Celebrating Food! Celebrating Life!

Ladurée’s Tartelettes Croustillantes Abricots ou Cerises

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When news of  a new Ladurée publication “Sucré: The Recipes” broke out more than a year ago, it created quite a stir amongst the culinary scene. The pre-orders were selling like hotcakes leading to the title selling out before it was even published! Opportunistic resales on amazon and other online bookstores at astronomical prices but yet it didnt seem to deter hardcore pastisserie afficionadoes from snapping them up at 3-digit prices. Thankfully I didn’t yield to the temptations then or I’d probably be banging my head against the wall now. Resale pricing fluctuated over the next couple of months and that meant quite a bit of “price watching” over the major online bookstores, not unlike market share prices. When “the price was right”, I went in and made the kill. Finally got a copy for myself at a very satisfying 42 bucks including shipping. I last checked with a local Japanese bookstore in town and it was going at a whooping 71. I can only say that I’m a very happy man…

Which recipe should I try first? So many delectable recipes from macarons to petits gateaux, viennoiseries to entremets, there’s even a recipe for french waffles which’s so intriguing!!! Well, for me at least. But I settled for a individual tartelette recipe which calls for two fruits which are in season now, cherries and apricots. Ladurée’s Tartelettes Croustillantes Abricots ou Cerises it shall be.

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Tartelettes Croustillantes Abricots ou Cerises (from Ladurée’s “Sucré: The Recipes”)

for 8 indivdual tartlets

Ingredients

350g of Pate Sucree aux Amandes  aka sweet almond pastry (see below)

3 tbsp All-purpose flour for work surface

1 ½ tbsp butter for tartlet rings

Crème d’ Amandes aux Pistache

250g of Crème d’ Amandes

30g pistachio paste

15g shelled raw pistachios

5g shelled raw pistachios for decoration

Fruit

fresh apricots

fresh cherries

Crisp sweet pastry for crumble topping

160g crumble dough (see below)

Confectioners’ sugar for dusting

Pate Sucree aux Amandes  (for 450g of dough)

120g very cold butter

70g icing sugar

25g ground almond

A few drops of vanilla extract

1 egg

200g cake flour

Sift icing sugar
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Pate sable croustillante a crumble (200g)

50g very cold butter

50g AP flour

50g granulated sugar

50g ground almond

Crème d’ Amandes (350g)

100g butter

100g icing sugar

100g ground almond

10g cornstarch

2 eggs

1 tbsp rum

Soften butter

Incorporate butter with icing sugar, ground almonds, cornstarch, eggs and rum in this order. Prepare in situ before using.
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Mise-en-place

(A) To prepare Pate sucree for tartelette shells

Work the butter to homogenize and then add the following ingredients, one by one, making sure to fully incorporate each into the mixture before the next addition:

(1)    Sifted confectioners’ sugar

(2)    Ground almonds

(3)    Fleur de sel

(4)    Vanilla

(5)    Egg

(6)    Flour

Combine ingredients just until the dough comes together; do not overwork the dough

Form dough into a ball and wrap with cling film

Refrigerate for a t least 2 hours

Cute butter into small pieces and place in mixer bowl with paddle attachment

Butter tartelette rings/pans.

On a floured work surface, roll out the dough to 2 mm thick

Using a pastry cutter or bowl, cut out discs appro. 5 inches and press into butter pans.

Allow to rest in refrigerator for 1 hour
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(B) To prepare Pate sable croustillante a crumble

Cut chilled butter into small pieces

Sift flour into large bowl and add butter, sugar, ground almonds and salt until dough just comes together

Form a ball and wrap in cling film. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before using

Roll out dough to ½ cm thickness and cut into 1- cm cubes

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(C) To prepare Crème d’ Amandes aux Pistache

Incorporate butter with icing sugar, ground almonds, cornstarch, eggs and rum in this order. Prepare in situ before using.

Chop pistachios and add to cream with pistachio paste

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(D) To prepare fruit

Wash and pit cherries and apricots. Cut apricot into slices/halves or thirds. Halve the cherries
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Method

Preheat oven to 170C

Remove tartelettes shells from refrigerator. Using a fork, dock the dough to keep from puffing up during baking.

Bake blind with tartelette shells lined with parchment paper weighed down with dried beans or baking weights

Bake for 20 min until lightly coloured.

Fill piping bag with pistachio almond cream

Pipe into tartelette shells and arrange apricot slices or pitted cherries over them

Cover with crumble dough, using pieces of various shapes and sizes

Bake in oven for 40 – 45 min. Allow to cool and dust with icing sugar. Décor with fresh cherries and green pistachios
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Reflections

Having done Tarte Fruits aux Rouges before using Sugino’s recipe gave me more confidence to try out this recipe. And this time round, I’m “better equipped” with correctly type of tart rings.

This is also the first time I’m trying out Sevarome’s pistachio paste. It reeked of alcohol and was quite overbearing. I was really skeptical about the pistachio paste after it was added to the creme d’ amandes but despite all doubts, I forged on to complete the recipe. Thankfully, the baked tartelettes inherited none of that. The almond essence was quite strong though.

If I were to do it again, I would arrange the processed fruit pieces into the tart shell first before piping in the cream d’ amandes aux pistache. That would provide better control to how much almond cream to pipe.

As the title implies, its a recipe for apricot or cherry tartletlettes. I’m lucky that summer’s here and we have both stone fruits available. So I made both versions, including a tartelette which used both at the same time. So that’s Tartelettes Croustillantes Abricots et Cerises, strictly speaking! I found them too mild somewhat. I think plums and prunes would probably work very well, as it has somewhat sourish overtones, which one be of good contrast to the sweet almond-pistachio cream and tart base. I’m also curious about the use of sour cherries like Griotte and other morello varieties. Unfortunately the only fresh ones we get are sweet ones like Bing and Rainier.

The Croustillantes provided a new crunch which is somewhat different from the textures rendered by the crust. That gave the tartelettes more dimension and depth. But truth be told, I found them somewhat lacking. The flavours are somewhat mild and the textures don’t seem to amalgamate together much. Perhaps I’m too used to some more “full-bodied” flavours and textures like Tarte Caramel Salé and Tarte aux citron.

The original recipe called for “shortcrust pastry” which is “Pâte brisée“. I found that rather weird as my impression of it is for savory pies, tarts or quiches. And interestingly, all the other fruit-themed tarts in the book used almond sweet crust pastry “Pâte Sucrée aux Amandes“. So I used the almond sweet crust pastry here instead. Not implying that there’s a typo in Laduree’s book, as such a such a masterpiece would necessarily have been crafted with great care and careful thought, not to mention very thorough cross-checking. But I wasn’t adventurous enough to try out with Pâte brisée and decided to play safe with Pâte Sucrée aux Amandes instead. But it left me very curious about this recipe and I was hoping if there’s any possibility of verifying this with Chef Andrieu. Well, I emailed  Ladurée and the publisher, Scriptum Editions about it and let’s just wait to see if there’s an answer of any kind. 🙂
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A peek into the Tartelette Croustillantes Abricots
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And here’s a slice through Tartelette Croustillantes Cerises
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I love the pale emerald hue from the Crème d’ Amandes aux Pistache
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I am submitting this to Aspiring Bakers #10: Easy as Pie (August 2011), hosted by Janine of Not the Kitchen Sink!”

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26 responses

  1. Attas bake! Salivating in front of my lappy now 😉

    August 5, 2011 at 6:54 am

    • Alan (travellingfoodies)

      hahaha if only they taste as good as they look! Not entirely satisfied with the recipe IMO.

      August 5, 2011 at 10:38 pm

  2. Hehe I did the same thing as you hehe I watched the prices and “made the kill” for about 40+ dollars with shipping too 😀 But it’s still in the process of being shipped to me hmmm.

    Oh wow are those rainier cherries? I saw them at cold storage and they were going for a bomb!

    Oh btw, where did you get your tart rings from? I’ve been looking all over for them but to no avail 😦

    August 5, 2011 at 8:59 am

  3. Oh and I forgot to add that I like your little crates that you used to fill the fruits 😀 So adorable!

    And the contrast between the emerald and the pink-purplish hues from the pistachio and cherries look amazing – am drooling early in the morning!

    August 5, 2011 at 9:01 am

    • Alan (travellingfoodies)

      I’m sure you would love the Laduree recipe book! The packaging is just like a Laduree macaron box. So cool.

      yeah, those are rainier cherries, which are sweeter than the dark red Bing cherries, which are supposed to be sweet but surprisingly aint this season. Oh well…

      tart rings from ToTT. but give them a call before you make your way down. Cos I last heard from a friend, she grabbed the last 3. hope they would restock it.

      August 5, 2011 at 10:48 pm

  4. I love this set of photos. They are stunning! I was tempted to get the mini crate too… gorgeous!

    August 5, 2011 at 10:07 pm

    • Alan (travellingfoodies)

      haha thanks! i’m sure you know where to get them!

      August 5, 2011 at 11:02 pm

  5. Hmmmmm looks scrumptious ! It’s cherry season and everyone seems to post cherry desserts here and there lol
    How’s the book ?

    August 6, 2011 at 12:15 pm

    • Alan (travellingfoodies)

      hi wilson! cherries seem to be everywhere indeed. We got such an influx of cherries as well as other exotic or seasonal fruits this year that its overwhelming to the extend of becoming scary.

      Its a lovely book! Definitely different from the other cookbooks around. I love the velvety outlook and presentation inside. in terms of functionality, the instructions seem adequate. not the most detailed there is out there, but definitely not the worst. I think Pierre Herme’s “Infinitement” crowns as being the most shabbily written recipe book down my list.

      August 8, 2011 at 11:17 am

      • Ah cool ! I should check the book out sometimes. I just got myself book from Fauchon as I really admired the chef who wrote that book : Christophe Adam. He already left Fauchon tho

        I’ve heard ppl talkin about Pierre’s Infiniment being written just for the pro. I am guessing he assumed you already knew the techniques and steps as it was meant to be read by fellow pastry chefs?

        August 8, 2011 at 12:23 pm

  6. Alan (travellingfoodies)

    ah, Christophe Adam… the crazy guy behind the Mona Lisa eclairs. Are you talking about the book in shock pink? I’ve not seen it myself but read that its also has some dramatic presentation with pop-ups and alike fanfare. the flamboyance of parisiens, who can we blame… LOL

    as for infinitement, instructions are really minimalistic and like what you’d said, relies heavily on the person attempting the recipe to extrapolate on whatever little’s given. take the Tarte ispahan recipe for example, there’s no mention on the need to bake a macaron shell the same size as the tart base, how to prepare the cubes of lychee gelee which resemble nata de coco, on whether there’s another cream filling in between the baked creme amande a la rose and the macaron shell. etc… very infuriating to read…

    hope the fauchon book is nothing like that…

    August 8, 2011 at 12:42 pm

    • Yes that’s him lol i first found out about him from arschocolatum site and i was instantly amazed by his works. I even attempted his crazy black forest ( i posted in my blog ) lol and i made a 6-inch Ambroisie with the decoration inspired by Christophe’s megeve design ( I didnt post this one ). The Fauchon book consisted of one thick 200 pages illustration books showcasing the desserts made by him in Fauchon, and there’s a thin like 80pages for recipe. The. recipe only covered a lil section of cakes and half of them r eclairs. I did buy his latest book : eclairs, really good one cant wait to try.

      August 8, 2011 at 3:08 pm

      • Alan (travellingfoodies)

        the foret noir recette is from the shock pink book? hmm… interesting. it looks very complicated and what more, very out of this world!

        I saw the eclairs book. so colourful! you are tempting me to get the books. hahaha..

        August 8, 2011 at 10:26 pm

  7. i just bougt some rainier cherries too last week, not for baking but just too eat them. Very expensive almost RM100/kg but very sweet. Interesting fact on the sweet almond crust pastry vs shortcut pastry, i’m learning something here, hope you will get a reply on them.

    August 8, 2011 at 10:29 pm

    • Alan (travellingfoodies)

      wow! RM100 per kg… that’s really expensive. rainier is indeed sweeter than most cherry cultivars. I do hope for a reply from Laduree about the sweet almond pastry and shortcrust pastry discussion but I’m not hopeful. They are afterall THE laduree and I’m just a noob. 🙂 But lets just keep our fingers crossed.

      August 9, 2011 at 2:39 am

  8. No shocking pink recipe book was published in 2009 and the foret noire I think was made in 2010 so it was not in the book. I was using Hidemi Sugino’s black forest ( Charme ) recipe instead, just the presentation-wise I copied Christophe lol. It was out of the world indeed that’s why I was so tempted to recreate it lol

    His eclairs book has some graphical instruction in the beginning teaching you how to make the choux etc ( similar with Pierre’s macaron book )

    August 9, 2011 at 12:08 am

  9. How did I miss this lovely post and deprive my eyes of the feast? Look how colorful and pretty this tart is! Cherries are SO expensive and I am afraid to make anything out of it hehe.. my baking failure rates are too high to gamble with an expensive ingredient like cherries. Better eat them fresh.LOL! I LOVE all your photos, I know I said this many times but you will here it again and again!

    August 15, 2011 at 9:57 am

    • Alan (travellingfoodies)

      darling, you are definitely game to try anything! i mean, you can afford to buy up all the rhubarb in the store when I could only pick at the small ones!!!! LOL

      August 16, 2011 at 11:07 pm

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  12. Eva

    gorgeous!!! love the colour combination

    April 3, 2013 at 3:58 am

    • Alan (travellingfoodies)

      Thanks Eva 🙂

      April 4, 2013 at 11:12 pm

    • Alan (travellingfoodies)

      Thanks Eva!

      April 10, 2013 at 1:35 am

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