Apple pie is an all time favourite in our house, so much so that on the odd occasion when my husband, so deprived of spending time in the kitchen, actually gets to cook, it’s an ancient Apple and Pear Marketing Board recipe for apple shortcake that he turns to. It’s good, too.
As with everything at Le Cordon Bleu, the apple pie on the curriculum is at another level altogether. Every sweet pastry recipe we do seems to be different but this one is a keeper – half butter to flour, and lemon zest to give it zing. The filling is diced and caramelized apple, and sliced apple in concentric circles decorate the top.
It takes time and patience to get the same affect as Chef but I take my time and it looks okay. I know the compote filling is good. I’ve tested it – several times. All in all a good result but not quite good enough. The apple on the top isn’t quite cooked enough. So frustrating.
I do better with the marinated salmon in a paper parcel. Sounds simple, eh? But of course, it’s not just salmon in a parcel. It’s marinated with blanched lemon zest, lemon juice, garlic, and olive oil. It sits on a portugaise, a mixture of onion, garlic, tomato and basil. It’s topped with tapenade. And moistened with a sauce. Mine is under seasoned. It seems to be the story of the night as I hear Chef say the same to other students. And mine is almost overcooked. Right at the upper limit, says Chef.
And the night’s not over. We have to cut up a rabbit and marinate it in mustard in preparation for an upcoming lesson. But our next class is a bit of a mystery. It’s exam practice. All we know is that we will get the recipes tomorrow and that the dishes will require the same techniques that we will need to apply during the exam. I don’t want to think about it. Cooking under pressure is no fun.