Today I went to a cooking class at The Fig Tree, where a Chinese American ibanker turned Le Cordon-Blue (or however you spell it)-trained pastry chef has a beautiful kitchen. Alison and I wanted pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving, and as her job is completely inflexible, and I can "work from home" whenever I want if I don't have a meeting, I went for both of us. Erin, 1/2 of the couple from the police station, works there (her blog) and told us about the class.
We started at 9, and I knew I was in for a long day when we learned how to make the crust. To make sure it is properly flaky, you can't melt the butter, or even warm it. So instead, you do this weird ball making motion with your hands to grind the butter into the flour, without heating it up, until there are no chunks. Which takes about 45 minutes. I of course, did it wrong, so my first batch ended up "too hot" from my hands and was less flaky than it should be. The second batch was much better because ever 5-10 minutes, I took a break and put my hands under cold running water to make sure they remained appropriately icy. Let's just say I suffered for my art.
Fast forward to 4:45 pm, when I took my loot home (2 large pumpkin pies, 3 medium pumpkin pies, and 3 extra pie crusts (she said we could cook them if we wanted, and I didn't want to throw away 1.5 hours of my life just cause I didn't have enough filling!) and 2 pumpkin tart thingees). I had been baking all day and was absolutely exhausted. On the cab ride home, I decided I do not have the patience (or talent) to be a Le Cordon Blu pastry chef.
But then, I got home, saw Alison, and we ate the little tart thingees. And, they were absolutely HEAVENLY. The damn crust even flaked apart in my mouth, just like she said it would! So the final verdict? Eating that deliciousness more than makes up for having to cook it, and Alison and I are definitely going to sign up for another class.
HAPPY THANKGIVING EVERYONE! Miss you guys.