New School of Cooking - Pro Baking 1 - Class 4: Tarts, Pies, Cobblers and Crisps

Thursday, January 7, 2010

I'm taking the Pro Baking 1 series at the New School of Cooking in Culver City (Los Angeles) this fall/winter. For Class 4, it was all about the Tarts, Pies, Cobblers and Crisps. I'm okay with three out of four of these...but pie crusts make me shake in fear.

However, I did it! I made a pie! From scratch! With my own hands! Oh yes, Pies Rock and I'm not afraid of you anymore!!!

Apple Pie - New School of Cooking
We made an all butter pie crust by getting carpal pie syndrome...blending the butter and flour mixture with our fingers until the butter bits were small and the consistency of wet sand. Then we quickly added ice water and mixed it together for a bit. All done by hand with just one bowl. After a rest, I rolled out a crust with a French rolling pin (the only one to use for pie per the instructor). We used 6 very tart Granny Smith apples for the filling.

In class, the instructor emphasized that the artistry of baking is adjusting the flavoring to highlight the ingredient, or do the best with what you have. If you have a fresh-picked apple from the Farmer's Market, you need to leave it alone. If it tastes great, don't be adding flavorings to cover it up. However, if you have cold storage apples and cheaper ingredients, then you might need to bump up the cinnamon and vanilla. Knowing how to highlight something naturally delicious, and flavoring something that isn't at its peak...that's the art of baking.

Apple Pie - New School of Cooking
The edge is simple - just pressing the edges together with a finger. I like the motto...pay more attention to the center and not the edges!

Apple Pie - New School of Cooking
I made an Apple Pie! Whoo Hoo!

Lemon Tart - New School of Cooking
Citrus Tart (Lemon and Lime)

Lemon Tart - New School of Cooking Lemon Tart - New School of Cooking
We made a sweet tart dough by hand as well. Obviously, the sweet tart dough is a bit more forgiving. It can get ripped up and you can press it into the pan. I learned that it is better to press in pieces than re-roll. Don't re-roll. We blind baked the tart shell.

Lemon Tart - New School of Cooking
I love this photo of our tarts out of the oven! There are 12 people in the class.

Crisp & Cobbler - New School of Cooking Crisp & Cobbler - New School of Cooking
The instructor also demonstrated making a crisp and cobbler...that we all ate with homemade ice cream! I've made both in the past so I'm glad we concentrated on the crusts in class.

Next class...we move onto Chocolate and Cakes. Sweet. After a two-week holiday break, I'm looking forward to going back to class on Sunday. :)

Recaps of the New School of Cooking, Pro Baking 1 course:
Baking Therapy
Class 1: Quick Breads
Class 2: Custards
Class 3: Soufflés & Pate a Choux
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18 comments:

Megan said... [Reply to comment]

Love the presentation of the apple pie and it looks pretty darn good but that lemon tart has caught my eye! I have some lemons to use up and that might be just the ticket for them! Love the class your taking. If only my town would offer such a class...

Memória said... [Reply to comment]

I remember you mentioning your fear of pie crust and now have a beautiful apple pie! I just made one too with a lattice topping just to practice. The photos didn't come out as pretty as yours. The tart and cobbler look fantastic as well. Now we will get to see a series of pies on here, right? Haha

sarahe said... [Reply to comment]

that looks like so much fun! and congrats on getting over your fear of pie!

Nutmeg Nanny said... [Reply to comment]

Oh wow all those treats look awesome! Your pie has me craving a piece...yum!

Tracey said... [Reply to comment]

Pie crusts have been my nemesis for a while too! I've found a recipe I have pretty good luck with but they still scare me a little :) Your pie looks fantastic!! I wish I had a slice right now.

susbro said... [Reply to comment]

TAKE THAT PIE CRUSTS!!

Nice. That citrus tart looks so yummy!

KK said... [Reply to comment]

Awwwwwhhhhh....Congratulations Mary! You should be so proud - it all looks quite yummy and I'm so glad the crust no longer has a hold over you...!

DailyChef said... [Reply to comment]

Your apple pie looks delicious. I love the step-by-step photos. I'm also scared of pie crusts - maybe now I'll have the courage to try making my own...maybe...

Jane said... [Reply to comment]

I love the idea of the "art" of baking. I find it hard to agree when people insist baking is ALL about "science" and forget the art aspect! It's a creative pursuit, anyway you slice it (pun intended!). Your pie is just gorgeous, as are the tarts!

Derrick said... [Reply to comment]

Congratulations on some gorgeous pastry and pie!

Since I was attempting to make pie crust myself with no tools last night... I have to ask:

How did you go about blending the butter and flour by hand if you didn't have a processor or pastry cutter? Fork? Fingers? I attempted using fingers to have my butter begin breaking badly with the flour...

Thanks!

Federica said... [Reply to comment]

che splendida presentazione!!

The Food Librarian said... [Reply to comment]

Derrick, We mixed the butter and flour with our fingers...just use the tips of your fingers. We also mixed the water in with our fingers. No fork or pastry cutter around. :) - mary

Eliana said... [Reply to comment]

These classes sound like so much fun. And your pie and tart look outstanding!

Anna M. said... [Reply to comment]

I will have to sign up for class in the future! That pie and those tarts look AMAZING!!! YUM!!!

2.46% said... [Reply to comment]

Your pie crust is flaky and beautiful - really picture perfect! I'm so impressed! I so wish I was there to take this class with you.

Mary said... [Reply to comment]

Does it make me a Kitchen Dork if I love the picture of the tarts all lined up in a row for class? I need to take this class or its east coast equivalent! Nice work Miss Mary.

Kevin said... [Reply to comment]

Nice looking apple pie!

Lynnylu said... [Reply to comment]

Gosh, how lucky you are to be able to take such a great pie class! All the pies look great, especially your apple pie.

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