Is it just me, or do you also feel like that – more than any other month – tarts belong to November?
It usually happens without a warning. And without a calendar.
A day or so after waiting on the sidewalk – jumping, whistling, screaming – for a cab to have its light on. Oh yes, it is indeed the thirty-first of October, with its thrills taken onto the streets.
Doughs are made; in a music that goes along the lines of pâte brisée, pâte sucrée, pâte feuilletée. Wrapped in clingfilm, and kept in the fridge or in the freezer.
Then they get rolled. And topped with those autumn fruits that taste like nights by the fireplace.
The unofficial November tart-list.
1. Pecan tart. In fact, as I’m writing this, I have this one in the oven. Without the addition of chocolate chips.
2. The perfect tarte tatin. Possibly with a lot of butter and sugar. And maldon sea salt, just so.
3. Pumpkin pie. Because, I can’t really stay away from it.
4. A caramelised garlic focaccia.
5. Christophe Felder‘s chocolate clafoutis. Certainly not a tart, but we’ll pretend it is for the sake of winter leggings and furry boots.
6. A Japanese cheesecake. With matcha.
7. Quiche, and its mushrooms, lard crust and emmental by the kilogram.
8. Triple chocolate tart. Yes, I’m that much of a chocolate lover.
9. An eggless stabiliser-less ice-cream base recipe. Oooh well, I hear tarts and ice-cream belong to each other.
10. Cloud-shaped choux. Because pastry + filling = tart-ish. Noooow, I’m the tart right?
And because no matter how deep we are in the tart-making, we all need a reliable pâte brisée recipe. Mine comes from my grand-mother.
A treasure, by any mean.
Pâte brisée de grand-mère
makes 900g of dough
In a large bowl, combine 500g of plain flour with a heaped teaspoon of salt. Rub in 250g of cold butter until sandy. Mix in 2 egg yolks and enough cold water to bind the flour into a dough (around 70 to 90g). Work until just smooth. Divide into two balls. Clingfilm and chill for at least an hour.
For a sweet pâte brisée, simply add 40g of caster sugar and the seeds from one vanilla pod.