Rosemary-Scented Mascarpone Fig Tart

I love figs. Absolutely love them. It kills me not to have a fig tree and so I happily empty my pockets each week during fig season to pick up a few of these bizarre looking treasures. Its funny though–I hardly ever cook/bake much with figs because they never seem to be around very long. I’m trying to work on that this year in the name of self control, for you, my dear readers. The pains I suffer for you–I don’t gorge myself on figs like the fig glutton that I am. Today’s proof: a Rosemary-Scented Mascarpone Fig Tart.

This delicious dessert was inspired by the very artistic stylings of the Zen Man. I started from my base graham cracker crust recipe, but tweaked it to highlight rosemary rather than the cinnamon that I include… click to read more…

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Blueberry Rhubarb Cream Tart

I had originally planned on having this online for July 4th–its seasonal, the flavors are sophisticated and refreshing (perfect way to end a barbecue!), and the colors are vibrant and appropriately patriotic (well, its kind red, white, and blue, right?). Oh well, better late than never, because this one’s a keeper for sure: a blueberry rhubarb cream tart that will have everybody begging for seconds.

Once I finally discovered my love for rhubarb and how wonderfully it pairs with strawberries, I started trying to make up for lost time and work it into whatever I could. But I’d realized how little I’ve really come to appreciate rhubarb–I mean every use of it so far has been with strawberries! So it finally seemed time to… click to read more…

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Peanut Butter Torte

I love peanut butter. As a child, any treat that had peanut butter in it was good in my book. I just couldn’t have enough. Given this though, it was kind of surprising looking through everything I’ve posted here, that not once have I made a peanut butter dessert! 😮 To address this clear emergency: a peanut butter torte.

This treat was largely inspired by Susan’s beautiful peanut butter torte which had me drooling for peanut butter like Pavlov’s dog. I wanted this dessert to be absolutely sinful to eat, so from bottom to top: a graham cracker crust, an inner chocolate ganache crust, peanut butter mousse with spiced nuts and chocolate, a top layer of chocolate ganache, drizzles of caramel, toasted peanuts, and creme chantilly. Whew!

So did it deliver? Oh did it ever. This is definitely a dessert for the peanut butter lover. Crunchy,… click to read more…

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Graham Cracker Pie Crust

I always avoided pies/cakes that called for graham cracker crusts. Something just seemed not right about buying graham crackers, mushing them up, and pressing it into a pie pan. Sort of like how I don’t like to buy pre-made pie crusts (maybe I’m neurotic?). So imagine my delight when happened upon a better way to make a graham cracker batter (and crust) from scratch!

The common mush-up-the-store-bought-graham-cracker method is pretty tough to compete with when it comes to difficulty, but this is also quite easy (much easier than a pâte brisée, so breathe easy!) and need I say that it tastes better? Plus, if you have leftover batter after you line your pie pans, you can just roll it out and make graham crackers! Its a piece of cake…er, easy as pie…crust. Yea, onto the recipe.

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter

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Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

This has quite simply become my favorite pie. Strawberries unto themselves are amazing little fruits, but there are a number of pairings that, through some sort of magic, take the flavor to new heights, whether it be balsamic vinegar, chocolate and hazelnuts, or a rich cream, and the bizarre looking rhubarb is no different. So today, a classic that’s new to me: strawberry rhubarb pie.

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

This crunchy, red stalk might have a similar color, but the flavor is not at all like strawberry–tart, not quite citric, bitter, but somehow, refreshing and pleasant. Combined with the incredible sweetness of strawberries, you have a perfect balance of sweet and tart, the end result being nothing short of bliss. I spiced the mixture just a pinch more to add a little more complexity (another great strawberry counterpoint: ginger!), and… click to read more…

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Nectarine Cobbler

I figured dessert has been a little ice cream-centric lately, so it only seemed fair to give something else a shot. Well one of my favorite fruits has been very available lately–nectarines–and what better way to serve up a nectarine dessert than in a cobbler?

Nectarine Cobbler

Cobblers are a fun, comforting dessert–sort of like a fruity pie but without the trouble of making a proper crust and sort of like a cake, but without worrying about it looking pristine. A cobbler is just a nice, no frills way to serve up some delicious fruit. This smelled great while baking in the oven and it tasted wonderful–light, sweet, lively fruit flavor, and a spongy cake-like topping with a nutty crunch. I was disappointed in it when I ate it the first night though, but was delighted to fall in love with it again the next day–I suppose the flavors were shy and had to get to know each other a little… click to read more…

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