Two thirds of the way through baking class and I finally made something I could serve for dinner: Quiche. Of course, because I made it in baking class my quiche was still scary fattening and still loaded with butter, heavy cream, cheese, and of course, ham. Whatever. Butter and cream = delicious. And since I’m giving myself a pass until I get through this baking rotation (I’ve now gained 2 whole pounds thank you very much), I ate 2 slices. HA!
As you can guess, pie day arrived in baking class and we made 3 types over the course of 2 days: blueberry (no pics, boo), quiche au fromage (I added the ham after I got home so it became a Lorraine post facto), and a lemon tart with Italian* meringue. The quiche was simple, and I highly recommend trying one out if you’re having a fancy schmancy luncheon or garden party and want to serve something fun, albeit rich and fattening. ( Quiche recipe below) I also recommend making your own pie dough from scratch because it makes a nicer quiche. (Pie dough recipe follows quiche recipe) Serve it with a simple salad with champagne vinaigrette and a champagne spritzer and you have one classy lunch. Just like they do in Lorraine, I imagine.
Our lemon curd tarts were a bit more complicated and required multiple steps. First, we made Pâte Sucrée (sweet dough), rolled it, and blind baked it (weighed down with pie weights) in our tart shell. Next, the lemon curd, made with sugar, eggs, lemon juice, lemon zest. The eggs help it thicken on the stove, then the curd is strained, cooled, and added to the shell. The Italian meringue is where the finesse comes in. Start with corn syrup, water, sugar, and boil it to a precise 240 degrees (soft ball stage). Whip egg whites, and slowly pour your sugar water into the egg whites, cooking the egg whites. They end up stiff and shiny. Fill a pastry bag with a star tip and pipe rosettes on top of your lemon curd (practice a few on parchment paper until you get the wrist action first). Then the best part: blow torch the tips of your meringue to give it that bruleed finish look. Voila. If you want the recipe, leave me a comment and I’ll post it. But be warned, it’s pretty time consuming.
I served my tart at a family brunch over the weekend. It was a hit, though my family might be biased. But it was good, objectively speaking, of course.
Here were are in class showing off our tarts. (Those are my mini blueberry pies hanging out in back.)
Next up: cakes. Yikes.
*Note: lesson for the day. Meringue comes in 3 types- French (raw egg whites), Swiss (partially cooked), and Italian (cooked egg whites). Italian is the stiffest sturdiest kind, plus it burns nicely.