Read Around My French Table Online

Authors: Dorie Greenspan

Around My French Table (95 page)

BOOK: Around My French Table
6.2Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads
Tart Dough

W
HILE
I
USE THIS DOUGH FOR SAVORIES,
it's really an all-purpose recipe that produces a not-too-rich, slightly crisp crust that is as happy holding pastry cream for a strawberry tart as it is encasing a creamy cheese filling for a quiche. This is a good dough to use anytime you see a recipe calling
for pâte brisée.

BE PREPARED:
The dough should chill for at least 3 hours.


cups all-purpose flour
1
teaspoon sugar
½
teaspoon salt
6
tablespoons (¾ stick) very cold (or frozen) unsalted butter, cut into bits
1
large egg
1
teaspoon ice water

TO MAKE THE DOUGH IN A FOOD PROCESSOR:
Put the flour, sugar, and salt in the processor and whir a few times to blend. Scatter the bits of butter over the flour and pulse several times, until the butter is coarsely mixed into the flour. Beat the egg with the ice water and pour it into the bowl in 3 small additions, whirring after each one. (Don't overdo it—the dough shouldn't form a ball or ride on the blade.) You'll have a moist, malleable dough that will hold together when pinched. Turn the dough out onto a work surface, gather it into a ball (if the dough doesn't come together easily, push it, a few spoonfuls at a time, under the heel of your hand or knead it lightly), and flatten it into a disk.

TO MAKE THE DOUGH BY HAND:
Put the flour,sugar,and salt in a large bowl. Drop in the bits of butter and, using your hands or a pastry blender, work the butter into the flour until it is evenly distributed. You'll have large and small butter bits, and that's fine—uniformity isn't a virtue here. Beat the egg and water together, drizzle over the dough, and, using a fork, toss the dough until it is evenly moistened. Reach into the bowl and, using your fingertips, mix and knead the dough until it comes together. Turn it out onto a work surface, gather it into a ball (if the dough doesn't come together easily, push it, a few spoonfuls at a time, under the heel of your hand or knead it some more), and flatten it into a disk.

Chill the dough for at least 3 hours.
(The dough can be refrigerated for up to 5 days.)

When you're ready to make the tart shell, butter a 9- to 9½-inch fluted tart pan with a removable bottom (butter it even if it's nonstick).

TO ROLL OUT THE DOUGH:
I like to roll out the dough between sheets of wax paper or plastic wrap or in a lightly floured rolling cover, but you can roll it out on a lightly floured work surface. If you're working between sheets of paper or plastic wrap, lift the paper or plastic often so that it doesn't roll into the dough, and turn the dough over frequently. If you're just rolling on the counter, make sure to lift and turn the dough and reflour the counter often. The rolled-out dough should be about ¼ inch thick and at least 12 inches in diameter.

Transfer the dough to the tart pan, easing it into the pan without stretching it. (What you stretch now will shrink in the oven later.) Press the dough against the bottom and up the sides of the pan. If you'd like to reinforce the sides of the crust, you can fold some of the excess dough over, so that you have a double thickness around the sides. Using the back of a table knife, trim the dough even with the top of the pan. Prick the base of the crust in several places with a fork.

Chill—or freeze—the dough for at least 1 hour before baking.

Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Press a piece of buttered foil (or use nonstick foil) against the crust's surface. If you'd like, you can fill the covered crust with rice or dried beans (which will be inedible after this but can be used for baking for months to come) to keep the dough flat, but this isn't really necessary if the crust is well chilled. Line a baking sheet with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper and put the tart pan on the sheet.

TO PARTIALLY BAKE THE CRUST:
Bake for 20 minutes, then very carefully remove the foil (with the rice or beans). Return the crust to the oven and bake for another 3 to 5 minutes, or until it is lightly golden. Transfer the baking sheet to a cooling rack and allow the crust to cool before you fill it.

TO FULLY BAKE THE CRUST:
Bake for an additional 10 minutes, or until it is an even golden brown. Transfer the baking sheet to a cooling rack and allow the crust to cool before you fill it.

 

MAKES ONE 9- TO 9½-INCH TART SHELL

 

STORING
Well wrapped, the dough can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or frozen for up to 1 month. Although the fully baked crust can be wrapped airtight and frozen for up to 2 months, I prefer to freeze the unbaked crust in the pan and bake it directly from the freezer—it has a fresher flavor. Just add about 5 minutes or so to the baking time.

Sweet Tart Dough

C
ALLED PÂTE SABLÉE, THIS IS ESSENTIALLY
a tender, very buttery sablé cookie dough rolled (or pressed) into a tart pan. Although you can fill the unbaked crust and bake both filling and crust together, I always prefer to partially bake the crust and then fill it—it helps prevent the soggy-bottom problem, and I think it accentuates the wonderful flavors of the dough.


cups all-purpose flour
½
cup confectioners' sugar
¼
teaspoon salt
9
tablespoons very cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1
large egg yolk

Put the flour, confectioners' sugar, and salt in a food processor and pulse a couple of times to combine. Scatter the pieces of butter over the dry ingredients and pulse until the butter is cut in coarsely—you'll have some pieces the size of oatmeal flakes and some the size of peas, and that's just fine. Stir the yolk, just to break it up, and add it a little at a time, pulsing after each addition. When the egg is in, process in long pulses—about 10 seconds each—until the dough, which will look granular soon after the egg is added, forms clumps and curds. Just before you reach this clumpy stage, the sound of the machine working the dough will change—heads up.

Turn the dough out onto a work surface and very lightly knead it just to incorporate any dry ingredients that might have escaped mixing.

If you want to press the dough into a tart pan, now is the time to do it. If you want to roll it out, gather the dough into a ball, flatten it into a disk, wrap it well, and chill it for a couple of hours.
(The dough can be refrigerated for up to 5 days.)

When you're ready to make the tart shell, butter a 9- to 9½-inch fluted tart pan with a removable bottom (butter the pan even if it's nonstick).

TO MAKE A PRESS-IN CRUST:
Press the dough evenly over the bottom and up the sides of the tart pan. You probably won't use all the dough, but it's nice to make a thickish crust so you that you can really enjoy the texture. Press the crust in so that the pieces cling to one another and knit together when baked, but don't use a lot of force—working lightly will preserve the crust's shortbreadish texture. Prick the crust all over and freeze for at least 30 minutes, preferably longer, before baking.

TO MAKE A ROLLED-OUT CRUST:
I like to roll the dough between sheets of wax paper or plastic wrap. Remove the disk from the refrigerator and unwrap it. If it's too hard to roll easily without cracking, give it a few whacks with your rolling pin to get it moving. Roll the dough out evenly, turning it over frequently and lifting the wax paper or plastic often so that it doesn't roll into the dough and form creases. Roll the dough into a circle that's about ¼ inch thick and at least 12 inches in diameter. If the dough is very soft, slide the rolled-out circle onto a baking sheet and into the fridge to rest and firm for about 20 minutes. Fit the dough into the buttered tart pan. Using the back of a knife, trim the excess dough even with the top of the pan. Prick the crust all over and freeze for at least 30 minutes, preferably longer, before baking.

Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Butter a piece of aluminum foil (or use nonstick foil) and press the foil snugly against the crust. If the crust is frozen, you can bake it as is; if not, fill it with dried beans or rice (which you can reuse for crusts but won't be able to cook after this).

TO PARTIALLY BAKE THE CRUST:
Bake the crust for 25 minutes, then carefully remove the foil (and weights). If the crust has puffed, press it down gently with the back of a spoon. Return the tart to the oven and bake for another 3 to 5 minutes, or until lightly golden. Transfer the baking sheet to a cooling rack and allow the crust to cool before you fill it.

TO FULLY BAKE THE CRUST:
Bake the crust for 25 minutes, then carefully remove the foil (and weights). If the crust has puffed, press it down gently with the back of a spoon, and bake the crust for another 8 minutes or so, or until it is firm and golden brown. (I dislike lightly baked crusts, so I often keep the crust in the oven just a little longer. If you do that, just make sure to keep a close eye on the crust's progress—it can go from golden to way-too-dark in a flash.) Transfer the baking sheet to a cooling rack and allow the crust to cool before you fill it.

 

MAKES ONE 9- TO 9½-INCH TART SHELL

 

STORING
Well wrapped, the dough can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or frozen for up to 1 month. While the fully baked crust can be wrapped airtight and frozen for up to 2 months, I prefer to freeze the unbaked crust in the pan and bake it directly from the freezer—it has a fresher flavor. Just add about 5 minutes or so to the bake time.

 

BONNE IDÉE
Chocolate Shortbread Dough
. Like the Sweet Tart Dough, this dough is a cookie dough literally pressed into service as a crust. It can be used anytime a chocolate flavor would be a treat, as in the Double Chocolate and Banana Tart (
[>]
). Use 1¼ cups all-purpose flour, ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder, ¼ cup confectioners' sugar, ¼ teaspoon salt, 9 tablespoons very cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces, and 1 large egg yolk and follow the recipe directions.

Cream Puff Dough

P
ÂTE À CHOUX
IS CREAM PUFF DOUGH
or, in direct translation, cabbage dough—so called because someone must have thought that the resulting puffs resembled mini cabbages. Had I been in charge of naming the dough, I'd probably have tried to work the word
magical
into the moniker, because as the dough expands in the oven, it just about triples in size, turns a tempting shade of gold, and hollows, which is as close to magic as most of us get.

Since cream puff dough is truly neither sweet nor salty, it can be used for both sweets, like Profiteroles (see Bonne Idée,
[>]
), and savories, like Goat-Cheese Mini Puffs (
[>]
) and my all-time favorite hors d'oeuvre, the French cheese puffs known as Gougères (
[>]
). The dough can be spooned out small, so you've got bite-sized treats, or big, so that you can fill the puffs with enough salad to call it lunch or enough whipped cream and berries to call it a party.

The dough is the only one I can think of that is cooked and then baked: you make a cooked mixture of milk, butter, and flour before you add the eggs and bake it. It's easy to make the dough by hand and even easier to do it with a mixer; however, once it's made, it must be used immediately. But here's the good news: you can spoon the dough into puffs and then freeze the puffs; when you're ready for them, bake as many as you want straight from the freezer, no defrosting needed.

½
cup whole milk
½
cup water
8
tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces
1
tablespoon sugar (if you're using the puffs for something sweet)
½
teaspoon salt
1
cup all-purpose flour
4
large eggs, at room temperature

Position the racks to divide the oven into thirds and preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with silicone baking mats or parchment paper.

Bring the milk, water, butter, sugar (if you're using it), and salt to a rapid boil in a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan over high heat. Add the flour all at once, lower the heat to medium-low, and immediately start stirring energetically with a wooden spoon or heavy whisk. The dough will come together, and a light crust will form on the bottom of the pan. Keep stirring—with vigor—for another minute or two to dry the dough. The dough should be very smooth.

Turn the dough into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or into a bowl you can use to mix with a hand mixer or a wooden spoon and elbow grease. Let the dough sit for a minute, then add the eggs one by one and beat, beat, beat until the dough is thick and shiny. Make sure that each egg is completely incorporated before you add the next, and don't be concerned if the dough falls apart—by the time the last egg goes in, the dough will come together again. Once the dough is made, it should be used immediately.

TO BAKE THE PUFFS:
Using about 1 tablespoon dough for each puff, drop the dough from a spoon onto the lined baking sheets, leaving about 2 inches of puff space between the mounds of dough.
(The puffs can be frozen for up to 2 months.)

Slide the baking sheets into the oven and immediately turn the oven temperature down to 375 degrees F. Bake for 12 minutes, then rotate the pans from front to back and top to bottom. Continue baking until the puffs are golden, firm, and, of course, puffed, another 12 to 15 minutes or so. Allow the puffs to cool on the baking sheet.

BOOK: Around My French Table
6.2Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

Other books

1951 - But a Short Time to Live by James Hadley Chase
Unlocked by Karen Kingsbury
Young Winstone by Ray Winstone
Piece of Cake by Derek Robinson
HerEternalWarrior by Marisa Chenery
On Rue Tatin by Susan Herrmann Loomis
Royal Trouble by Becky McGraw