Never one to listen to my parents' advice, I didn't go to the bar last night but rather spent the night drinking whiskey in front of the TV. I'll leave it to your imagination whether the thing was on or not.
I got up bright and early this morning to start making puff pastry. Puff pastry is basically like unyeasted croissant dough, or like extra-buttery pie crust folded over and over. The one I made is "rough" puff pastry because it's started like pie crust - with the butter in cubes, rather than like croissant dough - with the butter lacquered on in a single sheet. You mix the butter, flour, & water in the mixer, then start rolling it into a precise rectangle. You fold the rectangle in thirds like a letter, then repeat 5 times, allowing the dough to rest in the fridge for a half hour every other turn. It gets increasingly difficult over time.
In between turns of the dough, I made a cannellini bean and farro soup for lunch with chunks of fatty smoked pork I got from Marin Sun yesterday. Yum.
The tart (guess where the recipe came from) started with a thick "applesauce" cooked down from apples, poached quinces, and apple cider. The puff pastry is rolled out in a rectangle, then the edges are cut off and stuck to the new edges with water. I kinda fucked this up; I think allowing the pastry scraps to overlap a little might keep the tart together better. Then layer the apple and quince slices for maximum cuteness, and sprinkle the whole thing liberally with sugar.
While the tart was baking, I made the sauce, which is just quince poaching liquid and apple cider cooked down to a thick syrup. The first time, I spaced out while it was cooking down, and it was very thick and beginning to scorch at the bottom, so i poured it out into a rice bowl and started over. When I poked at it after it was cool, I found that it was jelly! I didn't realize there was enough pectin just in the juices, but I guess there is. So I cut it up into pieces and tossed it with sugar. It's wonderful; the quinces have a lovely almost rosy fragrance.
As you can see, the sides of the tart came apart a bit, and the juice leaked out and burned the bottom and edges some. I expect the apples will be a bit tough and dry for this reason (and because they're the kind of apples you want in a pie, that don't turn to mush when cooked). The second batch of cooked-down juices were poured over the top once it cooled a bit. Pectin has similar behavior to gelatin - they have very similar uses in desserts/sweets, of course, I guess I'm just used to my soups turning to a wobbly solid in the fridge, while when a fruit sauce gets all viscous and clingy, it's surprising and magical.