Monday, September 4, 2017

Not-Really-Random French Things In The Freezer

I am going to say it right now.

I have a terrible memory.  Really.  My dad, on the other hand, says he can remember things happening around him when he was a toddler.  He's the one we always ask stuff like: Remember that time we went to Yellowstone?  What year was that?  And who was it that puked and had diarrhea all the way home (answer: That was your brother.)?

Good old Dad.  Remembers everything.  Mostly.

I don't need or 23AndMe to know that I didn't inherit that gene from him.

Recently, I found a wrapped circle of dough in my freezer that I'd labeled "Pâte Sucrée".  Okay, cool, right?  Because it's Labor Day weekend and I actually have time to do something with it.  The funny thing, though?  I'd dated the dough disk August 12, 2017.  Roughly three weeks ago, then, I'd made two batches of the sweet dough, used one for something, and froze the other half (unearthed today).

But I could NOT remember what I had used that other dough for.  What pie or tart or pastry had I created recently?  This was discouraging, seeing as I don't often do sweets like this, that I couldn't remember.  And I should have been able to.

Asking my Dad, the human elephant, would obviously NOT going to do any good in this case.  Because, a.) I'd never informed him of my first paté sucrée adventure and b.) he wouldn't know what paté sucrée was anyhow.

That, my friends, is the real point of today's blog post.  PÂTE.

If you see that word I just wrote, and it looks like this: pâté (with the carat over the a and the accent mark over the e), then that's the meaty, liver-y spread uber-rich people like to put on their toast points (or, at least they did in the 80s TV series Dynasty).  But - if you see it like this: pâte (without the accent mark over the e), then we're talking about a tart-friendly dough.

Pâte Sucrée - a sugar-heavy dough.  Would be good for fruit pizza or other desserts where a dense, cookie-like pastry base is desirable.

Pâte Brisée - the same kind of dough as PS, but with less sugar.  Would be good for savory tarts, meat dishes, etc.

Because these doughs (esp. Pâte Sucrée) are higher in sugar and fat than a regular pie crust, they're delicate.  We're talking about chill times between handlings here, because they'll tear easily.  Which will make you tear easily. 

So I find this random pâte sucrée in my freezer (although, is it random if I put it in the freezer in the first place?), and I'm wondering how can I celebrate Labor Day with it?

By making a hot mess like this.  A Chocolate-Peanut Butter Tart.  Why not?  End of summer, y'all.

I made changes.  I always do.  I have some things called for in the recipe, and others, I don't.  This is what chefs do.  We modify.

That bottom layer is the pâte sucrée, rolled out and prebaked.  On top of that, a cream cheese-peanut butter-whipped cream layer, followed by a rich chocolate ganache, and a lame attempt at a peanut butter drizzle that ends up looking like a damned Rorschach test (I see a giraffe, how about you?).

Super-rich, it is.

Pâte Sucrée.  Pa - tay soo - cray.

Those French and their odd pronunciation marks and such.

I doubt they worry about forgetting desserts.  They worry about what wine they'll drink with it.

Happy Labor Day, Americans, and welcome to September!


  1. Welcome back! :) And this is a perfect Labor Day recipe - basically a Reeses Pizza. It's got America written all over it. Or rather, spattered all over it like um ...patriotism?
    I'm not a PB/Chocolate combo fan, but I'd try this.