A baking obsession isn’t necessarily a bad thing – unless you’re compelled to sample each of your creations. Then, it can be detrimental, indeed. In the last 12 hours, I’ve managed to bake and devour two lemon tarts, one coconut tart, one and a half plum tarts and two apple tarts – all with the wrong crust.
I commanded myself to put the tarts aside today, step outside, run errands, exercise, get some sun, leaving the crust dilemma for another day. Instead, I’m on my second crust recipe today without any desire to step outside. Yesterday, I was using a version of Amanda Hesser’s no roll pie crust. I erroneously thought substituting heavy cream for the milk would result in a richer crust, but my attempts crumbled in my fingers. Now, after re-referring to Gisslen’s Profession Baking, I’m convinced that my “improvement” was my downfall. Flour needs liquid to create that much maligned pastry glue, gluten, to hold it all together. I’ve moved back to her crust as written and I really love the crumbly texture, but I don’t know if it will hold up to the fumbling hands of 18 year old culinary school interns at the Steakhouse. Next up – side by side comparisons of Amanda’s crust and Pate Sucree.