Market Chef : Laura Widener
Ok, so if you haven’t heard of PastryGirl yet you’re probably living under a rock. Or outside of Portland. With 1,000 + Facebook followers and a seriously loyal fanbase on yelp, PastryGirl Laura Widener has quickly become one of the Montavilla nieghborhood’s most loved food superstars. And deservedly so! Chances are, if you’re reading this blog you’ve been to the neighborhood before – maybe you even live there. And chances are, if you’ve been to the area, you’ve tried one of Wideners’ irresistible treats.
A knack for fun and an artists touch give Ms. Wideners shop and creations a whimsy and spark that draws people to her adorable Stark St. shop from all over the city! No special day goes un-celebrated at Pastrygirl, be it Butterbeer fairy cakes and Chocolate Frogs with peppermint cream for the Harry Potter premiere weekend, tea and scones with lemon curd, mascarpone and pear butter for the Royal Wedding or rose panna cotta with Beelzebub Bee honeyed strawberry salad in honor of the Rose Festival, Laura makes things just so for each and every little occasion.
Widener baked her first cake at just 8 years old, so I’d argue that there is little doubt that owning and operating a gorgeous shop like the one she has now was her ultimate destiny from very early on. Baking was initially a hobby for her, a way to cheer herself up on a gloomy day. As she says “You can’t help but smile with a cupcake in your hand!”. Eventually she found her way to the Culinary Arts Program at the Art Institute of Seattle, where she was drawn because of the emphasis on the idea of food as art form.
Following graduation, she came to Portland to work under local hero Greg Higgins, who was a tremendously influential mentor. PastryGirl is the ultimate realization of her passions – working with her hands, the joys of baking and sugary confection, whimsy, celebration and fun. Come see her Chef Demo-it-up at the Montavilla Market! In the meantime, stop by her shop and grab a treat, follow the shop on twitter and facebook, and for goodness sakes make yourself these dreamylicious scones!
See you at the market!
- 3 cups flour
- ½ cup sugar
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 Tb. baking powder
- -4 cold butter, cut into small pieces
- 2 ea eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla
- enough heavy cream to add to eggs to equal 1 cup.
- Yield = 12 scones
- Preheat oven to 350.
In a small bowl lightly whisk together eggs, cream and vanilla. In a medium bowl mix together all the dry ingredients. Cut butter into dry ingredients until it resembles a oatmeal texture. If using fruit mix it in now. Make a well in the center and pour in egg/cream mixture. With a fork mix the flour into the egg mixture until almost blended. Turn out onto a work surface and gently push dough together until it sticks and comes together. Separate dough in half, shape into 2 disks about ¾ of an inch thick. If desired brush disks with a paste made of sugar and cream. Cut each disk into 6 equal pieces, transfer to a cookie sheet and bake for 15 to 20 minutes. Scones will feel soft but hold it’s shape.
Feel free to add about ½ cup of your favorite dried fruit and/or nuts just before you add the cream/egg mixture.
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