There is nothing more annoying than making a delicious pastry crust and see it collapse on the side of the mould… The second most annoying thing is probably when you don’t want to be bothered pre-cooking the crust and it comes out gooey even if the fruits or veggies are very well cooked it not caramelised on top…
This is my grand-mother Mamoune (Ma-moon) ‘s solution: the foiled cork crust holding method. I have no idea where she got that from, probably from her own mother. This has always been the method my Mum used.
See… Dad doesn’t like gooey crusts and would simply push his plate saying: “It’s not cooked at all”… To avoid this, Mum would pre-bake all her pastries to be sure they were nice and cooked.
The foiled cork crust holding method is extremely simple: you wrap foil around corks. Keep the corks in a “Tupperware” type container and use them for-absolutely-ever. All corks being different, fatter, thinner, longer, shorter, pull a bit of foil and see how much you need to cover all of it with an overlap of 0.5cm. Cut a band using your foil box’s teeth ;) The leave 0.5cm to 1cm on each side of the cork, roll, fold the sides. Very easy and quick.
Every time you will make a tart or a quiche, sweet or savoury, large or mini, you will use the foiled cork. Simply press the corks lightly on the sides (see above) without pushing too much or you might pierce the dough and your egg/milk filling will make the crust stick to the mould.
Just press gently. If you get a gap bigger than a cork, you can space your corks a little more or place a cork sideways.
When all the corks are well placed roll the pastry over (see above my nasty job… I was in a super hurry… with 3 kids dribbling on the kitchen counter…) You can actually male a beautiful and arty braid or a fancy finger sculpted crown or a quick job.
Don’t forget to pierce the bottom with a fork to avoid
Pre-cook the crust until slightly golden.
See, when you have taken off all the foiled corks, there is plenty of space to put your vegetables or fruit and the appropriate “cement” ;) I mean the egg and milk mix you use to bind the ingredients together or crème pâtissière (pastry cream) on which you place the fruits.
The great thing with this technique is that you can fit a lot of filling and you will never have the “crown” of the dough falling over the edge of the mould.
Nilou (12) had an assignment this week. She had to create a healthy lunch for a teenager. She created an heirloom mini tomatoes and mini bocconcinis salad with Italian herbs, fruity olive oil and French échalotes vinegar. Then for mains she created a broccoli, feta (the real stuff from Greece), spinach leaves and tomato quiche. So she used my family’s foiled cork crust holding method. She is going to present it in class tomorrow.
Can’t wait to hear what her teacher says!
I hope you like this method. If you have any question, please comment below.