The Best Ever Lemon Cream Tart

I hate the short period that immediately follows the start of the New Year–fad dieting and half-hearted nods towards health-consciousness take over. It bothers me not so much out of pretentiousness, but more in that its what dominates the magazines, gym, and food scene for a month. The annual chant: “New year, new you!”…ugh

This lemon cream tart is what I ate for dessert on New Year’s Eve and is my polite middle finger to these forced habits that don’t survive past January, all of which are responsible for some of the least exciting food of the year. This tart contains a respectable ~2.5 sticks of butter and, in my case, followed a New Year’s Eve dinner of macaroni and cheese with lobster and truffle oil. Take that, health-centric resolutions.

So with that wholly unexciting rant (if it could even be called as much) out of the way, back to the food! From the ingredient list, this… click to read more…

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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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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 far as texture/flavor), the total combination of… 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 its distracting–as if the pie crust is simply… click to read more…

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Strawberry Cream Pie in a Thyme Scented Almond Crust

Strawberries were in season when I made this pie, but even more important than my strawberry obsession, I had a need to make a pie crust so I could get a photo of it (more on that a little further down). Given that rhubarb wasn’t gracing the grocery store shelves just yet and I couldn’t make my absolute favorite pie, strawberry cream pie seemed like a natural alternate choice.

Strawberry Cream Pie in a Thyme Scented Almond Crust

Not wanting to be too boring, I had a few ideas to dress things up a bit. For instance, I’d recently read of an odd flavor combo that I was eager to try: strawberries and thyme. So I decided to incorporate both thyme and almonds into the pie crust and I’m very glad I did. The flavor was fantastic–buttery, rich, almondy, and the thyme was very distinct. I was honestly surprised by how nicely the almond and thyme enhanced one another and made… click to read more…

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Banoffee

I recently mentioned beef as one of the go-to pregnancy ingredients lately. Another one: bananas. Of course, this was during the winter when not much other fruit was in season, and I really overdid the oranges to the point where my wife didn’t want to see another orange, so maybe I’m to blame for that one. I could have worse habits! :o Anyways, in honor of this, I decided to focus today’s dessert on bananas. It also seemed strange that in all the desserts I’ve posted up until now, there’s not a single banana dessert. I know, blasphemy! So to fix this at once, I decided to make a classic British dessert: Banoffee (also spelled Banoffi or Banoffy).

Banoffee

If you’ve never had this before, you’re probably wondering what’s up with the name? Its simple really: bananas + toffee = banoffee. Knowing that, you should be drooling now. I was whenclick to read more…

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