Pies 4: Quiche and Boston Cream

2007-10-04

Boston Cream PieThis week didn't feature any sweet pies in the traditional sense. We started by rolling out the crust (made last week, using real butter this time) for the savoury pies. I tucked the overhang underneath the edge so that it would be thicker and be better able to hold a fluted edge. Chef blind baked them right away, but unfortunately, almost everyone's crusts shrank significantly. You're supposed to let the dough relax for at least a half hour refrigerated so this doesn't happen. While the crusts were being baked, we made the sponge batter for the other “pie”. We whipped eggs (15 of them) with sugar, salt and vanilla until it was very foamy and firm, then folded in bread flour by hand. After spraying some pie plates with Pam (I didn't know it stands for “Product of Arthur Meyerhoff”!) and dusting with flour, we poured the batter in and baked them in the oven.

Next, we made a pastry cream, rather daringly, over direct heat. All of us furiously whisked our pots after the egg and cornstarch mixture was poured in, carefully watching for the moment when it began to thicken. It happens quite suddenly and we all had to make sure the bottom didn't burn or turn into scrambled eggs. Off heat, we added soft butter (for flavour and to cool the mixture slightly) and spread the pastry cream on sheet pans, covered them with plastic, and put them in the freezer to cool.

Goat Cheese and Cherry Tomato QuicheBack to the quiche: we made the filling with goat cheese and quartered cherry tomatoes, adding dried oregano, basil and nutmeg as seasonings. Because our shells were so shallow, we weren't able to pour that much filling in and ended up making one crustless one with the remainder.

To finish the Boston cream pie, when the pastry cream was cool, we scraped it into a bowl and stirred in some (phony) whipped cream. Chef pointed out the ironic name given to the mixture of pastry cream and whipped cream: crème légère (literally, light cream). We piped a large amount of this between the sponge cake which we split in half, then topped it with chocolate fondant. A contrasting swirl of white fondant and a few pulls of a paring knife produced a spiderweb design on top.

The quiche was tasty (even though it was flat) but it's not really something that requires a lot of guidance or instruction. All my tasters liked the Boston cream pie, and it brought back memories of a doughnut sold by Tim Horton's.

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