This week was pies and tarts. Like Chef has said, "Whoever came up with the phrase 'easy as pie' obviously has never made one." They are NOT the easiest thing to make. Pies are temperamental and need love. If you don't treat them just right, trust me, they will get back at you.
We started off the class making our tarts. MMMMM Pear Almond Tart. I just had a piece so it is still on my mind. Chef used me as a demo for how to prepare the crust and how to use the dough sheeter. That thing is fun! It is big moving belt with rollers in the middle that you pass the dough back and forth through while changing the settings on the rollers to roll out the dough for you. It was a bit scary at first (also because the whole class is watching me do this while Chef is telling me what to do). But it went so fast. I want one! Anyway, since I was done quickly (and chef prepared 3 of my 5 tiny tart shells) I was off to prepare my almond filling. My partner this week was someone I have become friends with so we had a lot of fun preparing everything and the first time I have had a partner where we really worked together. He is a young kid straight out of high school (maybe 2 years) and is on the same path as me. He actually wants to have his own bakery with a workshop area where he can teach cake decorating to kids. How cute is that?? Anyway, we really worked well together. We had a lot to get done so we worked really fast too. Of course we worked so fast that our paste/batter was done and ready to be put in the tarts before we found out that the almonds were to be put in the food processor instead of hand chopped. (For the record...the recipe did NOT call for this so at least we didn't get in trouble for doing it wrong). But, Chef said not to redo it. So, we filled our tart shells (5 each) and put them in the fridge to cool before baking.
The next thing we know Chef is telling us 45 minutes until the pies are to go in the oven. HOLY COW! My partner and I rushed to get our apples and started peeling and cutting away. It is pretty tight quarters in that bakery for 16 people. Well, switching back between my paring knife and my BRAND NEW chef's knife...well, if you know me well you have to know that I cut myself. HAHA Well, STABBED is a better word for it. My brand new chef's knife went right into my thumb knuckle. Thankfully I am pretty sensitive to pain so I pulled back really quickly. It wasn't too bad of a cut but it was right on the knuckle. So, knowing that I have to take care of that and now only have 30 minutes to finish my pie before it goes in the oven, I am wandering around franticaly looking for Chef so I can get it bandaged up, put on gloves and get back to work. As soon as I found her I didn't even have to say anything when she saw me holding my thumb and said calmly, "Did you cut your finger off?" I just laughed and said, "No, it isn't that bad but I need to bandage it and get gloves so I can get back to work." So, after that was taken care of, I went back to my spot and my awesome teammate was working on my apples since he was done with his own. Awesome teamwork! I thanked him profusely and let him get back to his pie as I dashed around trying to get my pie done. Well, since pies are so hard to get perfect, rushing is not the best thing to do. But, I managed to get everything done and the only thing I forgot was to spray the pie tin (which I didn't find out until later that night when I was cutting it to give the pie to my Dad. haha). Well, as odd as my pie turned out (one side was beautiful and the other half looked like an ogre made it) mine was one of the better ones in class! Of course my Dad made a face when I told him that. I don't think he believed me. I have yet to taste it, but he hasn't called me complaining that it was awful. haha
Next, while the pies and tarts were baking, we were off to make play dough. Yeah, not a baking dough that you play with....actual PLAY DOUGH like you have when you are a kid! That was a messy time but fun. My partner picked this cool teal coloring to put in our mix and it turned out really cool. I guess the whole idea was for us to make it so we can practice our dinner roll shapes at home. Yeah, I just want to make people with it. heehee So, if anyone ever wants to make your own homemade play dough, let me know. I have the recipie!
Well, a funny tidbit here....yesterday I was washing my chef's knife and cut my middle finger knuckle on my other hand. HAHA Luckily I heal quickly although I felt like an idiot.
Oh, and first two quizzes: 100%! First in class quiz/test: 89%! (31/35) Third online quiz: 9/10!! I am rockin' away!
Here is a picture of the Pear Almond Tart. No, I didn't take pictures of my sad little apple pie. :-)