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Thursday, April 16, 2009

Tarte Fine

In New York I used to buy frozen puff pastry made by Dufour at Whole Foods or Gourmet Garage. The all butter puff pastry was so good that Dorie Greenspan wrote in her cookbook that she stopped making her own.

Unfortunately, Dufour is not available in Taipei. Moreover, I couldn't find any puff pastry in any of the western supermarkets around my apartment. I was starting to consider making my own, even though I knew the process would not be easy. It would probably take quite a bit of time and, given the humid conditions in Taipei, several rounds of refrigeration to complete the required six turns.

A few weeks ago, just as I was about to search Youtube for Jacques Pepin's demonstration to make puff pastry and buy a few pounds of butter to try it out myself, by chance I met a French speaking friend and asked her if she knew any places in Taipei to buy puff pastry. After a little research she said the only place she found was Carrefour in Tianmu.

Last weekend I took the 40 minute subway ride to Carrefour and finally found some puff pastry, or pâte feuilletée. Even though this puff pastry is not made with butter, it is good enough for now. In the future I will probably still try to make some puff pastry myself.

With puff pastry in hand it is not too difficult to make some desserts. In this case I made an individual-size tarte fine aux pommes, based mainly on Gordon Ramsay's recipe: cut the puff pastry into 5-inch round, prick the pastry with a fork, top with thin slices of apple, brush with soft butter, sprinkle with sugar, bake in a 400F oven for 15 minutes, dust with confectioners sugar, broil, and serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

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