May 7, 2009
The Culinary Institute of America has just announced that pastry and baking student Kathryn Stork has won the Kerrygold Pure Irish Butter/Food & Wine Scholarship after completing a 30-week intensive course at the CIA. Stork will soon graduate with a Baking & Pastry Certificate and will then head to Ireland to further explore the benefits of Kerrygold butter, presumably.
The full press release, and winning recipe, is below:
CIA Baking & Pastry Student Wins Scholarship that Brings Money, Travel and Fame
St. Helena, CA, May 6, 2009 – It wasn't long ago that Kathryn Stork regularly watched her idol, Martha Stewart, bake inspiring creations then head to the kitchen of her Port Ludlow, WA home to channel the inspiration into her own baking. Now, Stork is about to graduate from the Baking & Pastry Certificate Program at The Culinary Institute of America at Greystone, in St. Helena, CA. She is also about to travel to Ireland with a $10,000 scholarship, and she will be featured in the June issue of Food & Wine magazine as the winner of the joint Kerrygold Pure Irish Butter, Food & Wine Scholarship.
Stork received the scholarship after creating a recipe for Apricot Cheese Tartlets with Butter Balsamic Caramel, Peach Whipped Cream, and Crushed Butter Toffee (recipe follows). She also wrote an essay about the importance of using good quality butter when creating baked goods.
"It makes a huge difference in the final product," says Stork. "I've learned that butter quality can be influenced by how well the cows are taken care of, what kinds of dairy practices are used and whether it includes preservatives like salt."
Stork will graduate from the CIA in May after completing 30-weeks of intense training in baking & pastry. She plans to make her trip to Ireland in the fall, and in the meantime she will head to Seattle to decorate cakes in a pastry shop. She hopes to open her own pastry business one day.
"I love the idea of having a little pastry shop that is a comfortable haven for people to relax and unwind," says Stork. "It would be a dream come true and I plan to work hard to see that it does."
Apricot Cheese Tartlets with Butter Balsamic Caramel, Peach Whipped Cream, and Crushed Butter Toffee
* 4 cups flour
* 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 1 cup cold butter, diced 1/4"
* 8 tablespoons heavy cream
* 3 packages (24 oz) cream cheese
* 3/4 cup sugar
* 6 egg yolks
* 3 tablespoons flour
* 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
* 3/4 cup apricot puree (from fresh, peeled, and pitted apricots)
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 3/4 cup sugar
* 3 tablespoons water
* 6 tablespoons sweet cream butter
* 1 1/2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
* 3/4 cup heavy cream
* pinch of salt
* 1/2 cup sweet cream butter
* 1/2 cup sugar
* 1 1/2 tablespoons water
* 1 1/2 teaspoons corn syrup
* 1/4 teaspoons vanilla
* 1/2 cup sliced almonds
* 1 cup heavy cream
* 2 tablespoons crème fraîche
* 4 tablespoons brown sugar
* 1/8 teaspoon salt
* 1 tablespoon peach schnapps
* Mixer with whip and paddle attachments
* 24-cup muffin tin
1. Tart Shells: In a medium-sized mixer bowl, combine flour and salt. Add butter and toss to coat the butter in flour. Using a paddle attachment, mix until butter is broken into pea-sized pieces. Add the cream and mix on low until just combined, being careful not to over-mix. Divide dough in half, and place each half onto a sheet of parchment, form each into a disk, and refrigerate at least 1 hour.
2. Preheat standard oven to 350 degrees. Roll each disc of dough out 1/8" thick. Cut 24, 5" diameter rounds of dough (save extra dough for another use). Place one dough round into each of the 24 unlined muffin cups, pressing to cover bottom and sides. Trim off any excess with paring knife. Chill 30 minutes. Meanwhile, cut 24, 5 inch squares of parchment paper. Prick each tartlet shell with fork, place one parchment square in each tartlet, and cover bottom with dried beans or rice. Bake in preheated oven for 10 to 12 minutes, or until edges begin to turn light brown. Remove from oven, remove paper with beans, and cool completely.
3. Filling: Place cream cheese in medium-sized mixer bowl. Using paddle attachment, mix on low speed to soften. Add sugar and mix on medium speed until fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes. Turn speed down to low, and slowly add egg yolks one at a time, mixing fully after each addition. Add the flour and mix until incorporated. Add the vanilla, apricot puree, and salt. Mix just to combine. Divide filling evenly between the tart shells, filling two thirds to three quarters full. Bake in preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the edges appear firm and the center is still slightly soft. Cool to room temperature, cover, and refrigerate until ready to serve.
4. Sauce: In a large saucepan, combine the water and sugar. Place pan over medium high heat and cook until the mixture is dark golden in color, being careful to swirl the pan rather than stirring. Add butter, balsamic vinegar, cream, and salt, and cook over medium heat to combine flavors and reduce slightly, one minute. Remove from heat and cool. Keep refrigerated until ready to serve.
5. Toffee garnish: In heavy saucepan, melt butter. Add sugar, stirring constantly. Add water and corn syrup. Cook over medium heat, stirring, to hard crack stage (300 degrees F). Remove from heat and stir in vanilla and almonds. Pour into a well buttered disposable pan with sides. Once cool, using a meat mallet or heavy skillet, crush into small pieces for sprinkling as a garnish.
6. Whipped Cream Topping: Place all ingredients expect schnapps in a chilled mixing bowl. Chill 30 minutes. Add schnapps. Beat with whip attachment on medium high speed until mixture holds soft peaks.
7. Plating: Invert tartlets onto a plastic wrap-lined board. Flip tartlets over so filling is on top. If sauce is too thick, place in microwave on low to thin slightly. Drizzle each serving plate with balsamic caramel. Place tart on top of drizzle. Top with a dollop of the whipped cream. Sprinkle with the crumbles of crushed toffee. Serve immediately.