Saturday, July 18, 2009

Tarts!

Lots of "baking" for me this past week.


CANNOLI
I made some cannoli filling that didn't turn out so hot. Since the recipe wasn't such a success (I don't think executed the recipe correctly) I'll just show some pictures I took of the process.

Semi-sweet chocolate chips. This and citron, I learned, are the typical mix in items of cannoli fillings.

I went to this Italian market down the street from my house and bought this ricotta cheese for the filling. I had no idea this market existed. Pretty nifty indeed... but quite expensive. This 12oz container cost $5.49. There was another kind that was $1 cheaper but got this because it came in this really cool self draining tub.

Most of the recipes called for the BEST ricotta cheese and to drain it. I don't know much about ricotta but immediately I could tell the difference between the ones they have at Ralphs. Very smooth in texture and very firm. Quality of the ingredients ALWAYS makes a difference in cooking/baking.

I put way too much orange zest. Kind of overpowered the filling.

The ends can get a garnish of nuts or chocolate.. or just about anything you want.

I think I'll know what to do the next time I decide to make this...

TARTS
I've been doing a lot of research for work and wanted to test some recipes out. One was a lemon tart and the other was a nectarine tart.

The lemon cream I made I found on Dorie Greenspan's website. She adapted it from her pastry hero, Pierre Herme. It's seriously, the best lemon cream I've ever tasted. Mind you, I haven't had too many but I love that it's not overwhelmingly tart. A great word to describe it is that it is
LUXURIOUS. Oh so very creamy... even though the only dairy in it is butter.

Here's the link for the recipe: Pierre Herme's Most Extraordinary French Lemon Cream Tart.

Some pictures I took as I made it:
Lemon zest with Sugar.

Mix in eggs.

Add lemon juice.

Cook over a pot of boiling water until it reaches 180 degrees whisking the entire time.

Strain into a food processor.

A few steps and an overnight chill in the fridge later..


I think what I love most is that when you cut into it, it the cream doesn't spill out all over the place. It holds its shape and has such a lovely texture in my mouth. Awesome.


Next is a nectarine tart. I didn't document any of this process.. only the final thing.

Normally, fruit tarts like this would have a glaze but.. I was going to eat it right after taking this picture so I didn't see a need for it. But.. if I were to keep it in this constructed state for a day or two, I definitely would have.

All in all.. pretty yummy despite the broken pastry cream for the fruit tart and an incredibly thick tart crust. There goes my diet for the week...

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