Random Acts of Pastry #5:  Adventures with Pastry Cream

Random Acts of Pastry #5: Adventures with Pastry Cream

Historically, I’ve always been a bit nervous about pastry. For some reason, pastry seemed to be an esoteric process involving a combination of exacting science, impeccable artistic skill, and a high level of culinary voodoo. Over the course of time, it’s become more clear that, outside of the artistic stuff, creating pastries is a series of small and simple steps. Sometimes a lot of steps, but small steps nonetheless. Like many things, if you break it down to manageable pieces, it’s a relatively easy process.
After a bit of thought, the decision was made to make a Gatteau Basque. In its simplest form, this is a giant sugar cookie type of thing filled with a little bit of jam and/or pastry cream. In this case, the decision was made to play a bit with pastry cream; another new technique for the arsenal. Rather than adding jam, some freeze-dried strawberries were ground to a powder and added to the pastry cream; along with an additional dusting below and above the goop as it was added between the layers of dough. In all, the process was pretty much assembling a butter cookie sandwich with a pastry cream and strawberry powder filling. A series of simple steps with a bunch of waiting in between.
This week’s candidate was offered up by Feeding Tiny Tummies. Their nomination came up immediately up being told that they were getting their own goodies. They nominated the Winchester Police Department for their efforts in making sure that the kids in their community received much needed food during the crisis. Having prior experience with the folks in that department, I can concur that they are a great bunch of folks. It did create a bit of a challenge in coming up with a pastry that could be shared across different shifts; and not too delicate in terms of time and temperature restrictions for their enjoyment. I did get a sense though, that their gift didn’t last all that long.
As usual, you can find the recipe here.

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