Spot the Empire Librarian's blog

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Pies and Tarts. Meeting Kristina Migoya.

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A pastry crust can be viewed as a blank canvas.  The holder of something special  to come.  Flaky paper-thin goodness.  A skill in which to be mastered.

Meeting Kristina Migoya today was a deeply honored pleasure. Meeting a Culinary institute  of America graduate, owner of local Hudson Chocolates shoppe, a baking and pastry instructor at the Institute,author of the recently published Pies and Tarts,  local business woman and talented chef was an exciting privilege for me.

Ms. Migoya   and her staff were  kind and welcoming the moment I walked into her shop.  She graciously signed our  LaGrange Library copy of Pies and Tarts  ( one of 6 in our Mid Hudson Library System).

Months ago,  while scouring my Library Journal periodical,  deciding which new books to purchase for our LaGrange Library collection,  I found  an entry for Pies and Tarts.  After reading the review, I was inspired to don my apron and reaching for my pastry blender. Personally, there is something very nurturing, yet noble about pie making. It is my personal quest to improve my pastry making ability.

Migoya’s volume begins with a primer on tools, equipment (from bakew10345777_10203953626188153_7188620322873431760_nare to digital scales) and ingredients (including a chart on the seasonal availability of fruits and vegetables). She follows with more than a dozen recipes for crusts, with step-by-step instructions for the aspiring pie-maker.  Classic  apple/ cherry/pumpkin pies are represented;  though a savory section  of quiche  to beef pot pies can be found. Guidance on icings  and meringues and use of creative garnishes  is addressed.

Ms. Migoya’s  shoppe, which she co-owns with her husband, fellow CIA  alum Francisco Migoya,  opened in  March 2013. Pies and Tarts is her first published cookbook for the home baker an emphasising use of volume as a unit of measurement.  It was a project initiated by the Culinary Institute’s publishing department, geared to the home baker.   An impressive pre-order of 4 000 is worth highlighting.  Of course, I simply had to  pick her brain  with the most basic of questions.  

What  type of pie plate do you prefer?  

Metal.  it is the best conductor of heat to create a crispy bottom.  Aluminum  is another  good transfer of heat.    Ceramic  take time to heat up   but does not create the crispness of the pastry.

Do you have a flour preference?

King Arthur.   Easy to obtain for both the professional and the home baker.   Out west,  near St. Louis,  Red Rose  is  sought after as that it is a constant protein make up.  ( I, too , favor King Arthur flour!)

What is your favorite pie flavor?

A difficult question….like which child is your favorite.   Balsamic strawberry, custard pies with a crisp bottom.

Pies and Tarts is a helpful cooking guide is laid out in an attractive fashion, dotted with colour photos.  It is both an informative cookbook,  yet a practical cookbook for  the novice  home dessert baker (like me.)


Author: spotwin

While I am a librarian , I am a reading cheerleader. The purpose of this library blog is to better promote reading and information literacy to community. I love books, reading to my son,properly placed apostrophes,canoeing, locating the nearest Starbucks, cheering the Montreal Canadians, and Cherry Garcia ice cream.

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