Chocolate and Maple Nut Tart

The idea for this tart began with me wanting something just a little bit different from one of my favorite desserts: pecan pie. I’ll spare you the loose set of ideas that led to this final product and just get to the food–rather than a topping of exclusively pecans, through complete indecisiveness sheer brilliance, I used a mix of pecans, hazelnuts, and almonds. Then, in place of the usual corn syrup-based custard, I instead made a maple syrup and chocolate based custard.

Chocolate and Maple Nut Tart

Taste and texture-wise, the pecan pie heritage of this tart is very clear. All the tweaks add to what is still very much a pecan pie flavor foundation, and I loved it. You pick up the flavor of almond and hazelnut with deeper, dark sweet notes of chocolate and maple which I found was a great foil to the touch of cinnamon you get from the graham cracker crust. You still get that gooey custard filling with… click to read more…

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Lemon and Ricotta Pound Cake

Pound cake is a rare treat for me, and given how easy it is to make, I’m not sure why I don’t have it more often. Its delicious, rich, crumbly, and buttery on its own but is also easily tweaked to highlight other flavors.

Lemon and Ricotta Pound Cake

In this case, I chose to go with a more Italian inspired flavor profile: creamy and tangy ricotta with the bright flavor of lemon. The cake was delicious, and I topped it off with a simple, sweet, lemony glaze to further the lemon flavor. The final result was delicious with a sweet, crispy crust around the edges and a tender, crumbly, delicious cake inside. My only regret was using too small of a loaf pan (so I also had some free-form pound cakelet blobs to enjoy on the side, lol).

  • Cake
    • 1.5 cups flour
    • 2.5 tsp baking powder
    • 1 tsp salt
    • 3/4 cup/6 oz

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Peach and Pecan Tart

Before peach season entirely draws to a close, I felt I needed to have at least one peach pie in some shape or form. As we start to enter autumn and pecan season, this pie seemed like a natural bridge for my cravings (and entirely in line with other favorite pies of mine).

Peach and Pecan Tart

There are three major elements to this pie: the crust, the peach filling, and the pecan topping. I fell in love with each and the trio was a great mix. The crust was a pâte sablée (sweet pie dough) made with ground almonds for an assertive, sweet, but nutty flavor and a crisp, crumbly bite. The filling has the sweetness of peaches, accentuated by the tartness and added creaminess of quark (if you’ve never heard of it, it is a kind of cheese. I would compare it to a mix of cream cheese and sour cream as… click to read more…

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Cardamom Peach Preserves

Just like I get the strong urge to braise everything in the winter, I find myself wanting to preserve everything I encounter during the summer. After enjoying many a peach (and I must confess, I think I prefer Carolina peaches over Georgia peaches…), I vaguely recalled a recipe for peach preserves I had encountered and knew I had to make some for myself while I could still find some amazing local peaches.

Cardamom Peach Preserves

My first inclination when it comes to preserves is always jelly or jam, so I thought I’d try to not do that, instead opting for larger chunks of fruit and a looser syrup. Also, while the best preserves tend to be simple (e.g. just fruit + sugar), some pairings are a match made in heaven, and peach + cardamom is such a match. They both offer such… click to read more…

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Ginger Spiced Peach & Praline Ice Cream

Having lived in Florida, I developed an appreciation for Georgia peaches–golden, delicate, deliciously perfumed, sweet, supple peaches. I always buy way too many at a time (a habit of mine with many a fruit) and tend to just wolf them down and make a mess of myself. I was tempted to make a peach pie, but opted for ice cream instead. Despite having posted other ice creams recently, this is actually one of the first things I made after I moved to North Carolina–having an empty freezer just didn’t sit well with me, so I addressed that issue very promptly with some peach ice cream, accented with a handful of other flavors that I thought would complement peach nicely.

Ginger Spiced Peach & Praline Ice Cream

I didn’t want to overwhelm the peach flavor, but rather, wanted to enhance it. I chose to do so with two major side kicks: praline (which is caramel + almond +… click to read more…

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Honey Mango Pie

Mangoes hold a special place in my house. The only tricky thing is the weekly gamble where you think you have a good looking mango and hold your breath as you cut into it to discover whether or not you actually have a well disguised dud. Much to my delight, I chanced upon some incredible mangoes recently and thought I had to do something with them right away. I’ve done some mango desserts before, and I didn’t want to do more of the everyday kind of mango dishes, so I thought back to something I’d only had once before: mango pie.

Honey Mango Pie

I loved the taste when I’d first had it, but there was one thing I didn’t care for (and if you look into mango pie, you’ll find so many of them do the same): they’re gelatinous. Not just a little bit, but to the point where… click to read more…

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