Pumpkin Caramel Tart

CARAMEL PUMPKIN PIE
I’m not quite sure my attempt at spelling ‘Give Thanks’ is too clear in this Caramel Pumpkin Tart, but at least know that the effort was there! While this particular tart was made for the Thanksgiving Holiday, this dessert can definitely be made throughout the winter season and is a perfect staple for a weekend get-together. Its clever use of hazelnuts for the crust creates a nutty flavor that is tough to beat, but happens to combine nicely with the (surprisingly) light tasting pumpkin-caramel filling.

Here are a few tips for making this tart:

  1. Careful with the Caramel: Making caramel is a form of art. The best advice I would give is to follow the recipe, have a buddy help if you can and carefully watch the color as the sugar cooks. It’s amazing how quickly the caramel mixture will turn from a tasty concoction to a completely burnt mess in just seconds.
  2. Hazelnuts Crush Quickly: Hazelnuts will quickly turn into a paste (not what you’re looking for in this recipe) if you leave them pulsing in the food processor for too long. Just keep an eye on it.
  3. Always Fresh Ginger: It’s amazing how quickly I can tell if fresh ginger has been used in a recipe. If you can, I’d highly recommend to use fresh ginger. A good tip is to buy some and store in the freezer so that it can be used at any time.

Cheers!

CARAMEL PUMPKIN TART

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Decorative Fall Apple Pie

Decorative Fall Apple Pie

I will definitely be one of the first to admit that I was so incredibly excited the minute October 1 came this year. While I absolutely adore Summer, I love all of the weather, traditions, and most importantly, the FOOD, that are associated with Fall. I can’t help it – it’s just contagious!

No Fall would be complete without at least one Apple Pie. This time I decided that I really wanted to go ‘all out’ with its design and make it not only taste well, but look cool too. In previous pies, I’ve free-hand cut leaves; however, that was absolutely too tedious. I stumbled upon these cute fall leaves cookie cutters from Williams-Sonoma and absolutely fell in love. They are adorable, easy to use and produced fantastic leaf-shaped cut-outs – perfect for a Fall pie!

I made this exact Apple Pie in a previous post; however, this time, I opted to make it again and instead amp it up with some decorative pieces. Here’s how I made it:

Step 1: Make Dough, Roll Out Dough,
Place in Pie Dish, Cut Out Fall Leaves
with Cookie Cutters, Place Around Rim

DECORATIVE FALL APPLE PIE

Step 2: Peel Apples, Slice Apples

Decorative Fall Apple Pie

Decorative Fall Apple Pie

Step 3: Combine Spices, Sugars and
Lemon Juice with Apple Slices

Decorative Fall Apple Pie

Step 4: Place Apples in Pie Dish;
Place Extra Apple Cut-Outs on Top

Decorative Fall Apple Pie

Decorative Fall Apple Pie

Step 5: Bake and Eat!

Decorative Fall Apple Pie

While this pie did take a long time to make, it was completely worth it in the end. Apple pie is always such a nice Fall treat, especially when used with tart, tart apples. For next time… I believe a pumpkin pie would be in our future.

Cheers!

Decorative Fall Apple Pie

Apricot, Cherry and Graham Cracker Crumble

APRICOT, CHERRY AND GRAHAM CRACKER CRUMBLE
While the official first day of Summer is June 21, I already feel like Summer has started with all of this gorgeous warm weather and constant reminders of sweet treats like ice creams, popsicles and fruit-filled desserts. So, with that, I’ve basically declared it Summer already and I’ve made that as the perfect excuse to make a dessert, including this Apricot, Cherry and Graham Cracker Crumble (who am I kidding though – for me dessert is a year round activity!).

I love the apricot and cherries together in this recipe due to the tart flavors. For once, this was a crumble that wasn’t overly sweet and, trust me, it worked!

Here’s how to make this Apricot, Cherry and Graham Cracker Crumble:

Step 1: Halve Apricots and Cherries,
Remove Pits from Fruit and Reserve

MAKING APRICOT, CHERRY AND GRAHAM CRACKER CRUMBLE

MAKING APRICOT, CHERRY AND GRAHAM CRACKER CRUMBLE

Step 2: Combine Fruit with Brown
Sugar, Cornstarch and Vanilla BeanMAKING APRICOT, CHERRY AND GRAHAM CRACKER CRUMBLE
Step 3: Create Crumble by
Combining Butter, Crushed
Graham Crackers, Brown
Sugar and Roasted Almonds

APRICOT, CHERRY AND GRAHAM CRACKER CRUMBLE

Step 4: Place Fruit into Dish; Sprinkle
Crumble Topping on Top

MAKING APRICOT, CHERRY AND GRAHAM CRACKER CRUMBLE

Step 5: Bake and Eat!

APRICOT, CHERRY AND GRAHAM CRACKER CRUMBLE

What’s your favorite type of crumble?

Cheers!

APRICOT, CHERRY AND GRAHAM CRACKER CRUMBLE

Mini Berry Pies

MINI BERRY PIES

I feel like I always can find an excuse to make something into a miniature form. And, berry pie, is no exception to that. Now, while I don’t have a specialized mini tin that can house mini pies, I do have a normal cupcake tin. I found that this utensil is still a perfect size to make a packed mini pie filled to the brim with a variety of berries.

Now, I will admit that these require more time and patience to make; however, they are a perfect treat to bring to a get-together or just to have around the house for a small treat. I’d recommend using the same pie process of other pies (just repeated twelve times in a cupcake tin) and I’d also suggest using the crust from this previous blog post and the berry pie filling from this recipe.

Here are a few other tips for mini berry pies:

1. Grease Each Tin Generously: Make sure to grease each tin with extra butter so that each berry pie can easily slide out of the tin after they are baked.

2. Use Plenty of Berries: My personal favorite berry combination is a mixture of blueberries, raspberries and blackberries. Don’t skimp on putting berries into each pastry cup – the more, the better!

3. Add Lemon Juice & Lemon Zest: Make sure to have a fresh lemon on hand to use for the filling. Plus, add a little bit of zest for some extra fragrance at the end.

Have you ever made mini berry pies before?

Cheers!

MINI BERRY PIES

Salted Butter Apple Galette

SALTED BUTTER APPLE GALETTE

Sometimes I feel like there is so much stress to make the ‘perfect pie’ or ‘perfect tart’ or ‘perfect pastry dish’. I can’t tell you the number of times that I’ve had to redo parts of a crust on a dessert or take extra time to make sure that it looked ‘perfect’.

There are many aspects that I loved about this Salted Butter Apple Galette from Bon Appetit; however, perhaps the best part was that it didn’t focus on being perfect. In some places the galette crust is longer than other parts, in some places the galette crust is browned more than other places, and in some places the galette crust has a more thick crust. But, in this case, not trying to ‘make it look perfect’ resulted in it looking (and, tasting!) better.

This dessert is rustic, yet yields powerful flavors through the salted butter, vanilla bean and sweet apples. This is a definite crowd-pleaser and one that I’ll make sure to make again!

Here are some tips for making this recipe:

1. Don’t focus on the crust: Seriously. Just roll out the dough, place the apple slices on top, and fold the dough over the apples. So. simple. For real.
2. Mandoline: Use a mandoline if you have one. It makes the process of cutting apples so simple and quick.
3. Go big on the vanilla bean, brown sugar and brown butter: The center of this galette might look burned; however, it is not. That is simple the result of the vanilla bean, brown sugar and browned butter.

Let me know if you’ve ever tried this dessert!

Cheers!

SALTED BUTTER APPLE GALETTE
SALTED BUTTER APPLE GALETTE

Pumpkin Pie

PUMPKIN PIE

Even though Pumpkin flavored items seem to dominate everything in Fall – pumpkin spice lattes, pumpkin doughnuts, pumpkin seeds, pumpkin caramels and much, much more – I still felt that no Fall season would be complete without at least one homemade pumpkin dessert.

While I could have been a bit more creative with my pumpkin pie, I ultimately decided that ‘classic’ was better in this situation and chose this recipe. However, even though I didn’t jazz this recipe up with any additional flavors, I felt that the design element was crucial and so I added leaf-shaped dough cutouts to the pumpkin pie crust to give it somewhat of a rustic and fun edge.

Here are just a few tips with your next pumpkin pie:

1. Crust: The crust is one of the most important parts of a pumpkin pie. I have always loved using this recipe for a classic crust; however, I’d love to experiment sometime soon with this chocolate dough or this gingersnap crust.
2. Spice ratio: Many recipes call for ‘freshly grated nutmeg’. While this might sound like just another step, it is totally worth it and you will be able to taste the difference. Just make sure you use a balanced ratio of spices so that one spice doesn’t overpower the others.
3. Add some flair: Whether using a special cutout (leafs, pumpkins, hearts, etc.). a special whipped cream or something else, try to a add some flair with something different to help liven up the pumpkin pie.

What’s your favorite pumpkin dessert?

Cheers!

PUMPKIN PIE

Key Lime Curd Ice Cream Cones

KEY LIME CURD ICE CREAM CONES

Ice cream is such a ‘pick-me-up’ treat and always seems to put a smile on just about anyone’s face. I love the fact that it can be served in a variety of ways, including cone or sans cone, dipped in sprinkles, layered with added fruit and more.

Now, while I’m completing gushing about ice cream, don’t let the looks of these pictures or the title of this blog post deceive you. There is actually no ice cream in this recipe at all. This recipe, Key Lime Curd Cones, is a delightful new combination of key lime curd, flaky sugar cone and a dollop of a meringue on top.

It almost seems sacrilegious that this recipe doesn’t contain ice cream; however, I thought these were just too cute to pass up. After making this recipe, I have a new-found appreciation for key lime curd as well as meringue. While the meringue can be a bit tedious, the finished product is adorable and packs a punch of flavor from the key limes (watch out for its tangy-ness!).

What’s your favorite lime-flavored dessert?

Cheers!

KEY LIME CURD ICE CREAM CONES 3
KEY LIME CURD ICE CREAM CONES