Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Whisk Wednesdays—Pets de Nonnes (Choux Pastry Fritters with Apricot Sauce)

Pets de Nonnes (Choux Pastry Fritters with Apricot Sauce)This recipe, literally translated, means "nun's farts"! Choux pastry is deep-fried and sprinkled with confectioners' sugar much like a doughnut. The story is that a nun accidentally dropped a ball of choux paste into a kettle of hot oil. Instead of throwing it out, the nun watched the choux paste bubble and brown and upon tasting it named it Pets de Nonnes.

Choux Pastry
Choux pastry is difficult to make, but once you know the texture you're looking for, the technique isn't hard. For this recipe, since it's a dessert, the choux paste is sweetened with milk and sugar and flavored with vanilla. After melting the milk, butter, sugar, salt and vanilla and bringing it to a boil, remove the mixture from the heat and add the flour all at once. Return it to the heat to remove any excess humidity from the flour. Depending on the flour you use and the humidity in the air and the quantity of your mixture, the time required to stir over the heat varies. The mixture should be dry.

Off the heat and after letting the mixture cool, add the eggs. Again, the number of eggs depends on the flour and moisture in the mixture. After adding the eggs, the mixture should be ribbony and be somewhat stiff.

Apricot Sauce
The apricots are put through a food processor and then passed through a sieve to remove the skin. If the apricots are tart, add sugar to sweeten, and then add the remaining sauce ingredients.

Deep Frying
I followed the same technique for deep frying that I learned when frying potatoes. Spoon the choux paste into the hot oil. When they float and are a nice, golden color, drain, sprinkle with confectioners' sugar and serve warm with apricot sauce.


Serves 6

Pets de Nonnes (Choux Pastry Fritters with Apricot Sauce) mise en place
For the Choux Pastry:
1¼ cups milk
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1¼ cups sifted all-purpose flour
1/3 cup cake flour
4 eggs

For the Apricot Sauce:
1½ pounds pitted fresh apricots or canned apricot halves
¼ cup sugar (optional)
Juice of ½ lemon, strained
1/3 cup water
2 tablespoons kirsch

Confectioner’s sugar for dusting
Oil for

You can find the recipe for Pets de Nonnes (Choux Pastry Fritters with Apricot Sauce) in the book Le Cordon Bleu at Home or here. To see how the rest of the Whisk Wednesdays group fared with their recipe, click here (or check out the sidebar) and then click on each blogger!

Pets de Nonnes (Choux Pastry Fritters with Apricot Sauce)Tasting Notes
These were light tasting, though I'm sure calorie-heavy. The apricot sauce added extra flavor to this simple dessert. A stronger sauce, such as strawberry, might be nice next time.

Next Class
• Carre d'Agneau (Rack of Lamb) page 246

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Running total: $1,563.08 + $7.60 = $1,570.68
($1.27 per serving)

Butter used so far: 13 pounds, 6 tablespoons

97% complete Basic Cuisine (on blog) 23% in real life

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::Whisk Wednesdays::
We're cooking our way through a cooking school curriculum using the Le Cordon Bleu at Home cookbook. The "classes" are based on the Le Cordon Bleu curriculum found online and used as a guideline. Not all the items in the curriculum are in the cookbook, but most are. Where the items are not in the book, we try to find a suitable substitution. Find out more here.

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    lisa is cooking said...

    This is one of those dangerous desserts of which I would eat far too much! They look great.

    Anh said...

    Oh my, these look soo good! Love the photography as well.

    Monica H said...

    ha ha! Nun's farts. I'd still eat 'em :-)

    Sippity Sup said...

    Choux is difficult to make. I have failed at it many times. You obviously have mastered it. Good job. GREG PS Nun's don't fart!

    Dolce said...

    These are really good... but really sinful too !

    katie said...

    the bite seems heavenly!

    Jacque said...

    Oh my goodness, those do look delicious! Nun's farts... too funny.

    Coffee and Vanilla said...

    Sounds delish! I love also the new look of the blog... very nice :)

    kellypea said...

    Mmm -- yummy! I never thought about dipping these before. Apricots are a favorite.

    vibi said...

    Those are beautiful Shari, they looks like they're going to take flight on the spot! LOL Talking of taking flight... LOL LOL It is in fact too funny to see such delicacy on your of so! fancy and elegant blog... showing a name like "Nuns' farts! LOL a good way to start my day!


    Eliana said...

    I'm intrigued by these little farts. They sound very tastey.

    Shandy said...

    I love how there is no specific number of eggs to add to the dough. It is according to how the dough looks along with how long to have the dough on the burner. Thank you for sharing! Also, the apricot sauce...YUM!

    Manggy said...

    Hee, I love how there is a story for even that (though I've also heard that it is because it's so light, like a shy, holy fart). I've never seen them served with a fruit sauce, though- looks heavenly! :)