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Pies - Tarts

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A bouquet of tart-sweet plums, held in place by a vanilla and lightly spiced tinged egg and cream custard.  Warm up some apricot jam and brush it on as a glaze for a pastry shop finale. My mother actually made this with canned plums - which would be fine. This is spectacular in flavor and just a nice change from chocolate or cinnamon things. As I look at this recipe now, it occurs to me it is really a spin on Clafouti, the rustic French custard and fruit pie, often made with cherries. I don't recall that this pie (or tart) ever lasted more than an evening at our house. You can use the tart dough here or a ready made pie dough crust (if you are in a hurry) ; either are fine.

A sweet-dough crust used in European tarts and wonderful as a crust for an American style cheesecake. A slight amount of baking powder makes this rise just a tad, for a pastry shell that is light as well as delicate and buttery.

A great combo of blueberries and cranberries makes this a crimson delight. This was one of the very first recipes I ever developed for Bon Appetit Magazine and it remains, to me, one of my best efforts (well, in terms of pie).The blueberries are sweet and tame the tartness of the cranberries. In the end, you have a deeply crimson filling, that is tart, sweet, holiday-ish and kissed with a touch of orange. Another great pie choice is our Bumble Berry or Crumb Topped Apple Spice Pie.

My favourite hamantashen filling of all time - apricot! But I make my apricot filling positively sing with flavor. I use a combination of both California dried apricots (go to www.BellaViva.com for the world's finest dried fruit but if you can, opt for dried California apricots) and Turkish apricot leather or paste (it comes in sheets at Middle Eastern Stores) makes the best filling possible. It is tart and sweet and pretty as a sunrise. This is what the apricot leather or paste looks like: http://blogs.kqed.org/bayareabites/files/2010/02/apricot-paste500.jpg My other secret in this recipe is using Boyajian orange oil (www.BoyajianInc.com)

This no-flour torte is pure sophistication.

A trio of apples makes this superb. Feel freel to substitute your own region’s apples, but avoid Granny Smith and Red Delicious. I use graniteware for my best pies, or Emile Henry pottery pie dishes. This is a lovely, juicy pie that is wonderful anytime. For Valentine's Day, I forgo the cinnamon and toss in red heart candies instead. They offer their own brand of cinnamon and a reddish hue - Cupid's kiss in an apple pie?  For another sort of take on apple pie, visit Valentine's Day Apple Pie or Pie for Someone You Love

Smooth as silk, and r.e.al. chocolate filling. Diner delicious. This cream pie is served with whipped cream. But you can also recoup the egg whites (not used) and whip them into a meringue and offer a meringue-topped chocolate pie.

Even a bad strawberry rhubarb pie can make your heart flutter – such is our affection (for those of us who are fans) for this pie. But then there are some homemade strawberry rhubarb pies that are heavenly and literally change the way the earth turns. This is one such pie. Recently, on Summer Solstice, the longest day of the year, I created the most magical SR pie I could. I took the strawberry rhubarb love affair to new heights. This pie also features a neat baker's trick in it (but relax, it's all natural) that ensures a luscious pie but not a gloppy, wet one. Here is a pie that is seductive with the freshest flavor of spring/summer combined.

 

What is more classic than Ontario butter tarts, oozing with a sublime brown sugar and butter filling that captivates in each, decadent bite? Butter tarts have been around since the 50’s, if not before, and are as popular now as they were then. Aside from tasting as luscious as possible, they use simple, on-hand ingredients like fresh creamery butter, pantry-ready brown sugar and raisins and use a basic  pie crust. This specialty butter tart is revamped. Instead of little squares or tiny tarts, it makes one large butter tart instead, taking a homey dessert of yesteryear into the realm of an elegant dessert. It is baked in either a 10 inch spring form pan or large tart pan (like a quiche pan) with a removable bottom. Just cut modest sized wedges (this is rich!) and serve with espresso or tea.

 

A refreshing combination.If your rhubarb is tough, remove the fibrous strands on the outer stalk before cutting. This pie is a very refreshing, spring-summer combination.
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