If there’s one thing I’ve learned over the past 4+ years teaching Les Petits Chefs and the Cooking Basics boys to cook, it’s that pastry holds a strange fascination for kids. I often joke that I should bring pastry to my French classes and let the boys roll and shape away since it seems to have an oddly calming effect on them 😉
This week in cooking club, we had a last-minute change of plans so I had to come up with a plan at short notice. I knew that a dessert would be a hit with the boys and even more so if it involved pastry 😉 I chose to work with Edd Kimber‘s “rough puff” pastry from his new book “Pâtisserie Made Simple” (which should be on your Christmas wish list, trust me!)
I have been following Edd’s blog for years now, even before he won The Great British Bake Off and wrote three books (!) and had the pleasure of meeting him in Paris this past summer. He is as charming as you would expect someone who writes exquisite baking books would be, but so down to earth. I remember looking at the proofs of this book on his iPad and knowing it was something really special. In real life, the book is utterly gorgeous and full of all of my favourite French desserts. I have bookmarked so many recipes I guess I just need to start working my way through them!
As soon as I saw the recipe for rough puff, I wanted to try it. I’ve worked with Clotilde Dusoulier’s rough puff recipe before (actually made nearly the exact same dessert with the boys back in April!) and was interested to see Edd uses equal parts butter and flour (Clotilde does not) – I wanted to see what the difference would be.
I made a double batch of the pastry earlier in the day and did the requisite rolling and turning so that the pastry would be ready to work with – remember we only have an hour! The boys prepped the pastry rounds and the apples fairly quickly and got to filling their “rustic”-style tarts…
While the tarts were baking, we got to making a second batch of the puff pastry. I demoed one more batch (which we ended up dividing between the boys and sent home, hopefully destined for something delicious!) and the boys made a second batch as a group…
With 12 of them rolling and folding, it’s quite possibly a little overworked but I have it in my fridge, waiting for me to have some time to work with it soon! I have a feeling that even though it might not achieve the layers it is supposed to, it will still taste wonderful! I mean, butter, right?
The boys finished tartelettes looked wonderful…
And since there were enough for all of us, I even got a taste this week. Oh. My. Such buttery goodness. I can definitely tell the difference from the extra butter in this version. It’s SO good! I don’t know many of these made it home, actually, I saw boys sneaking bites all over the playground as they waited to be picked up. And I heard that the After Care boys devoured them in minutes 😉 Sign of a great cooking session, wouldn’t you say?
This pastry is SO easy to make (for sure it’s not the same as a proper laminated dough puff pastry but it is a pretty darned good substitute and so much better than store-bought!), I hope the boys will be encouraged to experiment at home.
Check out the book trailer for Pâtisserie Made Simple here.
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US/Canadian readers: Win a copy of Butter Baked Goods and a box of goodies from the Butter Baked bakery! Closes December 3rd 2014. Details here.