Colorado native Sky Goble, 33, grew up surrounded by the smell of fresh bread in the family bakery, A.J. & Co., in Golden. By the age of 10 he was making icing; after high school he passed over formal training, and later, at 23, landed at the Brown Palace Hotel and began working his way up to executive pastry chef. The call of the ocean and the mountains led him to gigs in California and Telluride, before returning to Denver in 2006, where he's been baking up pastries at the Adam's Mark Hotel ever since.
What does a full-time pastry chef like best for dessert? Tarte Tatin. "It's a rustic French apple dessert," he says, "almost like an upside-down apple pie. It's simple, classic, and it's great À la mode."
With his experience in intricate wedding cakes and ornate specialty desserts, it's not surprising that Goble went a bit overboard for his daughter's first birthday cake. "It was lavender fondant covered in flowers. One layer was honey cinnamon with peach mousse, and one layer was flourless chocolate with raspberry mousse. She was a little overwhelmed."
"I use a chinois strainer for everything—mostly for sauces, but it's also good for stocks or just about anything."
"November is great for winter fruits," Goble says. "One of my favorites is quince. You can treat quince like apples, and either roast or poach it thoroughly. I also like kumquats and blood oranges, and of course pumpkin—you can do a lot more with it than just make pie. I make a great, creamy pumpkin ice cream."
"I'll slice a butternut squash and toss it with olive oil, salt, and pepper, then just add a little water and roast it in a hot oven."
On the Menu
Though he's a pastry chef by profession, Goble and his family eat plenty of healthy organic grains and produce at home. Goble's 18-month-old daughter, Fiona, is already a fan of quinoa, a high-protein grain. "We make a quinoa salad with a little lemon zest and lime juice, shredded carrots, and a dash of salt."
"We absolutely love US Thai Cafe. We do take-out all the time. I like their green curry, and they have toomyam [lemon-grass soup] that's unbelievable." US Thai Cafe, 5228 25th Ave., Edgewater
Drink of Choice
"I'm a bit of a beer connoisseur," admits Goble. "I like the IPA from the Golden City Brewery. We buy it by the growler; it's about $10." Golden City Brewery, 920 12th St., Golden
"Don't overwork your pie dough," explains Goble. "Mix it just until the dough comes together, and make sure that all of your fats and liquid ingredients are extremely cold." Another secret? Goble uses four parts butter to one part deodorized lard. "That makes the best pie crust."
RECIPE: Butternut Squash Ice Cream
In a heavy-bottom saucepan, bring heavy cream, milk, sugar, vanilla bean, honey, and nutmeg to a scald. Place yolks in a stainless-steel bowl. Pour hot liquid gradually into yolks while stirring. Place over low heat and, with a wooden spoon or a heat-proof plastic spatula, stir constantly, making sure you cover the bottom and sides of the pan. Cook until the custard coats the back of the utensil. Fold in the puréed butternut squash; cool in fridge. Process in an ice cream machine and freeze. Garnish with spiced candied walnuts.