Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Done! Deep Dish Tourtière With Woven Pastry

I was on the British Baking Show (BBS) yesterday—well, that’s what it felt like as I worked like madman all day to make a Tourtière in a deep dish pan in woven pastry. It was Ruby, on BBS, that introduced me to the idea of woven pastry.

Ruby practiced hers all week before weaving her pastry on the final and she is a genius and a natural at baking. I adore her. This was my first attempt at Toutière, deep dish baking, “short-ish” pastry and weaving pastry.

These are corollaries I have learned on BBS:
  • Things can very easily go wrong.
  •  “Soggy bottoms” are a sign of failure.
  • It’s easy to add but impossible to remove.
  • Watching your bake and/or knowing some tricks is the only way to know how long to cook something you are “inventing.”

Inventing” or personalizing a way of baking something, making it your own, is really stressful if you are on a TV show or if you have four guests coming to eat what you are creating.

Tourtières are really just meat pies. Deciding to bake mine in a deep dish with thick pastry lining meant guessing the cooking time. It also meant deciding how much to pre-cook the ingredients to get the moisture out without overcooking it—it has to go back into the oven with the pastry for a second bake.

So, taking a lead from Ruby, I put my Tourtière mix on a layer of couscous and I added corn meal to the recipe and upped the spices.

At the end of the day, the Tourtière would not come out of the pan. It’s a common problem. So I went to bed slightly disappointed because my guests would not see the pie in all its woven magnificence.

But! This morning, up at 5:00, I filled the sink with boiling water just deep enough to heat the Tourtière pan but not get the crust wet and I put the pan in to soften the sides. Et voila! And NO SOGGY BOTTOM!

Ma mère canadienne-française serait si fier de moi et de cette tarte.

I am proud of my tribute to BBS' Ruby who inspired the woven crust.
The heart at the end was my own idea and method. 

No comments: