Now that there is no more time for team practices, (and even if we wanted we could not because Albert Uster Import has shipped our material to Lyon) we can individually fine tune some details of our preparation, catch-up on some sleep, relax a little and look forward to this exciting trip.
The team will leave on Saturday January 19th and will arrive in Lyon in Sunday 20th. Everyone will have a day to catch-up from a strenuous travel. The adrenaline will be flowing from the moment every team member packs its personal luggage. Christophe, Roy and Stephen will have crossed the entire U.S. continent before they traverse the Atlantic Ocean. They will be very tired after 24 hours of traveling. Continue Reading →
When it comes to flavor, there are very few ingredients that can match the versatility of pure vanilla. Whether it’s the straight forward, heady punch of the Madagascar bean, or the more subtle perfumed harvest from Tahiti, Vanilla is at home in both sweet and savory applications.
Vanilla can stand on its own, or add structure and depth to other flavors. And while pastry chefs often look for the newest, hippest flavor combinations for their desserts, a simple survey reveals that most of them will reach for the comfort of old fashioned vanilla ice cream when it comes to satisfying their own sweet tooth. Simply put, it’s the most important ingredient in my kitchen.
Here’s a recipe that showcases one of my favorite fruits, the pineapple, married with vanilla and caramel. It makes a beautiful presentation and is wholly satisfying on its own, or can be paired with shortbread cookies, pound cake or, my favorite: French Toast.
Whole Roasted Pineapple With Vanilla and Caramel
Yield: 10 Portions
- Pineapple 1
- Clarified butter 2 oz.
- Sugar 8 oz.
- Water 8 oz.
- Butter 6 oz.
- Nielson Massey Vanilla beans, scraped 2
- Crème fraiche 4 oz.
- Cream 1 oz.
- Nielsen Massey Bourbon Vanilla extract 1 tsp
- Sugar 1 tsp
- Pull stem from pineapple and wash to remove the bloom. Trim core end of stem into a sharp point and set aside.
- Remove top and bottom from pineapple and carefully trim away the skin, working from top to bottom, trying to maintain the shape of the fruit. Remove core.
- Carefully sear pineapple on all sides in clarified butter.
- Caramelize sugar in a sauté pan, then quench with hot water. Return to a boil, and stir in the butter and vanilla bean seeds. Cut vanilla bean into 1” lengths and poke into the pineapple “eyes”.
- Roast pineapple in the caramel syrup at 300°F for 60-90 minutes. Baste often, and be careful not to allow the syrup to reduce too far and burn.
- Combine crème fraiche, cream and vanilla extract and whip to soft peaks.
- Remove pineapple from the oven. Transfer to a clean serving pan, fitting reserved stem into open core, and pour over a bit of the sauce.
- Cut pineapple lengthwise into ¼’s. Slice, crosswise, very thin. Garnish with whipped crème fraiche and some of the sauce.
Pastry Team USA has created an exciting partnership with Michel Bouit International, Inc. that offers an all-inclusive tour package to see the team compete in la Coupe du Monde de la Patisserie AND to watch the Bocuse d’Or World Cuisine Contest happening the same week!
The week-long travel package will also include an amazing variety of tasting and touring opportunities – led by the chefs who know Paris and Lyon better than anyone else. (Registration form, itinerary and details available here.)
The culinary world makes a rendez-vous in Lyon, France’s gastronomic mecca. Plan to attend and be a part of this amazing international gathering of the world’s best!
- SIRHA International Hotel Catering and Food Trade Exposition ~ January 26-30
- World Pastry Cup (Coupe du Monde de la Patisserie) ~ January 27-28
- Bocuse d’Or World Cuisine Contest ~ January 29-30
Since 1991 The World of MBI has offered a special travel package to attend and witness the excitement of competition in the beautiful city of Lyon! Enjoy a stress-free experience in Lyon. Everything is pre-arranged for you!
- Airport transfer by fully appointed deluxe motor coach for arrival & departure
- 5 nights hotel accommodations, single occupancy at the Hotel Ibis Lyon Centre Perrache with daily buffet breakfast
- Round-trip ground transportation to EurExpo
- V.I.P. pass to attend the competitions and SIHRA
- Welcome dinner at the famous Brasserie Georges
- Invitation to Coupe du Monde de la Patisserie Reception
- Guided visit of the Vieux Lyon
- Visit of Bernachon famous chocolatier
- Visit of Valrhona Factory in Tain l’Hermitage with tasting and lunch at Restaurant Umia
- Visit & tasting at Maison Chapoutier
Registration form, itinerary and details available here. Sign up now and reserve your space before they fill up!
It was almost 20 years ago when I started my career at the Four Seasons Chicago. It was a great first job; I had the pleasure of working for Franck Monnier. Everything was made from scratch, it was a busy shop but what a way to learn.
Working in the restaurant taught me about plated desserts, ice creams, sorbets and how to keep organized. It also learned something I didn’t expect to learn in a restaurant position: how to make confections and bonbons. With every check presented to the guest we provided an assortment of mignardise. I can still remember the smell the first time we made the Passion Apricot Pate de Fruit. It was completely new to me and I could eat them all day. Whenever I make them it takes me back to my early days in the kitchen. This week I had the pleasure of teaching on of my assistants how to make them and pass on the tradition.
Passion Apricot Pate de Fruit
- 350 gr Ravifruit Apricot Puree
- 350 gr Ravifruit Passion Fruit Puree
- 15 gr Apple pectin (slow set)
- 75 gr Granulated Sugar
- 750 gr Granulated Sugar
- 150 gr Liquid Glucose
- 15 gr Tartaric Acid Solution
- Combine first sugar and pectin
- Combine second sugar and glucose
- Heat purees in a heavy bottom sauce pan to a simmer
- Whisk in sugar/pectin mixture – be sure to keep mixture simmering and continue to stir
- Gradually add sugar/glucose mixture while continuing to boil
- Continue stirring while mixture cooks to 107 C
- Stir in acid and pour into molds or onto parchment lined half sheet pan
- Allow to cool, cut into desired shape and dredge in granulated sugar
Making the Citric Acid Solution: Scale 1 oz. of citric acid crystals in a 2 oz. eye dropper bottle, pour 1 oz of boiling water over the citric acid crystals, shake well until the citric acid is dissolved. Can be stored at room temperature until next use.
The products used in the recipe above can be found at
- RAV 981 – Apricot Puree
- RAV911 – Passion Fruit Puree
- CT1005 – Tartaric Acid
- CT1026 – Pectin
- PA6595 – Glucose
- 38510 – Pectin NH
- 204192 – Pectin
- 204220 – Citric acid
- 505092 – Glucose
A massive undertaking like this is not possible without support from generous sponsors who contribute their time, resources, and expertise to Pastry Team USA. Thank you to all who have pledged support. If you are interested in sponsoring the team, please contact us.