How Puff Pastry helped me overcome my Math Disability

I was never good at math in school. My poor dad would sit with me for hours going over my math assignments step by step until…well, I still don’t get it. He used to have lots of dark, dark hair. He now has lots and lots of grey hair. I am responsible for this. Sorry, Dad. (Although, it does look good!)

I just could not grasp the importance of two trains going so many miles per hour and the “Susans” and “Matthews” trying to get to their destinations on said trains going so many miles per hour and calculating who would arrive first if one train started off later than the other, but the other broke down but was repaired in so many minutes.
For all I know, Susan and Matthew got off the stupid trains years ago , hitchhiked to a little town, met at the local coffee shoppe and got married. They have twelve grandkids now and own the train station.

In light of all this, I think I have a Math Disability. The neurons in my brain misfire when calculations enter and they just shoot at each other. It’s all out war when I try to think Math. My head hurts.

So, what do my failures at math have to do with puff pastry? Well, time is counting down to our ‘grocery day’ (oh, happy day), and we have been s t r e t c h i n g every last ingredient in this house until then. Yesterday, as I stared into the empty vortex that is my fridge, I found the following hodgepodge: a little ricotta, one zucchini, some frozen peas and carrots, a chuck roast (frozen solid…ok, so dinner for another day), a couple eggs, a capri sun, 8 oz of cream cheese, a handful of mozzarella, julienned carrots from Trader Joe’s and and of course, flour and butter. That’s about it. Really. And then, something in my memory clicked. When I first discovered La Tartine Gourmande, one of the first few posts I read featured this beauty. I knew I had to make this someday! Yesterday was that day. I could not believe that I had almost every ingredient for this recipe (with a few modifications, such as julienned carrots instead of leeks).

But first, the puff pastry. I had to make puff pastry for this recipe. I have NEVER made puff pastry and was honestly quite intimidated. I yelled at myself to get over myself and out of necessity, to stop all the yelling, got over my fear. Here comes the math part. Bea wrote her recipe in grams. We don’t do grams here. We do cups and dashes and teaspoons. No grams. Shoot! I had to convert measurements.

  • 400 g flour
  • 250 g butter (room temp. but not too soft)
  • Salt
  • Water

The water and salt conversions were no problem, and after a few moments (ok, hours.) (just kidding!), I did it. I converted. And even halved my conversions for the dough because I only had half the amount of butter called for.

  • 400 g flour = 16 oz = 3 cups
  • 250 g butter (room temp. but not too soft) =10 oz = 1 cup and 2 Tablespoons
  • Salt= salt
  • Water = water

Voila! I followed the instructions, beginning in the late morning, completed my beautiful puff pastry,

Prepared the toppings for the Green Vegetable Tart, baked at 450 degrees Farenheit and another Voila! Behold – Dinner:

I have overcome my Math Disability and can now make a mean tart in grams, thank you very much.

My Dad would be proud.

8 thoughts on “How Puff Pastry helped me overcome my Math Disability

  1. whew! i’m glad you helped me with those salt and water conversions…i was stumped!

    and is that your pizza stone in those last two pictures?!?!?!?!? HOW oh HOW did you get it to look so nice? mine’s all blotchy and gross looking.

  2. haha! i amaze even myself…

    and my stone is so pretty because i use it at all times for all things. i make cereal on it. that turns out kind messy, though.

  3. Beautiful! Ahah, sorry I have to put the instructions in both measurements šŸ˜‰ But eheh, you solved a math problem, so maybe I should hire you as my consultant! šŸ˜‰
    Your tart looks gorgeous!

  4. The tart (much like Bea’s) looks lovely! I’ve been on a bit of a tart bender lately, but I haven’t gotten around to making my own puff pastry yet. Will have to give that a shot!

  5. Well, you certainly got over the math-thing AND puff-pastry-making in one fell and glorious swoop! I am stunned. Really. I can’t do math, or make puff pastry.

  6. thanks, everybody, for your kind comments. when the love i put into my food preparation is felt and enjoyed….even by people far away!…it makes it all worthwhile, and inspires me to do more!

    so thanks for inspiring me and taking time to comment here. šŸ™‚

  7. Oh, I sympathize all too well–with both the math curse and stretching ingredients (after all, I am unemployed, as my blog states). What a completely lovely tart! You’re inspiring me to try my hand at puff pastry, myself.

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