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 bakeware 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.)