Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Shae Cooks Desserts

I work amongst many talented people and Five & Ten's Pastry Chef Shae Rehmel is certainly one of them. Shae and I go way back, she started working for me at age 19, jumping full force into our bakery. It was clear from the beginning that she had a real knack for the art and science of pastries. Now, after graduating top of her class from New England Culinary Institute and spending several years working in great restaurants all over the country, she has returned to her hometown of Athens, GA and we are fortunate enough to have her in the kitchen at 5 & 10. Shae is never afraid to experiment or try new things but at the same time she has a real sense of place, of what our little town is, who the people are and what comes from the land.

More info on Shae in her own words..

" I love simple rustic foods. I love making breads, crisps tarts and pies. I really enjoy the feel of dough. I also love making Ice Creams. It’s such a comfort food item and there are endless flavor possibilities. "

Shae's Apple Crisp:

8” Pyrex dish
4-6 each tart apples (local if you have them, otherwise granny smith)
½ cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons honey
2 teaspoons lemon
2 tsp fresh ginger (grated)
1 tsp cinnamon
1 pinch salt

1. Preheat oven to 350˚F
2. Peel apples and cut into ¾”cubes (when the crisp bakes they’ll still have some bite to them).
2. Toss in a bowl with all the other ingredients, cover bowl with plastic and set aside
3. Make Streusel (recipe below)
4. Press a thin layer of streusel onto the bottom of the pan
5. Mix the apples together again and fill the dish
6. Pack streusel on top to create a nice crust
7. Bake on a sheet pan in the oven for 45 minutes to 1 hour until top is brown and some juices are bubbling up

2 cups All purpose flour
½ cup Brown sugar (packed)
¾ cup Granulated sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
1 ½ sticks Butter (cubed and cold)
¾ cup oats

1. Mix first four dry ingredients together
2. Cut butter in (either by had or with paddle in mixer)
3. When this has just started to come together and form clumps stop mixing
4. Toss the oats in and break up any large clumps

Photo by Rinne Allen

While Shae can certainly churn out a rocking apple crisp, it is her macaroons that are stealing the show right now. NPR claims Macaroons to be the new Cupcakes (click here to listen). Check in tomorrow for pictures from Shae's Macaroon Class and a recipe or two.
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