Lara and Tom
Give your dessert a clever name — and tell us about your recipe.
Autumn Harvest Pithivier. We've been working hard to bring in and preserve the harvest from our garden, so our pithivier is an homage to the harvest. For the filling, we started with fresh apples and chunks of Sheboygan sausage for a blend of sweet and savory. Then we added in onion, red pepper, mushrooms and garlic. We spiced the mix with parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme, as well as a dash of maple syrup to bring out the sweetness of the apples. The end result was quite delicious and may become a regular supper dish whether or not we take the time to go all out with puff pastry. This was our first time making puff pastry. We used a puff pastry dough recipe from Epicurious, by an author who claimed to have learned her techniques as an apprentice in a French bakery. With her guidance we achieved a beautiful bake!
What was the biggest surprise during your baking journey? Did you use any unconventional approaches? What did you learn along the way? Tell us about it!
We were surprised by how many steps were involved in making puff pastry. The process seems similar to making bread — the steps are fairly simple, but lots of patience is required! We ended up taking three days to make our pithivier in order to work around our busy schedules. Thankfully puff pastry dough does well with extended periods of refrigeration. Our pithivier puffed up nicely, with a golden crust and crispy base – no soggy bottoms here!
How did you add a Wisconsin twist to your flavors or decoration?
This weekend we went up to Door County and enjoyed a beautiful bike ride beside trees laden with red apples and fields full of golden sunflowers. We designed our Autumn Harvest Pithivier in the shape of a sunflower. We thought that the sunflower shape was a great way of showing the transition into fall, while wrapping up all of our local Wisconsin ingredients.
How did you do?
I participated in all 10 Great Wisconsin Baking challenges this summer — I’m a Star Baker!