Archive for the ‘Pies/Tarts’ Category


TwD Baking with Julia: Baked Yogurt Tart

July 2, 2013

I’m a huge fan of yogurt, so when I saw this recipe for a Baked Yogurt Tart, I was ready to give it a try. Topped with fresh local strawberries, this was a delicious summer dessert.


The filling has nonfat yogurt, eggs, sugar, flour, and a whopping 2 tablespoons of vanilla. The filling goes into a partially baked pie crust , the fruit goes on top, and the whole thing is baked until it is set and lightly browned. If you have pie crust in your freezer like I did, this is quick and easy to make.

The end result was a soft, fluffy, light, very vanilla-y filling inside of a flaky pastry crust. Baking it with fruit was tasty, but this would also be good baked without fruit and topped with fresh fruit or a fruit sauce.

Recipe Notes

  • I used an 8″ pie dish instead of the 9″ specified in the recipe, so I had some extra filling.
  • I served it directly out of the baking dish rather than inverting it to remove it from the pan.
  • In most cases, when a recipe says it is best served the day it is made, I think it’s perfectly fine the next day. This recipe, however, was by far at its best the day it was baked. After a night in the refrigerator, the texture and flavor couldn’t compare with the previous day (though if I had let it warm to room temperature, it possibly would have been better).

This recipe, baked by the Tuesdays with Dorie group this week, is on page 378 of Baking with Julia. You can also find the recipe here.


TwD Baking with Julia: Cheese & Tomato Galette

June 18, 2013

This week’s recipe for the Tuesdays with Dorie group is Cheese and Tomato Galette, a free-form savory pie.


The crust ingredients include butter, flour, cornmeal, and yogurt (or you can use sour cream or buttermilk). I adapted the filling a bit to the ingredients I had: I used mozzarella and parmesan (instead of mozzarella and monterey jack) and I spread a bit of pesto on the bottom because I didn’t have fresh basil.

Served with a green salad, this was a delicious dinner, and I bet would be even better later in the summer when the basil and tomatoes are going in my garden.

This recipe, from Flo Braker, is on page 429 of Baking with Julia. I also found the recipe online here.


TwD Baking with Julia: French Apple Tart

January 22, 2013

I was all in for the French Apple Tart that the Tuesdays with Dorie group made this week. A few months ago, I saw the episode of Baking with Julia when Leslie Mackie made this tart, and I wrote a note in my book that said “looks really good.” And it was!

French Apple Tart

The apples didn’t get very brown, but they were tender and tasty.

There are a number of components in this recipe, so I split the tasks over two days, starting the crust and making the filling on day one, and finishing it off on day two.

Crust: The crust is a pie dough made with a combination of butter and vegetable shortening. Pie crust makes me nervous! I had no idea if it was any good, so I took the scraps, sprinkled them with cinnamon sugar, and baked them. I took a bite and high-fived myself – the crust was flaky and delicious!

Flaky Pie Crust

Flaky pie crust scrap

Filling: To make the filling, apple slices are tossed with sugar, cinnamon, flour, and lemon juice (the recipe calls for bread crumbs, but I skipped those) and roasted in the oven. After roasting, the apples are mashed into an applesauce.

Topping: Sliced apples are arranged on top of the filling, brushed with melted butter, and sprinkled with sugar.

Put them all together, bake it, and the finished product is delicious!

You can find the recipe on page 379 of Baking with Julia, or click over to Laws of the Kitchen, where Gaye has the recipe posted today. Thank you Gaye for hosting this week!


Chocolate Thriller Frozen Chocolate Pie

January 3, 2012

For me, eating this pie is like eating a slice of nostalgia. Even without the memories, it’s a chocolate-on-chocolate frozen delight. The recipe, titled Kraft Chocolate Thriller is from my grandma’s recipe collection, and is at least 30 years old, maybe much older than that. It may look like an ice cream pie, but one bite of the smooth, chocolate, cream-cheesy filling and you’ll forget about ice cream.

Whipped cream and maraschino cherries, just like grandma used to do

You know what else is awesome about this pie, besides the taste? It’s frozen, so it’s a great make-ahead dessert. Some days,  a “best served on the day it’s made” dessert just doesn’t fit into the schedule.

Recipe notes

  • The original recipe calls for raw eggs, but since most of us stay away from raw eggs due to food safety concerns, I used pasteurized-in-the-shell eggs. It was my first time using pasteurized eggs, and a few minutes after putting the whites in my mixer to whip, they looked very…unwhipped. I had an oh crap moment and wondered if this was going to work. I turned the mixer off and did a quick Google search, found this information, and turned the mixer back on. With a little bit of cream of tartar and a whole lot more whipping time, the whites turned out great. Whew. This is definitely a job for a stand mixer.
  • The crust uses Nabisco Famous Wafers, which are thin, crisp, chocolate cookies. If you can’t find them, use another thin, crisp, chocolate cookie. The Famous Wafers are really tasty, though, so take a look at your grocery store.

Chocolate Thriller

1 1/2 cups crushed Nabisco Famous Wafers, or other chocolate wafers
1/3 cup melted butter (salted or unsalted)

8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
3/4 cup sugar, divided (1/4 cup and 1/2 cup)
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 pasteurized in the shell eggs, at room temperature, separated
6 ounces chocolate chips, melted and cooled
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 cup heavy cream

To make crust: Preheat oven to 325° F.  Mix cookie crumbs and melted butter and press onto the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan. Bake 10 minutes; remove from oven and cool on a wire rack.

To make filling: In a large bowl, using a stand mixer or hand mixer, blend cream cheese with 1/4 cup sugar and vanilla. Blend in the egg yolks, then the melted and cooled chocolate and mix until thoroughly combined. Whip the egg whites, adding 1/4 teaspoon of cream of tartar after a couple of minutes and then gradually adding 1/2 cup sugar after a few more minutes; continue to whip until whites form soft peaks (see notes about whipping pasteurized egg whites). Fold the egg whites into the cream cheese mixture. Whip the cream and fold it into the filling mixture (reserve a little bit of whipped cream if you want to use it to decorate the pie). Scoop filling into cooled crust and smooth the top. Cover the pan with plastic or foil and freeze overnight.

To serve: To soften a little before serving, put pie in the refrigerator for a couple of hours, or let it sit at room temperature for a short period.

Timing Tips: I whipped the cream in my stand mixer first and then transferred it to another bowl so I could wash the mixer bowl and use to to whip the egg whites. While the egg whites were whipping, I melted the chocolate and used a hand mixer to combine the cream cheese, sugar, vanilla, egg yolks, and chocolate.


Tuesdays with Dorie: Normandy Apple Tart

November 29, 2011

Normandy Apple Tart, this week’s selection for the Tuesdays with Dorie bakers, intrigued me. It’s a tart shell (made with Dorie’s awesome Sweet Tart Dough), filled with applesauce, topped with apples. Knowing that I wouldn’t have time to bake (or blog, or read blogs) in November, I selected a couple of the November recipes and baked them in October. I had to see what an applesauce-filled apple tart would taste like!

Thank you Tracey for hosting this recipe! Since TWD is coming to an end, the group is doubling up on recipes in November. The other recipe for this week is Sour Cream Pumpkin Pie, which sounds delicious. Check out Judy’s blog for that recipe.

What I did:

  • I made half the recipe in a 6″ tart pan.
  • I followed Dorie’s instructions to use a “mealy” apple in the applesauce – I picked Macintosh – and Golden Delicious apples for the top of the tart. Mealy sounds really terrible, doesn’t it? But the Macs cooked up into some lovely applesauce.
  • I added the optional vanilla and about a tablespoon of sugar to the applesauce and thought it was very tasty.
  • I baked my small tart for 40 minutes.

How it went: There are a few steps to this: the crust needs to freeze before baking, and then cool after partially baking, and the applesauce needs to cool after cooking. But with a little planning, it’s not a difficult tart to make. I had more applesauce than I needed, but I was happy to eat the extra.

How it tasted: This intriguing tart was delicious! It’s fresh apple flavor two ways in a crust (and I love crust). I prefer this to a custard-filled tart, and I will absolutely make it again. I also liked the fact that it doesn’t have cinnamon. I like cinnamon a lot, but it was a nice change to have an apple dessert without it. My husband also liked it a lot and said “the applesauce works.” He liked the contrast in textures of the crust, applesauce, and apple slices. I served this with whipped cream, which my husband declared essential (OK, it was Cool Whip, but whipped cream would have been even better). I think ice cream would be pretty great with this too.

Are you ready to bake your own apple tart? Open your copy of Baking: From My Home to Yours to page 304, or head over to Tracey’s Culinary Adventures; she’ll have the recipe posted today.


Tuesdays with Dorie: Cranberry Lime Galette

November 16, 2010

This week’s recipe for the Tuesdays with Dorie bakers is Cranberry Lime Galette, selected by the ladies of Celestial Confections. What’s a galette? I would describe it as a free-form pie: pie dough is rolled out on a baking sheet, filling is added to the center, and the edge of the dough is folded over to hold in the filling.

What I did: I had  a little bit of Good for Almost Anything Pie Crust in the freezer, so I pulled it out and made a mini-galette. I made 1/2 of the recipe for the filling (minus the ginger) and had a little left over, which I baked in a ramekin.

How it went: I recommend having pie crust dough in the freezer, because with that part ready to go, this was really quick! The filling of cranberries, apples, brown sugar, lime zest, and lime juice was quick to mix up. It didn’t look that lovely after baking, because some of the liquid escaped at a low spot in the crust. Oh well. I wasn’t planning to enter it in a beauty contest!

How it tasted: The lime took this beyond being just another cranberry dessert. As Emeril would say, it kicked it up a notch! It was a great combination of flavors, and yet another way to enjoy Dorie’s delicious pie crust. I love fat free Cool Whip, and a generous dollop on top of my serving was a great addition. My husband, who is not a cranberry lover, thought this was really good; he said that the apples and “goo” were a good compliment to the tart cranberries. He also really enjoyed the crust. I also made this pie and this torte with the same batch of pie crust dough, and all three were delicious.

Ready to give this a try? Look on page 364 of Baking: From My Home to Yours, or click over to Celestial Confections; they’ll l have the recipe published today.


Tuesdays with Dorie: All-American All-Delicious Apple Pie

October 26, 2010

Pie! I love it but hardly ever make it. Thanks to the Tuesdays with Dorie group, I made an All-American All-Delicious Apple Pie this week. Perfect for fall and perfect for a crust lover like me. Plus, I made extra crust when I made the Fold-Over Pear Torte a couple of weeks ago, so it was extra-easy.

Thank you Emily of Sandmuffin for this wonderful selection!

What I did:

  • I made half the recipe in a 6″ cake pan. I really could use a mini pie pan, but this worked in a pinch.
  • I used a combination of Golden Delicious and Granny Smith apples.
  • I used cornstarch instead of quick-cooking tapioca. An equal amount of cornstarch seemed like a lot, so I used a little less. Not scientific, but even with baking, sometimes you have to wing it.
  • One note about the crust: I’m not sure exactly how much crust I used. I made a two-crust portion of Dorie’s Good for Almost Everything Pie Crust and used part of it for my Fold-Over Pear Torte minis, part of it for this mini pie, and I have a little bit left over (maybe enough for a mini single crust pie, but I’m not sure).

How it went: Since my crust was ready to go, this was pretty quick to put together. I baked it for 15 minutes, then reduced the oven temperature as directed in the recipe, and then baked it another 45 minutes. I added a foil tent during the last 15 minutes or so, and then took it out because I was afraid it would get too dark, even with the foil. My slices of pie weren’t picture-perfect, but it did come out of the cake pan pretty well. The apples were cooked through and the filling was  nicely thickened.

How it tasted: The crust, especially with some sugar baked on top, was delicious. I’ve made a lot of tart crusts but not many pie crusts, so I’m really thrilled that it turned out well. Somehow, though, it didn’t taste very apple-y. There were a lot of apples piled in there!

I don’t know if I didn’t choose the right kinds of apples or if the apples I used just weren’t the tastiest, but this needed more apple flavor, or at least more cinnamon to zip it up. My husband thought that the look of the pie and the taste of the crust were perfect, but that the filling wasn’t sexy. Even though the filling wasn’t that flavorful, it was good and we definitely enjoyed it.

Ready to bake some apple pie? Look on page 300 of Baking: From My Home to Yours, or Emily has the recipe published here.


Tuesdays with Dorie: Fold-Over Pear Torte

October 12, 2010

This week’s recipe for the Tuesdays with Dorie bakers is Fold-Over Pear Torte, selected by none other than Cakelaw! Her blog, Laws of the Kitchen, is on my regular reading list. She’s a blogger from Down Under who makes delicious treats for her coworkers and delectable dinners for friends. The torte she selected for us is sort of like a deep-dish pie filled with pears, apricots, and custard flavored with vanilla, almond, and rum.

What I did:

  • I made half the recipe and baked it in two 4.5″ springform pans.
  • I omitted the nuts.
  • I used diced dried apricots (rather than the other option, raisins).
  • I used whole milk instead of heavy cream.

How it went: This was my first time making Dorie’s Good for Almost Everything Pie Dough and I think it went pretty well. I manhandled it as I put it in the springform pans, and it held up pretty well. I used a hand mixer to make the filling, since I had a small amount, and it came together quickly.

How it tasted: I must admit that this is a recipe I wouldn’t have selected on my own. A fruit and custard pie doesn’t sound that appealing to me. However…it was really good! The filling wasn’t eggy and custardy like I would have expected; it was a creamy filling with delicious flavors. I also loved the combination of pears and dried apricots. I’m a crust lover, and there was a lot of crust. My husband liked this also, especially the crust. Pears are not his favorite fruit, but he still enjoyed this. Two thumbs up from our house!

Want the recipe? You can find it on page 348 of Baking: From My Home to Yours, or you can find it on Laws of the Kitchen today.


French Fridays with Dorie: Gerard’s Mustard Tart

October 8, 2010

Bonjour mes amis! It is week two of French Fridays with Dorie, and this week’s recipe, selected by Dorie herself, is Gerard’s Mustard Tart. This is a savory tart, made with two kinds of mustard, eggs, and cream, and topped with matchstick-thin carrots and leeks. We ate it as a side dish one night and an hors d’oeuvre the next night.


Are you getting tired of seeing this plate?


My notes

  • I made half the recipe in a 6″ tart pan.
  • I used whole milk instead of cream (and it worked fine as far as I can tell).
  • I cooked the vegetables in the microwave, which is my usual method. They smelled delicious cooking with the rosemary!
  • The leeks that were not pressed into the liquid got overly browned in the oven; next time I would make sure not to have them perched on top.

I love mustard, and already had Dijon and grainy mustard in the refrigerator.

This was delicious! Really mustardy, which I think is awesome. My husband was skeptical, but after I assured him that it wasn’t dessert and he tried it, he liked it a lot. I reheated the leftovers in the toaster oven the next day; the tart did dry out a little, but it was still delicious.My husband liked it just as much the second day and declared that I should make it for guests. This is the second savory tart I’ve made; the first was David Lebovitz’s French Tomato Tart earlier this summer. That tart also features mustard and it’s delicious.

The French Fridays with Dorie group is not publishing recipes. We all have a copy of Around My French Table by Dorie Greenspan and you should too! You’ll find the recipe on page 154 of the book.


Tuesdays with Dorie: Tarte Fine

September 28, 2010

This week’s recipe for the Tuesdays with Dorie bakers is Tarte Fine, which is the classic combination of puff pastry and apples. Trés French!

It was selected by Leslie of Lethally Delicious, which is on my regular blog-reading list. Leslie is a serious chocolate lover who bakes and cooks lots of delicious-looking things and has been known to eat dessert for dinner. How great is that?

What I did:

  • I made 1/2 of Dorie’s recipe, which used about 4 oz of puff pastry and 1 1/2 Golden Delicious apples.
  • I made my own puff pastry! It’s been on my to-do list for quite a while (like two years) and darnit, I wasn’t going to buy puff pastry for this recipe. I used the recipe from The Professional Pastry Chef by Bo Friberg. The dough was easy to work with and I think it turned out great. It made about 2.5 pounds of pastry, so as an added bonus, I have lots of puff pastry in the freezer now!

It puffed!

How it went: Not counting the time spent making the puff pastry, this was quick and easy to put together. Roll out the dough, peel and slice the apples, add a little egg wash and a sprinkle of sugar, and pop into the oven.

How it tasted: Great! The simple, classic combination of apples and buttery pastry is delicious. My husband thought it was a little hard to eat because the apples slid off the pastry; he suggested the addition of something to “glue” the apples to the pastry. His favorite part was the puffed up edges of the pastry. In hindsight, I should have skipped the apple slices I added around the edges. It would have left more room for the pastry to puff on the sides.

Want to give this a whirl? Look on page 315 of Baking: From My Home to Yours, or Leslie will have the recipe published today.

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