Pastry Masterclass with Annie Smithers

Yesterday all my christmas’s had come at once, I was literally beside myself with excitement – I was off to do a masterclass in Pastry.  I had enrolled in Annie Smither’s Masterclass a few months back and the time had come to travel to her beautiful farm in Malmsbury rural Victoria.  The weather wasn’t fantastic but that certainly didn’t damper my spirits.

If you don’t know, Annie Smithers is the wonderful chef behind du fermier in Trentham Victoria.  Her ethos is paddock to plate – honest french farmhouse cooking.  Her 1 acre farm garden supplies 90% of the restaurants fruit, eggs and vegetables.  She also bakes all her bread and pastries for the restaurant.

The masterclass is held in her home, which is a gorgeous little miners cottage that oozes character and charm.  Annie and Daniel were very welcoming and encouraging as the 8 eager students sat down to watch Annie perform her magic in her kitchen.

Annie demonstrated how to make:

Pâté Brisee, Pâté Sucree, Lard pastry, Puff pastry and Choux pastry.

I was mesmerised with how easy she made it look.  Below are my hand written notes

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It was such an eye opener to see that all the rules about being delicate with pastry isn’t always the case.  Annie made you understand through demonstration, how easy it is to create something wonderful.  The emphasis was on practice, practice practice.  Learn from your mistakes and just have fun.

We then broke for a break, we all had wander around her beautiful garden, albeit in the rain, whilst Annie made us a wonderful lunch.  I forgot to also mention that she has two wonderful cats and a very lovely Cairn Terrier called Tommy, we were all hanging about to give them a cuddle.

Here is a beautiful example of the produce grown by Annie in her wonderful garden.

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If you are at all interested in sharpening your cooking skills, have a look at www.dufermier.com.au – masterclasses for Annie’s Schedule.  It is a very relaxing day with great company, fantastic food and lots of tips and tricks to encourage you to be a better home cook.

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