Joe Pastry

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There are thousands of cooking blogs -- each week, we bring you highlights from the best. This week, we've got tarts on the brain.

Pear Galette


Who is Joe Pastry? "A guy who believes that if a man feels like whipping up a nice almond cocoa genoise or a few madeleines, well ... he should be able to do so." He's not afraid to throw together anything from homemade doughnuts to dog biscuits, and show us how to do the same. And his blog, Joe Pastry (one that even Harold McGee might find himself poking through), is a library of helpful baking techniques, history and science.

Joe himself started baking in a serious way when, while working in advertising, he was diagnosed with stage four lymphoma. At the suggestion of a chef friend, he turned to pastry for a healthy dose of positivity. "So far I've enjoyed a decade of full remission and indulgence in something I love to do," Joe told us. "I started the blog, after a baking business I started in Louisville failed, specifically on basic techniques and preparations, since there seemed to be so little of that out in the blogosphere."

Eclairs  Jelly Roll

Filling this void, Joe brings us Joe Pastry, his sweet and doughy doppelganger. "From the beginning, I promised myself that if I was going to start a blog, I was going to treat it like a job," claims Joe. True to his word, Joe Pastry is the Rolls-Royce of pastry blogs, a veritable dessert tray of tips, techniques, recipes, and discussion about all things baked.

The recipes are the clear heart of the website, each accompanied by an exquisite slideshow of Joe's process (no step left behind!). His instructional captions take you through an elaborate Buche de Noel or Joe's current favorite, jelly doughnuts, ensuring success for elementary and expert bakers alike. With late winter tarts on our minds, we're delving into Joe's pastry section: Cornish Pasties! Galette des Rois! Rehrucken! Bakers, sharpen those pencils and get ready to take notes! Let Joe be your inspiration in this week's special contest, and mitts off to all of you rolling, pinching, piping, and egg-washing your sweet way to victory!

Coffee Cake Twist  Measuring Pastry Paper for Paris-Brest