For a long time I've always wanted to learn how to make pastries. I guess it is because I feel like I can cook and bake pretty good, but pastries seems like a whole new ball game. I always like to learn new things, so for Christmas my family got me a pastry instruction book. It is actually from the French Culinary Institute, but thankfully it is all in English. The one thing I love about this book is that it tells you exactly what you need, from the ingredients, cooking tools, and most importantly time. This was an all day adventure for me with a toddler running around, but officially it should have only taken me 3 hours. I plan to go through my book a chapter at a time to learn the secrets of all the goodies behind a pastry counter at the bakery.
I'm really not trying to create a food blog here, so I will spare you the three pages of instructions that I had to follow to create this master piece. The readers digest condensed version is you make the crust, put it in the fridge for a half hour. Then you come back to it, roll it out and put it in the pan, and then it goes back in the fridge until you are ready for it. In the mean time you peel and chop up apples and cook them in a saucepan with some water, sugar, and a whole vanilla bean. Once that is done you let it cool while you chop up the apples very so thinly for the top. Finally you put it all together and sprinkle some sugar on top. If you like, which I did, you can melt some apricot jam and brush on top. It makes it just a little more sweet, but more importantly it makes it shiny.