Tag Archives: pies and tarts

The Dello Mano Parisian Pilgrimage: Savoury Tarts and the Rose Bakery

Dello Mano is a small business family. We don’t take too many breaks but when we do,we make them worth the wait and we definitely plan our travel to eat — we plan every itinerary around renowned restaurants, buzzy bakeries, and sought-after street food we’d like to try. Our Paris jaunt was especially challenging to plan; with so many can’t-miss spots crammed into each square kilometer of the City of Light, it was tricky to narrow down a manageable number. There was one place I knew we couldn’t strike from the list: Rose Bakery, an English-inflected patisserie that has been a jewel in the boulangerie and cafe-studded crown of the Ninth Arrondissement since it was established in 2002. Since then, as we visited Paris,  the Rose Bakery had also opened a satellite store in Le Marais district – as it eventuated just a short skip from where we were staying.

ROSE BAKERY FRONTAGE

Rose Bakery – Paris

Rose Bakery – Paris

I’d been dreaming of paying a visit to Rose Bakery ever since I read founder Rose Carrarini’s Breakfast, Lunch, Tea: The Many Meals of Rose Bakery, which is just as much a memoir about the trials and tribulations of starting a restaurant as it is a cookbook. So much about Rose Bakery’s story resonates with Dello Mano. Both of our bakeries were founded by husband-and-wife teams who were motivated by a deep-set devotion to food, despite their lack of restaurant training in the strict sense. (The Carrarinis worked in the fashion industry before starting their first London restaurant; we worked for multinational food brands.) Furthermore, the Carrarinis had the bravery and foresight to open an English bakery in a city more interested in macarons than Victoria sponge, just as we started Dello Mano at a time when the Australian attitude towards brownies was indifferent at best. Despite all predictions to the contrary, Parisians went as crazy for Rose’s Eccles cakes as Australians went for our Luxury Brownies.  There is a kind of kindred spirit among all the people that follow their food dreams.

ROSE BAKERY INSIDE STORE PARIS

Inside Rose Bakery – Paris

There was one recipe in the cookbook that I was particularly drawn to: the quiches. According to the cookbook, quiches are husband Jean-Charles’ domain; he beats together a balanced blend of cream and egg, stirs in perfectly-paired ingredients like smoked salmon and dill or broccoli and leek, and bakes it all together in little square tart shells. The photographs in the cookbook looked impossibly gorgeous: geometrically flawless little squares, craggy with protruding fillings, the egg a shade of yellow so delicate you can almost taste the creaminess. We had been thinking about incorporating some savouries into our Dello Mano offerings, and Rose-inspired quiches seemed like a perfect choice. The trip to Rose Bakery would be research, then, and any amount of indulgence entirely justified.

When we arrived in Paris, as I mentioned earlier, we were charmed to find that Rose Bakery happened to be just one street over from our apartment. A real bonus given the apartment was one of the worst we’d ever booked! Bien and I have been booking apartments online for over 10 years – optimistic at heart, we’d always faired very well. Not on this occasion.  A third floor apartment, old dilapidated and the floor seriously on an angle that was close to 90 degrees as you left the door and moved inside! — Fate though was pulling us in the direction of those quiches. We made the bakery one of the first stops in our culinary itinerary. Though it was hard to look past the beckoning cakes and crumbles and — yes — brownies, we made a beeline for the quiches. They stood stacked like well-laid shortcrust bricks above the salad case, the top layer tilted to proudly display their savoury fillings. We ordered one of every attractive flavor and found a seat among the slim metal tables set up on the sidewalk. There, I wielded my fork and knife (utensils which admittedly elevate any pastry-eating experience), cut off a generous chunk, and took the first bite of the quiche of my dreams. I still haven’t forgotten that taste, and for years I have longed to enjoy it again.

QUICHE MUSHROOM IN PARIS

Mushroom Quiche at Rose Bakery- Paris

QUICHE ON COUNTER AT ROSE BAKERY PARIS

Rose Bakery Quiches stacked on display – Paris

French Tart at Dello Mano

The perfect opportunity to offer a delicious, delicate  quiche came in the form of our new  Dello Mano shop at New Farm. Our courtyard there in Merthyr Village  an evocative Parisian scene of French rattan bistro chairs shaded by fiddle-leaf fig trees, demanded a full brunch menu with both sweet and savoury offerings. Quiche was an obvious option. In the months leading up to the New Farm opening, we worked and reworked our quiche recipe until we hit upon a version that although not the same , evoked a beautiful reminisce of the day we visited Rose Bakery. As we developed the recipe, we found ourselves moving towards a more traditional, French-style savoury tart, and so we decided to call them that on the menu.

Spring Vegetable Tart 2

Dello Mano French Tart or Quiche now available at both stores and also by order.

We now offer three varieties of French-style Savoury Tart at our New Farm and Tattersalls Arcade Dello Mano store  locations: Spring Vegetable ( gorgeous twists of shaved root vegetables), Mushroom with Truffle Oil & Thyme, and the classic, bacon-studded Quiche Lorraine. Enveloping these fillings is a beautiful, handmade shortcrust pastry, handled lightly for maximum tenderness. In keeping with the slow-food tenets we’ve followed since the beginning, we use all free-range eggs  delivered fresh from the farm to our door and local vegetables, which we have delivered straight from the market to our kitchen door. We bake our quiches into elongated rectangles, available sliced into individual servings ( dine in or take away)  or whole for a family-sized take-away. The whole quiches are also a great alternative to pizza for parties or other catered events.

Asparagus and Salmon French Tart

Dello Mano Asparagus French Tart – available by order.

We invite you to join us for brunch to try our French-style Savoury tarts, as well as our more traditionally Australian Savoury pies and sundry light bites. If you get a hold of the Carrarinis, tell them they’re invited, too.

Dello Mano Store Locations:

New Farm – Shop 4 83 Merthyr Rd. ( Merthyr Village Shopping ) New Farm  Tel: 3358 2801

Tattersalls Arcade Shop , Shop 8, Tattersalls Arcade, 215 Queen St. Mall Brisbane Tel: 3210 1168

Baking Pies & Tarts for the Home Baker

Desserts, pies and tarts are a popular choice for entertaining or just to enjoy after dinner. They are always a great idea for a food gift  or for a fast dessert when entertaining. I don’t know about you, but I simply can’t resist the crispy, flaky crust of a perfectly baked pie and its creamy, sweet and heavenly filling. Same thing with tarts. These two classic desserts are really timeless and always make such a great dessert when family or friends are visiting or you’re looking for that special food gift that just says enjoy!

The timeless beauty is evident our  Dello Mano Brownie Pies and Tarts. See how gorgeous it is? Wait until you taste it. And of course if you have no time to make one, then just pop in to the Dello Mano store or buy dessert cake online.

If you have the time though, handmade pies and tarts are simple pleasures. We make them here at Dello Mano with both a brownie base and the more traditional pastry base.

Baking Pies & Tarts

citrus pie

Dello Mano Handmade Citrus Pie

A good pie always starts with a good crust. So what makes a good crust? The answer is simple: butter. Even better, good butter. Sure, shortening or lard is a good fit for pie crusts and is likely to produce a tender and flaky crust, but the flavour is never the same as with butter. Quality butter offers a creamy, rich and yes – buttery – taste that you won’t get from shortening.

So how do you go about making your butter crust texture light and flaky? No, you don’t need pastry blender, mixer or food processor. An old-school technique, which really works, involves running cold chunks of butter between your fingertips, and incorporating them into the flour (you want your flour-butter mixture to turn into pea-sized crumbs). Such technique allows you to monitor the size of the butter pieces, so it would create flakes, not lumps as you roll it.

Why use cold butter? As your crust bakes in the oven, the cold butter melts, creating steam pockets that produce a beautiful flaky texture.

From there, the next step is simply a matter of choosing the filling for your pie. Well, maybe not so simple because they range from the most popular apple and pear, to dried fruit and cranberry, coffee-toffee, spiced pumpkin, pecans, and of course – the irresistible – chocolate filling. If in doubt we say, the best food gift is always chocolate!

Another good strategy is to chill the dough at least 30 minutes (up to two days) before you roll it and bake it. Once assembled in the pan, chill it again before you finally put it in the oven. This ensures that the butter pieces will not melt until they are heated. Most pastry chefs would blind-bake crust or pastry shell first before pouring in the filling and baking the entire pie. Doing so keeps the size and form of the crust. To prevent the dough from rising, line the crust with parchment paper and fill with dried beans, rice or pie beads (which you can buy from a kitchen supply store).

Brushing the top of the pasty with egg wash will give it that beautiful golden shine. Not only that. It will also make your pie cover crispier.

Fruits as Filling

Fresh fruit on tarts makes simply a work of art! And of course the fruit does provide healthy antioxidants. 🙂

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The natural sweetness and distinct flavour of fresh berries blend perfectly with the creaminess, flakiness and sweetness of the pastry shell.

If you’re using fruits as filling, it is important that you are aware of their baking/cooking properties. For instance, apples are normally used as pie filling not just because they are so common, but mostly because apples have natural pectin content (which acts as a binder), so your filling won’t be runny. Meanwhile, blackberries have high levels of acid on the skin, which does not go well with starch, so you want to add the starch and sugar from the start. Cherries need to be pitted if using fresh, and peaches must be peeled first.

Baking delicious pies and tarts may take some effort and practice, but as you get used to it, and as you discover more techniques (which you will as you slowly become addicted to baking), you’ll find it a very rewarding task. And after a day of baking, when you finally present your food gift, you’ll be showered with compliments!.

And of course you can be experimental. Our love of brownies and our clients wanting to buy brownies in all different forms, led us to invent the Luxury Brownie pie. Our Dello Mano Brownie Pies were recently noted in the SBS Food Trends for 2016 as something yummy and new for this year.  We handmake our delicious brownie pies in a number of different flavours from Dulce de Leche through to Crunchy Walnut and  a beautiful Belgian Chocolate Ganache.  There are so many alternatives that suit a chocolate brownie base.

Cheers to the pie and tart lovers around the world! These wonderful pastry creations are too good to resist and make a huge splash as a food gift or just as simply a great share treat for family and friends.