Posts in Pastry
Lemon and Thyme Yogurt Cake
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Lemony sweets weren’t something I found myself craving often until a dear friend introduced me to her mother’s lemon bar recipe. After tasting that delicious dessert a few years back, was hooked on the combination of yellow citrus and sweet confections and it’s led me to experiment with featuring it in different forms of baked goods. This yogurt cake combines bright lemons with the flavor of thyme, lightly sweet and just lovely for an afternoon treat. Though this is a cake at its core, no frosting is required - just dust the top with a bit of powdered sugar and help yourself to an unfussy slice or two. Serve with a splash of black coffee or herbal tea.


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Lemon and Thyme Yogurt Cake

  • 1 1/2 cups flour

  • 2 teaspoons baking powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1 cup full fat plain yogurt

  • 3 eggs

  • Juice and zest of one lemon, about 1/4 cup juice and 2 teaspoons zest.

  • 1/2 cup olive oil

  • 1/2 cup sugar*

  • 1/3 cup honey

  • 1 tablespoon thyme leaves

  • Powdered sugar, candied lemons, and thyme sprigs - for garnishing (optional)

*This amount makes this cake mildly sweet, lovely for a brunch or afternoon cake. For something slightly sweeter, you may increase the sugar by adding an additional 1/4 cup.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt and stir until thoroughly mixed. In a separate bowl, whisk the yogurt, lemon zest, sugar, eggs, and oil. Slowly whisk in the dry ingredients.

Pour the batter into a buttered and parchment lined 8 1/2 by 4 1/4 by 2 1/2-inch loaf pan and bake for an hour to an hour and 15 minutes. Brush the top of the loaf with some of the lemon juice while hot.

Allow the loaf to fully cool, then top with powdered sugar and any garnishes.


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Salted Butterscotch Pumpkin Pie
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It’s that time of year again. Pumpkin as a flavor is being celebrated and used in the most creative ways; from pasta sauce to salsa to cookies to muffins, it makes even the most unconventional recipe resemble a bit of an autumnal flavor profile. Pumpkin pie is probably one of the most traditional ways to use pumpkin, and it’s always a favorite of mine to whip up at least a couple times when the weather starts to cool. Every thanksgiving I make it a point to make one for the table, and this year I wanted to give it a bit of a twist.

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This salted butterscotch pumpkin pie is just the thing to help spruce up Thanksgiving dessert with a little extra flair, keeping true to traditional pumpkin flavors but adding a depth of flavor from homemade butterscotch, made with a bit of extra salt to boot. The sauce is surprisingly easy to make, and although it’s an extra step in the pie making process, it adds a rich caramelization to the filling that sets this recipe apart. It’s nothing bold, but enough of a difference in flavor to make your guests wonder just what it is that makes that pie taste particularly wonderful. In the recipe, I recommend setting aside a little portion of the butterscotch out of the filling for drizzling on top and swirling with lightly sweetened whipped cream. You may add a pinch or two of flakey salt to it at the end, if you want to emphasize the salted butterscotch flavor.

Sincerely, Adelle

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Salted Butterscotch Pumpkin Pie

For the salted butterscotch

  • 1 cup brown sugar

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter

  • 3/4 cup cream

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

  • 1 teaspoon salt

For the pie crust

  • 1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour (plus more for dusting the countertop!)

  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold and cubed into 1/2 inch pieces

  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • Ice water, up to 4 tablespoons

  • Egg wash (1 egg plus 1 tablespoon cream, whisked)

For the pie filling

  • All but 1/4 cup of the butterscotch (reserve the 1/4 cup for drizzling over the pie)

  • 15 oz pumpkin purée

  • 3 eggs

  • 1/4 cup milk

  • 1 tablespoon all purpose flour

  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. To make the pie dough, mix the flour, sugar, and salt in a food processor, pulsing until combined. Add the butter, pulsing just until there are small bits of butter throughout, resembling sand. Add the water, a tablespoon at a time, until the dough just begins to come together. Wrap in plastic wrap and tuck away in the fridge to chill.

While the dough chills and the oven is heating, make the butterscotch. In a saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter and add the brown sugar, stirring until the butter is melted and the sugar has dissolved. Add the cream and allow the sauce to bubble, not stirring for 2 minutes. Add the rest of the cream, salt, and vanilla, whisking until fully incorporated. Allow the sauce to thicken over low heat for 2 minutes. Set aside to cool. Reserve 1/4 cup separately to drizzle over the finished pie.

Take the dough out of the refrigerator and on a floured surface, roll out the dough. Transfer it to a 9 inch baking dish, trimming the edges and adding crimps or using a fork to press lines into the crust. Prick the bottom of the dish a few times with a fork. Cover the dough with parchment paper and pie weights (or uncooked beans) and place in the oven. Bake for 30 minutes, remove the parchment and pie weights, then bake another 5. Remove the baked pie crust from the oven and allow to cool while you assemble the filling.

To make the pie filling, whisk together all of the cooled butterscotch (omitting the 1/4 cup reserved for drizzling), the pumpkin purée, the milk, and the eggs. Add the flour, pumpkin pie spice, and salt. Pour into the baked crust (you will have a bit of extra filling left over), brush the egg wash onto the crust, and bake for 50 to 60 minutes, until the filling is set. Cover the crust with aluminum foil if it browns too quickly. Allow to cool completely before serving, topping with some whipped cream and the reserved butterscotch, along with a little pinch of Maldon salt if you wish.


Fresh Fig Tart with Greek Yogurt and Vanilla Mascarpone Cream
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The air is cooled. Blooming crepe myrtle trees brush together their branches with the help of the breeze. The scent of September swirls about and its promises of the coming autumn’s leaves leaves one to think, though a long Summer day is very nice, how the spices of cloves and ginger and cinnamon roasting on whatever is in the oven is a lovely thing indeed as the sunsets come earlier in the evening. The beginning of fall beckons Mother Nature to spoil us with her fruits, figs crowding out the past season’s peaches, begging to be whisked to the kitchen for eating raw or for topping dessert.

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Though the art of baking pastry is more of a science as measurements tend to be a bit exact when it comes to flakey crusts and buttery doughs, the filling is up for creative whims. With a basket full of plump figs on the countertop waiting to be eaten, I decided to experiment with a fig tart that sports a fresh, not baked, filling. Greek yogurt and mascarpone flecked with vanilla and sweetened with honey is spooned over a just-cooled crust then topped with sliced figs and kept in the refrigerator until dessert is wanted.

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This treat is best made before fig season passes us by and the plump fruit begins to disappear from the market shelves. If the figs you bring home are very firm, allow them to fully ripen on the countertop before topping this dessert. For extra sweetness, you can choose to add a quick drizzle of honey on top just before serving.

Sincerely, Adelle

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Fresh Fig Tart with Greek Yogurt and Vanilla MascaRpone Cream

Makes one round 10 1/4 inch tart

For the dough*:

  • 6 tablespoons chilled unsalted butter, cubed

  • 1 cups all-purpose flour

  • 1/4 cup almond flour

  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

  • 1 egg

*Alternatively, use your favorite pie dough recipe.

For the filling:

  • 1 cup greek yogurt

  • 1 cup mascarpone

  • 1/4 cup honey

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste

  • Sliced fresh figs, for topping

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Place the dry ingredients for the dough in a food processor and pulse until combined. Add butter, the egg, and vanilla and pulse until it forms into a ball. Take out of the food processor and form into a disk, then wrap the dough in plastic and place in the freezer for 10 minutes.

After chilling the dough, roll it out onto a floured piece of parchment. Roll the dough up onto a rolling pin, helping it along by lifting up the parchment, then roll the dough out over a buttered round 10 1/4 inch tart pan. Prick with a fork around the bottom of the crust and place into the freezer for 15-20 minutes to chill.

While the dough is chilling, make the filling. Whisk the greek yogurt, mascarpone, honey, and vanilla. Cover and place in the refrigerator.

After the dough has chilled for 15-20 minutes, place the tart crust into the oven, covered with parchment and pie weights to prevent the bottom from rising. Bake for 10 minutes, then remove the parchment. Return to the oven for another 25 to 30 minutes, or until the edges of the dough are just golden and the middle is dry to the touch.

Remove the tart pan from the oven and allow to cool completely before adding the filling. When cooled, spoon the greek yogurt and mascarpone mixture into the cooked tart crust. Chill the tart in the refrigerator for two hours or until the filling has set. Place fresh sliced figs on top and serve.


PastryAdelle EsborgComment
Crème Fraîche Tart
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Crème fraîche, a French soured cream with a velvety texture and the slightest bit of tang, combines with a few spoonfuls of honey and a couple eggs to create this delicious, simple tart filling with a buttery crust to hold it all together. I think it's sometimes the simply flavored, lightly sweetened treats that are best. 

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A crème fraîche tart makes for a lovely transitional season dessert, meaning its ingredients can readily be found and whipped together during transitional times of year rather than relying on strictly seasonal produce. September is just beginning now and before autumn's cooler winds blow in with her bounty pumpkins and apples and treats spiced with cinnamon, I find a simple dessert with a creamy texture to be just the ticket.

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If you happen to have some seasonal fruit on hand, this tart can also make a wonderful base for them. A handful or two of spring's strawberries or summer's blackberries are a welcome addition on top of the tart after it's been baked and cooled, and autumn's apples or winter's pears can be sliced and tossed on top of the filling then baked along with it, showered with a bit of powdered sugar at the end. If you like, you can trade the powdered sugar for a good drizzle of honey, or leave it off completely.

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After whisking the filling ingredients together, be sure to let it sit on the countertop at room temperature to allow the honey to dissolve completely. Because of the addition of crème fraîche and eggs, which are likely cold from being kept in the refrigerator, the honey may have trouble dissolving immediately. A good 15 to 20 minutes at room temperature while the dough is chilling should do the trick.

Sincerely, Adelle

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Crème Fraîche Tart

Makes one round 10 1/4 inch tart

For the dough:

  • 6 tablespoons chilled unsalted butter, cubed

  • 1 cups all-purpose flour

  • 1/4 cup almond flour

  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

  • 1 egg

For the filling:

  • 1 cup crème fraîche

  • 2 eggs

  • 4 tablespoons honey

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

  • Powdered sugar, for dusting

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Place the dry ingredients for the dough in a food processor and pulse until combined. Add butter, the egg, and vanilla and pulse until it forms into a ball. Take out of the food processor and form into a disk, then wrap the dough in plastic and place in the freezer for 10 minutes.

After chilling the dough, roll it out onto a floured piece of parchment. Roll the dough up onto a rolling pin, helping it along by lifting up the parchment, then roll the dough out over a buttered round 10 1/4 inch tart pan. Prick with a fork around the bottom of the crust and place into the freezer for 15-20 minutes to chill.

While the dough is chilling, make the filling. Whisk the crème fraîche, eggs, honey, and vanilla together until combined. Slowly whisk in the flour a bit at a time, making sure there are no clumps. Set aside at room temperature - this will help the honey dissolve completely.

After chilling for 15-20 minutes, place the tart dough into the oven, covered with parchment and pie weights to prevent the bottom from rising. Bake for about 10 to 15 minutes, or until the dough is dry to the touch.

After baking, remove the parchment and pie weights, pour in the filling, and bake for another 30 to 35 minutes, until the filling has set.

Remove the tart from the oven and cool on the countertop. When it reaches room temperature, dust the top of the tart with a bit of powdered sugar and serve. Store any remaining tart in the refrigerator.

PastryAdelle EsborgComment