In the Kitchen: Nutmeg Bakeshop
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A sweet and inviting aroma of buttery, sugary goodness greets you as soon as you open the door to Nutmeg Bakeshop. Mmmmmmmmm. The friendly, simple space at the south end of Newmarket's historic Main Street is reminiscent of a bakery from the past:  Fresh white walls, a large chalkboard detailing today's specials, a single glass case filled with goodies, exposed brick and wood beams. No frills, no fuss.
“When we designed the space, we wanted to stay away from anything
precious, girly or pink,” explains co-owner Megan Fisher. “We wanted a rustic and authentic feel for the shop that reflected us and who we are.”   
Nutmeg Bakeshop is the creation of husband and wife team Megan Fisher and Tim Sinyard. The couple has a long history of baking individually and when they met each other while working at Hurst Bakery in Aurora, it seemed they were destined to turn their love for baking (and each other) into something bigger.
While home from university a few years ago, Fisher decided to rent a booth at the Aurora Farmers Market and Artisan Fair to see if she could turn her love for baking into a business.
“Nutmeg” – a family nickname for Fisher as well as her favourite spice – seemed like the perfect name for the budding baking business. Her parents had their basement outfitted with an industrial kitchen. Sinyard joined in and the pair went to work slaving over delicious creations for the farmers market and side catering jobs. Getting up at 4:30 a.m. to roll pastry or knead dough seems like a tough dating regime, but they rose to the occasion and the business began to grow. 
After three years at the farmers market (this season marks their fourth), they knew they wanted to open up a bakeshop and started looking for a location.
Nutmeg Bakeshop officially opened in November 2014 and Fisher and Sinyard were officially married in December 2014. Nutmeg butter tarts were the wedding favours.
“We work really well together; there's a natural rhythm that flows when we are in the kitchen together,” says Sinyard of the partnership. “We occasionally fight over the oven, but we've solved that problem and our new oven arrives in a few weeks.”
Nutmeg's specialties include butter tarts, cookies, pies, cakes, scones, biscuits and, on weekends, croissants and bread.
“Our main focus is on our ingredients, making sure everything is fresh and the best quality possible,” Fisher says. “We bake every day and use Callebaut chocolate [a Belgian brand], real vanilla beans and butter.”  

Nutmeg Bakeshop
256 Main St. S., Newmarket
Open Wednesday through Sunday

Strawberry Shortcakes
Ontario produces some of the best strawberries in the world and this is a great recipe to take advantage of our local strawberry crops in early summer while they are in season. This recipe uses vanilla scones topped with Chantilly and fresh strawberries to create delicious, seasonal strawberry shortcakes.
Serves 9

Vanilla Bean
Shortcakes or Scones
500 mL (2 cups) all purpose flour, plus more for rolling
45 mL (3 tbsp) brown sugar
15 mL (1 tbsp) baking powder
2 mL (1/2 tsp) salt
75 mL (5 tbsp) cold, unsalted butter
250 mL (1 cup) cold heavy cream (35 per cent), plus more for brushing
10 mL (2 tsp) vanilla bean paste (or 1 whole vanilla bean, pods scraped)
Heat oven to 400 Fahrenheit.
In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.
Cut cold butter into small cubes and add to the flour mixture. Using either your hands or a pastry cutter, rub butter into flour mixture until you have pea-sized pieces.
In a measuring cup, combine cold cream and vanilla bean paste (or vanilla beans). Add to dry ingredients and mix using a wooden spoon until dough comes together in a shaggy ball. Be careful not to over-mix or the scones will be tough.
On a lightly floured surface, roll dough with a lightly floured rolling pin into a 15-cm (6-inch square. Using a chef's knife, cut square into nine equal size pieces (these will become your scones), arrange on a parchment paper-lined cookie sheet and lightly brush with heavy cream.
If your scones are ready and your oven is not yet preheated, place scones in the fridge or freezer until the oven is ready. You want the dough to go into the oven cold; that's what makes them puff up while baking and ensures they are flaky.
Bake for approximately 15 minutes or until the tops are light golden and a toothpick inserted in the middle of a scone comes out clean. Set aside and let cool.

Chantilly & Fresh Strawberries
250 mL (1 cup) cold heavy cream
(35 per cent)
15 mL (1 tbsp) brown sugar
5 mL (1 tsp) vanilla bean paste or extract
1 litre (1 quart) fresh, local strawberries
In a metal bowl, combine the cream, sugar and vanilla. Using an electric whisk (or whisk by hand, but this takes a little bit longer), whisk the cream until soft peaks form.
Note: Prepare the Chantilly right before you serve the dessert. If let to sit, the cream may deflate before you serve.
Assembly and presentation
Slice the cooled scones and top with Chantilly, dividing the cream evenly among scones. Place strawberries on top and serve immediately.


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