Paula Peck....The Martha Stewart of days gone by
I found my copy at a local library book sale. The cover is well loved, but from what I understand, the recipes found in the book are also well loved. I haven't made anything from it yet, but I plan to.....soon.
I tried to find out more about Ms. Peck, but alas, not too much comes up in searching. The book apparently is a little too hard to find in it's original hardback form, but Amazon has listed a paperback version. (You can always click on the title of each blog entry to find where you can purchase a copy of the book...or the closest I can find.)
With recipes for puff paste and strudel, petits fours glaces and pound cakes - every sophisticated dessert and pastry the heart desires - Paula Peck introduces readers to the art of fine baking. For far too long The Art of Fine Baking has been out of print and unavailable. The Cook's Classic Library edition of this timeless classic belongs in the kitchen of every serious cook.
The book flap tells a little bit about her, but, in all honesty it just brings more questions of who she was.
"Paula Peck was born in New York, where she lives today (1961) with her husband, James, and young sons Sam and Charles. She has contributed recipes to, and had her pastries photographed for, The New York Times and Life, and has taught at the James Beard Cooking School, where she first shared with others her revolutionary ideas for home baking. Mr. Beard writes: "Her enthusiam for the work table and range is refreshing. Her way to combat fatigue and worry is to get into the kitchen and turn out a hundred or so croissants or two or three batches of puff paste with all embellisments. She is an outstanding juggler with rolling pin and mixing bowl, and the magic results fill her larder and freezer to overflowing. Her home is an oasis for hungry traveleers and guests, for there is always enough delectable food in her kitchen to serve a good-sized party."Whipped Cream
1 Cup Heavy cream
2 Tablespoon Fine granulated sugar
1 Teaspoon Vanilla
Cream for whipping should be at least 1 day old. It can be kept in the refrigerator in a sealed container for more than a week. Before being whipped it should be very cold. In hot weather the bowl and beater should also be chilled.
Using a well chilled bowl, or setting the bowl over ice, beat cream with an electric mixer or rotary egg beater. As cream begins to thicken, beat in sugar and vanilla. Continue beating until stiff.
If not to be served at once, place in refrigerator, where it may be kept 2-3 hours.
The Yield From A Cup of Cream Can Be Increased (with a very slight difference in texture) by adding 1 egg white to each cup of whipped and flavored cream. Beat the egg white until it holds soft peaks. Sprinkle in 1 1/2 tablespoon granulated sugar. Continue beating til very stiff. Fold into whipped cream.
To Prepare Whipped Cream A Day or Two Ahead of Time: Soften 1/2 teaspoon granulated gelatin (for each cup of cream to be whipped) in a small metal cup containing a tablespoon of cold water. Set cup in a pan of boiling water or over low heat, until gelatin dissolves and looks clear. Stirring is unneccessary.
Beat dissolved gelatin into the cream just as cream begins to thicken. Gelatin will also give whipped cream extra firmness so it can be used for decorating with a pastry bag.
Flavoring Whipped Cream: To each cup of whipped cream, 1 of the following flavorings can be added: 2 tb sifted dark, unsweetened cocoa, 2-4 tb rum, cognac, or any liquer, 1/2 c nougat powder, 1 ts instant coffee powder. Fold flavorings into cream AFTER it has been whipped.