Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Our Neighbor, Martin, the Pastry Chef

Martin arrives with pastry board ready to demonstrate making German pastry.
Martin, in his early years in Germany, worked as a pastry chef at a Mercedes Manufacturing Plant where he supervised the fine pastry department of the employee cafeteria that served lots of workers.  But then he took a 25 year break from baking and pursued other careers.  Recently, here in Cape Breton, Martin  renewed his interest in baking and began selling his breads, pies, and pastries at the various farmer's markets of the area. Cape Bretoners are fortunate that Martin has once again found his passion for baking.   I asked Martin if he would come over and show me how to make German pie pastry, and so he and Gabi were here on Sunday morning after their morning walk.
Martin's tools: pastry board, rolling pin, scales, device for pricking bottom of crust.
Martin came prepared with all of his accoutrements for making pastry and with his recipe which he calls 1, 2, 3, pastry.  One part sugar, two parts butter, and three parts flour.
100 grams of sugar carefully weighed.

Butter and flour added.

 He carefully measured out the ingredients by weight rather than volume.  For one pie crust he used 100 grams of sugar, 200 grams of butter, and 300 grams of flour.

He added a pinch of salt, a pinch of baking powder and a squeeze of lemon juice.

He carefully worked the butter into the flour and sugar without handling too much.
Cutting the butter into the flour and sugar.

Ready to roll.
He then formed the dough into a flat round.  If it is too soft he says to cool it down in the fridge before rolling it out.

When he had the dough rolled out to the proper size, he slipped a round piece of sheet aluminum under it to transfer it to the pie plate.
Aluminum for slipping under rolled pie crust to transfer to pie plate.
Before putting in the filling, blueberry in this case, he spread a thin layer of apricot preserves on the bottom (for flavor) and topped this with a thin layer of sweet bread crumbs (to absorb juice from the fruit and prevent the bottom from becoming soggy).
Apricot preserves and sweet bread crumbs on bottom of pastry.
In goes the filling.  Bake at 350 for 45 to 50 minutes.
Blueberry filling.
Cool and top with a cream cheese and whipped cream topping and enjoy.
When I get back to Raleigh, I'm going to practice making this kind of German pie crust.  It is so good.

1 comment:

  1. I will volunteer for the job of taster- it's tough job but someone has to do it!