Monday, September 26, 2005

Divina's Delightful!

My fellow Francophile, Mary, and I paid a late afternoon visit to Findlay Market, Cincinnati's answer to Washington, D.C.'s Eastern Market, yesterday. Mary told me excitedly that when she had been there last, she had stopped by a vendor's stall called Divine Delights Bakery and Patisserie. She spoke enthusiastically about its proprietor/chef, a Filipina lady named Divina Garvin.

Divina is a charming, friendly woman with a warm smile who is more than happy to take the time to converse with you about her art, if she isn't inundated with shoppers eager to buy her wares, that is! She and her husband Mahlon have travelled extensively through Europe, the United States, Canada, Jamaica, Mexico and Tokyo studying and experiencing diversified cultures and tasting the local food of the recognized culinary Meccas. She has professional training from the Culinary Arts Institute of America's schools in Greystone, CA and Hyde Park, NY, the l'École Lenôtre in Paris, France and the International School of Confectionery in Gaithersburg, MD. She is the former pastry chef at the 4-star Palace Restaurant at the Cincinnatian Hotel (green-apple tart with mascarpone cream) and has also worked at Chez Alphonse, the Dayton Country Club and Elegant Fare Catering.

Mary raves about Divina's divine gourmet pastries and desserts -- now if only we can convince her to add real French macarons to her repertoire. Until then, her award-winning recipe for Green Apple Pie will have to do!
Findlay Market Bake-Off
1st Place -- Apple Pie
Recipe by Divina Garvin

3 lbs. Granny Smith Apples (peeled, cored, sliced, cut into 10ths)
1 cup water
1 tsp. cinnamon
3 star anise seeds
¼ tsp. vanilla extract
¼ cup cold water
2 Tbsp. cornstarch
1 ¼ cup granulated sugar
¼ tsp. nutmeg
Pinch of salt

Combine water, granulated sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, star anise, and pinch of salt to boiling point. Add apples, cook slowly for 10 minutes, and then add vanilla extract. Combine cold water and cornstarch; add to the hot mixture of apples. Cook for 5 minutes longer, stir gently. Set aside for pie shell. Pick the star anise seed out of the mixture.

Pie Dough

8 oz. butter, unsalted
4 oz. sugar, granulated
1 oz. almond flour
1 whole egg
8 oz. all purpose flour

Cream sugar and butter then add almond flour to incorporate. Add whole egg, then the all purpose flour to incorporate. Wrap the dough and refrigerate until it is ready to use. Roll dough to ¼ in., form into pie-pan, and bake at 350°F for 10-12 minutes to a very light golden color.

Assembly: Once the pie crust is cooled down, fill with the apple mixture. Roll the top pie dough to fit the top and seal the edges. Sprinkle the course crystal sugar on top of the pie dough. Bake at 450°F for 20 minutes, then reduce heat to 350°F and bake for 25-30 minutes. Serve with vanilla ice cream.

Divine Delights Bakery and Patisserie
Findlay Market
118 Market House
Cincinnati, OH 45202
Phone: (937) 830-3320
Hours: Weds 8 am-5 pm; Fri 8 am-5 pm; Sat 8 am-6 pm; Sun 11 am-4 pm