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Pies - Tarts

View Our Alphabetical Recipe Index for Pies - Tarts
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No pie pan is needed for this rustic, free-form country pie.

A beautiful and easy plum tart, that can also be made with apples and cranberries (mixed). A beautiful pastry dough cradles ripe plums, which bake up juicy and sweetly scarlet. The technique for the top crust is a blue ribbon trick.

This is inspired by a baker extraordinaire, my once-mother-in-law, Shirley Posluns, who is justifiably famous for her most amazing apple cake. It is not her recipe exactly – you would have to watch her make it – but it is pretty darned close and it's the recipe she shared with me. I find this on my list of best three apple cakes in the world (my Rougement Apple Cake, based on my own mom's apple cake in my cookbook A Passion for Baking takes lst prize and my own Layered Apple Cake is tied for second. Did I mention my Apple Strudel Cake or Apple Cake in the Round?). McIntosh apples are best for this cake; but you can try Cortland or Golden Delicious – any sort, sweet apple. Don’t even consider Granny Smith! They are too tart and watery. You can make many apple cakes but will always come back to this one. It does not stale but it does not last either so its conservation qualities are totally lost on those who devour it. Btw - how many apples you use for this, it is probably still not enough. They should completely fill the pan in a ridiculous way.

Crostata is fun because you don't have to crimp a pie border. It is really just a fancier apple pie but perfect for the holidays. If you prefer more of a finished look, opt for a 10-12 inch tart or quiche pan to make this in. If you are in a hurry, use store-bought or mix pie dough or filo dough for a look-alike crostata in less time.

Inspired by the movie, Simply Irresistible (another food dvd you have to rent), these are luscious little éclairs. Make these small enough to serve 2-3 per person.  These are delicate but decadent miniature éclairs, filled with silken pastry cream and a unique caramel topping. Bakeries use either commercial coffee flavored fondant or caramelized sugar. This novel approach gives you the ease of fondant but retains the nice caramel notes that make the whole concept come together.

From A Passion for Baking, Marcy Goldman, Oxmoor House 2007 (check the book for the gorgeous photo of this amazing recipe). This is a near-instant flash of a pie that is as good as the best pastry-shop offering. It uses two frozen piecrusts, shredded apples or regular wedges of apples (but if you shred them you don't have to peel them), and an oven—all for a pie that is ready in barely an hour. You can make Smash Pie with peaches, apricots, blueberries, or almost any fruit filling you choose. It is also aka First Apartment Pie, Bachelor Apple Pie, Baking Neophyte Pie, People Are Coming And I Forgot Dessert Pie - you name it - it resolves any sweet tooth.

This is ideal for homemade strudels, hors d’oeuvres, potato knishes, quiche, pies or tarts. It freezes like a dream and you can made a few batches in a food processor in minutes. It is a crisp, tender, buttery dough that is a bit like puff pastry but low tech. You can use yogurt to replace the sour cream but do not use low-fat sour cream (too watery). ONe of my all-time favorites doughs. Oh! Did I tell you it makes sublime rugulah?

A simple custard and fresh fruit with a slick of red jelly make this special.

The taste of fresh strawberries and rhubarb with apples in this strudel is positively sparkling. This makes a winter pastry into a springtime frock.

Sweet and tart and vibrantly red. Rhubarb is so fresh and springy and the berries are a sweet match - all in all, it's an unbeatable combination. Forget about gluey supermarket pie. Bake up a blue ribbon winner!

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