Archive for the 'pies and tarts' Category


Rustic Plum and Port Tart

When this came out of the oven I wondered if anyone would want to try it. I wasn’t thrilled by the fact that the crust was crumbly. Or that the port wine and plums had oozed onto the parchment paper. Or that it looked a little too much like stewed beets.

I let it cool while we had leftover Indian food. Then I sliced up a piece, put a dollop of ice cream beside it and tasted. Well? Yum. I loved the deep plum flavor. Port wine is reduced to a syrup and tossed with plums before they get piled onto the crust and into the oven. The result is a little rustic, and very sophisticated. And it uses these gorgeous plums.

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Peach-Vanilla Bean Cobbler

I’d been waiting for months to make this. I gobbled up the last bite last night, and now it’s time to share. You still have time to try it. Tables at the farmers market are nearly buckling from the weight of peaches. They’re at their prime. But in about two weeks, they’ll disappear for an entire year. Last summer I made a lattice peach pie that was amaaaaazing.  It deserved a repeat performance. But last weekend Jeff started itching for a cobbler.  I considered the options. Blackberries. Blueberries. Peaches. Nectarines.

I kept coming back to peaches.

This recipe comes from the Art and Soul of Baking, a terrific book I checked out from our library recently. I don’t want to part with it. The peach cobbler has convinced me that I need my own copy.

The peaches in this cobbler are mixed with sugar and a vanilla bean. Let me tell you, if you’ve never had peaches with a vanilla bean you’re missing out. It brings out the sweetness of the peaches like nothing else. The lattice is made with scone dough. It’s more foolproof than pie dough and arguably more delicious.  Atop sweet, warm, and summery peaches, it’s hard to beat. Serve warm with a dollop of vanilla ice cream or creme fraiche.

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Berry Tart with Mascarpone Cream

I’m almost positive that berry tarts are the most delicious things on earth. I still remember the one I ate on a trip to Las Vegas a few years ago, at a French bakery inside Paris Paris — the flaky, buttery crust, the bursting berries. And I still remember the first berry tart I ever made. It rivaled the one in Vegas. Honestly, I can’t resist these. Especially when they’re just an hour or two old, with berries so vibrant and bursting with summer.

We were invited to a dinner party over the weekend — the potluck kind. I volunteered to make dessert. I’ve been jonsing for a classic berry tart, with a mound of blueberries, blackberries, strawberries and raspberries — all summer.

It’s ridiculous how easy these are to make. The sweet pastry dough comes together easily. The mascarpone cream combo takes hardly any effort. The tart is best eaten within a couple of hours, so time it appropriately. However, the crust and the mascarpone cream mixture can be made in advance.

It’s a bit difficult to transport, I will say. On our way to the dinner party, Jeff was driving. I was holding the tart on a plate. The berries started to give off their juices. It would have been a fashion disaster had I not had a tote bag to protect my white capris. Anyway, this tart turned out delicious. It always does.

Continue reading ‘Berry Tart with Mascarpone Cream’


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