*Lemon Curd and Fresh Fruit Pie*
Earlier this week my roommate Kristin and I attended a savory and sweet pie-making class at Ger-Nis Culinary and Herb Center in the Gowanus neighborhood of Brooklyn. Apparently Ger-Nis offered up some pretty awesome Groupon and Living Social deals earlier this year and Kristin bought a bunch so we took advantage of one before they expired!
This specific class, savory and sweet pie-making, was taught by the lovely Ashton Keefe who is literally a jack of all trades when it comes to the culinary industry… you name it, she probably does it! But besides her expertise, the girl is funny, smart and super sweet. This being an “amateur” cooking class, Ashton could not have been more patient with the class of roughly 20 people…. and more inclusive of everyone who was in attendance. With my “professional” background in cooking I spent most of the time in the shadows watching and listening…..perhaps this wasn’t the best class for me to attend with my weekly pie making, but I had a great time and learned a few things from Ashton!
We immediately rolled up our sleeves, donned an apron and got to work. The first thing you notice is the kitchen… omg it is the kitchen of my dreams (see below); it had EVERYTHING you could possibly dream of from hundreds of kitchen utensils to what seemed like thousands of spices. As you can see it’s also not your typical NYC kitchen, in fact it’s anything but typical. I spent a good amount of time dreaming of all the things I could do if this was my home kitchen….but sadly I had to go back to reality and back to the class.
The class was basically an intro to pie-making and Ashton taught us how to make pate sucree (sweet pastry dough) and pate brisee (a versatile dough that can be used for savory and sweet) for use in the sweet and savory pies we would be making. On the menu that night was a variety of glazes (ginger/honey, herb/honey, and cherry), curds (herb and lemon), almond fillings, squash tartlets, and a crab and corn em”pie”nada (my term, I love it, don’t use it…I’m trying to trademark it for future use). After cooking each pie, we chowed down and mingled where not surprisingly I made some great new friends :).
Ger-Nis is exactly what this city needs….a community focused culinary center that mixes demonstrations and hands-on classes. Even better is the low price-point, many of the culinary schools (including my alma mater) are very expensive for one-off classes and Ger-Nis provides a refreshing reality where you can afford to go regularly and not just for special occasions! I have been mulling over the idea of starting my own little cooking class in my home kitchen and after going to Ger-Nis, I became inspired to actually put this into motion….stay tuned.
540 President Street (between 3rd and 4th Avenue) *Brooklyn