Tagged: Tart


Brandied Plum Tart :: Something Sweet for Fall

Goodness gracious I don't know where my weeks go sometimes.  It's been far too long since I've blogged, so I thought it was only appropriate to begin a bunch of updates with something sweet -- it being the recent Jewish New Year and official turn of season after all.  I got on a dessert fix a few weeks back and was dying to try out some new creations just as the last of late summer/early fall's damson plums hit the farmers market (and after reading a very enticing plum crostata recipe by Melissa Clark in the NY Times.  Fruit-centric desserts are generally my favorites as they balance out something indulgent with something fresh and light.  The crust featured here is my absolute stand-by for tarts, pies and crostatas...an adaptation of Karen DeMasco's almond sable recipe from her award-winning cookbook, The Craft of Baking.  And the best thing is that the recipe makes two full crusts, so you can stick one in the freezer and have it ready to go when needed.  It'll hold up about a month or so.


Stayed for more posts this week, including plum desserts part deux (as pictured) and an excerpt from my interview with Joel Salatin, the famed farmer of Polyface Farms talking about his new book, Folks, This Ain't Normal

Brandied Plum Tart :: with a Hint of Rosemary

Serves :: makes 4 tartlets or 1 tart



1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup whole wheat pastry flour

3/4 cup almond flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/4 sticks chilled unsalted butter cut into small pieces

1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon confectioner's sugar

1 large egg

1 large egg yolk

*extra egg yolk and sanding sugar to brush over crust before baking 


Plum Filling: 

about 4 cups of pitted and halved damson or Italian plums

1 1/2 tablespoons of cornstarch

1/3 cup sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract 

1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, chopped


Brandy Glaze: 

1/2 cup brandy

1/4 cup sugar





Preheat oven to 375 degrees.


Whisk flours and salt together in a mixing bowl.

Cream butter and sugar together until smooth in a mixer using a paddle attachment.  Mix in the egg and then the egg yolk.  Slowly add the flour mixture, about half the quantity at one time.  Mix on a medium-high speed until dough forms.  

Place dough on a floured surface and shape into two equal balls or discs. Wrap each in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour if not overnight.  Freeze one or both if desired for up to a month.

Take one disc and either divide into 4 mini-tarts or 1 regular tart and use a rolling pin to shape into an even circle, about 1/2 inch thick.

Plum Filling: 

Mix plums, cornstarch, sugar, vanilla and rosemary together.  Place filling onto center of crust(s) leaving an inch or two on the outer edges.  Fold edges over fruit to give a rustic look.  

Brandy Glaze: 

Simmer brandy and sugar over low-medium heat until reduced by nearly half.  Drizzle glaze lightly over plums.

Brush crust with extra egg yolk and sprinkle with sanding sugar.  Bake for about 35-40 minutes or until golden brown (tartlets may take less time).

TAGS: dessert, plums, tart

posted: 10.10.11


True Lovers :: Chocolate + Bourbon

Valentine's Day.  Love it or loathe it, I figure we could all use a little extra decadence today.  I featured this bourbon chocolate tart a few years back (hence the sub-par photo quality), but it's well worth a comeback.  Intensely rich with a touch of booziness, you'll be blissfully content with a few forkfuls...well, maybe a small slice.  Based on past experience, this is definitely one tried and true dessert your sweetie won't be able to resist.  

And if you don't have time to be baking away in your kitchen, check out these rad V-Day cookies hand-crafted by my good friend, Amelia Coulter.  These are some seriously special treats (below).  Snatch them up at Sugar Built or find them at Brooklyn Kitchen and The Chocolate Room.    

Here's to a little love in the air!

Bourbon Chocolate Tart :: with Fleur de Sel and Raspberry Coulis

Serves :: 12


Tart Crust 

1 cup all-purpose flour

3 tablespoons sugar

1/8 teaspoon salt

1 stick unsalted butter, cut into ½ inch pieces

1 egg yolk


Tart Filling

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 1/4 cups heavy cream

9 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped (I usually use a chocolate that's 65% or above cocoa content)

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3 tablespoons bourbon

1/4 teaspoon salt


Tart Glaze

2 tablespoons heavy cream

1 3/4 ounces bittersweet or dark chocolate, chopped

1 teaspoon light corn syrup

1 tablespoon warm water

1 tablespoon bourbon

¼ teaspoon fleur de sel 

Raspberry Coulis

2 cups fresh raspberries, plus more for serving

2 to 3 tablespoons sugar

1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice



Preheat the oven to 350°F.

In a food processor, blend the flour, sugar, and salt. Add the butter, egg yolk, and vanilla and pulse until the mixture forms a large moist clump.

Press the dough into a 9-inch round fluted tart pan with a removable bottom. Press the dough up the sides, press the bottom of the dough four or five times with the tines or a fork, and bake for 10 minutes, then cool.

For the filling: Bring the heavy cream to a boil in a medium saucepan, then remove from the heat. Add the chocolate and stir until melted.

Whisk the eggs, vanilla, bourbon, and salt in a small bowl and add to the chocolate. Pour the filling into the tart shell and bake for 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool for about an hour.

For the glaze: Bring the heavy cream to a boil in a medium saucepan, then remove from the heat and stir in the chocolate. Add the corn syrup, warm water, and bourbon. Gently pour evenly over the tart. Sprinkle the fleur de sel over the tart and allow to stand for about an hour.

For the raspberry coulis: Heat the raspberries, sugar, and lemon juice in a small saucepan and simmer for about 10 minutes. Strain the seeds out through a small sieve if desired.

Carefully remove the tart from the outer part of the pan. Serve with 2 to 3 teaspoons of raspberry coulis and fresh raspberries.

Cookie images via :: Amelia Coulter

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TAGS: tart, chocolate, desserts

posted: 02.13.12


In the Kitchen :: Figs Gone Wild

I was recently bestowed 4 entire flats of fresh figs.  We're talking a couple hundred figs, easy.  My first thought, send a massive thank you to the California Fig Board.  Second thought, what the hell to do with a bounty of beautiful figs ASAP before they go bad.  

1. Start the fall off with a lovely dose of generosity and give some away to a lucky few foodie friends.

2. Make a BIG batch of fig compote with vanilla bean and bourbon.  Perfect for making any number of dishes a little more exciting.  I've currently been spooning it into my morning yogurt along with chopped pecans.  

3. Serve up fresh and pretty on a cheese platter with proscuitto and gorgonzola or as a lovely little snack with black pepper yogurt, proscuitto and honey (disclaimer: that gorgeous pic below is via Tomas Curi, exec chef at Corsino, who was one of the lucky recipients).  

4. Bake up the rest in a series of fig tarts and distribute to friends, family, office mates, the coffee shop dude...really anyone who will take a few figs off my hands. The tarts were a winner, so I'm including the recipe below.  I played around with gorgonzola and goat cheese - both versions were delicious depending on your mood.  

Fig Tart :: with Goat Cheese, Honey and Lemon Verbena

Serves :: 12


Almond Tart Crust

2 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting

3/4 cup almond flour

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon lemon verbena

1 3/4 sticks chilled unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon confectioners' sugar

1 large egg

1 large egg yolk

Fig Filling

3 to 4 ounces of goat cheese or gorgonzola
3 tablespoons honey, divided
fresh cracked black pepper
about 3 cups fresh figs, quartered


In a bowl, whisk together both flours, salt and lemon verbena.
 In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the butter and confectioners' sugar. Mix on medium-low speed until well combined, about 4 minutes. [You can also use a food processor to mix the dough, pulsing on and off for about 2 minutes.]

Mix in the egg and the yolk until well-incorporated. Add the flour mixture in half at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl after each half is added.

Place the dough onto a lightly floured work surface.  Divide dough in half, shape into flattened disks, and wrap each one in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour, or overnight. 
  You'll have an extra disc remaining which can be frozen for later use - it's great as a base crust for any type of fruit tart. 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Roll out 1 ball of dough for the crust.  Press gently into a 12” tart pan with removable bottom and fork a few holes in the bottom.  Cover with tin foil and spread about 1 cup of dry beans or pie weights over tops and blind bake the crust for about 15 minutes.  Remove from oven and crumble goat cheese or gorgonzola over top.  Drizzle 1 1/2 tablespoons honey over cheese and dust with a bit of black pepper.  Arrange fig quarters in concentric circles around the tart. Drizzle remaining honey over top.
Bake for 25 to 35 minutes until crust is golden brown and figs are nice and soft and glistening.  Serve warm or at room temperature.

TAGS: dessert, fall, tart

posted: 09.26.12

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