Layers ~ Pastry Metaphor

Peach Hand Pies

Please excuse my ramble today…accept my permission to scroll down to photos and recipe links and skip my philosophical meandering!

I saw this Daily Post prompt,  Layers, a few weeks ago and meant to write a post then. But Life interrupted and put me on another track. It’s happening a lot lately. Not necessarily bad or good events, just Life.

Life sometimes takes us by the shoulders and re-directs us or holds us back temporarily. We can’t let it restrict us, but we can accept it’s re-direction and adapt while still working towards our goals. It’s a lesson my husband and I have worked hard to ensure our kids understand and learn to navigate. Each lesson adds a layer to Life. It’s a lesson that as an adult, I sometimes forget.

I like to cook, bake and make food partly because it’s something I can control (well, most of the time anyway). It’s also something that makes people feel good. It adds a rewarding layer to my Life that is always there, even when Life isn’t cooperating!

Ok…end of philosophical meandering.

When I saw the prompt “Layers”, it made me think of puff pastry (my literal brain finding a food related comparison). My train of thought then flowed to my most recent food related purchase. A hand crafted wood rolling pin, made the old fashioned way with tapered ends and no handles. Layers of wood, compounded over time to create something strong and naturally beautiful.

I purchased it on the 4th of July on the way home from a family reunion in Kentucky.   Huge thanks to my Kentucky relatives for hosting the reunion, the food was delicious and the company even better!

Rolling Pin

Puff pastry and rolling pin; two food-related objects literally composed of layers. The rolling pin helping to transform the ingredients from just flour and butter into puff pastry.

cherry marzipan pastry

~Rough Puff Hand Pie with Cherry Jam and Marzipan Filling~

That is just how Life is, layers of experiences combining to impact an individual, sometimes imperfectly. Life is never perfect. It’s the imperfections that enhance the layers, lending unique qualities that make us better.

And you thought I was done philosophizing!

Here’s a link to my rough puff pastry recipe, used last summer in my Peach Hand Pies post. I like the rough puff recipe for hand pies best after testing comparisons with regular pie crust. It holds up to the moisture from the fruit so you don’t get soggy pies. Those layers again, they provide structure.

You can make the hand pies with any filling you want, even peanut butter and jelly! Here are some links to jam and filling recipes to try:

Blueberry Jam

Blue Cranberry Jam

Strawberry Vanilla Jam

Low Sugar Peach Jam

The cherry jam I used in the photo above is the same recipe as the Strawberry Vanilla Jam linked above. I simply substituted fresh pitted cherries, let them cook down a little longer, and left out the vanilla.

I picked up the handcrafted rolling pin from the Kentucky Artisan Center in Berea and have already used it for puff pastry, pasta, biscuits and pie crust. I love that the lack of handles means I can better control direction and stop the rolling action to prevent compression of the dough at the ends. Compression ruins the layers. All right, now I really am done philosophizing!

Baked Hand Pies

If you are traveling on I-75 in Kentucky, I recommend stopping at the Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea for a brief rest from driving.  It’s a beautiful, clean facility. The café provides a nice respite from road food and you won’t be able to tear yourself away from the shop!