Thank the lord I have finally reached the pastry station! After the poissonier and saucier station, I was thrilled to be out of the mayhem of the main kitchen with the chefs watching my every move. I have a new chef for pastry, so I was on my best behavior for the entire day until it was time to leave and then that’s when I started busting out in song/dance all hyper and all. The pastry kitchen is it’s own world in the back of the main kitchen. It’s the opposite of fast paced and covered in powder sugar, heavy cream, and chocolate. Who wants to cook under pressure and time!? Not really me, I’ve come to realize. I like to follow the beat of my own drum (not that you haven’t been able to pick up on that over the past five months!).
For level 6, the two desserts that we are responsible for is the pear tart and chocolate gingerbread cake. Both are delicious and have completely different flavor profiles. I worked on the pear tartin today, so the next class I will switch to chocolate or make the pear dough. Either way for the final, I am going to need to know how to make ALL of the components. For now, we split up the work between the three of us partners, so that we are prepared for service. For the pear dish, we had to cook pears in a caramelized butter sauce for about an hour and a half until the pears were fork tender. We had to be careful and constantly keep an eye on the pears, so that they wouldn’t burn. Chef helped us with this process being it was our first time. While the pears wer cooking, nice and slowly, we made the pate brisee dough for the tart. After the dough was made, we used a pear cookie cuter and formed our pears out of dough. Then I prepared the ice cream mixture, so that we could pour it into the ice cream machine to freeze (yum!). By accident, I over reduced the pear sauce because I wasn’t exactly sure what consistency it was supposed to be (oops!), but chef helped me salvage it by adding water and whisking.
Plating the dish is not too bad. We use a brush to paint a coat of the pear sauce on the bottom of the plate. Then we add brown sugar powder and creamed foam on the side. In the middle goes the pear tart with the caramelized pear on top. The ice cream we have to make into a quenelle, which can be challenging if the ice cream is being sassy (too soft or too hard). The dessert is delicious and if you don’t believe me, ask my family who tried it!