Welcome to Real Baking with Rose, the personal blog of author Rose Levy Beranbaum.

Watch the Baking Bible
Come Alive
BEN FINK

Spend A Moment with Rose, in this video portrait by Ben Fink.

Check out my new creations




Rose's Alpha Bakers

RSS AND MORE



Get the blog delivered by email. Enter your address:

Eat your books
Previous Book

Roses' Cookbooks

The Baking Bible

The Baking Bible

Buy from Amazon: USA | Canada | France | Germany | UK

Buy from Barnes & Noble
Buy from IndieBound

Next Book

Current Announcements

For a great tutorial, check out the Baking Bible Bake Along with ROSE'S ALPHA BAKERS. The link is on the left side of the blog. We will also be posting "OUT-BAKES" from the book, on this blog, including step-by step photos and other extras.

On Vacation til Tuesday Sept. 4

Aug 28, 2007 | From the kitchen of Rose

there'll be two postings between now and then. please do continue to answer each other's questions. speak to you soon!

best baking,
rose

Comments

lynn, yes re the butter. i always use superfine sugar bc that's what i buy in bulk but if i don't specify superfine it means it doesn't make any difference.

REPLY

Is it OK to use butter that has previously been frozen, as long as it is the right temperature now?

When you say you prefer to use superfine sugar, does that mean all your recipes assume that kind of sugar?

Your precision is turning me into a picky baker!

REPLY

julie, you remind me of me (and woody!) because we can't stop until we get it right.

i just wrote a posting for a week from saturday about how hard it is to give precise directions when equipment varies so much but you have proven this to be true with ingredients as well and usually they are somewhat more consistent. who would have thought that frozen peaches could vary in the amount of liquid they leach out. the great thing is to understand what is happening and be able to adjust. so glad we got to the bottom of this peach problem!

REPLY

Here'a link to the finished tart: http://www.realbakingwithrose.com/index_ee.php/forums/viewthread/3291/

It turns out that the peaches were giving off too much liquid and needed to be macerated and then have the juices reduced. I was using a frozen brand that seems to give off more juice than fresh or other brands of frozen.

I also found that it was helpful to push the peaches around a bit after pouring on the custard, which allowed the juices and the custard to mix, and also helped the peaches to show through the top of the tart.

I baked the tart to an internal temp of 170F.

Thanks so much, Rose, for taking the time to help!

REPLY

Thanks so much for helping me find my mistakes, I'm looking forward to trying the tart again as it's delicious.

REPLY

aha--full disclosure! quite possible. it's amazing how every little thing contributes to the final outcome.

REPLY

Also wondering if I did the wrong thing by keeping the custard mixture in the refrigerator- I had prepared it ahead and put it in the fridge, maybe it was too cold to mix well?

REPLY

absolutely it would but i've used both and they both worked for me.

REPLY

Also wondering if the 10 x 2 pan might allow more room for the juices and custard to mix? I used the 9.5 x 1.375 Gobel med deep tart pan, which I love.

REPLY

i can't see why it would hurt and no doubt would help. i bet that with fresh peaches it wouldn't be necessary. it never happened to me with frozen but that is my read.

REPLY

Sorry to hear you've got a cold! Hope it doesn't linger.

Perhaps next time I should macerate the peaches before baking, and combine the juices with the custard mixture?

REPLY

sorry julie--haven't made it for a long time but i have made it many many times in the past and indeed you are right--the juices are supposed to mingle with the cream. my only excuse is that i can never think clearly with a head cold!

REPLY

Thanks so much for the reply. This is the recipe on p.266 of the Pie/Pastry Bible, and I don't think it call for the juices to be concentrated. I used frozen peaches, which are mentioned in the note at the bottom of the ingredient chart, and followed the directions for baking the peaches from frozen (longer baking time).

Because the Understanding section says that the custard doesn't curdle due to the acidity from the peach juices, I thought maybe the juices and the custard were intended to mix.

REPLY

did you use fresh peaches? it sounds like there was too much water in the peaches. you did concentrate the juices first right? conceivably the high butterfat in the cream kept the juices from mingling as completely. i've never experienced this.

REPLY

I also had a question about the peaches and cream tart. Are the custard and the peach juices supposed to mix together in the filling?

I baked it for the first time today, and the custard mixture did not mix with the peach juices but rather stayed on top and set that way. There was a lot of watery juice that flowed out when the tart was served.

I weighed everything and did not make substitutions. I did use 40% pasteurized heavy cream, could that have been a problem?

REPLY

no adjustment necessary with the 10 x 2. and you only get major juices during baking (or as in the peach pie when you let them sit with the sugar mixture. hey--that might not be a bad idea at all--to treat them the same way as for the peach pie. it would protect the crust still more. (when i said to reserve any juices--there may be a little especially if the peaches are very ripe.)

thanks for the pizza report (i'm pizza proud!) it predates the no knead bread!!!

REPLY

Thanks for your suggestions, Rose. You're right about the crust becoming soft but delicious. The only real downside was that it was very hard to serve as there was not enough structure. I think baking it somewhat longer using the foil ring the whole time would help with that. I'll also look into the 10" by 2" tart pan. Do you adjust the filling quantities at all when using that pan? Also related to this recipe, I didn't get any peach juice to speak of when I sliced up my peaches. Is this more dependent upon the peaches or is there something special that should be done like you suggest for many of your fruit pies?

On a completely unrelated note, I tried your pizza crust this weekend for the first time. Had a few people over for Labor Day and made your crust and Alton Brown's crust from I'm Just Here for More Food. Only two of us got to taste both crusts, but we liked yours better. I was impressed with how simple it was to make and work with, and it really had the perfect taste and texture.

REPLY

p.s. actually it's 9 x 1 3/8" and i use it for the gateau breton in the upcoming book. a hard pan to find but well worth getting!

REPLY

one last thought about this all important tart! if not using a 10 x 2 tart pan i like to use and extra high 9 inch one that is 1 1/4 inches high. i think broadway panhandler or la cuisine carries it--the gobel non stick is the best.

REPLY

mitch--just found your second comment about the foil ring and yes--fine to use it right from the beginning as the crust still browns beneath the foil and as you suggested you can always remove it toward the end if necessary. i now put the foil ring on right from the beginning on all my pies--note the cherry pie on the recent posting and how evenly browned the edge is in relation to the center lattice.
i'm glad you liked the tart enough to make it again--i agree--it is one of the best ways to enjoy peaches ever!

REPLY

mitch, sorry for the confusion. i've been thinking hard about your comments re the peaches and cream tart and i suspect that somehow the words lightly prebaked got changed by the copy editor to partially prebaked! at any rate, this is a very juicy pie and even with the apricot preserves i seem to remember that the bottom crust is soft but delicious. you could put in a very thin layer of cake--either homemade biscuit or a good quality commercial cake such as sarah lee pound cake (the way i did in the tahitian vanilla bean cheesecake tart. i made a few notes on the recipe in the book that i'd like to share: my fav. tart pan for this tart is a 10 inch by 2 inch one. also when prebaking the crust you must use weights so the sides don't slip down. and to determine doneness, a knife 1 inch from the center comes out clean.

REPLY

bill, you asked about making a 100% wholewheat bread recipe with good texture. please do a search on the blog for 100% whole wheat epiphany loaf--i did this recipe and story for food arts magazine and it will explain all about working with whole wheat flour.

REPLY

Andrea, I agree with Elicia. The genoise or biscuit is a good idea. It will not weigh heavily on the mousse. The cake has to be refrigerated because it has mousse in it and the genoise will not be as firm as a butter cake if it is served cold. A genoise or biscuit can be served at room temp. or lightly chilled but a butter cake is best served at room temperature. Just my two cents worth.
Rozanne

REPLY

Hi Andrea, Mousse cakes are best moulded in a cake ring or springform pan and allowed to set in the fridge. Remove the ring by warming the sides with a hairdryer or warm towel, and slide the ring off. Then, you can frost the sides if you wish.

However, if you feel your mousse is not firm enough, you may want to support the sides with a thin layer of sheet genoise/biscuit, or a joconde (an European style almond sponge sheet) Cut the sheet to fit inside the ring, place your first layer on the base, fill with mousse, top with 2nd cake layer, and maybe a little mousse on top. This is a modern charlotte - French style. In fact, you can create quite nice designs on the joconde and the final result is surprisingly professional!

REPLY

Thanks for the responses. I think I will try it with the buttercream dam.
The mousse recipe is from the Culinary Institute of America "Baking and Pastry" cookbook. It does contain gelatin already, perhaps that is why it is firm enough to withstand the pressure I applied. The recipe itself makes 3+ pounds of strawberry mousse, but since I am not ready to try to figure out how to cut down the recipe, I will just find other ways to use it up. It is a holiday weekend after all.
;)

REPLY

I don't know what the mousse recipe is, but you might be able to incorporate some gelatin to help it firm more (like Rose's stabilized whipped cream). I thought of incorporating white chocolate too, but it's creamy color might turn your strawberry mousse a peachy color.

REPLY

Yes, a dam of chilled buttercream would be very helpful.

REPLY

The layers would be 8" rounds, basic yellow cake. The mouse sets up pretty firmly... I just pressed down hard on my test batch, and it sprug back. I had originally planned on doing one layer of cake as a base, and then a thick layer of mousse, garnished with some whipped cream. but when i discussed it with my neighbor, she really wants it to be a two layer cake with the mousse in the center.

Should/could I use the buttercream as a dam to pour the mousse onto the cake, then let it set up before moving forward with assembly. that seems to make the most sense, but it is my first time doing this (only my second time making mousse, the first one being the test batch.)

REPLY

I agree with Patrincia. The weight of the cake might push the mousse out of the sides unless it sets up well. Have you considered making it as a Charlotte? That might work better, plus you'll get plenty of mousse.

REPLY

Hi Andrea. My only concern would be the weight of your upper layer(s). Does your mousse recipe firm up very well when chilled? What size cake were you planning on making?

REPLY

I have a wonderful Strawberry Mousse recipe, and my neighbor wants me to use it as a filling in a cake. As I have only ever used buttercream, puddings, preserves or pie fillings, I am unsure if and how to do this. What she is looking for is a two-layer cake with buttercream icing with Strawberry Mousse in the center. Any advice would be helpful.

REPLY

Hi Lynne,

All those recipes you've tried sound very similar to the one I use most regularly, which comes from Jeffrey Alford and Naomi Duguid. I'm sure that you'll hit the 'knack' soon with some experimentation on dough thickness, cooking method and times.

I'm not sure if you know this trick, but if you're doing them on a skillet and there are some bubbles but not a full puff, you can gently press down on the bubbles with a teatowel to help push the air into the uninflated parts. It does help some.

REPLY

Thanks, Christine. I've tried 3 doughs: Rose's, Whole Grain Baking Book from King Arthur Flour and an Emeril recipe. Emeril's used part whole wheat flour with all purpose and King Arthur used some spelt flour with all-purpose. With those 2 I made a sponge first and let it rest 2 hours before adding the rest of the flour and then that rose to doubled; with Rose's the whole dough rose until doubled--unbleached all purpose flour. With Rose's I let the dough rest twice during shaping; 20 min after forming balls and 10 min after flattening. Maybe my dough is too wet. The flavor of Rose's was the best. As you suggested, I'll pay more attention to the thickness.

REPLY

Hi Lynne,

How are you currently making your dough and how are you cooking it in the skillet as opposed to the oven? (It might help diagnose what's causing them not to rise in the skillet.)

I've made pita many times before and I find there's a knack you have to hit with dough thickness, getting your oven just so and stuff like that so that each and every one will puff. The first time I hit it, my younger brother (then about 8) enquired as to the purpose of all those little white balloons on my cooling racks.

I suppose what I'm saying is that there's a similar knack to hit with doing it in a cast iron skillet, with making sure that you develop enough crust on each side so that air can be contained, but not to much that the dough can't bubble up through it. This is a lot harder to achieve in the skillet than in the oven, where it does so automatically.

REPLY

hope it's ok to change the subject--i'm new to blog. this is about pita. using the baking stone in the oven the pita will puff half the time, but i could not get the pita to puff up in a cast iron pan. any suggestions?

REPLY

Mitch - I just read one of Rose's posts about soggy pie crust bottoms. Her advice was to bake the pie directly on the oven floor for the first 20 minutes - she said it helped "enormously".

REPLY

Patrincia - Don't know how soon it might be. I like to try out all sorts of things, but if presented with the right opportunity to feed one to a different crowd than I fed this weekend, I might give it another go soon. I used fresh peaches, since we're still getting nice California peaches here in Atlanta.

REPLY

Mitch - will you be making the peaches and cream tart again any time soon? I wonder it would help to "seal" the pastry with a layer of baked egg white before filling? Just wondering, did you use fresh or frozen peaches?

REPLY

The tart tasted delicious, but was not terribly photogenic when sliced, so no more pictures to share. The bottom crust was overwhelmed by the peach juices and disintegrated, making it a bit challenging to serve up. However, everyone agreed that it was tasty. I was worried that the seemingly large amount of cinnamon sugar the peaches were topped with would make the dessert overwhelmingly sweet, but it turned out it was the perfect amount. The custard on top provided just enough of a bit of creaminess to be perfect and was subtle enough that the consensus was the custard alone wasn't impressive, but paired with the peaces and crust was wonderful.

I think next time I make this (yes, it was definitely good enough to make again, especially since I want to get the crust perfect), I will prebake the crust longer (perhaps five more minutes? hopefully Rose will have some guidance when she gets back from vacation) but will use the foil ring throughout prebaking in order to keep the crust edge from overbrowning, as I would always be able to remove it for the last few minutes of baking once filled if I don't think it's brown enough.

REPLY

Mitch - so glad the tart turned out well for you, thank for sharing your results. We can't wait to hear how it tastes!

REPLY

Thanks, Matthew, for chiming in. After looking at other recipes in PPB, I concurred with Matthew's assessment. The Plume Flame Tart does call for partial prebaking and most (all?) of the others call for total prebaking, even if they will spend time in the oven once filled. However, the ones calling for complete prebaking were all to be baked filled at lower temperatures than the Peaches and Cream Tart's 400F and for shorter times.

I prebaked the crust for 10 minutes, doing 5 minutes at 425F and 5 minutes at 375F, pricking when reducing the temperature. (No weights used, since I'd refrigerated the dough in the tart pan overnight.) This roughly matches the Plume Flame Tart's 7-10 minutes. The crust was just browned on the rim and set but still soft in the middle. I then assembled the tart and baked per the instructions, using the foil ring to protect it. (It turns out that using my second removable bottom tart pan as a template to cut a foil ring by putting the foil on a cutting board, then the tart pan (sans bottom) on top and cutting around the inside of the pan with the tip of a paring knife.)

The tart looks like it turned out well. The crust appears to have perfectly browned around the edges under the foil, and I'm pretty sure that if I'd totally prebaked it, it would have overbrowned. I've put pictures up already, and I'll try to get some pictures of it cut tonight and post tasting results later as well.

REPLY

Oh where's Rose when we need her :)

REPLY

Mitch,
I do think that Rose means not to completely bake the crust. I haven't tried this recipe yet, but I would probably follow the procedure described for the Plum Flame Tart on page 274. I would also check under the foil when adding the custard to see how it is browning. You can always brown the crust more towards the end of baking by removing the foil, but, of course, you can't undo over-browning.

REPLY

Mitch - let us know what you end up doing and please report your results so we can all make notations in our copies of the PPB.

REPLY

Sue - sour cream adds moisture and makes cakes more tender. You should follow the basic volume guidelines for buttercakes to figure out exactly how much batter you will need for a 12" pan (sometimes I'm too lazy to do that, so I would probably just double the batter and see what happened).

REPLY

Patrincia - Thanks for your reply. I guess that could make sense. I don't have my copy of the book at school with me today, so I don't remember the exact phrasing, but I thought she said to "partially prebake the crust", which I remember her giving explicit instructions on for the flaky crusts. Maybe she does mean the whole tart. I'll have to look when I get home. In any case, you don't think the 35-45 minutes of additional baking (provided that I protect with a foil ring as instructed) would result in overbaking the crust? I'm just getting started at making pastry, so I don't have a lot of experience with the idea of how much heat is too much for a crust. I know the reason Rose says to prebake the crust is because most tarts have very short baking times. I should probably compare the baking time for this tart to others using the same crust to see if that gives me any insight.

REPLY

Hi,

What is the importance of sour cream in your yellow layer sponge cake?

I would like to bake a 12inch square deep pan cake, but your recipe is for a 9inch cake. Should I double or tripe your recipe?

Many Thanks

Sue

REPLY

Mitch - I see why you are confused. I haven't made this particular tart, but I'm thinking Rose used the word "partially" in reference to the entire tart recipe and not specifically to the crust portion of the recipe. I mean the crust should be completely baked as instructed on page 252, which would make the Peaches and Cream Tart recipe only partially complete, thereby requiring additional baking steps to complete the tart (as outlined on pages 266-267). Don't forget to protect the pastry edges with a foil ring before baking the second time.

REPLY

I've been bread baking for about a year and a half (since I bought Rose's book) and everybody loves the cracked wheat. I've always wanted to make a 'whole wheat' loaf. while tasty, they've been denser than I'd like (some heavy and bricklike) .. can you make a light crumb WW bread? how do the professional baker's do it?? ... are they really using "whole wheat"?????

REPLY

Tomorrow I'm planning to bake the Peaches and Cream Tart from The Pie and Pastry Bible, but I have a bit of confusion about the crust. In the recipe for the tart, Rose says to partially prebake the Sweet Nut Cookie Tart Crust and references page 252. Page 252 talks about prebaking but doesn't specify how to partially prebake. On page 54, the Baking Sweet Cookie Tart Curst section says that "tart doughs always need to be fully prebaked". I love Rose's books and this is the first time I've faced this level of confusion. I know Rose is on vacation at the moment, but I'm hoping that someone out there can help me out with this today. Perhaps I could blind bake using weights doing the 5 minutes at 425F then 15-20 minutes at 375F and skip the final 10-15 minutes after the weights are removed and just use the baking time of the filled tart (35-45 minutes, first with just peaches then peaches and custard topping) to correct for that? Thanks in advance for any help!

REPLY

POST A COMMENT

Name:  
Email:  
(won't be displayed, but it is used to display your picture, if you have a Gravatar)
Web address,
if any:
 
 

Comment

You may use HTML tags for style.

EMAIL NEWSLETTER

Sign up for Rose's newsletter, a once-a-month mouthwatering treat!

DATE ARCHIVE

Featured on finecooking.com