Cooking Through Ratio: Doughs and Batters – More Pie Dough

As easy as 3-2-1; that’s how making pie dough goes when you forget about how difficult everyone says making it is and you focus on the ratio and method. I had one remaining disc from yesterday’s pie dough making to use and today seemed like a great day to use it. I have a work activity tomorrow that my team is sponsoring so in addition to using my remaining disc I also decided to create another batch, but this time of pâte sucrée or dough with the addition of sugar to make both a French Apple Tart and French Peach Tart.

Using the first disc, I created chocolate tarts which consisted of molded dough and chocolate ganache I made by using 2 parts chocolate and 1 part heavy cream (Ruhlman’s book has a ratio for this in the coming chapters so it will be interesting to compare my results). These proved to be harder to make than I anticipated. To create the “cups” for the chocolate, I rolled out the disc and then cut it into squares. Each square was then pinched together with corners touching and molded into a cup. In order to get this done, I split the disc into three equal sections and stored each “batch” in the refrigerator as I worked on the next.

Each time I pulled the tray out for the new cups, I noticed that the previous ones had hardened up in their cup form and were cool to the touch. A good sign.

Pie Dough: Tart Cups
Pie Dough: Tart Cups

My one mistake with these was to not firm up the last batch of cups in the fridge before I put them into the preheated oven at 325 degrees F. When I took them out after 15 minutes, the ones that were not cooled had flattened out, losing the desired cup shape. Others puffed up with steam, perhaps as a result of me not docking the bakes with a fork. This did not deter me as the final taste would not be affected.

As the cups were baking, I worked on the ganache, bringing 4 ounces of heavy cream to a simmer and then pouring it over a measured 8 ounces of bittersweet chocolate pieces. After the warm cream had melted most of the chocolate, I used the mixer to combine the too into what can be described as pure chocolate decadence.

Using a spoon, the ganache was placed into the successful and not-so-successful cups alike and allowed to cool.

Pie Dough: Chocolate Ganache Tarts
Pie Dough: Chocolate Ganache Tarts

I clearly had made too much of the chocolate ganache which can hardly be viewed as a bad thing unless one is considering diet. Thoughts like this make me wonder how the average amount of weight gained at culinary school can only be 10 pounds as indicated by Chef Roberta during the info session at the Cambridge School of Culinary Arts. My pants waistlines will have to be my mindful helpers in my desire not to gain weight as I learn the culinary arts.

With one batch of pie dough under my belt, the second batch of dough was a breeze to make in the stand mixer. I poured my ingredients in and in no time had my dough ready to rest and cool in the refrigerator.

Pie Dough: Mixing in my KitchenAid
Pie Dough: Mixing in my KitchenAid

As the dough cooled, I cut 3 apples and 3 peaches into slices and set them aside. I then rolled out the dough into two rectangles, a task not easy to do when the dough is cold. The peach and apple slices were placed on top as well as a half cup of sugar on top of each and squares of butter and set to bake for 30 minutes. This dough seemed to cook much faster than previous doughs I have made before and actually burned a bit to my disappointment. I wasn’t about to through everything out after all the time I had spent, especially with the rolling and shaping of the dough, and hoped that people wouldn’t mind tomorrow. As the tarts baked, I heated up a cup and a half of apricot jelly with 2tbs of spiced rum and poured this over the tarts as soon as they were pulled out of the oven and left everything to cool.

Pie Dough: Apple Tart
Pie Dough: Apple Tart
Pie Dough: Peach Tart
Pie Dough: Peach Tart

With any luck, everything will taste as amazing as it looks. I’ll have to admit, I did taste the chocolate tarts to ensure that they were suitable for consumption. It’s a tough job, but someone has to do it.

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