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In our French pastry baking, we have a variety of basic doughs, each with its unique texture, designed for specific types of pastries and tarts.
In my French tart tutorial, I will teach you how to make Pâte Brisée, Sucrée, and Sablée, which are three of the most commonly used tart doughs.In my French tart tutorial, I will teach you how to make Pâte Brisée, Sucrée, and Sablée, which are three of the most commonly used tart doughs.
This dough has a crisp and flaky texture and is very lightly sweetened. You can omit the sugar and use it as a crust for savory dishes as well.
This is the crust for our French Apple Tart. The authentic French Apple Tart is quite special, and if it’s not made in this particular way, it is not considered standard.
Start by placing the flour, salt, and sugar in a mixing bowl. Add chilled butter cubes and mix them together at low speed (setting 1) for 2 minutes. At this stage, the mixture should resemble small breadcrumbs with both large and small pieces of butter still visible. Add the egg and cold water to the mixture. The recipe calls for 15 to 60 grams of water; it’s recommended to use 15-30 grams for the first attempts to have better control over the dough during shaping. Mix for about 20-30 seconds until just combined. Note that the ingredients shouldn’t be fully mixed; there should be visible bits of butter in the dough.
Place the dough on your work surface and use the fraisage technique to bring it together. You can fraisage it up to three times, but I usually fraisage it once. This method keeps the butter streaks in the dough intact, which will contribute to a better texture after baking. Gather the dough, wrap it in plastic wrap, and refrigerate it for at least a few hours or overnight to rest.
After the dough has rested overnight in the refrigerator, roll it out between two sheets of plastic wrap to a 3mm thickness. Then, place the rolled-out dough in the freezer to firm it up before shaping it into the tart pan.
Remove the frozen dough from the freezer. Pâte Brisée is quite moist, and during baking, it puffs up, so you’ll need to line it with parchment paper and weigh it down with something heavy to prevent puffing. The first baking takes approximately 8 minutes at 180 degrees Celsius.
The first cooking takes approximately 8 minutes at 180 degrees Celsius. After the first baking, remove the weights and parchment paper from the crust. Put it back in the oven without weights for the second baking.
This time the surface of the crust should be completely golden. The temperature remains at 180 degrees Celsius and this second cooking should take about 7 minutes. This step is very important because in the final baking with the apple filling, you need a lower temperature to ensure that the crust does not overcook.
After the second baking, remove the tart shell from the oven and let it cool. Now it is ready to be filled with apple and cinnamon filling.
Peel the apples and cut them into small cubes. Mix together the butter, ground cinnamon, vanilla extract and light brown sugar. If the apples are hard, you can add a little water to make sure they are fully cooked. Boil until the apples are completely cooked and the liquid evaporates. Allow to cool completely before adding to the tart shell.
Fill the cooled tart shell with apple and cinnamon filling. Place the apple slices in a circle on the filling. Brush apples with melted butter. This not only keeps the tart moist, but also gives the apple slices a nice golden color on top.
After the final baking is done, while the tart is still hot, brush the entire surface with melted butter to keep it moist. Enjoy your delicious French apple tart!
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