Forget the tart, I would choose these poached plums as my death row dessert.
I feel like this recipe in particular has been the clear step into high-class patisserie. Don’t get me wrong, the other ones are patisserie but you would find them in pretty much every French bakery in Paris (I imagine ;)). We are starting to move from everyday patisserie to classy patisserie and I couldn’t be more excited about it.
The name of this recipe leaves a lot to be desired; ‘The Purple Tart’. What does that mean? If I saw that on a menu I’d be like ‘Well, I’d rather eat something that I purchase, with knowledge of what it is’. Of course Dominique Ansel doesn’t care about that so goes for a name that only Poirot would be able to crack. In Ansel’s defence, ‘Blackberry, Plum and Currant Tart’ doesn’t quite roll of the tongue as well ;).
When starting this recipe, I was quite surprised to see that it is only a one-day recipe. Ansel likes stretching different components out over a couple of days, and I’ve managed to get totally on-board with this because it feels like much less work ;). However, this recipe is only a one-day, surely this means its EASY, right?
I’m not going to lie to you, I strayed from the order of work SLIGHTLY. Ansel instructs us to make the pastry cream and poached plums, before the tart case. I’m not the only one that thinks that’s whack, right?! Therefore, I chose to do the sable tart shell first, because surely I can do the other components when the shell is resting and baking (just call me ‘Martin Lewis Time Saving Tips’).
This sable uses a significantly different (and far simpler ;)) method compared to the one used in the tarte tatins, I don’t know why but Ansel is the god after all. I made a large tart because I don’t have small tart rings, and 1) they cost a BOMB, 2) Ansel wants me to use 3” tart rings, I must’ve spent hours and hours googling and NOWHERE sells 3” cases - NOWHERE. The dough was incredibly soft, but after some careful manipulation managed to line the tart case and get it baked, relatively pain-free.
Next came the pastry cream. Crème patisserie is one of the greatest things on earth, am I even wrong? My mum often requests a bowl of crème patisserie to eat with a spoon, but I have to draw the line somewhere ;). BLIMEY, this pastry cream tasted good, like REALLY GOOD. I literally felt like I was sat in one of Ansels shops, and is there any better place to be? (okay, maybe the theatre is better but that is a CLOSE second). I must say, when making it the pastry cream seemed FAR too thick, I’m pretty sure I could’ve built a mini house that could’ve survived Hurricane Katrina using the pastry cream as cement ;). However, later on in the recipe the thickness makes more sense (and is unnoticeable when eating, thankfully).
The poached plums and currants were once again pretty simple (I love you Dominique Ansel), and damn the plums were good. The only slight pain that I received from this part was the peeling of the plums. I imagine you’re supposed to peel plums like you peel tomatoes (for concasse etc.), because this skin was as tight as Kylie Jenner’s. Unfortunately, I didn’t have a bowl of ice water to complete this method, so had to spend a painfully long amount of time peeling them with a knife, resulting in two blisters. Who knew baking could be as brutal as WWE?
Then the assembly came which is easily the best part of any recipe. Seeing all the components come together for the first time is something truly magical. There probably would’ve been more poached plums on the top of the tart if I hadn’t already eaten my bodyweight in them ;), I’m not even joking THEY WERE SO GOOD. By the end of the assembly my board looked like I had murdered Barney the Purple Dinosaur (I’m sorry for the horrific imagery I have just inflicted upon you).
Overall, this is easily my favourite recipe yet! Eating it all together was absolutely gorgeous and had a perfectly balanced flavour, only a true pastry master would be able to instruct.
OHMYGOD THIS WAS THE LAST BEGINNER RECIPE, can you believe?! I’ve loved spending this time with you all, but may go into hiding pretty soon if these recipes get too hard ;). INTERMEDIATE HERE I COME!
NEXT: Cannele De Bordeaux (these look frighteningly simple for the first intermediate, I fear something is going to go disastrously anyway ;)).
Can you actually believe the first third of the book/blog is done, I CAN’T. Thankyou all so much for reading this first chapter and supporting me! If you thought the blogs have been good so far, they’re only going to get better as the recipes get increasingly difficult (I can feel some sleepless nights coming up ;)). Please stay on the journey into intermediate with me ;).
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