And now for a little catching up.
I am trying my best to post the recipes we did in Westminster College in chronological order. And that has kept me way behind schedule.
After the pâte sableé we made some very tasty goat’s cheese and caramelized red onion tarts.
This time we did a savoury pastry which is known in France as pâte à foncer. There is, however, another very similar type of pastry known as pâte brisée.
The difference between the two, as I understand it, (or at least according to Michel Roux), is that one has milk where the other one has cold water. In either case they are infinitely more manageable than the fragile pâte sablée. And they are definitely interchangeable.
One nice twist that we did to the pastry was to add some dried herbs to it which gives it a lovely flavour.
Pâte à foncer – adapted from Pastry by Michel Roux
250g plain flour
125g butter, cut into small pieces and slightly softened
1 tsp caster sugar
½ tsp fine salt
40 ml cold water
pinch of dried herbs such as herbes de Provence (optional)
Heap the flour on the work surface and make a well. Put in the butter, salt, sugar and egg. Using your fingertips mix and cream these ingredients together.
Little by little, draw in the flour working the dough delicately until it has a grainy texture. Add the cold water, incorporating it gently with your fingertips until the dough begins to hold together. Using the palm of your hand, work the dough by pushing it away from you 4 or 5 times until it is smooth. Roll it into a ball, wrap in cling film and refrigerate until ready to use (at least 30 minutes).
1 slice of goat‘s cheese per tart (peeled)
1 tbsp. or so of caramelized red onions
quiche filling made with eggs and cream (or milk) seasoned with salt and freshly ground black pepper (as needed)
When you are ready to make the tarts, line the pastry cases with it, place the slice of goat’s cheese, the caramelized red onion and fill with the quiche filling using a small jug, preferably when the tarts are already lined up on the baking tray.