Monday, May 21, 2007

Pastry Puff


A Sunday scattered with downpours of rain, chill wind blowing, oven blasting a leg of lamb into aromatic submission, crisping roast potatoes to golden nuggets and a fire blazing in the hearth. Friends to lunch, bringing the pudding with them, though we were unable to resist adding a bowl of our precious guava fool to the menu too.

Pudding was a feast of flavours –a light, buttery, puff pastry square to which we added as we pleased: whipped cream; strawberries; passion fruit; jams and preserves -the pastry melted in the mouth, as light as a cloud.

Talk was of food, of Moira’s passion for pastry and how it has grown into a business. Now she makes the only commercial, ready-rolled puff pastry in the world that is organic, made with fresh churned butter and no preservatives. I heard more than I wanted to know about what goes into normal commercial bakery products, including a chemical to relax the dough and speed up the process, that is also used as a hair relaxer. Moira started her company, Dorset Pastry, to recreate the perfect buttery pastry she had found elsewhere in Europe, but missed when she moved to the UK. She worked out a process to make her puff pastry commercially, with butter and without the chemicals, and though it is time consuming, the pastry having to rest in between each folding and rolling and being made over two days, the end result is definitely worth it. She also sources her organic ingredients as locally as possible. This was the first time we’d heard of her pastry, but in the UK Harvey Nicks and Harrods leapt to stock it after her very first food expo back in 2002.

She is reluctant to export her complete pastry products out here, because the concept of local ingredients and reducing the distance food has to travel is part of her philosophy and so is over to investigate setting up a production base here. I hope she does, as the packets she brought us as a gift are going to be devoured very quickly!

PS The light wasn’t great yesterday, so these photos were taken this morning and the pastry has lost that fresh out the oven gleam – though it still tasted pretty good, when I scoffed it after photographing every angle!

2 comments:

  1. Oh wow! Please tell your friend I LOVE her pastry! and yes when I saw the packaging in the last pic I knew immediately! It is also devine with roasted nectarines doused with dark brown sugar and marsala wine and a liberal spooning of either Mascarpone or Clotted Cream! and to think that I have just embarked on a serious weightloss programme! I must be mad! :-)

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