day.

I’m off to school now for the 7pm class. We will be shown how to make Gâteau Basque and Flan Pâtissier. This will be something completely new to me as I’ve never tried them before, but I’m sure they will be as yummy as everything else!

Le Cordon Bleu Paris – Day 3: All About Apples

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