(This article appeared in the Winter 2020 issue of Pastry Arts Magazine)
In this article we feature a Pecan Apple Tart from Chef Richard Hawke. The dessert is vegan and completely gluten-free, and was inspired by a particular piece of equipment. According to Chef Hawke, “I wanted to create a tart using the perforated De Buyer ring. I find that the smaller diameter and its height give desserts a certain elegance. Using just a tart ring and piping the finished product into the shell also makes it a profitable product in a production setting, as there’s no need for silicone molds. As for technique, I have been focusing on vegan water-based creams using hot inulin, which has a high absorption rate. My goal was to create a recipe that pipes well and that has a really nice, creamy texture, without any animal products. I love the challenge of creating vegan-based products. My next challenge is to replace the tofu in the shortbread to make it completely soy free.”
Pecan Apple Tart
Yield: about 10 tarts (using perforated molds from De Buyer that are 55 mm in diameter and 35 mm high)
- 90 g odorless coconut oil
- 230 g brown rice flour
- 90 g confectioners’ flour
- 30 g almond powder
- 5 g guar gum (Sosa brand)
- 2 g salt
- 50 g silken tofu
- 27 g water
- Warm the coconut oil to 77˚F (25˚C), then combine it with the dry ingredients until the mixture forms a sandy texture. Add the tofu and water and mix to form a dough.
- Roll the dough to 3 mm thick and freeze. Oil the tart rings (I use De Buyer perforated, 55 mm diameter x 35 mm high), and line them with the dough. Par-bake at 300˚F for 10-12 minutes.
- The guar gum helps with dough structure. It is possible, however, to replace it with an equal amount of xanthan gum.
- When working with this dough, it’s important to roll the dough out to 3mm thick and then freeze it. Cut strips of the dough and line the edges of the rings before lining the bottom. It’s important to work on a cold tray, because the dough warms up quickly because of the coconut oil.
- It’s important to find the right brand of tofu — different brands yield different results.
- 52 g coconut oil
- 22 g grape seed oil
- 115 g confectioners’ sugar
- 15 g brown rice flour
- 15 g cornmeal
- 15 g potato starch
- 5 G Natural Emul (Sosa brand)
- 115 pecan powder (blended with sifted pecans)
- 5 g potato protein
- 72 g water
- Melt the coconut oil with the grape seed oil to 86˚F (30˚C). Combine with the remaining ingredients in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.
- Pipe 30 g into each cooled par-baked tart shell. Continue baking at 340˚F (170˚C) for about 20 minutes.
- The Natur Emul and the potato protein replace the eggs in this recipe. The Natur Emul is a citrus fiber emulsifier (in this case, it brings the water and fat together).
- Using a combination of coconut and grape seed oils yields a perfect texture of the cream, even after storing in the refrigerator.
Granny Smith Apple Compote
- 85 g Granny Smith apples
- 280 g Capfruit green apple puree
- ½ vanilla bean
- 20 g superfine granulated sugar
- 5 g pectin 325NH95 (Sosa)
- 8 g lemon juice
- Peel and cut apples into a 5 mm brunoise. Combine brunoise with lemon juice.
- Heat puree with split and scraped vanilla bean to 122˚F (50˚C), then add sugar mixed with pectin. Heat to 185˚F (85˚C) and pour onto the diced lemon apples. Refrigerate for assembly.
- Pectin doesn’t need to be boiled if used in the correct acidity and amount. By heating to only 185°F (85˚C), we retain more flavor, and also reduce the evaporation of the product. In this case, increasing this recipe for a large production shouldn’t have an impact on the results.
Water-based Pecan Cremeux
- 210 g pecans
- 89 g superfine granulated sugar
- 9g fleur de sel
- 265 g water
- 60 g inulin (Sosa brand), hot
- 8g fleur de sel
- 9 g Natural Emul (Sosa brand)
- Roast nuts at 300˚F (150°C) for 25 to 30 minutes.
- Cook a dry caramel with the sugar and add nuts ; allow to cool.
- Process pecans in Robot Coupe to form a paste.
- Heat the water to 122˚F (50˚C); add inulin and heat to 158˚F (70˚C). Pour onto pecan paste, salt and Natur Emul. Blend to emulsify. Refrigerate to set for the assembly.
- This inulin needs to be heated to 158˚F to dissolve.
- Make sure to blend the cremeux well to ensure that there are no remaining lumps, for an ideal final texture. The inulin has a large capacity to absorb liquid (in this case the water), and this gives us a perfect creamy, pipeable texture.
Assembly & Finishing
- 30 g roasted and crushed pecans
- Glazed apple slices, gor garnish
- Shortbread disc, for garnish
- Fill each par-baked tart shell with 30 g of the Pecan Cream. Place 3 g roasted, crushed pecans on top before baking at 340˚F (150˚C) for 10-15 minutes. Cool completely.
- Fill each tart to the top with apple compote and smooth. Let set.
- Using a #22 tip, pipe a ball of Water-based Pecan Cremeux on top. Garnish with a glazed apple slice (that has been dipped in lemon juice) and a decorative shortbread disc.
Visit www.richardhawkepastry.com for more info
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