Paris-Brest

Pâte à choux
1 egg yolk & 1 tsp of water
3 oz of blanched almonds, sliced

  • Butter a cookie sheet, sprinkle with flour and shake off excess.
  • Using a 8 inches pie or cake pan, trace a circle on the cookie sheet.
  • Preheat oven 425°F.
  • With a pastry bag, fitted with a round 1/2 inch tip, squeeze out on the cookie sheet two rings for a base and another one on top.
  • Wet your fingers to smooth out any problem with the paste.
  • With the remaining paste make some small puffs.
  • Combine egg yolk and water and brush this “dorure” on top of the ring and the small puffs.
  • Sprinkle the ring with almonds.
  • Bake 30 minutes on middle rack of oven. Prick to let steam escape.
  • Turn off the oven – Return to oven for 5 to 10 minutes (door ajar)
  • Cool on wire rack.
  • Cut the crown in the middle. Cut evenly all around.

Crème St. Honoré

1 2/3 cups milk
1 tsp of vanilla extract
4 large egg yolks
1/4 cup of granulated sugar
1/3 cup of flour
1 cup of whipping cream & 2 Tbsp of sugar

  • Scald the milk, add vanilla.
  • Meanwhile stir egg yolks and gradually add sugar until the mixture turns pale yellow.
  • Add the flour.
  • Slowly add the hot milk, stirring constantly.
  • Pour in a saucepan and bring slowly to boiling. Work very fast to avoid lumps.
  • Let cool slightly and spoon into the bottom part of the pâte à choux.
  • Whip the cream until stiff and add the sugar.
  • Put the whipped cream in a pastry bag and cover the Crême St Honoré.
  • Gently put back the top of the pâte à choux.

Assembling

  • Cut the ring in the middle.
  • Use tooth picks to keep track of the right fitting.
  • Fill with the cream.
  • Sprinkle with confectioners sugar.

Oeufs à la neige

To serve 4.

3 eggs separated
1/2 cup of superfine sugar & 1 tsp of vanilla sugar
2 1/2 cups of milk
small 1/2 cup of sugar
1 tsp of cornstarch

  • Whisk the egg whites until they are stiff and fold in 1/2 cup of the sugar and vanilla sugar.
  • Heat the milk in a deep skillet, bring to simmering point.
  • Using 2 tablespoons, form the egg whites into egg shapes and drop into the milk.
  • Poach for about 8-10 minutes or until firm, then remove and drain on kitchen paper.
  • Put the egg yolks with the remaining small 1/2 cup of sugar into a mixing bowl.
  • Beat for 2 or 3 minutes until the mixture forms the ribbon.
  • Beat in the cornstarch.
  • Pour on 1 1/4 cups of the milk used for poaching the meringues.
  • Return to a clean pan and stir over gentle heat until it thickens without boiling.
  • Remove from the heat, strain into a shallow dish and place the meringues on top.
  • Serve very cold.

Crêpes Suzette

Adapted from a Julia Child recipe. For 6 to 8 people.

Crêpe batter

1 1/3 cups of flour
2 eggs
1 Tbsp of sugar
2 cups of milk (+ 1/2 cup of water for lighter crêpes)
2 tsp of oil
1 Tbsp of orange liqueur (Grand Marnier)
Salt

  • Beat the eggs with the sugar, add the flour and the milk.
  • Mix in the oil, liqueur and salt.
  • Adding 1/2 cup of water to the initial crêpe batter will make these dessert crêpes much lighter.
  • Let rest for at least one hour.

Orange butter

For about 20 to 24 crêpes.

1/4 cup of sugar
The orange part of the skin of 1 orange
1/4 lb of unsalted butter cut into pieces
1/4 cup of strained orange juice
2 Tbsp of orange liqueur

  • Finely blend the sugar and the orange skin in a food processor.
  • Add the butter by pieces and blend until smooth and fluffy.
  • Cream in the orange juice by droplets and add the liqueur.

Final cooking

For about 8 crêpes.

1/4 of a cup of cognac

Èclairs

  • Preheat oven to 425°F
  • Fill a pastry bag (fitted with 1/2 inch tube) with the pâte à choux.
  • Lightly grease and flour a baking pan and pipe small éclairs into it.
  • Brush egg wash on top and slightly smooth the éclairs.
  • Bake in upper third of oven for 15 minutes without opening the oven.
  • Reduce the temperature to 375°F.
  • Bake for an additional 10 minutes or more if not browned and crisp on all sides.
  • For small puffs, turn oven off after the initial 15 minutes and leave them in the oven for another 10 minutes.
  • Fill as desired.

Crème patissière

Assemble and measure all ingredients before starting. Work quickly. For one cup:

1 1/2 Tbsp of all purpose flour
1 1/2 Tbsp of cornstarch
1/3 cup of sugar
2 large egg yolks
2 Tbsp of butter
1 cup of milk
1 Tbsp of rum or Cognac

  • Sift flour in 2 quart mixing bowl.
  • Add sugar and mix well.
  • In a small bowl, beat the egg yolk slightly with a fork.
  • Knead 2 Tbsp of butter with the heel of your hand and reserve.
  • In a 2 1/2 quart saucepan bring the milk to a boil.
  • Pour half the milk in the flour bowl and beat quickly until smooth.
  • Add the egg yolks and blend well.
  • Pour this mixture into the remaining milk (bring back to the boil if necessary) and cook for 30 seconds or until thick.
  • Cool by putting bottom of pan in cold water. Continue beating.
  • When just warm, add rum.
  • Whisk in the butter and mix until incorporated.
  • Cover and refrigerate.

Chocolate icing

  • Bring 1/4 cup of whipping cream to a boil.
  • Melt in it 2 oz of bittersweet chocolate (Lindt or Tobler) in small pieces.
  • Add rum.
  • Put icing in warm plate and dip tops of the éclairs in it. Hold upside down for a few seconds.
  • Serve immediately. If you refrigerate the éclairs, they lose their shine.
  • If you keep them outside the refrigerator, the crème patissière deteriorates quickly.

Croquembouche

  • Preheat oven to 425°F
  • Fill a pastry bag (fitted with 1/2 inch tube) with the pâte à choux.
  • Lightly grease and flour a baking pan and pipe small puffs into it.
  • Brush egg wash on top and slightly smooth the puffs.
  • Bake in upper third of oven for 15 minutes without opening the oven.
  • Turn oven off after the initial 15 minutes and leave the puffs for another 10 minutes with the door slightly ajar.
  • Let cool and fill as desired.

Crème patissière

Assemble and measure all ingredients before starting. Work quickly. For one cup:

1 1/2 Tbsp of all purpose flour
1 1/2 Tbsp of cornstarch
1/3 cup of sugar
2 large egg yolks
2 Tbsp of butter
1 cup of milk
1 Tbsp of rum or Cognac

  • Sift flour in 2 quart mixing bowl.
  • Add sugar and mix well.
  • In a small bowl, beat the egg yolk slightly with a fork.
  • Knead 2 Tbsp of butter with the heel of your hand and reserve.
  • In a 2 1/2 quart saucepan bring the milk to a boil.
  • Pour 1/2 the milk in the flour bowl and beat quickly until smooth.
  • Add the egg yolks and blend well.
  • Pour this mixture into the remaining milk (bring back to the boil if necessary) and cook for 30 seconds or until thick.
  • Cool by putting bottom of pan in cold water. Continue beating.
  • When just warm, add rum.
  • Whisk in the butter and mix until incorporated.
  • Cover and refrigerate.

Caramel

  • Bring 1/4 cup of water with 1/2 cup of sugar to a boil.
  • Let it boil until it reaches a nice brown color.
  • Use immediately.

Assembling the croquembouche

  • Fill each puff with the pastry cream using a pastry bag with a small tube.
  • Use the caramel to glue the small puffs together as you build a pyramid.

Crêpes aux pommes dorin

Batter for about 20 small crêpes

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 egg
1 egg yolk
1 Tbsp of oil
2 cups of milk
1 Tbsp Applejack or Calvados

For the filling

6 Tbsp of unsalted butter
4 lb tart apples, peeled, cored and sliced
8 Tbsp of sugar
6 Tbsp light cream
6 Tbsp of Applejack or Calvados

To finish

Sugar
6 Tbsp of Calvados

  • For the batter, put the flour into a bowl, make a well in the center, and add the egg, egg yolk and oil.
  • Mix in half of the milk, drawing in the flour from the sides of the bowl.
  • Add the rest of the milk and the Calvados and mix well.
  • Let rest for 2 hours.
  • For the filling, melt the butter in a thick pan and cook the apples, stirring all the time, until they are soft but not puréed.
  • Stir in the sugar, cream and Calvados.
  • Lightly oil a pan and heat until hot.
  • Cover the pan with a thin layer of batter and cook until brown.
  • Turn over and cook the other side. Remove and keep hot.
  • Do the rest of the batter in the same way.
  • Place a crêpe in the bottom of a hot fireproof dish, spread with some of the apple mixture and cover with another crêpe.
  • Continue in this way sandwiching the apple mixture between each crêpe and finishing with a crêpe on top.
  • Keep everything hot.
  • Dust thickly with the sugar, heat the remaining Calvados and flame the crêpes with this.
  • Serve at once, cutting the crêpes into wedges.

Tarte Tropezienne

1 cup of tepid water
2 Tbsp of all purpose flour
1 Tbsp of yeast
8 Tbsp of unsalted butter
1 egg
2 1/4 cups of flour
3 Tbsp of sugar, pinch of salt

  • Heat 1 cup of milk until warm.
  • In a glass measuring cup pour 1/4 cup of milk.
  • Add and mix 1 Tbsp of yeast in the milk with 2 Tbsp of flour.
  • Let stand for 20 minutes, covered, or double in volume. This is the sponge.
  • Cream 8 Tbsp of butter.
  • In a food processor, fitted with the steel blade, put in about 2 1/4 cups of flour, 3 Tbsp of sugar and the salt.
  • Pour in the remaining milk, the egg, the sponge and the soft butter. Process for 20 seconds.
  • Dump the mixture in a pastry surface and knead slightly with a bit of flour.
  • Transfer the dough to a 2 quart bowl. Cover and let double in size in a warm place.
  • Then gently press it down and knead a minute.
  • Cover once more and refrigerate at least 4 hours or until the butter is stiff once more in the dough.
  • Grease a 12-inch or larger pizza pan and pat the dough into it.
  • Brush milk over the dough and let rise for about 1 hour in a warm place.
  • Preheat oven 375°F.
  • Combine 3 Tbsp of sugar and 2 Tbsp of milk in a pan and bring it to a boil until it thickens slightly.
  • Brush the milk glaze over the risen dough and bake in the middle shelf for 25 to 30 minutes.
  • Cool on wire rack.
  • Slice like a sandwich with a bread knife and spread the pastry cream on top of the bottom piece of the cake.
  • Place the top over it. Sprinkle powdered sugar over top.

Crème patissière

1 2/3 cups milk & 1 tsp of vanilla extract
4 large egg yolks
1/4 cup of granulated sugar
1/3 cup of flour
2 Tbsp of crystalized ginger, chopped – 2 Tbsp of butter

  • Scald the milk, add vanilla.
  • Meanwhile stir egg yolks and gradually add sugar until the mixture turns pale yellow.
  • Add the flour.
  • Slowly add the hot milk, stirring constantly.
  • Pour in a saucepan and bring slowly to boiling. Work very fast to avoid lumps.
  • Let cool slightly and add the crystalized ginger and the butter.

Tarte Tatin aux pommes

8 to 10 servings. This pie is best served at room temperature with a dab of crème fraîche.

Pâte brisée

1 1/2 cups of flour
1 stick of frozen unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1/4 cup of chilled water
1/4 tsp of salt
1 Tbsp of sugar
1 egg lightly beaten

  • Place water and butter in a food processor.
  • Process until mixture resembles cornmeal.
  • With motor on, add the water mixed with the sugar, salt and egg yolk.
  • Process until the dough begins to gather into a ball. Do not over process.
  • Shape into a ball and cover dough with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least one hour.
  • Roll out the dough on a floured surface to a 13-inch round and chill in the refrigerator.

Filling

8 granny smith apples (peeled and quartered)
3/4 cup of sugar
4 Tbsp of butter

  • Preheat oven to 450°F.
  • Put 2 Tbsp of butter in a heavy 12 inch round fireproof pan, melt and add half the sugar along with 1 or 2 Tablespoons of water for moisture.
  • Cook gently until it bubbles. Turn off the heat.
  • Tightly arrange the quartered pieces of apples on the pan. Fill any spaces with pieces of apple.
  • Cook, covered for 10 minutes until the apples have softened.
  • Uncover and cook until the apples start to caramelize – about 15 minutes.
  • Cut the remaining butter over the apples and sprinkle the rest of the sugar as well.
  • Gently lay the pâte brisée over the apples so that it falls on the side.
  • Prick the top evenly with a fork to let the steam escape.
  • Cook in preheated oven for 10 minutes then turn oven down to 350°F and cook for another 1/2 hour or until the crust is golden.
  • Let the pie cool. But warm up the pan before unmolding the pie on a serving plate. Move the pie back and forth gently to make sure it does not stick.

Tarte Tatin aux poires

To serve 8 to 10.

This is a pear filled version of the popular Tarte Tatin, an upside-down apple pie. It consists of well caramelized pears and a layer of thin pastry. The pears should remain in huge chunks, making for an honest, rustic tart. The clear glass baking dish allows you to see if any pears are sticking as you turn out the tart.

6 Tbsp of unsalted butter
7 to 8 pears (about 2 1/2 lbs) peeled, quartered and cored
1/2 cup of sugar
1 pâte brisée
1 cup of crème fraîche or sour cream

  • Preheat oven to 425°F.
  • Melt the butter in a deep 12-inch skillet over medium high heat. Stir in the pears and sugar.
  • Cook for about 20 minutes stirring carefully to avoid sticking.
  • Increase the heat to high and cook until the pears are golden brown.
  • Literally pile the pears into an unbuttered round 10 1/2 inch clear glass baking dish.
  • Roll out the pâte brisée slightly larger than the dish.
  • Place the pastry on top of the pears, tucking a bit of the dough around the edges and down into the dish.
  • Place the tart in the center of the oven and bake until the pears bubble and the pastry is a deep, golden brown – about 30 to 40 minutes.
  • Remove the pie from the oven and place a large, flat heatproof serving platter topside down on top of the baking dish. Invert the pan and give the bottom a firm tap to release any pears that may be sticking.
  • Serve warm or at room temperature with some crème fraîche to spoon over the tart.

Tarte aux raisins

Although it takes a long time to prepare the puff pastry, the pie itself is quick and easy to make. Once shaped, the crust can be frozen. Bake the tart just before eating for the best results.

Puff pastry with 4 turns
1 lb of white and black grapes, washed, dried and cut in half
1 egg yolk

Cream

1 1/4 cups of milk
3 eggs

1/3 generous cup of sugar
2 small Tbsp of flour
2 Tbsp of powdered hazelnuts
1 tsp of vanilla

  • Sprinkle flour on a pastry surface and rolling pin.
  • Roll out the puff pastry to a 17×14 rectangle.
  • Trim evenly around all 4 edges with a knife using a ruler to guide you.
  • Freeze for 20 minutes to firm up the dough.

Prepare the filling

  • Pulverize the shelled hazelnuts in the food processor.
  • In a saucepan, boil the milk and add the vanilla.
  • Separate the eggs.
  • In a mixing bowl, beat the egg yolks with the sugar until pale yellow.
  • Add the flour and the hazelnuts.
  • Pour the boiled milk on the egg yolks mixture and mix well.
  • Pour back in the saucepan and cook on a medium heat until it thickens. Let cool.
  • Beat one egg white and fold in the cream.

Tart shell

  • Roll out the dough into a 11″ square.
  • Cut four 3/4″ wide strips and 11″ long.
  • Brush cold water around the edges of the 11″ square dough and stick the strips to all sides overlapping on the corners.
  • Prick the bottom of the tart shell all over. Refrigerate.
  • Preheat oven to 425°F
  • Line the inside of the shell with foil and add some weight to keep the dough from bubbling. Be careful not to touch the sides so they can rise freely, but get very close to it.
  • Brush milk on top of the strips.
  • Bake on middle shelf of the oven for 15 minutes.