People love the pastries that we provide to each new party that comes to the Pastry Ranch. Arriving to a fresh, homemade baked good is a wonderful welcoming treat that we’re happy to provide, and almost every comment we receive on the Airbnb and HomeAway reviews mentions the pastries.
What do we make, and how do we decide to make them? Well, that’s a little tougher to explain. Jim is an avid baker with a love for trying new things and exploring cookbooks. Invariably he’s drawn to French farmhouse cooking and baking, with a little bit of a Parisian patisserie thrown in. Frequently, what he decides to make for new guests depends on what’s in the house, what he’s been reading lately, a technique he’d like to try, or a combination of all of the above.
So in recent weeks our guests have arrived to creampuffs. A lemon tart that, shockingly, uses the entire lemon, rind and all, ground to a pulp in the blender and then balanced with sugar and cream and eggs. It is nothing short of sensational for lemon lovers. Chocolate tarts with a chocolate-graham cracker crust, just for the fun of smushing those crumbly crumbs into the tart pans and getting them to set (no easy task). Strawberry tarts utilizing the incredible fruit that appears at Oregon farmers markets in the late spring and only lasts for a few weeks. And Kris’s banana bread when she gets in the mood.
We haven’t begun to take requests yet, but if people tell us ahead of time that they’re gluten free or have other special needs, we try to accommodate. And then we start thinking about clafoutis, custards, flans, teacakes made with almond flour and chocolate . . . uh oh, I feel a bake coming on.