Culinary vs. Pastry

With less than one week until the pressure-filled midterm, I'm grateful I'm on the culinary track.

One possible dish I may have to produce is an apple tart.

I can slice the apples fairly evenly and the compote tastes good. But when it comes to the tart dough, I'm a mess. I don't get it. I just practiced making it tonight and the result was quite sad - the crust was too wet and turned out crumbly. My only theory is that I'm overworking the dough.

But I'm not sure practice will help.

I'm about to cave into this stereotype: Us culinary students are more free-spirited and not very disciplined. While out pastry counter parts are exact in everything they do. This is overly simplified of course but it feels true. There are few dishes where I have to measure everything to the right measurement, and the results are fine most of the time.

For example, whenever I make the roasted chicken we've done countless times in class, I just automatically grab what I need and only eye the amounts. It's the part of cooking that I enjoy - experimenting, adjusting and tasting.

So tomorrow I'm determined to take another stab at this tart dough. It'll probably take a little more discipline and reading up on the recipe, but I'm betting that practice will make perfect.

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