Bake It Until You Make It: Inside an Escoffier Online Course

If you’ve ever been to a bake sale or picnic, you’ve likely made a pie. My time came last Thanksgiving. Having never baked anything more complicated than cookies, it was no surprise when my pecan pie cooled to the consistency of concrete. Some advice? If an event calls for pie, learn how to do it right. And if you don’t have time to perfect your pâte sucrée in culinary school, don’t fret. Enter: Escoffier Online.

Having failed at my Turkey Day dessert, I enrolled in a course on Cookies, Pies, and Tarts, hoping to turn my game around for 2014. Here’s how it played out:

Escoffier Culinary Courses

The course consisted of overviews, basic food-science lessons, video demonstrations, full recipes, and quizzes. I kneaded, folded, and creamed my way through apple and pecan pies, framboise ganache tarts, and scones, committing liquid-sugar-flour ratios to memory as I went. (Tip: Keep your work space immaculate, especially if you have a cramped kitchen like mine. Every inch of counter space counts.)

Although you may be the only student physically in the room, chat rooms allow “classmates” to connect and discuss techniques and troubleshooting, and to share pictures of their finished products. And just like in a live setting, students submit photos of their work, from their mise en place to their plating techniques, for instructors to review. As for me? Top marks aside, there are several months left to perfect my pecan pie. Though I’m not quite there yet, trying has sure tasted good.

Ready to enroll? Our Escoffier Online International Culinary Academy Boutique opens Wednesday, April 9, at 11AM ET.

By Lindsay Lambert, Editor

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April 9, 2014