When my twins happen to be asleep at the same time which is almost never happening nowadays, I spend some time reading proper books or thinking about new recipes. A couple of weeks ago, I was looking at the different techniques explained in my Cookery School Cookbook and I saw the Chiboust Tart.
The name in itself made me want to try it then I read it and thought it would be fun as it makes you work on a wide range of techniques such as making a dough, rolling it, caramelizing apples, cooking a pastry cream, using gelatin and blow torch…. that was the challenge I was expecting!
You start to be used to that advice but yes indeed I will say it again…. first you have to get out all the ingredients, weigh them and get them organized by trays: one for the dough, one for the apples and one for the Chiboust cream.
Then you check that you have space in your fridge and on your kitchen plan. Once all those cases have been checked, you can put your apron on, wash your hands and start the Chiboust tart!
INGREDIENTS FOR THE SWEET PASTRY DOUGH (Makes 1 large tart or 8 individuals)
- 250g of flour
- 5g of salt
- 100g of icing sugar
- 125g of butter cold and diced
- 1 egg whisked
- Plain flour to roll out the dough
- Iced water if necessary
By hand: Place the flour, icing sugar, salt and cold diced butter in a bowl and start bringing the ingredients together until they form a light bread crumb consistency. Now, add the egg and combine completely. Add a little water if the dough is to dry. Place the pastry in cling film and rest in the fridge for at least half an hour. This freezes beautifully.
With a Magimix: Sift the flour, salt and icing sugar into the bowl of a food processor and add the cold diced butter. Pulse until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Whisk the egg and add to the pastry mixture and stir well to bring together, adding a little more iced water if necessary. Bring the pastry together into a flat disc and chill for 30 minutes before rolling out.
In a preheated oven (200°) bake the pastry case blind for 15-20 minutes until golden brown. Remove and let it cool down on a rack.
INGREDIENTS FOR THE CARAMELIZED APPLES
- 1kg apples washed, peeled and quartered
- 80g butter
- 80g sugar
In a hot pan pour the sugar until it start to caramelize, add the butter then the apples and get them nicely coated by the caramel. Deglaze with Calvados and put the apple in the tart shell. You can cook another 10-15 minutes the tart to get the apples perfectly cooked and soft. Then let it cool down on a rack.
INGREDIENTS FOR THE PASTRY CREAM
- 0,25 l of whole milk
- 50g caster sugar
- 30g egg yolks
- 40g corn flour
- ½ vanilla pod
- ½ tbsp of rum, kirsch or other alcohol
Cut the vanilla pod lengthways and with a sharp knife, scrap the seeds. Pour the seeds and the pod in a saucepan with the milk over medium heat.
Combine the egg yolks and the sugar in a bowl and whisk until light in colour. Add in the corn flour and mix to combine.
When the milk comes to a boil, remove from the heat. Very slowly dribble the hot milk into the yolk mixture, stirring all the time. When about half of the milk has been added, place all of the yolk mixture into the saucepan over medium heat.
Using a whisk, mix the pastry cream as it heats, making sure to reach all of the corners of the pan when you stir. Bring the mixture to a boil. Let boil for about 1 minute, stirring constantly. The mixture will get thicker and thicker. Once ready, remove from the heat. Remove the vanilla pod and cover directly with plastic wrap to avoid a skin to form on the cream. Chill and use within 3 days.
Once cool and ready to use, you will get the pastry cream smoother by whisking it with the alcohol of your choice.
Whisk the cream until it gets fluffy but not buttery and incorporate it to the pastry cream in 2 times to get a smoother texture.
INGREDIENTS FOR THE CHIBOUST CREAM
- 1/4l pastry cream
- 4 gelatin leaves
- 4 egg whites
- 80g sugar
Soak the gelatin leaves in cold water and squeeze them to get rid of all the water. Incorporate them in the hot pastry cream and stir it until the gelatin is dissolved and well incorporated.
Whisk the egg whites until it forms soft peak and add the sugar to get them tight. Incorporate them to the pastry cream.
Use a cake ring to layer the tart.
Put the apple tart in a high pastry circle and pour the chiboust cream on top of it about 3-4cm high or as high as your circle. Then using a spatula, flatten the surface of the chiboust cream and let it set in the fridge for a few hours.
Here we are, many techniques later (and a kitchen upside down?), we have a very professional tart ready to share with friends….
I made the Chiboust Tart with apples but you can make it with whatever you want…. for example, you can fill the tart shell with raspberries and a nice pistachio frangipane or with chocolate and pears, lemon curd, nuts and caramel…. and you can also keep it uncaramelized on top, it’s up to your taste regarding presentation…