Showing posts with label tart. Show all posts
Showing posts with label tart. Show all posts

Friday, May 27, 2016

Pear and Preserves Tart #FridayPieDay

Freshly sliced pears and your favorite fruit preserves, mingle with browned butter in a puff pastry crust to create this tasty, easy pear and preserves tart. 

It’s Friday Pie Day once again! We celebrate on the last Friday of every month by baking. This week I’m doing my annual doctors' visits and trying to work from home. It’s been crazy busy so I sent my daughter out to the grocery store and said, “Check out the fruit and bring me something I can bake into a pie, please.” She returned with four beautiful fat pears, not quite enough for a full size pie but plenty for a puff pastry tart, and then some.

1 sheet ready rolled puff pastry - Mine weighed 8.6 oz or 245g.
2 large pears, sliced thinly1/4 cup or 60g unsalted butter
About 1/4 cup or 120g preserves of your choice (I used my cherry lemon preserves.)

Thaw your puff pastry if it’s frozen and then lay it out flat on a piece of baking parchment or a silicone liner.

Preheat your oven to 425°F or 218°C.

Score your puff pastry with the tip of a sharp knife about 1 inch or 2.5 centimeters from the edge.

Slice the pears into thin wedges and then remove the seeds.

Start laying the pear slices inside the scored line on your pastry, overlapping as you go. Depending on the size of your puff pastry sheet (and pears) you might not need all of the slices. I used about 1 1/2 pears.

Heat the butter in a small pan until it starts to bubble and foam rises to the top. Skim the foam off as it forms. Continue to heat the butter until it starts to brown and then remove it immediately from the stove. We want browned butter, not burned butter and it will continue to darken from the heat of the pot.

N.B. It was too dark in my kitchen to take decent photos but I wasn't at all worried because whenever I use browned butter in a recipe, I like to send folks over to my friend, Kayle, the Cooking Actress. She's got a great how-to for browning butter.  She puts browned butter in All The Things, both sweet and savory.

Use a spoon to drizzle the browned butter all over the pear slices.

Spoon the sweet preserves of your choice over the pears.

Bake in your preheated oven for 15-18 minutes or until the pastry is puffy and golden brown.

Remove from the oven and leave to cool for about 20 minutes before serving, to allow the sweet runny juices to thicken up. My puff pastry somehow sprung a leak and some of the sticky juice ran out onto the silicone mat, which is why we use those things or parchment. They make clean up so much easier!


My friend and creator of Friday Pie Day, Heather, over at All Roads Lead to the Kitchen has made a gorgeous blushing apricot pie with fresh apricots and strawberries to share today. You need to go and see that beauty!

I am pleased to join her on the last Friday of each month for pie and crust recipes, techniques, tools of the trade, and other inspiration.

For more information and recipes, please check out her #FridayPieDay page!


Friday, April 29, 2016

Mushroom Feta Tart with Feta Thyme Crust #FridayPieDay

 This lovely mushroom feta tart is filled with mixed mushrooms, seasoned with thyme and white wine and sharp feta, baked in a yeast dough crust.  

Here’s a little news for those of you who think mushrooms can only grow in humid, dark places. The mushrooms I used in today’s tart were all grown here in the sunny United Arab Emirates.  Yeah, I know, I know, they are farmed and not wild, but still. The farms here are a testament to the persistence and dedication of many dreamers who have worked hard to see their dreams fulfilled. Emirates Mushrooms is fully organic and, according to their website, they have a growing capacity of 8000kg of mushrooms per week! Which I find incredible. And, no, this is not a sponsored post – I just thought I’d share a little of my world with you.

It’s Friday Pie Day again so let’s get on with the pie.

For the crust:
1/2 teaspoon active dry yeast
1/2 teaspoon sugar
3/4 cup or 180ml warm water
1/2 teaspoon salt
About 2 1/4 cups or 280g all-purpose flour
1 3/4 oz or 50g feta, crumbled
Thyme leaves off a few fresh sprigs, maybe two teaspoons
Olive oil for bowl

For the filling:
3-4 cloves garlic
1 medium onion (Mine was 90g.)2 tablespoons butter (or olive oil)
2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves plus a sprig or two for garnish, if desired
2lbs + or 950g mixed mushrooms
1/2 cup or 120ml dry white wine
Freshly ground black pepper
3 1/2 oz or 100g feta, crumbled

First we’ll make the dough for the crust. Put the warm water in a bowl with the yeast and sugar and leave to prove. The yeast should turn foamy if it’s active. If not, go buy some more yeast and start again.

Assuming you’ve got foam in your bowl, add in 2 cups or 250g of the flour along with the thyme and salt. Mix well until you have a nice wet dough. You can knead by hand but this will be easier with a dough hook if you have a stand mixer.

Add in the crumbled feta and about one more tablespoon of flour and keep kneading with the dough hook until it’s incorporated.

Turn it out onto a floured surface and knead for a few good turns by hand, adding just a little more of the flour if necessary. Form the dough into a ball.

Oil your mixing bowl and put the ball of dough in. Turn it over to coat with oil. Set aside in warm place until doubled in size.

To make the filling, clean your mushrooms, making sure to remove any dirt that clings to them.

Slice the garlic and onion finely and pull the thyme leaves off of the stems.

Melt the butter in a very large pan and sauté the garlic, onion and thyme over a low heat, until they are very soft. Stir occasionally.

Meanwhile, cut your mushrooms in two if they are small and in quarters if they are larger.

Add the mushrooms to the onion pan. Raise the flame under the pan and cook the mushrooms, stirring often, until the water comes out of them.

Continue cooking until the water all evaporates and they are dry. Cook over a high flame until the mushrooms start to brown. Keep stirring.

Add in the white wine and keep cooking until it has all evaporated and the mushrooms are almost completely dry again.

Remove the pan from the stove. Set aside a few crumbles of feta to add to the top before baking then add the rest to the pan.  Give it a few good grinds of black pepper and then stir.

Season to taste with salt. I added just a couple of pinches since the feta is quite salty. Leave the filling to cool.

Preheat your oven to 400°F or 200°C and line a baking pan with parchment or a silicone liner.

Punch down the dough and tip it out onto a lightly floured surface.

Roll it out into a circle about 13 1/2 in or 34cm wide.

Carefully transfer the circle to your prepared baking pan.

Heap the mushroom filling in the middle then spread it around until it’s about 2 in or 5cm from the edge.

Fold the sides in to contain the filling. Top the mushrooms with your few reserved feta crumbles and a couple of small thyme sprigs, if desired.

Bake in your preheated oven for about 25-30 minutes or until the crust is golden brown.

Remove and allow to cool on a wire rack for about 15-20 minutes before cutting.


My friend and creator of Friday Pie Day, Heather, over at All Roads Lead to the Kitchen was thinking outside the box this month. She's sharing a cherry pie milkshake today!

I am pleased to join her on the last Friday of each month for pie and crust recipes, techniques, tools of the trade, and other inspiration.

For more information and recipes, please check out her #FridayPieDay page!


Friday, January 29, 2016

Sausage Apple Onion Tart #FridayPieDay

The apples and sausages go together beautifully, as pork and apples are wont to do, with the lovely added flavor of baked onions, in a crisp, golden puff pastry crust.  

The beauty of pies and tarts is that they can be sweet or savory. If you aren’t much of a dessert person, you can still enjoy a delicious pie, just add some sausage or salami. This month’s Friday Pie Day tart makes the perfect brunch, lunch or dinner fare and the ingredients are easily changed out for whatever you might have on hand.

I started by making my rough puff pastry recipe, or rather, I should say, Gordon Ramsey’s rough puff pastry recipe, cut off a little more than half and wrapped up the rest and popped it in the freezer. If you haven’t attempted rough puff before, I recommend you try it. It’s easy and way less work that actual puff pastry. In a pinch, of course, you can use store-bought puff pastry.

1 green apple (for example, Granny Smith)
2 teaspoons canola or other light oil
2 medium purple onions
6 fat sausages (about 14 oz or 400g)
A few fresh tender sprigs thyme – or leaves off of older sprigs
12 1/3 oz or 350g rough puff pastry dough from this recipe
2 tablespoons whole grain mustard

Preheat your oven to 400°F or 200°C and prepare a baking sheet by lining it with baking parchment or a silicone liner.

Cut the apple in half, core it and cut it into thin slices, discarding the very end pieces that are all peel. Toss the apple slices in a medium sized bowl, with the oil to stop them turning brown.

Peel the onions, cut them in half and then slices them into thin wedges.

Toss them in the bowl with the apples.

Add the thyme sprigs, ripped into smaller pieces.

Cut the sausages into bite-sized pieces with a sharp knife of a pair of scissors. Mix the pieces in with the apples and onions.

Roll out your rough puff pastry into a large rectangle and trim the edges to make sure it will puff up successfully.

Gently score a line all the way around the inside with the tip of a sharp knife. This will be your puffy, crunchy crust, so don’t be skimpy with the margin.

Spread your mustard all over inside the scored line.

Tip the sausage, apple and onion onto the pastry and arrange it as evenly as possible all the way out to the scored line.

It's a pretty tall pile but it will bake down, I promise.

Bake for 30-35 minutes or until the pastry is puffed and golden and the sausage pieces are cooked through.

Allow to cool slightly before cutting.


This sausage apple onion tart is my contribution to this month's Friday Pie Day, the brilliant creation of Heather from All Roads Lead to the Kitchen. (Formerly girlichef.)

I am pleased to join her on the last Friday of each month for pie and crust recipes, techniques, tools of the trade, and other inspiration.

For more information and recipes, please check out her #FridayPieDay page!

Friday, December 25, 2015

Easy Cheesy Salami Tomato Tart #FridayPieDay

Easy to throw together, this tart starts with puff pastry, topped with pesto, salami, fresh tomatoes and semi-soft cheese, for a savory slice of deliciousness that’s perfect for lunch or dinner. Or enjoy it cold the next day for breakfast. I did!

Merry Christmas, everyone!

It is my pleasure to join my friend, Heather, today for another edition of Friday Pie Day. Make sure to scroll on down to the bottom for the link to her take on classic mince pies.

One of the standard items in my freezer is pre-rolled puff pastry. It thaws fairly quickly and I find it can be ready to unroll by the time my oven preheats, which makes tart making a breeze. The filling is easily adapted to whatever you have on hand - as long as you make sure to include some melty cheese! - so it’s perfect for busy days when you want a special meal but are short on time. Like during the holidays.

This tart is adapted from a recipe at cuisineAZ.

8 oz or 225g all butter puff pastry dough
3 1/2 oz or 100g salami
3 medium tomatoes (Mine weighed about 9 oz or 260g.)
8 3/4 oz or 250g semi-soft cheese (I used Morbier.)
3 tablespoons fresh pesto (Mine was made with wild rocket or arugula.)
Freshly ground black pepper

Optional garnish: chopped green onions

Preheat your oven to 400°F or 200°C and line your tart pan with baking parchment.

Unroll your puff pastry dough circle (or roll it out with a rolling pin if it’s in a block) and fit it into your tart pan.

Dock the dough with a fork and bake in your preheated oven for about 8-10 minutes.

Remove from the oven and then turn the temperature down to 350°F or 180°C.

Spread the base of the tart with the pesto.

Top with salami.

Slice your tomatoes very thinly. Cut the hard rinds off of your cheese and slice it as thinly as possible, which frankly is a little tricky with a semi-soft cheese. Do your best.

Top the salami with the tomato slices.

Then top the tomatoes with the cheese slices and give the whole tart a good few grinds of black pepper.

Bake in your preheated oven for about 25-30 minutes or until the cheese is all melted and golden.

Sprinkle with chopped green onions, if desired.

Allow to cool slightly before cutting and serving. You can also serve it at room temperature.


This easy cheesy salami tomato tart is my contribution to this month's Friday Pie Day, the brilliant creation of Heather from All Roads Lead to the Kitchen. (Formerly girlichef.)

I am pleased to join her on the last Friday of each month for pie and crust recipes, techniques, tools of the trade, and other inspiration.

This month Heather has baked mini cranberry mince pies, an essential for Christmas!

For more information and recipes, please check out her #FridayPieDay page!


Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Cherry Apple Crumble Tart #FoodieExtravaganza

Sweet juicy cherries tossed with tart green apples then topped with a brown sugar oatmeal crumble and baked in a slightly sweet crust, this may well be the perfect tart. 

This post is a little walk down memory lane for me. Two and a half years ago, we were living in Cairo, Egypt. Vegetables and fruit are grown all along the verdant Nile valley, an area so abundantly fertile that it makes a dramatic satellite photo. With such a proliferation of fresh produce, hardly anything is shipped in so eating seasonally is just about the only choice. And the honest truth is that the majority of Egyptians could not afford expensive imported goods.

                                                                                                                                               Photo credit: National Geographic

Isn’t that extraordinary? Lush vegetation thrives all along the river valley, in the middle of starkly barren desert. According to the Encyclopedia Britannica, arable land makes up only three percent of Egypt's land mass.

Here in Dubai, we have the same issue but no Nile. There are some lovely vegetables grown in farms in the desert but they require substantial irrigation from expensively produced water and have growing months limited by the scorching temperatures of summer. Fruit trees that require cold weather to blossom are out of the question. Which brings me to cherries, which are our ingredient of the month for my Foodie Extravaganza group.

All the fresh cherries in Dubai are imported and terribly expensive so I was debating what I could make or bake with canned or dried ones. Then I remembered this lovely cherry and apple crumble tart that I baked and photographed while we lived in Cairo but had never shared. The sweet deep purple cherries add such a lovely flavor to the crisp apples. In case you are curious, visit Egypt in August or September to enjoy the abundant cherry crop.

The recipe for the crust was shared with me almost 20 years ago by my friend, Mary, who lives in the Channel Islands.

For the crust:
1 1/2 cups or 190g flour
3 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup or 150g cold butter
1 whole egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1-2 tablespoons milk

For the pie filling:
10 1/2 oz or 295g cherries
2 medium apples
1/2 cup or 100g sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt

For the crumble:
1 cup or 95g rolled oats
1/4 cup or 50g butter, softened
1/2 cup or 50g brown sugar
Pinch salt

In a large mixing bowl, sift your flour, sugar, baking powder and salt together.

Cut the butter into pieces and add them to the dry ingredients. Use a pastry blender to cut the butter into the flour, until you end up with a rather sandy texture.

Make a well in the center and add the egg, vanilla and one tablespoon of milk. Mix them into the flour with a fork.

Add more milk if it seems too dry to come together as a dough.

Knead quickly with your hands for just a few turns. Wrap the dough in cling film and chill for 10-15 minutes in the refrigerator. Meanwhile preheat your oven to 350°F or 180°C.

While the chilling and the preheating are going on, let’s start preparing our filling. Pit the cherries with a cherry pitter or, failing that, three or four toothpicks taped together can be pushed through one end of the cherries to dislodge the pits. Put the cherries in a bowl that will be big enough to hold your apples, once sliced, as well.

When chilling time is up, roll the dough out and fit it into your tart pan. Mine is shallow and wide, about 11 in or 28cm across.

Prick it all over with a fork or the tip of a sharp knife to help keep it from puffing up while baking.

Line the inside of the crust with baking parchment and fill it with pie beads or dried beans. Bake it in your preheated oven for 10 minutes.

While the crust blind bakes, prepare your apples. Cut them in half and remove the cores. If you can manage to slice them very, very finely, you can leave the peelings on, otherwise, it’s probably best to peel. Slice them as thinly as you can and pile them into the bowl with the cherries.

Add in the sugar, cornstarch and salt for the filling and stir well.

In another bowl, mix together your crumble ingredients.

Once the crust has finished baking, take it out of the oven and allow to cool for a few minutes before carefully removing the parchment and pie beads or dried beans.

Pile the cherries and apples in the crust and spread them out somewhat evenly. Sprinkle on the crumble to cover.

Bake for 45-50 minutes or until the whole tart is golden and the apples are cooked through.

I completely forgot to take a photo of the tart being served but I can guarantee each slice was accompanied by a healthy pour of thick cream. Because that’s how tarts must be served, according to my husband. If you want to add a scoop of vanilla ice cream instead, feel free.

If this is your first time joining us, the Foodie Extravaganza is a monthly party hosted by bloggers who love food! Each month we incorporate one main ingredient into recipes to share with you and this month that ingredient is a Valentine's Day classic, cherries!

17 Delicious Cherry Recipes

Be sure to check out the rest of these fantastic cherry recipes!

Follow our Foodie Extravaganza Pinterest board for past events and more deliciousness!