Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Pithivier et Mille-feuille aux fraises

Another traditional French pastry made with puff pastry is the Pithivier - which is also the name of a town in France. It is typically known to be an enclosed pie which can have a sweet or savory filling. The pastry was famous due to it being this pastry is often made only for kings and royalties back in the days. Nowadays, the pithivier can be found and eaten everywhere (well, that's if the pastry shop/store sells them).

 In today's class, a sweet version of the pithivier was taught which was filled with creme d'amandes (almond cream). The puff pastry gave the exterior a flaky texture which allows for a clean bite into fluffy almond cream in the centre. In the picture above, the chef decorated one of the pithiviers with a drawing of a fish to show us the variation of markings. A common marking is a pattern made by lines scored from the centre as shown below.

Another pastry that we learned today was the mille-feuille ("thousand-leaf") with strawberry filling. This is definitely one of the most popular pastries amongst the public. Three layers of puff pastry sandwiching two layers of cream. If it is made perfectly, the layers of puff pastry will be so light and fragile that a light jab with the fork will be able to slice the mille-feuille cleanly (according to the chef). I have yet to try one that is close to that lightness..

We were shown two variations of the mille-feuille: gateau (top) and slices/strips (bottom). The gateau version has a thin layer of raspberry jam and another layer filled with cream + diced strawberries. The top is decorated with fondant and chocolate - the classic method of creating a marble effect. The difference between the slice/strip version is that it does not have a layer of jam, but even layers of cream sandwiched between the puff pastry. Both of them offer a slightly different experience to the palette, but equally high-in-calorie-ly tasty.

A post regarding the recipes of the posted items will be coming soon!

1 comment:

  1. It'd be amaaazing if you could take photos of what it looks like inside coz, Matt, they all look the same to me on the outside: shiny with scoring lol