Thursday 29 January 2009

In which France strikes, but we don't notice (too much puff pastry)

Today we continued working with our feuilletage inversé. We made croûtes de bouchées (à la reine) which are pretty much big vol au vents and allumettes which are rather similar to millefeuille... puff pastry rectangles filled with crème pâtissière. The allumette only has one layer of cream and instead of fondant icing, is topped with a cooked royal icing (with a nappage décor) which hardens and stands proud after puffage.

Mine weren't great as they are very hard to do but here is one that came out all right:

At least, I hope it looks better than this thing claiming to be an (albeit savoury) allumette.

You cannot re-use the off cuts from puff pastry for their original purpose because the delicate layers have been destroyed. But if you smash the trimmings flat and roll out you get a good approximation of a pâte à foncer. We used this to make a baked fruit tart (assorted fruit on a bed of crème pâtissière). This looked very neat once glazed but I forgot to take a photo before I brought it home for my host family's dinner. We also ate the bouchées à la reine after Émilie, the younger daughter and I made a curry béchamel sauce with chicken. Delish.

Most of France was on strike today including bus and train drivers, factory workers, roofing technicians, teachers and, it turned out once I'd got all the way there, swimming pool people. Joseph who is the father of the family and director of a yoghurt factory had to operate the machines himself.

But pastry chefs were clearly not affected and we had school at 6am as normal. At around 9 I looked up from my efforts at the allumettes and saw a gaggle of banner-wielders plodding down the road. Quite sedate. I think Paris was a bit more Billy Elliot.

I don't know how strikes are meant to work. Seems rather feckless to me. The French should get themselves a Thatcher.

1 comment:

  1. I sincerely hope that no French working man wandering on to this blog can read English