Adventures with Pastry
Kathy is new to the Monforte Dairy team, so she has the privilege of expanding her knowledge about all things to do with the dairy.
This week, Kathy brought home butter. Her big goal was to try to tackle pastry. Not a chef by any means (although, Kathy does have 20 years of experience in the food service industry), she would categorize herself more as a home cook. In her words, “not the kind of home cook where it's ‘mom's cooking is the best I've ever tasted’, but more like ‘I have a bunch of this in the fridge, what could I make that my family might possibly eat’”.
Do you have memories of your mom or your grandma's pastry? Kathy remembers that it was always butter pastry and she has tried to make her own 3 times before; but pastry has always been challenging for her. She handles it far too much, lacks the patience to break up the butter into the flour properly and Kathy doesn’t stop and chill it thoroughly between stages. But this week, she had a lot of ground pork, a lot of apples, and fresh butter. So yes. Kathy made pastry.
The first thing Kathy did before she made the pastry was to taste the butter. She said that she wished she could “…find the words to describe it. It just tasted so clean, and pure. It felt special.”
The next thing she noticed was how the butter performed as she broke it up into the flour. Because this was not a traditional pressed block of butter, but a loosely packed ball of fresh churned glory, it broke up into the flour like a dream. It was like it fell into bits into the flour, but in a good way. Like it really wanted to be pastry.
Adding the water and getting the right consistency for the first knead has traditionally been a struggle for Kathy. Usually, she ends up with a sticky mess that she overworks like crazy. Not this time. This time, the water, butter and flour came together effortlessly. It felt so good to knead that first ball together. Like Kathy knew what she was doing. Her grandma would be proud!
Kathy chilled the dough for over an hour as she chopped the apples and made the Tourtiere filling. Then she (as tradition dictates) overworked the dough as she tried to roll it out. Kathy also made pretty much of a disaster of the edges of her pies. But both pies baked off beautifully despite her efforts to sabotage them, and Kathy’s family had them both gobbled up in less than 12 hours. They weren't pretty, but they were delicious.
Kathy is calling that a win, both on the family front and on the mom front. And she will be making pastry again - she needs to practice that whole "rolling out the dough thing". And her family is down for pie of any type, any day.
Thank you, Monforte butter. Thank you for bringing Kathy one step closer to the home cook she wants to be.
What would you make with Monforte's fresh butter?