Recipes and Stories

23 November 2014 Mastering Thanksgiving IV—The Pastry Cook

November 23, 2014

Tags: Thanksgiving 2014, Thanksgiving Dinner, Pastry, Pie Crust, Classic American Cooking, Classic Southern Cooking, Classic French Pastry

More than half the battle in perfecting the Thanksgiving pies, whether they are sweet potato (shown here), pumpkin or pecan, is a flaky, made-from-scratch pastry
Never mind the arguments over whether the pie should be pumpkin, sweet potato, pecan or not pie at all, but cheesecake: the easiest way to deal with whatever you’ve planned for the grand finale is to sweet talk someone else into doing it. However, if you’ve not done that (or you’re the person who got sweet-talked), and are contemplating a ready-made pastry, know that the difference between a memorable pie and a merely good one is the crust. (more…)

20 November 2012: Mastering Thanksgiving VII—The Pastry Cook

November 20, 2012

Tags: Thanksgiving Dinner, Pastry, Piecrust

The elements of pastry are very simple: low-gluten pastry flour (a good all-purpose will do), a bit of salt, cold butter, an ounce of chilled lard (for tenderness), and ice water to bind it
You’ll notice that up till now there’s been no mention of pastry-making (which I’d normally be doing either today or tomorrow). Happily, thanks to the gentle art of delegation (also known as sweet-talking), someone else is making the pies and dinner rolls.

If, on the outside chance the pie-making still falls in your lap, today is not too soon to make the pastry, (more…)