jamaican plantatin tart calls into question my understanding of pastry and pie crusts

Discussion in 'Pastries & Baking' started by chalkdust, Feb 21, 2010.

  1. chalkdust


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    there are many forumulas out there. I beleive I have seen ones as simple as equal parts butter and flour plus ice water

    other ingredients are eggs

    baking powder

    lard instead of butter

    butter and lard

    lard and shortening

    butter and shortening

    some people say use jsut butter, soem say use just lard!

    an empanada is supposed to be made with only lard.

    how do I look at all this?

    what does each fat contribute?

    butter gives a flavor correct where as lard gives a tender quality as well as a flavor

    shortening doesnt really give a flavor but it gives a special texture that is not really tender but it is the quality of being the most solid fat at room temp that i can think of, and this translates into the firmness but not toughness of the pastry?

    i know this is debated endlessly


    can i use bacon drippings as lard if it is golden brown and not burnt? in a pastry or biscuit i mean or is this a bad idea. my guess is the smokiness would interfere especially in a sweet tart or pie or empanada.

    jamaican plantain tarts:

    most dough recipes use lard or shortening or butter and shortening

    i have seen for example: 2 cups of flour, 1/4 cup butter, three tablespoons of shortening

    one egg, a pinch of salt and ice water to bind

    what do oyu think?

    what abotu baking powder

    or more or less fat

    all lard?
    all butter?
    lard and butter?
    butter and shortening?
    lard and shortening?
    all three?
    bacon dripings?

    i will sue this opportunity to discuss two interestying fillings

    one is cooked sweet planatains (boiled)

    drain water

    flavor with vanilla, sugar, and nutmeg, color with red food coloring

    fill in pastry that is in 4-5 inch rounds, make half circles and wash with egg white, sprinkle with sugar and bake

    the other interesting filling is the chayote squash filling

    the chayote squash or christophene is notable in jamaican, trinidadian and mexican cooking and other sotuh american or west indian countries. in haiti they pour a french vinagrette over the diced and cooked vegetable

    it has an interesting texture and a bright fresh taste

    in many places they make pies wiht it

    just dicee and then simmer

    pour off water and make a slightly thick sauce little flour and water or tapioca or cornstarch and water

    it ends up a lot like apple pie but the chayote is maybe a little more firm than an apple, also it doesnt really taste like apple

    u flavor with for example, lemon peel and cinammon

    its fun to make little pies out of avegetable and tell people ":guess what this is"

    anyway in empanada form they resemble the little rtaco bell apple cinamon pies, but made with cho cho, its pretty cool
  2. boar_d_laze


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    Are you asking for a course on tart and pie crusts?  Or, are you asking what would work best with plantains? 

    If the second, I think something like a pate sucree or pasta frolla would be better than a pate sablee, pate brisee, or any of the "normal American" pie crusts.  If you want to make sweet empanadas, I'd go with a sweetened empanada dough.

    If the first, it's a big, complicated subject.  I don't want to go into it all at once -- at least not now.  But if you can break your questions up a little, I'll try to handle them one at a time. 

    I'll start with a couple of things.  

    One:  I don't think rendered fat from smoked bacon would make a very good tart crust without a lot of tweaking -- but then could be very interesting.  And rendered fat from salted bacon would probably lead to irremediable disaster.  But there are better pastry cooks 'round here than me, maybe one of them has the right ideas to make it brilliant.

    Two:  If you can taste "lard" in a crust there's a problem with the lard.  It's either not fresh, not completely clarified, or otherwise improperly rendered.  Lard should bring the lightest, flakiest texture and the least favor of any of the shortenings.  It's my preferred shortening for most slope sided pies, and for savory crust -- but not for tarts where I want the structure and density that butter brings. 

    Last edited: Feb 21, 2010
  3. chalkdust


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    AHA !

    pate sucree or pasta frolla .... pate sablee, pate brisee,

    I am researching

    thank you!
  4. chalkdust


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  5. chalkdust


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    the jamaican plantain tart resembles the patties of the french and english west indies and the empanadas of the spanish islands

    it is not made in a shell or custard bowl

    typical recipes are made with two cups of flour, a mix of fats is cut in: usually something like 1/4 cup of butter and 3 or four tablespoons of shortening, then a beaten egg and iced water is mixed in and the dough is refrigerated

    i have heard that lard used to be the fat of choice, and coconut oil, chilled, is also used

    well i have plantains ready to be cooked, i think I will go with a butter and shortenign mix

    wish i could get lard

    please explain those doughs.

    can any of them be used in this purpose (little packet like dough tarts in the empanada or patty style?)

    love the idea of using the ground almonds in the pate sablee