Category Archives: Dessert

Curd-based Mousse

Once I learned to make a good curd, and was thinking about what I could do for the green of St Patrick’s day, I decided to make a lime version of the curd, and then convert it into a mousse. The curd recipe says that all you need to do is substitute lime for lemon.

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Lime curd is not really green- it is still a yellow color, so I added a few drops of food color to the curd to get a definite green color for my lime curd.

This recipe will also work with the lemon curd if you want. And it is also easy to expand the recipe from 6 servings to more. I increased the amounts of the ingredients by 50% and could have easily gotten 10 servings- I only needed 8 servings so the rest went into the refrigerator for me. The increase of 50% means the 10 ounces of curd becomes 15 ounces. And when I finished making the curd, I had about 20 ounces so the recipe could be doubled with a single recipe of curd.

Curd-based Mousse

Ingredients

  • 10 ounces curd of your choice
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 8 ounces cream cheese at room temperature
  • 1 cup fresh berries as garnish

Directions

  1. Whip the cream to the soft peak stage
  2. In a second bowl, mix the curd and cream cheese until smooth
  3. Stir the curd mixture into the whipped cream until well blended
  4. Divide into 6 glasses
  5. Divide the fresh berries among the 6 glasses
  6. Refrigerate until serving

Since I was making this as a St. Patrick’s day dessert, I had also made Two-Tone Brownies and added green food color to what is normally the white cream cheese frosting layer. That is why the brownies also appear in the photo.

I hope this gives you some ideas for dessert, and how to tie the desserts to the holiday if necessary by using a little food coloring.

Morning Buns

Morning buns use the croissant dough as a base. Six morning buns can be made from each packet of croissant dough. The option in making the buns is in the filling; a plain cinnamon and sugar filling can be used, but I found having some brown sugar in the mix makes it better. The brown sugar seems to partially run out into the bottom of the muffin pan and caramelize making for a slightly sticky bottom roll.

mBuns 004

Morning Bun Filling

Ingredients

  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons ground cinnamon

Directions

Stir the ingredients together in a bowl.

To assemble the morning buns, the ingredients are:

  • 1 packet croissant dough
  • 2 Tablespoons melted butter
  • 1 cup filling
  • 2 Tablespoons cinnamon in a small bowl


To make 12 morning buns, use both packets of croissant dough and after finishing with one packet, immediately process the second packet. The two groups of morning buns will be able to be cooked together after their final rise.

Directions

  1. Spray a 6 muffin pan with cooking spray.
  2. Unwrap a packet of chilled dough and place it on a lightly floured surface. Deflate it by gently tapping it several times with the rolling pin. Cover it with plastic wrap and let it rest 10 minutes to relax the gluten.
  3. Roll the dough into a rectangle that is approximately 12 inches wide by 10 inches high.
  4. Spread melted butter over the dough. Sprinkle filling over the melted butter.
  5. Roll the rectangle of dough up so that a 12 inch long cylinder results. Seal the edge of the cylinder so that it doesn’t unwind.
  6. Cut the cylinder into 2 inch sections.
  7. Dip each section in the cinnamon, rolling the section around to coat the sides and bottom of the dough. Place the coated dough into one of the muffin pan spaces.
  8. Repeat the coating of the dough for all 6 sections and fill the muffin pan.
  9. Let the dough have a final rise for 1 – 1 1/2 hours in which it should double in size. It will not be the final size as the heat in the oven will cause the buns to expand even more.
  10. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
  11. Place some of the filling in a small bowl to be used to top the rolls after they are baked.
  12. Cook the buns for about 20 minutes. A toothpick stuck into the side of the bun just above the muffin pan should come out clean, and should feel the dough crusting as it enters the bun. The buns should be brown.
  13. Dump the buns out of the muffin pan and with tongs, put the top of each bun down into the dish of filling mixture to coat it and then set the bun upright on a cooling rack.


mBuns 001

No matter how hard I try, there is always a rounded edge when I roll out a rectangle. As a result, the buns cut from the ends of the cylinder are usually not nicely shaped. To get around that problem, I roll the rectangle larger than the specified size of 12 x 10, and then cut it down to size with square corners; I discard the dough that is cut off. Usually if I get the widest part out to 14 inches, the 10 inch dimension does not need to be trimmed.

I have discovered that I get a better seal on the cylinder if I wipe the cylinder with wet fingers at the point the final edge will come against the body of the cylinder. Most recipes say to pinch the dough together, but by the time it is rolled up, the dough has lost some of its stickiness to the butter and sugar that has pushed out while rolling it.

Cronuts

Again, we use the croissant dough to make cronuts, a cross between the croissant and the donut. The cronut is fried in oil, and then filled, and finally the top is glazed. Even the hole is used; it is rolled in a cinnamon and sugar mixture.

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Before starting, the tool(s) for cutting the cronut from the dough has to be identified. I use a donut cutter that is just over 3 inches in diameter. However, if a donut cutter isn’t available, a couple other circular objects can be used. The circle for the outside of the cronut should be about 3 inches in diameter, and then the hole is cut with a 1 inch diameter cutter. These might be biscuit cutters, or even something weird like a drinking glass and an apple corer. Life is a lot easier if a donut cutter is available.

For making cronuts, the dough should be as thick as possible. As a result, only 4 cronuts can be made from a packet of dough. The dimensions of the rectangle to which the dough is rolled depends on the size of the donut cutter, or whatever the outside cutter is.

The width of the dough packet might already be wider than the cutter diameter. When this happens, roll the dough out to twice the width of the cutter, and then fold it in half. Don’t try to just fold the edges up to get the correct width; that leaves edges to come apart and makes ugly cronuts!

Cronuts

Ingredients

  • 1 packet croissant dough
  • Miscellaneous fillings (e.g. vanilla pudding, raspberry jam, etc.)
  • Miscellaneous glazes (e.g. http://wp.me/p3jVuB-ej, chocolate, etc.)
  • Directions

    1. Heat about 2 inches of oil in a saucepan or deep fat fryer.
    2. Turn the croissant dough packet out onto a lightly floured rolling surface. Tap the packet gently a few times to deflate it. Cover it with plastic wrap, and let it rest 10 minutes.
    3. Roll the croissant dough out into a rectangle that is as wide as the donut cutter, and three times as long. The packet makes 3 nice cronuts, and the leftover scraps will be combined to make a fourth cronut.
    4. Cut out the three cronuts with the donut cutter. Set aside on a plate or small sheet pan. Add the holes from the cutout cronuts; these will be a second treat when fried.
    5. Pick up the scrapes and make a dough ball squeezing it together on all sides. Placing it on the rolling surface, press it down into a circle the size of the donut cutter. Cut out the fourth cronut and place it with the others.
    6. Loosely cover the cronuts with a piece of plastic wrap and let them rise for about 1 hour, until about double in size.
    7. Fry the cronuts one at a time in the hot oil for 45 to 90 seconds on each side, or until golden brown and cooked through. Drain on paper towels and allow to cool before filling and glazing them.
    8. cronuts 009

    9. When ready to fill the cronuts, split them in half and place 2 Tablespoons of filling in the center, spreading it around the circle. Sandwich the halves back together, and drizzle the glaze of choice over the top.
    10. Roll the cronut holes in a cinnamon and sugar mixture. (24 parts sugar to 1 part cinnamon- e.g. 4 Tablespoons sugar to ½ teaspoon cinnamon)


    I filled my cronuts with vanilla pudding (the type that does not require refrigeration) and raspberry jam. For the glaze, on the pudding one I used a simple royal icing like Marlys and Penny taught me to make, adding some vanilla extract for flavoring. Food coloring can also be added to make the glaze complement the filling. Other glazes have already been discussed in the article that contains the royal icing recipe I have mentioned. These others include chocolate, apricot and strawberry glazes. The challenge is to be inventive of the filling and glaze that you want to use.

Curried Pear Tart

Last year, I made a pear tart that was based substantially on the peach tart. It did take some experimenting to get the proportions correct, but to me, it was a simple take-off from the peach tart. I wanted to do something different. After thinking about the flavors, I decided that curry powder would be a good addition to the flavor to balance the sweetness of the pear. So I started experimenting again. I asked my daughter Jenn about flavor combinations with curry, and she reported back to me that I should consider almond, coconut and saffron to go with most of the other flavors I already had in the custard.

tart 002

In our many versions of the tart (Jenn and James became by taste testers) I got the curry too heavy and lost all the other flavors, and then had to adjust several times to get to the recipe I am giving you herein.

If you live in Northwest Oregon, then you know that pears are plentiful. What started me working on the tart this time was that I got a gift of a dozen pears or so from my neighbor. Which becomes a warning about the ingredient list; it says 2 pears, but in truth, I can’t really say how many pears. I had one experiment in which I couldn’t get 2 large pears all into the tart, and other experiments where the pears were small and I had to use more like 4 to fill the tart. The ones I see in the store are larger, and two should be plenty.

The other day I found Ginger Paste in a tube at the store; I find it a good substitute for grating ginger root. It was in the produce section with the small packages of herbs.

Toasting coconut flakes goes fairly fast, so watch it carefully so they don’t burn. I had to throw one batch out because it burned.

To grind the almonds, I first place them in a baggie and seal it. Then I pound them to crush them into pieces. Finally, I place them in the food processor and process them to a course flour consistency before adding the other ingredients. I don’t like spinning the whole almonds directly in the food processor as they are very hard and are like little bullets at first. I think they are capable of breaking the plastic and just feel better about banging on them with the rolling pin, or even a hammer first to reduce the mass of the individual pieces.

Pear Tart

Pastry

  • 1/2 cup ground almonds
  • 1 cups flour
  • 1 Tbsp grated ginger root*
  • 1 Tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract
  • 1/2 cup shortening.

* if you don’t want to buy and grate ginger root, substitute 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
or a full tablespoon of Ginger Paste.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Place ground almonds, flour, ginger, sugars and extract in a food processor. Start the food processor and add the shortening about 1 Tablespoon at a time.
Remove and press into an 8 or 9 inch pie pan. Bake for 9 minutes.

Cool the tart shell before continuing.

Custard:

  • 2 ounces cream cheese
  • 1 Tablespoon butter
  • 2 Tablespoons milk
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/8 tsp curry powder
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/8 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp allspice
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp grated ginger root or ginger paste
  • 1/8 tsp almond extract.
  • pinch saffron threads

Place all the ingredients in the food processor and process until well blended.

Assembly

  • Cooled pastry shell
  • 1/2 cup toasted coconut
  • 2 ripe pears peeled and sliced
  • the custard

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Place the toasted coconut in the bottom of the pastry shell

Arrange the slices of pears as radii on the coconut.

Pour the custard over the pears but don’t overflow the crust.

Foil the edges of the crust so they don’t burn.

Bake 30 minutes, or until brown at the edges.

Daughter Jenn, whom I consider the pear expert, told me to use either Bartlett or d’anjou pears for baking, and I used the Bartlett. The pears you get in the store are seldom ripe; from remembering my Mother canning pears, I wrap each pear separately in a piece of newspaper and wait several days until it turns yellow.

Quick Chocolate Pie

The name of this pie might be a misnomer; it is only chocolate if you include chocolate chips in the making. Otherwise it could be a peanut butter pie, or even a cinnamon pie; it all depends on what chips you use. This picture of the pie is how it looks before you decorate it; actually, I goofed in making it and used a 10 inch pie plate instead of the called for 9 inch, and as a result there is a gap between the crust and the filling.

Quick Choco 001

This is a very simple recipe; the only time you have to use the oven is to bake the pie shell. The pie is given body through freezing the filling.

I got this recipe from James Adams, my son-in-law. Quite often when we have a pot-luck get together, he will bring a version of this pie. I got the recipe from him for the version of the pie he brought to our Thanksgiving get together; He names this one a Mexican pie since it has both chocolate and cinnamon- a couple of the tastes of Mexico.

The comments after the title of the pie are my paraphrasing of what James told me when he gave me the recipe.

Quick Chocolate Pie

(James Adams)
This is a universal recipe; I call it that because it is easy to swap out ingredients for different effects. Using all 4 ounces of chips as sweet chocolate and no extract, you get the original recipe which is a good chocolate pie. The pie we had at Thanksgiving is what I call a Mexican version and is as printed below; it uses only half the chocolate chips and then replaces the other half with cinnamon chips, and added some almond extract for flavoring. I have also made it with mint chocolate chips, and with peanut butter chips. I have always used some kind of oreo/graham cracker crust, but I’m certain a conventional crust would work just as well. James

Ingredients

  • 1 (9 inch) baked pie shell
  • 2 ounces sweet chocolate chips
  • 2 ounces cinnamon chips
  • 1/3 cup milk,- divided
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar
  • 3 ounces cream cheese, -softened
  • 8 ounces Cool Whip, -thawed

Directions

In a sauce pan, heat the chips and 2 Tablespoons of the milk over low heat until the chips are melted and the mixture is smooth.

In a small mixer bowl, beat the sugar and cream cheese until smooth. Add the remaining milk and the melted chip mixture; beat until smooth. Fold in the Cool Whip.

Spoon into the pie shell. Freeze.

While James points us to a crumb pie crust, here is my suggestion for making one.

Ingredients

  • 9 chocolate graham crackers, -(one sleeve)
  • 1/3 cup chopped nuts
  • 3 Tablespoons butter, -melted

Directions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

In a food processor, place the graham crackers and nuts. Pulse until they are fine. Add the melted butter and process until everything is moist.

Press into a 9 inch pie plate and cook for about 10 minutes.

Cool.


I decided to use the skills I am learning for cake decorating and to pipe Creme Chantilly (whip cream) on the top of the pie. Here is what that looks like.

Quick Choco 002

Impossible Pumpkin Pie

I can remember a couple decades ago when Bisquick published a series of recipes all with the word “Impossible” in the title. This is one of those for making a pumpkin pie. It is interesting in that the pie is not made with an explicit crust. Again, the recipe is simple, and easy to make. I see only a couple ingredients that might not already be in your pantry.

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Impossible Pumpkin Pie

  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup Bisquick baking mix
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 13 oz. evaporated milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 16 oz. canned pumpkin
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9″ pie plate. Beat all ingredients until smooth, 1 minute in blender on high.

Pour into pie plate. Bake until knife inserted in center comes our clean, 50-55 minutes. Garnish with whip cream, if desired.

After the pie was baked, I piped the whip cream as suggested in the recipe. It really makes an attractive pie, and no one will realize that it was so simple to make.

Margaret’s Pecan Pie

This recipe is simple and easy to make; it actually makes two 8-9 inch pies, but then with the good taste, you might need the extra pie.

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Margaret was Marlys’s step-mother, and grew up on a ranch in western Texas. Her mother taught her to cook, and all her recipes are fairly simple and straight forward. Mother and daughter use to cook for all the cow-hands, so there was always lots of very simple foods. Margaret passed many of those recipes on to Marlys. Again, I think you will find this recipe simple, easy to make, but with all the taste that the cow-hands enjoyed.

Margaret’s Pecan Pie

(Margaret McBryde)

  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 6 eggs, beaten
  • 2 cups dark Karo (1 bottle)
  • 1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 pie crusts/shells
  • 3 cups pecans, either halves or chopped

Mix together well sugar, eggs, Karo, butter and vanilla. Into two raw (unbaked) pie shells put the pecans (1 1/2 cup in each shell).

Pour filling over nuts, making sure nuts are soaked. Bake 350 degrees for 40 – 45 minutes or until set.

Pumpkin Cheesecake

Marlys loved the Halloween season; she was a kid and loved to go out into the fields to find her own pumpkins. And so it is no surprise that when she found this recipe, it became a standard part of the Fall season. It was often the dessert for Halloween night.

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Pumpkin Cheesecake

Crust
  • 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter or margarine, melted

Combine above together in medium bowl. Press onto bottom and 2 inch up sides of a 9-inch spring-form pan. Bake in preheated 350 degree oven for 8 minutes. Do not allow to brown. Remove from oven and cool.

Cheesecake Filling
  • 3 pkgs (8 oz. each) cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 3/4 cup (16 oz. can) solid pack pumpkin
  • 2 eggs
  • 2/3 cup undiluted evaporated mil
  • 2 Tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Beat cream cheese and sugars in large mixer bowl until fluffy. Beat in pumpkin, eggs, milk. Add cornstarch, cinnamon, nutmeg; beat well. Pour onto crust. Bake in preheated 350 degree oven for 55 to 60 minutes or until edge is set.

Topping
  • 2 cups sour cream at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Combine above in small bowl. Spread over surface of warm cheesecake. Return to oven and bake for 5 minutes. Cool on wire rack. Remove side of pan and chill several hours or overnight.

You want to pull the sides of the graham cracker crust up the sides of the spring-form pan all of the two inches suggested in the recipe; otherwise, you will have cheesecake filling left over. The finished cheesecake filling should be a couple inches deep.

The second time I made this recipe, I decided to pour all of the filling into the crust, and it fit, but was domed in the middle. I baked it off this way. As it baked, it leveled itself, and rose about an inch above the top of the spring-form pan; the filling was way above the top of the crust. After taking the cheesecake from the oven and starting to top it with the sour cream mixture, I noticed that the filling was starting to collapse on itself. In the end, the filling was just about at the top edge of the spring-form pan when the cheesecake had been cooled in the refrigerator. So, my hint is to not be afraid that the filling is too much and it does NOT need to stay in the crust; it can overflow the crust by several inches.

Since this is a spring-form pan, and the crust has plenty of butter in it, remember to place the pan on a sheet pan to catch the drips; you don’t want to be cleaning the bottom of the oven, or having dripped butter burning.

When I was making the filling, it seemed as if the mixer wasn’t cleaning the bottom and sides of the mixer bowl adequately; there were areas of white showing through where the cream cheese hadn’t been mixed with the pumpkin. So when you are scraping down the sides of the mixer bowl, go deep to the bottom and lift up any ingredients that are not joining the mix.

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Since this was suppose to be a Halloween dessert, I decided to make a pumpkin face on the top of my cheesecake just for fun. I used food coloring to make the topping orange. It took quite a few drops of both the red and yellow to get a deep enough orange. Then, before spreading the topping, I saved out about 1/3 cup, and added food coloring to make a deep brown color. After adding the blue, I needed to add still more red to get the right shade. I filled a piping bag and drew the features free-hand on the spread, orange topping. Have fun with your food!

Pear Tart

After developing what I thought was an exceptional Peach Tart, I felt the flavors I had chosen would also make an excellent Pear Tart. So I pushed ahead with that modification to the tart, and can now publish the recipe. Most of the notes and suggestions I made for the Peach Tart hold for the Pear Tart

pear tart 001

Pear Tart

Pastry

  • 1 1/4 cups flour
  • 1 Tbsp grated ginger root*
  • 1 Tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup shortening.

* if you don’t want to buy and grate ginger root, substitute 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger.

While this is a tart, and works nicely in a tart pan with a removable bottom, it can also be made and served in a regular pie pan. You will notice in the picture that I made the tart in one of the disposable pans you buy at the supermarket. And, interestingly enough, the pastry is strong enough that I was able to free the tart from the pan and lift it out onto a flat plate.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Place flour, ginger, sugars and vanilla in a food processor. Start the food processor and add the shortening about 1 Tablespoon at a time.
Remove and press into an 8 or 9 inch pan. Bake for 10 minutes.

Cool the tart shell before continuing.

Filling:

  • 2 ripe pears peeled and quartered
  • 3 Tablespoon cream cheese
  • 1 Tablespoon butter
  • 2 Tablespoons milk
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/8 tsp cinnamon
  • pinch allspice
  • pinch nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp grated ginger root
  • 1/8 tsp rum or almond extract.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Arrangethe quarters of pears as radii in the cool tart shell. Process in a bowl with a whisk, or a hand mixer, the cream cheese, butter, milk, and sugar until smooth. Add eggs, one at a time, then spices and extract. Pour over pears but don’t overflow the crust- you may have some custard left. foil the edges of the crust so it doesn’t burn.

Bake 30 minutes, or until brown at the edges.

Daughter Jenn, whom I consider the pear expert, told me to use either Bartlett or d’anjou pears for baking, and I used the Bartlett. The pears you get in the store are seldom ripe; from remembering my Mother canning pears, I wrap each pear separately in a piece of newspaper and wait several days until it turns yellow.

pear tart 004

There is no magic to peeling pears; there skin is solid enough that you peel them like an apple or carrot. Once peeled, I quartered the pears lengthwise, and using a melon baller, removed the seeds and stem. I went to quarters so that I was certain the custard would fill the area where I had removed the seeds; I feared that the custard might not get into the dome where the seeds had been. But, I created a slightly different problem; there were too many tips of pears in the center of the tart. I had to cut off the tips of every other pear quarter in order to make space for the other four tips. Those cut off tips were tucked under the pears in the area where the seeds had been.

The pear tart is certainly easier to make than the peach tart – there are fewer pieces to put together. And because pear season seems to follow peach season, this tart will allow you to extend the season for making ginger tasting tarts.

Peach Tart

August is when the peaches start to appear in the marketplace, and so I decided to make a peach dessert. There is a recipe in Marlys’s Recipe book for a Peach Tart, and since I had lots of success with the Strawberry Devonshire Tart, I thought a Peach Tart would be fun and easy.

The first time I made the peach tart, I had a downright failure. When I went to serve it to friends and kin, the bottom crust had disappeared. What an embarrassing mess! But, I don’t give up when I mess up; I instead try to learn from the experience and give you hints about how to avoid the problems I had in learning the recipe. My second attempt came out perfectly; I cooked the crust longer than the recipe said.

peach tart 004

My first problems were not even with the recipe- I didn’t know what a tart pan was, and I was going to use a spring-form pan. The recipe calls for a 12 inch tart pan with a removable bottom, and I couldn’t find a 12 inch pan of any form in the cupboards. Daughter Mindy put me straight, and I went out looking for a tart pan that was 12 inches in diameter and had a removable bottom. That big, they are scarce, and I went to several stores before finding the last one in a cake decorating store.

The mathematics says that if you can’t find a 12 inch tart pan, you could make the recipe in two pans; one an 8 inch pan and one a 9 inch pan. Of course, you would now have the problem of proportioning the crust and filling out into the two slightly uneven sub-tarts.

I think my biggest problem the first time I made this tart was that I was too much guided by the cook times, and not by the cooking results for the crust. The problem was that the crust was not cooked through, and then it didn’t hold the filling and even dissolved into the filling as the whole tart was cooking.

After discussing the whole thing with Mindy, I learned that the recipe was from Caprial Pence, so it wasn’t mine to publish without explicit permission; it hadn’t yet been credited to Caprial in Marlys’s Recipe book. If you would like that recipe, it is here

I decided that there were several reasons to make my own recipe for a Peach Tart, and that is what I am giving you here. First, most people don’t have a 12 inch tart or pie pan. Then, a 12 inch tart has several problems, for example, who has a nice flat plate large enough for a 12 inch pie? Finally, when you serve a slice of a 12 inch tart, you need a small dinner plate instead of a dessert plate. The Caprial recipe called for crystalized ginger – I felt that I should try for more common ingredients although in taste testing, we ended up feeling ginger root was better than ground ginger. Finally, the recipe called for just little bits of heavy cream, so unless you use heavy cream often, you are again having to wonder how to use up the rest of the pint. I felt I could fix these issues.

peach tart 023

Peach Tart a la Errol

Pastry

  • 1 1/4 cups flour
  • 1 Tbsp grated ginger root*
  • 1 Tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup shortening.

* if you don’t want to buy and grate ginger root, substitute 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger.

While this is a tart, and works nicely in a tart pan with a removable bottom, it can also be made and served in a regular pie pan.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Place flour, ginger, sugars and vanilla in a food processor. Start the food processor and add the shortening about 1 Tablespoon at a time.
Remove and press into an 8 or 9 inch pan. Bake for 10 minutes.

Cool the tart shell before continuing.

Filling:

  • 2 peaches peeled and sliced (see hints below)
  • 3 Tablespoon cream cheese
  • 1 Tablespoon butter
  • 2 Tablespoons milk
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/8 tsp cinnamon
  • pinch allspice
  • pinch nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp grated ginger root
  • 1/8 tsp rum or almond extract.

To peel peaches, it is easiest if they are ripe; test this by pressing lightly around the stem end. A ripe peach will have some give around the stem end. If the peaches are not ripe, then you must peel them the hard way- I use a vegetable peeler like I use on carrots. However, for ripe peaches, I recommend using a blanching technique. You need two pots of water – one boiling and one as cold as possible. Using a slotted spoon, put a peach into the boiling water for 40-50 seconds. Lift it out and quickly into the cold water to stop the cooking. Now take it out and puncture the skin around the stem end and it should just peel right off.

To slice the peaches, start by cutting from the stem end half way around with a paring knife. Then, make a second cut in the same manner, but over at the equator of the peach by the width you want for the wedge- about 1/4 inch. After you have made about 4 of these cuts, you will feel the wedges starting to come loose. Usually they need just a little help at the end opposite the stem. Lift them out one at a time. Then, continue making wedges and lifting them out.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Arrange wedges of peaches in concentric circles in the cool tart shell. Process in a bowl with a whisk, or a hand mixer, the cream cheese, butter, milk, and sugar until smooth. Add eggs, one at a time, then spices and extract. Pour over peaches but don’t overflow the crust- you may have some custard left. foil the edges of the crust so it doesn’t burn.

Bake 30 minutes, or until brown at the edges.

Some recipes suggest serving a peach tart with a dollop of whip cream (Creme Chantilly, Rediwhip, CoolWhip) or with a drizzle of caramel sauce.

peach tart 020

While the directions call for making the crust dough in a food processor, I have successfully made the dough in a stand mixer. In that case, start by creaming the shortenings and sugars, and the ginger and vanilla, and then add the flour a little at a time. The dough is very dry, so it can be worked by hand to press into the pan and up the sides. Just be certain to completely cover the bottom and up the sides so that the custard doesn’t leak under the crust.

When all finished, you might have leftover pieces of both the peaches and the custard. I put mine together in a small casserole pan and cooked it beside the tart, giving me a crustless peach tart. It might not be nice enough for company, but it still tastes good!