Archive for the ‘Desserts’ Category

Apple Cranberry Tart


1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

6 Tbsp white cornmeal

1/2 cup plus 2 tsp sugar, plus more for dusting

1/2 tsp kosher salt

3/4 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces, plus 2 Tbsp, sliced thinly

6 Tbsp sour cream

1/2 cup ice water plus 1/2 cup water

3 Tbsp honey

3 Tbsp fresh lemon juice

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

8 large tart apples, peeled, cored and sliced

1 1/2 cups fresh cranberries


To make the pastry, combine the flour, cornmeal, 2 tsp sugar, and salt in a food processor.  Add the 3/4 cup butter and pulse until the butter pieces are the size of small peas.  In a bowl, whisk together the sour cream and 1/2 cup ice water.  Drizzle over the dough and pulse for a few seconds until the dough clings together.  Pat the dough into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 20 minutes.

In a large frying pan, warm the 1/2 cup sugar, 1/2 cup water, honey, lemon juice, and cinnamon over medium heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves.  Stir in the apple slices and simmer until tender-crisp, about 3 minutes.  Add the cranberries and simmer just until they start to pop, about 2 minutes.  Using a slotted spoon, transfer the fruit to a bow.  Boil the juices over medium-high heat until reduced slightly and spoon over the fruit.

Preheat the oven to 400°F.  On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the dough into a large rectangle about 1/4-inch thick.  Transfer to a rimmed baking sheet.  Mound the fruit filling onto the dough and spread an even layer, leaving a 2-inch border uncovered.  Bold the border over the fruit, pleating the edges to form a broad rim.  Lay the thin slices of butter over the exposed fruit, then sprinkle with sugar.

Bake until the pastry is golden brown and the fruit is bubbling and tender, about 40 minutes.  Let cool slightly, then serve.

From Williams-Sonoma’s Dessert of the Day: 365 Recipes for Every Day of the Year Cookbook, p281

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Fresh Pear Ginger Crisp


1 cup crushed gingersnap cookies (about 20 cookies)

1/2 cup old-fashioned oats

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

1/4 tsp ground ginger

1/4 tsp ground cloves

1/8 tsp salt

1/3 cup butter, softened

7 medium pears (about 2 1/2 pounds), peeled and thinly sliced

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

Vanilla ice cream, optional


In a small bowl, combine the first six ingredients.  With clean hands, work butter into oat mixture until well combined.  Refrigerate for 15 minutes.

Place pears in a small bowl; add flour and toss to coat.  Transfer to a greased 8-in square baking dish; sprinkle with oat mixture.

Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 35+-40 minutes or until topping is golden brown and fruit is tender.  Serve warm with ice cream if desired.

From Taste of Home’s 2013 Holiday Collection Book.

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Apple and Pear Crisp


3 to 5 medium apples, cored and cut into 1-inch pieces

3 medium Bosc pears, cored and cut into 2-inch pieces

1/4 cup sugar

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves


1/2 cup almond meal

3/4 cup rolled oats

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon salt

6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small pieces.


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

To prepare the fruit:  Add the apples and pears to a large mixing bowl.  Sprinkle with the sugar and cloves, and stir to combine.  Pour the fruit along with any juices into a deep 8” square baking pan and set aside.

To prepare the crisp: Using the same mixing bowl, add the almond meal, oats, sugar, spices, and salt; stir to combine.  Add the butter to the bowl.  Using your fingers, pinch the butter into the dry ingredients, blending well.  The topping will at first resemble coarse crumbs, but will soon come together in larger clumps.

Distribute the topping evenly over the fruit in the pan, breaking up larger clumps if needed.  Bake for 40-45 mins, until the fruit can be easily pierced with a fork and the crisp topping is brown.  Let cool 15 mins before serving.  Top with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.

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Apple Pot Pies with Maple Cream


Flaky Pie Dough for single crust

6 tart apples, peeled, cored and diced

1 Tbsp unsalted butter

1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar

1 Tbsp all-purpose flour

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

2Tbsp brandy

1 tsp finely grated lemon zest

2 large egg beaten with 1 tsp water

1 Tbsp granulated sugar

1 Cup heavy cream

2 Tbsp pure maple sugar


Prepare the dough and chill.  Butter 4 individual ramekins or baking dishes and place on a baking sheet.

Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface and divide into 4 equal pieces.  Roll each piece into a round about 1/8” thick and slightly larger than the mouth of each ramekin.  Place the rounds onto a baking sheet and refrigerate until ready to use.

Preheat the oven to 400°F.  In a saucepan, cook the apples, butter, brown sugar, flour and cinnamon over medium heat, stirring, just until the fruit starts to soften and the mixture thickens, about 7 minutes.  Remove from the heat and stir in the brandy and lemon zest.  Mix well and divide between the ramekins.

Top each ramekin with a round of dough, pressing it down to seal it around the mouth of the dish.  Brush the top of the dough with the egg wash and sprinkle with granulated sugar.  Bake until the dough is golden brown, the fruit is tender, and the juices are bubbling, about 30 minutes.  Remove from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes.

To make the maple cream, in a bowl, using an electric mixer, whip the cream until soft peaks form.  Gradually whip in the maple syrup, beating until medium peaks form.  Serve the pot pies with the maple cream.

From Dessert of the Day by Kim Laidlaw, p. 272

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Apple Pie Filling


6 pounds apples, cored & sliced

1 cup water

1 cup apple cider

1 cup sugar

1/4 cup apple pectin (available online or in health food stores)

1/4 cup lemon juice

1/4 tsp ground nutmet

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp ground cloves

Will also need a hot water canner & 4 pint jars, lids and rims


Fill a large stockpot half full with water and bring to a boil.  Drop in half of the sliced apples and cover, returning to a boil.  Once the water returns to a boil (about 8-10 minutes), use a slotted spoon to strain out the apples.  Add the slices directly to clean pint jars, leaving a small amount of room at the top.  Repeat the process with the remaining apple slices.  On a folded-over dish towel (for padding) strongly tap the bottom of each jar on the counter, to help pack down the apples.  If necessary, redistribute the apples so each jar is full, with 1” headspace.

In a medium sauce pan, add the water, apple cider, sugar, apple pectin, lemon juice, and spices; bring to a boil.  Simmer the liquid for about 15 minutes, reducing it slightly.  Using a ladle or liquid measuring cup for ease, pour hot juice over the jarred apples, leaving 1/2” of headspace.  Gently tap the jars on the counter to release any air bubbles.  Wipe the jar rims and seal the jars.  Place them in a prepared water bath and process for 20 minutes.  Remove the jars with tongs and let them cool on the counter overnight.  Store in a cool, dark cupboard for up to 1 year.


This recipe makes about 4 pint jars.  You’ll end up using about 2 pints per 9” pie. 

You can use any type of apple for pie filling, but usually a mix of varieties works best, especially if one has a bit of a tart flavor.


Recipe from Edible Seattle, September/October 2013, page 33.

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Cinnamon Sugar Plum Cake


  • 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup plus 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
  • 5 large plums (about 1 1/4 pounds), pitted, cut into 1/2-inch wedges**
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon


Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter 9-inch-diameter springform pan. Whisk first 3 ingredients in small bowl to blend. Using electric mixer, beat butter in large bowl until fluffy. Beat in 3/4 cup sugar. Add eggs 1 at a time, then lemon juice and lemon peel, beating until blended after each addition. Beat in flour mixture. Spread batter in prepared pan.

Press plum wedges halfway into batter in concentric circles, spacing slightly apart. Mix remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar and cinnamon in small bowl; sprinkle over plums. Bake until cake is browned on top and tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 50 minutes. Cut around cake; release pan sides. Serve cake warm or at room temperature.

**Any other fresh fruit can be substituted for plums when plums are not in season.

Recipe from Bon Appétit,  June 2002

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1/2 Cup all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled

1/2 Cup old-fashioned rolled oats

5 Tbsp butter, at room temperature

1/3 Cup light brown sugar

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp plus a pinch fine sea salt or table salt

1/2 pint blackberries

1 Tbsp granulated sugar

2 pluots, pitted and sliced

2 tsp fresh lemon juice

1 pint vanilla ice cream


1) Heat oven to 350 F.  Mix together the flour, oats, butter, brown sugar, cinnamon and 1/4 tsp of the salt in a medium bowl.

2) Transfer to a rimmed baking sheet and, using your hands, formt he mixture into large clumps.  Freeze until hard, 15-20 minutes.

3) Bake the crumble until golden brown, 20-25 minutes.  Let cool.

4) Meanwhile, mash the blackberries and granulated sugar in a medium bowl.  Add the plums, lemon juice, and the remaining pinch of salt and mix to combine.

5) Divide ice cream, fruit and juices, and crumble among 4 glasses or bowls.  Serve immediately.

Real Simple, August 2014 issue, page 192.

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