Butter Pie Pastry

Pie crust seems to be a difficult skill for many people to master — including me! It took a long time and many doughy, tough pie crusts before I managed to make a passable pie crust.  If you are new to pie baking or simply struggle to make a good crust, start here with this butter pie pastry. Butter makes the dough a bit easier to handle than either lard or shortening and, if you follow my suggestions here, you will be on the way to improved pie pastry!

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Vanilla Sponge Cake

Vanilla sponge cake is an absolute staple in the pastry kitchen and a recipe that everyone should master. It is the base for many European style desserts and also has many applications in decorating and finishing as well. Master this simple recipe to add great depth to your pastry repertoire!

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Creme Anglaise

Creme anglaise is another foundational recipe that will add great depth to your recipe file in the variety of desserts you will be able to produce. Creme anglaise takes 10 minutes to produce and you will be happy to have this versatile sauce in your arsenal. It is the base for ice creams, bavarians, and many other classic pastries.

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1-2-3 Cookie Dough

If there was ever a recipe you needed to know, it’s this one. 1-2-3 cookie dough is so simple and so delicious. It’s also extremely versatile. It works as a fantastic crust for sweet tarts and also makes wonderful decorated cookies. I used this recipe to make approximately 20,000 Christmas cookies each year in my bakery. If you follow the basic instructions you will have a reliable recipe for years to come.

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Tangy Lemon Curd

Lemon curd is an absolute staple in the pastry kitchen. It can be used as a base for fruit tarts, a filling for cakes or scones, and can be turned into a quick lemon mousse. It can even be made into ice cream! Lemon curd is definitely one of the 5 recipes everyone should master.

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Pate a Choux

Pate a choux is one of the staple recipes in classic French pastries. In the United States, people most closely associate this dough with cream puffs and eclairs but it makes many other beautiful desserts as well. The word choux means cabbage in French and small cream puffs do look like little cabbages when you use a bit of imagination! The recipe for the basic dough is included here. Find links to finishing techniques and alternatives below. Enjoy!

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Pastry Cream

Pastry cream is indispensable in the pastry kitchen — it can be used to fill puffs, eclairs, used as a filling in cakes and tarts, and be transformed into creme mousseline or creme chibouste. Make sure you have everything ready and set your work station up properly and you will produce perfect pastry cream every time!

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Ganache For Cream Puffs, Eclairs, and Piping

Ganache is a wonderful mixture of chocolate and cream and comes in many different textures and tastes depending on the chocolate and how much cream is added.

This is a basic ganache in the ratio of 1 to 1. This means 1 part chocolate to 1 part heavy cream by weight (just one more reason to buy that scale!) For example, 1 pound of chocolate is mixed with a pint of heavy cream. So if you have only 10 cream puffs to glaze, just mix 2 ounces of chocolate and 2 ounces of cream. Easy!

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