Those of you who have been reading this blog for a while will know that I don’t think kids necessarily need their own special cookbooks – just some well-written recipes which teach them basics and useful techniques. And you’ll know that when it comes to my cooking clubs – Les Petits Chefs and Cooking Basics – I don’t shy away from recipes that some might find “too hard” to make with kids.
Which is why this week, I felt I’d start the term off as I mean to continue – with high expectations and with not one but two recipes. Ever since I’d seen Clotilde Dusoulier’s “rough puff” pastry (a shortcut method to making puff pastry), I’d wanted to try it. Also, I’d had this Jamie Oliver Magazine recipe for Apple Tart bookmarked for ages simply because it looks so beautiful. So I figured why not take two recipes from trusted sources that I KNOW will work and teach them to the boys. Because, let’s face it – what boy wouldn’t like a tasty mini apple tart made with all-butter puff pastry?
I made a batch of the pastry the night before at home, to make sure that it *really* did only take 15 minutes (it did!). I was blown away at how easy it was and knew the boys would love the rolling and folding I planned to use that to make completed apple tarts, then, while they were baking, we’d make another batch to send home with the boys – enough for them to make another mini tart with a different filling.
We started out peeling and slicing the apples…
Then we got assembling our mini tartlettes…
Ahem, you’ll notice that the shapes of the tartelettes aren’t exactly round… Well that would be my fault – I forgot to show/ tell the boys to make a ball with their dough before they started rolling it out. So, we ended up with some very rustic shapes. But no matter. I think they have character
While the rustic tartelettes were baking, we got to making Clotilde’s “rough puff”…
Based on Lucy Vanel’s fast feuilletage, Clotilde’s recipe is “an easy, fuss-free way of making puff pastry” that doesn’t involve rolling out the butter and enclosing it into a détrempe nor does it “confine you to the kitchen with incessant refrigeration steps”. In this version, you simply cut the butter into the flour, add the water to form a rough, wet dough, then do four (or more) rounds of rolling, folding, and turning, just like you would for a classic puff pastry, with no need to refrigerate the dough at each turn – just at the end for an hour or so. The boys did a great job. Note: both times I made this, I used a food processor, explaining to the boys that using a food processor is much faster and eliminates too much “hands on” time which can make the pastry get too hot and hard to work with.
We all agreed it was very easy and I hope I’ve inspired a few of the boys to make this at home with their parents. I mean – flaky pie pastry? sausage rolls? tarte tatin? Who wouldn’t want to know how to make food like that?
When the finished tartes came out of the oven, we brushed them with a little apricot conserves that we heated to make a glaze. Et voilà:
Ok so some of us were a little heavy handed rolling out the pastry, we didn’t have a chance to chill the tarts before we baked them and I forgot to “knock” the edges of the pastry with a knife to encourage rising in the oven but hey, for 60 minutes they did really well, don’t you think?
WORLDWIDE giveaway! Click here to win a copy of Sarah Elton’s Starting From Scratch (the only book you’ll need to teach your kids about food!). Ends Tuesday April 8th 2014 at 6pm EST.