Tuesdays with Dorie: Quick Classic Fruit Tart

May 11, 2010 at 1:01 am | Posted in groups, pies & tarts, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 36 Comments

quick classic fruit tart

My “extended spring break” from work is absolutely lovely, but, to tell the truth, my life is losing a bit of structure.  All those things that I had planned to do (spring clean the apartment, organize my digital photos into folders that make some sense, finally get a recipe archive on this blog…just to name a few)  are just not getting done.  I’ll tell you what is getting done, though…catching up on the DVR list (is anyone else addicted to Sarah’s House??), walking around Tribeca (with a stop for something caffeinated at either Kaffe 1668 or RBC Coffee) and taking afternoon catnaps (yes, even after the coffee).  Well, I am enjoying it, because I know it won’t last forever, and I do thank the weekly TWD deadline for keeping my baking in check.

What’s up this week?  Cristine of Cooking with Cristine chose a Quick Classic Berry (or Fruit) Tart.  This is certainly a classic…I think it was the first tart we learned how to put together in cooking school.  I’ve made a couple of these custardtype tarts at home in the recent past.  The combination of the crisp cookie-ish crust and the cool pastry cream is killer.   Really, I hardly need anything more than that, but a little fruit makes it even better.  I fiddled with the traditional glazed berry topping a little bit (since berries are still a tad expensive here) and topped it with some vanilla-caramel roasted pineapple.  I am going to tell you how I made this pineapple stuff, because it is easy, it is fab and it could dress up a zillion different things…maybe after my afternoon nap!

For the recipe, see Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan, or read Cooking with Cristine.  Don’t forget to check out the TWD Blogroll!

Tuesdays with Dorie: Soft Chocolate and Raspberry Tart

March 16, 2010 at 1:01 am | Posted in groups, pies & tarts, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 25 Comments

soft chocolate and raspberry tart

For the last five weeks, I’ve had a smile on my face that I haven’t been able to scrub off.  You see, I gave notice at work…five weeks’ notice.  It’s been a long time coming, but my last day is…tomorrow!  I really have only good things to say about my experience at the bakery, but after a year and a half of making cupcakes and brownies, I think it’s time to move on.  After a little break, of course.  I’m excited to go out West to visit my parents…I haven’t seen them since before I started.  I’m excited to have weekend breakfast with my husband…we work opposite schedules, with never a day together.  But first things first….I’m excited to nibble on the Soft Chocolate and Raspberry Tarts that Rachelle of Mommy? I’m Hungry! chose for TWD.

Here, I made individual tartlettes…only because I am in love with my little ring molds.  The shells are pretty shallow, so I left the berries out of the filling (I didn’t want them poking through the top) and just used them as garnish, along with a little mascarpone.  The filling, not quite a straight-up ganache, yet not quite a custard, is baked.  It makes a really delicious basic chocolate tart– one that I’m certain could easily be paired with a lot more than just raspberries.  Just an FYI: my little guys, sans berries, took under fifteen minutes to bake.

For the recipe, see Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan, or read Mommy? I’m Hungry!  Don’t forget to check out the TWD Blogroll!

Tuesdays with Dorie: Toasted-Coconut Tart

March 2, 2010 at 8:49 am | Posted in groups, pies & tarts, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 36 Comments

toasted-coconut custard tart

Beryl the Cinemon Girl picked something right up my alley for TWD this week– Dorie’s Toasted-Coconut Custard Tart!  Oh yeah…I’ve been waiting for this one for awhile.  Not only do I like rummy, coconutty desserts a lot, but these custard tarts gave me the chance to do two of my favorite things in the kitchen: make pastry cream and form tart shells!  

This sablée-style sweet tart dough is super easy to work with (I did individual servings here), and it’s crisp sweetness is an important part of the dessert.  I don’t normally have sweetened coconut in the cupboard, so I stirred toasted desiccated coconut into the pastry cream filling instead.  It became pretty stiff in the fridge, but I just folded in a little of the whipped cream topping, and it loosened right up.

For the recipe, see Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan, or read Cinemon Girl.  Don’t forget to check out the TWD Blogroll!

Tuesdays with Dorie: Tarte Tatin

January 5, 2010 at 1:01 am | Posted in groups, pies & tarts, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 39 Comments

tarte tatin

Happy anniversary!  You may be wondering, “What anniversary?”  Why, it’s TWD‘s second anniversary!  The group’s throwing a big celebration…you’ll see that some of us are bringing cake and others, like me, are bringing Tarte Tatin.  (I’ll have to get to that cake soon myself…sounds like good stuff!)

Tarte Tatin is a dessert that’s very familiar to me.  If my mum says she’s making an apple pie, she’s not talking about the traditional American kind…she’s talking about a tarte Tatin.  In fact, when my brother was staying with us in Sydney, I made a double-crusted apple pie, and he griped that it wasn’t like our mum’s!  But, hey– big chunks of apple that have been cooked down in buttery caramel– who can blame him??  You can use a regular pie crust as your base (or top) if you want, but I just love caramel-soaked puff pastry.

There are a couple of things about tatins that can make people a little nervous.  First, you have to let the caramel and apples go for awhile…don’t be afraid to let the caramel turn a pretty deep amber.  And pack those apples in, because they shrink while they cook.  Flipping the Tatin out of the pan might sound a little scary (you, know it bakes upside-down, right?), but if you wear good oven mitts and flip with confidence, all should fall into place.

Whew, two years and over one hundred recipes from Baking: From My Home to Yours…just thinking about that makes me want slip into something elastic-waisted!  But seriously, big hugs and lots of thanks go to both Laurie and Dorie.  I’m so looking forward to the next year of baking!!

For the recipe, see Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan.  It’s also here on NPR, along with an audio link to the radio story.  As always, don’t forget to check out the TWD Blogroll!

Tuesdays with Dorie (on Saturday!): Dorie’s Favorite Pecan Pie

December 26, 2009 at 6:33 pm | Posted in groups, pies & tarts, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 12 Comments

dorie's favorite pecan pie

Pecan pie is certainly one of my favorites, so I thought I’d give Dorie’s version a go for Christmas dinner.  Dorie’s Favorite Pecan Pie has a couple of unusual twists– chocolate, cinnamon and espresso powder.  (My one twist was to use golden syrup in place of the corn syrup.)  This was a big hit, especially with a little bit (or a lot, as the case may be) of whipped cream.  Not too sweet, and not too gloppy either, if you know what I mean.  Next time I think I’ll experiment with leaving out the chocolate, keeping the cinnamon and espresso, and see what I think about that.

For the recipe, see Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan or read Someone’s in the Kitchen with Brina, as it was Beth’s choice for TWD this week.  Don’t forget to check out the TWD Blogroll!

Tuesdays with Dorie: Rosy Poached Pear and Pistachio Tart

December 1, 2009 at 1:26 pm | Posted in groups, pies & tarts, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 37 Comments

rosy poached pear and pistachio tart

I feel like I’ll be dealing with leftover turkey forever, but the holiday bundt is all gone now.  Time to move on to the Rosy Poached Pear and Pistachio Tart that Lauren of I’ll Eat You picked for TWD.  I will be honest and admit that making it was a bit more work than I felt like doing after just having prepared Thanksgiving dinner a couple of days before.  You have to make tart dough, pastry cream, poached pears, caramelized nuts and sauce.  That’s a lot of stuff, but the payoff is most definitely worth the effort.  This is a stunningly delicious tart!

Pastry cream-based tarts don’t hold up so well overnight, so I made individual tartlette shells that I could fill with the pistachio pastry cream as needed.  I haven’t had JELL-O pistachio pudding in years, so I’m not sure if I’d love it today as much as I did when I was little, but this pastry cream is spot-on for my tastes now…little flecks of nuts and the color is a far more “natural” green.  I used bosc pears for poaching, and they sucked up all that gorgeous color from the red wine.  BTW, the chilled poaching liquid tastes an awful lot like sweet sangria to me…hmmm…keep me away from the leftovers or I may wind up with a lampshade on my head!

For the recipe, see Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan, or read I’ll Eat You.  Don’t forget to check out the TWD Blogroll!

Pear Butterscotch Pie

October 6, 2009 at 9:49 pm | Posted in pies & tarts, sweet things | 29 Comments

pear butterscotch pie

I spent a good portion of today thumbing through some back issues of Gourmet.  I’ve been an on-again, off-again subscriber to the magazine for years.  I let it expire, I miss it and I come back to it.  I took it for granted that I would be able to continue this pattern for years to come, but looks like I was wrong.  And that’s such a shame, because even though there’s so much food-related content out there right now, I could always count on Gourmet to have interesting and topical articals, inspirational recipes and beautiful pictures.

pear butterscotch pie

I told you yesterday that I’d make you something from the pages of Gourmet, so  I leave you with this recipe for a really tasty Pear Butterscotch Pie from the recent September issue.  My husband, who also enjoys a good flip-through of each new issue (and bookmarks requests), pestered me to make it all last month.  The flavors remind me more of apple pie than butterscotch, to tell the truth, but the dark brown sugar and the big chunks of pear are enough to make it a little more unusual.  Spike your whipped cream with a little bourbon, and you’ll add to the butterscotch feel!

pear butterscotch pie

Pear Butterscotch Pie– makes a 9-inch pie
from a recipe in Gourmet (September 2009)

Notes: Pie is best the day it is made but can be baked 1 day ahead.  The leaf cutouts described below are optional, as they are decorative only.

3 T AP flour
1 t cinnamon
1/2 t grated nutmeg
1/8 t salt
1/2 c packed dark brown sugar
2 1/2 pounds firm-ripe Bartlett or Anjou pears (about 5)
1 T fresh lemon juice
1 t pure vanilla extract
double recipe of flaky pastry dough (
here’s one, or use your favorite)
1 T unsalted butter, cut into bits
1 large egg beaten with 1 T warm water
1 T turbinado or granulated sugar

– Put a baking sheet on middle rack of oven and preheat oven to 425°F.

– Whisk together flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt, then whisk in brown sugar, breaking up any lumps.  Peel the pears, cut each into 6 wedges, and core.  Gently toss pear chunks with brown sugar mixture, lemon juice, and vanilla and let stand 5 to 15 minutes to macerate fruit.

– Roll out 1 piece of dough (keep remaining disk chilled) on a lightly floured surface with a lightly floured rolling pin into a 13-inch round. Fit into a 9-inch pie plate. Roll out remaining piece of dough into a 13-inch round. Reserve scraps.

– Transfer filling to shell. Dot with butter, then cover with pastry round. Trim edges, leaving a 1/2-inch overhang (reserve scraps). Press edges together to seal, then fold under. Lightly brush top crust with some of egg wash, then cut 3 (1-inch-long) vents.

– Roll out 1 piece of dough (keep remaining disk chilled) on a lightly floured surface with a lightly floured rolling pin into a 13-inch round. Fit into a 9-inch pie plate. Roll out remaining piece of dough into a 13-inch round. Reserve scraps.

– Transfer filling to shell. Dot with butter, then cover with pastry round. Trim edges, leaving a 1/2-inch overhang (reserve scraps). Press edges together to seal, then fold under. Lightly brush top crust with some of egg wash, then cut 3 (1-inch-long) vents.

– Roll out dough scraps about 1/8 inch thick and cut out leaf shapes with small leaf cutters (or a knife). Arrange decoratively on top of pie, pressing gently to help them adhere. Lightly brush top crust and cutouts with some of egg wash and sprinkle with granulated sugar.

– Bake pie on hot baking sheet 20 minutes. Reduce oven to 375°F and bake until crust is golden and filling is bubbling, 40 to 45 minutes more. Cool to warm or room temperature, 2 to 3 hours.

Tuesdays with Dorie: Chocolate-Crunched Caramel Tart

September 29, 2009 at 1:24 am | Posted in groups, pies & tarts, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 55 Comments

chocolate-crunched caramel tart

Carla of Chocolate Moosey chose one sexy tart for TWD this week– Dorie’s Chocolate-Crunched Caramel Tart.  Soft bittersweet ganache on top of caramel and peanuts…this is rich and decadent.  Using a high percentage chocolate and taking your caramel to a deep amber keeps it from being overly sweet.  It’s a special occasion tart that’s surprisingly easy to make, especially if you’ve had some chocolate shortbread dough hiding out in the freezer for a rather long while (I used it instead of making a new batch of sweet tart dough). 

For the recipe, see Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan, or read Chocolate Moosey.  Don’t forget to check out the TWD Blogroll!

Tuesdays with Dorie: Flaky Peach and Blueberry Turnovers

September 15, 2009 at 1:55 am | Posted in groups, pies & tarts, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 37 Comments

flaky peach and blueberry turnovers

This week Jules of Someone’s in the Kitchen chose Flaky Turnovers for TWD.  My husband refused to call them “turnovers,” referring to them as “handpies” instead.  Whatever you want to call them, these little fruit-filled sour cream pastries are good!  Like pie, but so much easier…super versatile, too…fill them with whatever fruit you fancy.

I actually made these back in August, when this month’s recipes were first announced.  We were still in prime summer produce season then, so I used peaches and blueberries in mine (yum!).  Instead of making turnovers shaped like half-moons, I did triangles (no scrap!).   Normally I like my pastry to be a bit more golden brown on top, but I refused to make eggwash for just two turnovers (lazy!), so they got the powdered sugar disguise (really lazy!). 

I made a half recipe, and got four turnovers…two of them were baked right away for immediate gratification, and two went into the freezer for a busy day.  I had that busy day, and am happy to report that they worked really well baked just out of the freezer, keeping their shape nicely with no leakage. 

For the recipe, see Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan, or read Someone’s in the Kitchen.  Don’t forget to check out the TWD Blogroll!

Tuesdays with Dorie: Creamiest Lime Cream Meringue Pie

August 25, 2009 at 1:42 am | Posted in groups, pies & tarts, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 31 Comments

creamiest lime cream meringue pie

The brilliant baker Linda of Tender Crumb picked this cool and refreshing Lime Cream Meringue Pie for TWD this week.  Lots of lime and grated ginger made for a snappy combination…just right for a hot and muggy summer’s day.  I went with a crumb crust, and used waaaay less butter in my lime cream (I don’t know anymore just how much, but I didn’t measure anyway).  The lime cream was, well, creamy, and far better in taste and texture than some heavily cornstarched giggly-wiggly meringue pie fillings I’ve had in the past.  

For the recipe, see Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan, or read Tender Crumb.  Don’t forget to check out the TWD Blogroll!

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