Savory Palmiers and Portuguese Custard Tarts

Remember: Let your frozen dough from Session #1 thaw in the fridge for 24-36 hours before class. 
(So, take it out of freezer and put in fridge this coming Sunday morning/afternoon.)
Before each session, set up a nice space where you can easily work in your kitchen and be sure to review the recipe for any prep work - have your equipment gathered and your ingredients measured. That way all of our time goes to baking!

Makes: 12 tarts

Ingredients for Custard Tart Filling:
  • 1½ cups (375 milliliters) whole milk
  • 1/3 cup (45 grams) all purpose flour
  • 2 strips of lemon zest
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1¾ cups (360 grams) caster sugar
  • 3/4 cup (185 milliliters) of water
  • 7 large egg yolks
Ingredients for the Palmier Filling:
  • 1 large egg, beaten to blend
  • 1/2 cup (2 ounces) finely grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 - 1½ teaspoon of red chili flake 
  • 2 teaspoons of fresh thyme, chopped
    Procedure for Tarts:
    1. On a lightly floured counter, roll out the freshly completed or thawed pastry to a rectangle measuring 8 inches by 12 inches. From the short side roll the pastry tightly into a log. Cut the log into 12 equal discs.

    2. Place 1 disc into the cup of the muffin tin, swirl-side up. Using wet fingers, carefully press the pastry up the sides, working from the center outwards, until the pastry just pokes over the top. Repeat with the remaining pastry discs. Chill for 20 minutes.
    3. For the custard, pour the milk into a medium saucepan and whisk in the flour. Add the strips of lemon zest and the cinnamon stick. Bring to a simmer over a low heat, whisking continuously. Cook for 2 – 3 minutes until thick then remove it from the heat.
    4. Dissolve the sugar in 3/4 cup of water in a small pan over a low heat. Once the sugar is dissolved, increase the heat to medium and boil until it reaches 225°F - 235°F or a drop of syrup placed in a glass of water forms a thread. Slowly whisk the boiling syrup into the milk mixture.
    5. Put the egg yolks in a large bowl and, using a fine-mesh sieve, strain the milk mixture over the top, whisking to combine. Cover the surface with cling film and leave to cool. Once cooled, remove the lemon zest and cinnamon stick.
    6. Heat the oven to 475°F (don’t use a convection oven). Pour the custard into the pastry cases, leaving a 1/3 inch gap at the top, then bake for 15 – 18 minutes, until the pastry is golden and crisp and the custard is bubbling with tiny brown spots.
    7. Cool the tarts in the tin for 5 minutes, then gently transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
      Procedure for Palmiers:
      1. Preheat your oven to 400°F. On a lightly floured counter roll out the pastry to a rectangle between 1/4 inch – 1/8 inch thick. Brush the surface with a beaten egg and evenly sprinkle the cheese over the top followed by crushed red pepper and chopped thyme.

      2. With 1 long side facing you, fold both long sides in toward the center line so the edges meet in the middle (do not overlap) and press down gently to flatten. Brush the exposed pastry with egg wash. Now roll the sides you just folded lengthwise toward the center to form a double-spiral log with a seam running down the middle. Squeeze all along the length of the log to adhere. Turn the whole log away from you 90 degrees so the seam is facing away from you (parallel to the edge of the table). Again, egg wash the exposed pastry.  Trim about 1/2 inch off 1 end to clean up the edge and then slice the log crosswise into 1/2 inch-thick pieces (you should have about 12 - 15).
      3. Transfer the pieces cut side up to a parchment-lined baking sheet, spacing about 2" apart. Chill until the pastry is firm, about 10 – 15 minutes.
      4. Bake the palmiers for 10 minutes, then reduce oven temperature to 350°F, flip the palmiers once and continue to bake until puffed and golden all over, 20–30 minutes. Let cool before serving.

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