Martine's Pastries, 1039 Industry Road, is the only Kentucky bakery to be named one of the Top 63 Pastry Pros in the United States by Martha Stewart Weddings.
The list is published in the spring edition of Martha Stewart Real Weddings Special Issue, available on newsstands.
"To have earned the renown from among so many skilled cake designers is gratifying for everyone on the team at Martine's," pastry chef/owner Martine Holzman said. Call (859) 231-9110 or go to Martinespastries.com.
Festival makes it official
Old 502 Winery in Louisville has been selected as the official wine partner for the Forecastle music festival.
"Old 502's award- winning wines will be offered throughout the Forecastle venue and will be showcased in the festival's Kentucky Landing area as Kentucky's only urban winery," events and marketing director Pam Leet said.
Forecastle Festival will be July 18 to 20 at Louisville's Waterfront Park. Old 502 is at 120 South 10th Street. Go to Old502.com and Forecastlefest.com.
Berries on the late side
In Central Kentucky, fresh strawberries usually arrive in mid-May. Bluegrass Farmers Market has a few berries, but it will be another week before they're in full production, according to market spokesperson Karin Rasmussen.
"It has been a cold spring, and growth has been slow," University of Kentucky horticulturist John Strang said. Some growers are picking their fist matted row strawberries this week.
The most popular way we celebrate the strawberry is with strawberry shortcake. The dessert even has its own day — June 14.
Strawberry grower Driscoll is teaming with cookbook author and baker Dorie Greenspan to update the traditional shortcake recipe that dates to the 1800s.
Greenspan said she likes to "add something, often a background flavor, that's fascinating, something people will love but find hard to place. With these shortcakes, the mystery ingredient is rose. I gently flavor the strawberry compote and the whipped cream with rose. It's not obvious, but it is delicious and it makes the shortcakes even more irresistible."
Double-strawberry and rose shortcakes
Store bought candied rose petals
For strawberry compote:
3/4 pound (about 3 cups) strawberries, hulled
11/2 tablespoons sugar
3/4 teaspoon pure rose extract
For lemon-buttermilk biscuits:
11/2 tablespoons sugar (plus more for sprinkling)
Freshly grated zest of 1 lemon
2 cups all-purpose flour (plus more for dusting)
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
3/4 cup cold buttermilk
For whipped cream:
1 cup very cold heavy cream
2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar, sifted
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3/4 teaspoon pure rose extract
1 tablespoon cold sour cream, optional
Red or pink food coloring
1/2 to 3/4 pound (about 2 to 3 cups) strawberries, hulled
To make strawberry compote: Coarsely chop berries and toss them into a small saucepan with sugar. Place pan over medium heat and cook, stirring, for 5 to 8 minutes, or until juices are slightly thickened and syrupy. Scrape berries and syrup into a bowl, stir in rose extract and cool to room temperature. (You may make the compote up to 3 days ahead and keep it covered in the refrigerator.)
To make biscuits: Center a rack in the oven and preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Put sugar and lemon zest in a large bowl and, working with your fingertips, rub ingredients together until sugar is moist and fragrant. Add remaining dry ingredients to bowl and whisk to combine. Drop in pieces of cold butter and, again using your fingertips, crush, rub and blend in the butter. You'll have flakes of butter and small pieces, and this is just right. Pour cold buttermilk over mixture, switch to a fork and toss and stir everything together until milk is absorbed — your dough might look like curds, but that's fine. Don't stir too much, too vigorously or for too long and if there are a few dry spots in the bottom of the bowl, ignore them. Reach into bowl and knead dough gently, folding it over on itself and turning it over 6 to 8 times.
Dust work surface lightly with flour, turn out dough and, still using your hands, pat out dough until it is 1/2 inch thick. (The thickness is what's important here.) Using a high-sided 2 inch cutter, cut out biscuits and place them on baking sheet. Pat scraps together until they're 1/2 inch thick and cut out as many more biscuits as you can. (The leftover dough may be cut into biscuits, but they won't rise as high or as evenly as the others — you can keep them as your baker's treat).
Bake 15 to18 minutes, or until biscuits have risen and their tops and bottoms are golden brown. Transfer baking sheet to a cooling rack and allow biscuits to cool until they reach room temperature. (The biscuits may be made up to 6 hours ahead; keep them uncovered at room temperature.)
To make whipped cream: Working with an electric mixer, beat cream just until it mounds softly. Still beating, add sugar, followed by vanilla and rose extracts. When cream is fully whipped and holds firm peaks, quickly beat in sour cream, if you're using it. To tint cream, beat in just one drop of coloring; continue, adding coloring a tiny drop at a time until you get the shade of pink you want. (The whipped cream may be made up to 3 hours ahead and kept tightly covered in the refrigerator; whisk a couple of times before using.)
To make topping: Just before you're ready to put the shortcakes together, stand the berries up and, using a thin-bladed knife, cut each berry into 4 or 5 thin slices.
To assemble shortcakes: If you'd like to pipe the whipped cream, spoon it into a pastry bag fitted with an open star or plain tip, or spoon cream into a zip-lock plastic bag and snip off a corner. Alternatively, you may spoon on the cream.
Slice off top of biscuit to create an even surface for piping the cream. Save the tops to nibble on later. Put a teaspoonful strawberry compote and syrup in the center of each biscuit. Pipe (or spoon) a circle of whipped cream around the compote, leaving a bit of compote uncovered. Finish each shortcake by pressing two or three slices of strawberry together, fanning them out a little and placing them, broad side down, in the center of each cake. Add a rose petal for the finishing touch. (If you have any extra compote and/or cream, cover and keep in the refrigerator to enjoy at another time.)
To serve: Arrange shortcakes on a platter. Scatter remaining rose petals around the platter and serve immediately.