Laminated dough that is the base for croissants and pain chocolat can be pokey at best and tortuous at worst. Mix, knead, chill, fold, chill, roll, fold, chill….you get the picture. I found a recipe for a creme fraiche tarte by Naomi Pomeroy ( whose wedding chicken I still have to make. So called because it’s so good she served it at her own wedding!) on the Panna App.It’s the second time it has appeared on my Facebook feed from Panna, so I figured the pastry universe was trying to tell me something.
It was quick and easy for a dough, surprisingly so. And although not as buttery as a true Parisian bakery, for a short dough, it was terrific and perfect for the application. I made half the recipe. Start with flour, baking powder and very cold butter cut into cubes. Pulse in the food processor with dough blade until cornmeal type consistency is achieved.
Add four ounces of creme fraiche and pulse again until the dough just comes together. It will be kind of “shaggy” as they say. Lightly flour a surface and drop the dough out onto it. Work the dough very slightly until its smooth and elastic, about 4 or 5 turns kneading. Shape into a disk and wrap in plastic and chill in refrigerator for at least an hour.
Roll and fold per the recipe until you get the requisite strips of pastry. Leave uncovered and freeze for 15 minutes.
Bake in a 425° oven for 20 minutes until brown and puffy. Remove from oven, prick with a fork and bake for 10 more minutes.
Meanwhile, back at the cheese crib, slice your brie….
If you’re using Naomi’s half dried tomatoes or my tomato confit ( recipe later this week) get them to room temperature.
Add the tomatoes and cheese in the order you prefer. I did not pay attention here and put cheese on top of tomatoes. Like all art, I think it’s personal…
Back in the oven to melt the cheese for about 5 minutes…
I cut one strip into 4 pieces and served over simply dressed greens and grilled asparagus. I froze the second strip for later in the week.
Now here’s the thing that I’m excited by. Short time investment for dough, big yield for possibilities of toppings…I’m thinking mushrooms in a cream sauce, or maybe Italian cold cuts, shredded and dressed with capers and olive oil, or even lemon curd and fresh cream. I mean, you could use puff pastry from your grocers freezer but why? Be brave!