For those who absolutely love pastries, their day is about to get all the more delicious! Now is the perfect time to observe everything delightful and tasty that has to do with National Pastry Day.
So for anyone who ever needs an excuse to grab a croissant before work or keep the hunger pangs at bay in the afternoon with a cheeky slice of apple pie, this day just hands that excuse to them on a silver platter!
History of National Pastry Day
The first ever pastries are believed to date way back into ancient times when the likes of the ancient Romans and Greeks made filo-style pastries as meals as well as treats. The main ingredients found in pastries in these hot countries were flour, oil, and honey, which would not melt easily in the heat of the day.
In many cultures this has been carried forward and people still have these kinds of treats today. One of the most well-known is the Turkish favorite Baklava, a sweet pastry made from filo-type pastry, nuts, and delightful drizzles of honey.
In medieval times, things got a bit more serious when pastry chefs came on the scene, using shortening and butter to make a thicker, more robust pastry that is still frequently seen in pies. Pastry became quite the business, with demand for pies and sweets always high amongst royalty and peasants alike.
Because of its versatility, pastry has gone through many different versions and varieties expressed in many ways based on geography and culture, but its essence still remains mostly the same. Throughout the years, plenty of pastry types have emerged; choux, danish, phyllo (which is more commonly known as ‘filo’ pastry), and on the back of that, hundreds of delicious pastry-based treats!
Pastry chefs are still a big thing, too. This is perhaps even more than they were back in medieval times. Employed in some of the biggest, fanciest hotels in the world, pastry chefs are in charge of making cakes and sweets and, of course, classic pastry desserts.
The roots of celebrating National Pastry Day aren’t easy to find, but there’s no doubt that such a delicious foodstuff deserves its own observance!
How to Celebrate National Pastry Day
This day couldn’t be easier to find ways to celebrate it! Try out some of these interesting ideas or come up with creative ways of your own to enjoy National Pastry Day:
Enjoy a Pastry from a Local Bakery
Since National Pastry Day falls in the month of December, it’s an especially good time to find delicious pastries and baked goods at the bakery. Pop into a local bakery and grab an apple turnover, a flaky pastry pie or perhaps a cinnamon roll. The amount of pastries up for grabs is almost endless; vanilla slices, profiteroles, strudel, Danish pastries, pies with all kinds of fillings, baklava, quiche, eclairs, or even a Cornish pasty – there’s plenty to choose from no matter what type of meal a person is hungry for.
Try Making Pastry at Home
For those who are feeling adventurous, try making a pie or other type of pastry treat from scratch. Those who feel like they are quite the avid cook could even take a stab at the challenging filo or choux pastry!
One of the simplest pastries to make is a basic pie crust that can be filled with all kinds of different things, from fruit to a savory meat and gravy concoction.
With only three ingredients (flour, butter or shortening, and cold water) it’s not a complicated recipe at all. All that is required is to cut the cold butter into the flour with a pastry blender (or use two knives) until the pieces in the mixture are the size of small peas.
Then add the ice-cold water a spoonful at a time, carefully blending with a fork and adding more water until the pastry pulls away from the side of the bowl. The key is to avoid overworking the pastry from this point or it will become tough. Plus, the colder the dough is, the flakier the crust will be.
Roll the pastry out into the desired shape, fill with delicious fillings (whether choosing sweet or savory), and bake until golden brown and flaky. Enjoy!
Take a Pastry Making Class
Those who don’t feel super confident in their pastry-making skills might consider taking a course at a local cooking school or community college. Those who want to become full-fledged pastry chef will probably need a couple of years of training and then some apprenticeship experience before becoming a professional. But, many people take culinary courses just for the fun of it!
In a pastry-making class, students will learn various skills, such as:
- Baking and Pastry Arts Skills. Learn how to take basic recipes and execute them in a way that causes mouths to water
- Recipe Development and Execution. Following a recipe is great, but learning how to be creative and make your own is even better.
- Attention to Detail. Whether measuring ingredients, clarifying oven temperatures or separating eggs from yolks, the key to making pastry is in the details.
- Time Management. One of the most important skills in the kitchen is getting the timing right so that everything comes out when it should.
Share Pastry Treats with Loved Ones
No matter what, be sure to enjoy these sweet or savory treats with various friends, neighbors, family or workmates. Or eat all of them to yourself – it will be our little secret!