Wednesday, September 24, 2003

Last night I went back to the Zuni Cafe Cookbook to make onion, bacon, and apple tarts. I made puff pastry, people! Well, "rough puff." You may think it would be daunting to make a notoriously difficult comestible from a notoriously demanding cookbook. You would be so very wrong. "Rough puff" is easy as pie. It's just a bunch of refrigerating and then rolling and then folding in thirds. I knew that the folding and the butter would create the puff pastry effect- I saw it on Baking With Julia, after all- but I didn't really believe it until I saw it. Flaky pastry- it astounds me. Like magic in my oven.

Next time I will double the amount of onions, though, because I have no restraint when it comes to onions. None. I may even replace the onions in olive oil with onions made via A New Way To Cook's "fried" onion technique, omitting the final caramelization step. Because a) those onions rule and b) less fat can't be bad. Also, the tart shell cooked before the bacon, but that could be that I didn't cook it long enough in the first step (you cut the bacon into 1/2 inch pieces and cook on low for a minute until a thin film of fat is released- and then you pour off the fat and toss the apple slices with the bacon. Mmm. It was good.).

It was also the first time I used my Silpat for baking- I use it to roll out dough all the time, but I cooked two of the tarts on the Silpat and two on wax paper. The tarts on the wax paper? Burned a little on the bottom. I think I'll be using the Silpat a LOT more now- my copy of Baking With Julia just arrived and I plan on cooking through it until I have made pastry my bitch. Thankfully, I work in a high traffic office and can unload spare baked goods on the students.