Sunday, December 9, 2012

Fruit Flan

This week in class we made Fruit Flan!

Last week we prepped the Sweet Paste, also known as shortbread dough, which we used for the tart shells. This week we baked the shells, made the vanilla pastry cream and apricot glaze, and assembled the pies! The whole class spent a lot of time arranging the fruit and making their pies look pretty. I think mine turned out pretty well!
In class we each made two pies, so I donated one to a bake sale at my dad’s office and it raised $20!

This is a three step recipe so I will give you the steps in the order that we followed them in class. These are modified versions of the recipes we used in class.

Sweet Paste
Sugar                         300 g
Butter, soft                 454 g
Salt                             8 g
Vanilla                       5 g
Eggs                           2
Milk                             120 ml
Pastry Flour              875 g
Baking Powder         5 g

  1. Using an electric mixer with a paddle attachment cream together the sugar, vanilla, salt and butter until light and fluffy. This should take 4-5 minutes on low speed. 
  2.  With the machine running add the eggs one at a time. Stop between each egg and scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  3. Sift together the pastry flour and baking powder.
  4. Add the milk and flour to the mix and blend on low speed until incorporated.
  5. Remove the dough from bowl and knead on a floured surface. Roll into a ball and cover with plastic wrap. Chill before using.
Vanilla Pastry Cream
2% Milk                      875 ml
2% Milk                      125 ml
Sugar                         120 g
Corn Starch              100 g
Eggs                           3
Vanilla Bean             1
Salt                             1 g

  1. Rinse a saucepan with cold water before adding first measurement of milk (875 ml). This helps prevent the burning of the pudding.
  2. Add the 875 ml of milk and vanilla bean to the saucepan and bring to a boil. Stir occasionally.
  3. When the milk comes to a good rolling boil, add in the remaining ingredients: mix the sugar and corn starch together before adding, then add the eggs, and then slowly add in the remaining measurement of milk.
  4. Return to heat and bring back to a boil. Cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly.
  5. Pour the pastry cream onto a clean, plastic lined tray and cover with another layer of plastic wrap. The plastic should touch the top of the pudding and there should be no air bubbles (this will help prevent a skin from forming). Cool in the fridge until ready to use (should be between 1-2 days).

Fruit Flans
Sweet Paste Dough, chilled          1 recipe
Coating Chocolate                          500 g
Pastry Cream, chilled                      1 recipe
Strawberries, Kiwis                          As needed
Canned Peaches                            As needed
Canned Mandarin Oranges           As needed
Apricot Jam                                       1 cup
Water                                                  ½ cup

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F
  2. Knead the Sweet Paste dough on a floured surface for about a minute before rolling out. You should have enough dough for 4 4”x8” Flan pans. The dough should be 1/8” thick.
  3. Pre-bake the tart shells at 350 F for about 10 minutes, until golden brown.
  4. Once cooled, the bottoms of the shells may be coated in melted chocolate to prevent soggy bottoms. “Paint” on with a pastry brush.
  5. Using a silicone spatula scrape the pastry cream from the tray into a bowl. Whisk gently and then divide between the 4 shells. Smooth out with a pallet knife.
  6. Arrange your fruits in an artistic design, making sure to cover all the cream.
  7. Heat the apricot jam and water in a saucepan. Using a pastry brush glaze the entire top of the pie.
  8. Chill before serving, but eat within a day or 2. 

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