In the past, it was limited to aging pastry nooks. This Anglo-Saxon cake is called “ custard cake Across the Channel, introduced at the coronation of Henry IV of England in 1399, returns to the forefront of the sweet scene and leaves its mark in the windows of the most prominent pastry chefs!
The pastry pie, called the “Parisian style”, 2022 edition, takes a height: it is made in circles up to 10 cm high. The flavors and toppings are so numerous and innovative that they make you dizzy: with speculoos, buckwheat, chocolate, caramel, red fruits, citrus, coconut and other exotic fruits … But the classic vanilla, with vanilla cream, resists and is a huge hit with amateurs.
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Achieving this great classic isn’t too complicated, there is one key ingredient that makes all the difference: patience! The first step is to make a good short dough the day before, to prevent it from getting too elastic, and in sufficient quantity (at least 300g for a 20cm mould), to get enough thickness of the pastry without the risk of softening it during cooking. To prevent the sides of the flan (!) from falling apart during cooking, it is advisable to put the mold or circle with the rolled dough in the freezer for at least two hours before pouring the pastry cream.
→ my work. 10 tips for a successful gourmet pie
Specifically, this cream is also a staple: the most greedy substitute part of milk with cream for cooking pastry cream; For a creamy texture, also replace half of the whole eggs with the yolk. The pastry cream should cool completely, in a bowl, covered with cling film to avoid crusting. Some pastry chefs are trusted to keep their pour-over pastry cream overnight in the fridge, for an amazing result. Others whip up the cream before pouring it into the mold or ring for a fluffy, quilt-like texture.
Learn how to wait for a better estimate
A mold or a circle, it doesn’t matter, but you need to choose a tin or stainless steel utensil, not silicone or porcelain, which will soften the dough. Cooking is long and gentle, at 150°C and for about 1 hour and 30 minutes, depending on the size of the flan. A few hours of patience is needed before you enjoy the pie: at least one hour at room temperature, then three or four hours in the refrigerator. Finally, it takes a good half an hour at room temperature to create all the conditions for a high-flying delicacy.
► In my library
Melanie Dupuy book, Little Pie Brochure (Marabut, 2022, 144 pages, €15.90), which, thanks to beautiful illustrations by Yannis Varutsikos and portraits of Pierre Gavel, details all the gestures and steps needed to make a good pie.
And also the very nice work of Joe Chamalo, pastry pies (Éditions de la Martinière, 2022, 160 pages, €19.90) – with photos of Emery Chemin – which offers nearly 50 recipes for classic or original pies, such as Ardéchois, with candied chestnuts and chestnut cream.
► Pie baker
Melanie Dubuis’ recipe taken from the book Little Pie Brochure (Marabout, 2022)
Enough for 8 people
To prepare the dough
300 grams of flour
150 grams butter
2 grams of salt
40 grams of sugar
75 g water
1 egg yolk
For the pie maker
740 g full fat milk
135 gm 35% fat cream
100 grams of egg yolk (6-7 pieces)
200 grams of sugar
65g of cornstarch
The day before, prepare the pancake batter: Put the flour, salt and cold butter cut into small cubes in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the leaves. Mix on low speed until sand sticks. Add water, sugar and egg yolk and mix until smooth. Flour the work surface with a little flour, put the dough and grind it (gradually crush the dough with the palm of your hand to check that it is homogeneous). Spread it about 2cm thick in plastic wrap and keep it in the fridge until the next day.
The next day, put the dough into a mold or pastry circle, prick the bottom
With a fork and set aside for two hours in the freezer.
Preheat oven to 150°C and make pancake batter: boil milk and cream in a stainless steel pot. Meanwhile, boil the yolks and eggs with sugar, then add the cornstarch. When the mixture of milk and cream boils, a third of it is poured over the previous mixture, well combined, then everything is returned to the saucepan. Cook while whisking constantly. When the mixture begins to boil, cook for about 2 minutes. Immediately pour the pie into the pie crust and bake for 1 hour and 30 minutes, allow the pie to cool at room temperature for three to four hours, remove the pan or remove the ring, and store the flan for three hours in the refrigerator before enjoying it.
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Joe Chamalo’s recipe is from the book pastry pies (Editions de la Martinière, 2022)
Enough for 6 to 8 people
300 g short pastries
To make buckwheat pudding
150 grams of almonds
50 gm buckwheat seeds
100gm fine sugar
3 grams Fleur de Sel
40 gm of egg yolk
50 grams whole egg
65g fine sugar
40 gm cornstarch
460 g full fat milk
100 g + 50 g liquid cream (minimum 30% fat)
80g dark chocolate 65% cocoa
Make buckwheat candy. Roast the almonds and buckwheat seeds separately for 10 minutes in the oven at 150 ° C. In a saucepan over medium heat, make dry caramel with sugar. Pour the caramel over the almonds. Let’s keep well and cool. Mix everything.
Combine the fleur de sel, then the toasted buckwheat seeds with the praline, and mix again, but not so much to keep the buckwheat seeds whole.
In a circle with a diameter smaller than the pancake circle, pour praline (height depends on the glutton). If anything remains, keep it in the refrigerator in an airtight jar, and use it in another recipe. Put the pralines in the freezer.
Prepare the flan. Beat eggs with sugar until white. Add cornstarch and continue whisking. In a saucepan over medium heat, heat the milk and 100 g of cream until the first boil. Pour over the previous preparation, then mix well. Pour everything back into the saucepan and cook over medium heat until the mixture thickens, whisking constantly.
Add the chocolate and mix well. Leave to cool and then add the remaining 50 grams of cream. Arrange the short dough in a circle with a diameter of 14 cm. Place the frozen praline disc in the bottom of the dough. Soften the flan cream, then pour it out and wipe the surface with a spoon. Bake for 35 minutes in the oven at 180 ° C. Allow it to cool for at least two to three hours before de-moulding.