To begin this whirlwind of recipes: Crust. Moreover, the crust of Estelle (my french host mom, the amazing cook and bio queen of all time... ) from whom ALL of these recipes in the following avalanche come from!
There are 3 kinds of french crust; brisée, sablée, and feuilletée (in increasing difficulty, I do believe...)
This is the base! To follow in the next posts are tarte tatin, tarte aux pommes, tart de rubarb, Quiche Lorraine, târte au chocolate... and so you see, this recipe is very important!!
AU PIF "by nose" (meaning, learn it, and do it by sight/smell)
30g sugar (unless you are making a salty recipe)
1* stir together the flour and sugar (I throw in some salt)
2* cut the cold butter into small cubes, about 1/2 inch and throw into the flour mix
3* use your very clean hands to "rub" in the butter
- this is like "cutting in butter" in american recipes, but get your hands dirty. It tastes better. Just keep rubbing together the butter and the flour until you cant see the butter at all. It will resemble sand!
4* add water, starting with just a few tablespoons and knead with your hands as you go. Add just enough water so that you can mush it all into one big ball
5* place on wax paper and roll out with a roller into the size of your pie pan, plus a little bigger for the sides. Estelle just leaves it on the waxpaper to cook because then you don't have to butter the pan etc.
6.1* bake according to your recipe if you are filling it for a quiche, pie, etc.
6.2** If you are cooking it by itself (so as to fill it with something that doesn't get cooked, like chocolate mousse) use a fork and pierce the bottom a number of times so that when it is in the oven it doesn't bubble up!
6.2.2** Bake at 200 C for 25 minutes