Perfecting Pastry with John Whaite

I was absolutely blown away when Mark revealed that my birthday present this year was a day at John Whaite’s Kitchen learning how to make pastry. In case you’ve been living in a cave, John Whaite won the Great British Bake Off a few years ago – a series perhaps best remembered for the gingerbread colosseum he made.

So I rolled up on a beautiful Sunday morning to a farm in Wrightington to meet John and six other bakers who would be spending the day together… on reflection, it’s amazing how much we actually made in such a short space of time but that was in no small part made possible by John’s sister who spent the whole day efficiently clearing up after us!

We began by learning how to make rough puff pastry and then moved on to sweet and savoury shortcrust. With these, we then went on to make a pear frangipane tart, a Lancashire cheese, asparagus and bacon quiche, Portuguese custard tarts and Eccles cakes. Quite the haul!

As we finished cooking, we all then sat down to lunch of homemade soups and salads, plus some of the quiche… and then we stuffed ourselves senseless with Eccles cakes. Not a bad way to spend the day. I also managed to sneak a peak at his new book, Perfect Plates in 5 Ingredients, which isn’t out until April…

And just to prove that I did actually meet the man, here’s a picture of me gurning with excitement.

Pastry class: complete!

A photo posted by Paul B (@paulopadopalos) on