Tag Archives: Pie

FROM OUR RECIPE BOX- Crostata di Mandorle, Italian Jam Tart


Almond Crostata

 Italians make a simple jam tart out of a rich shortbread dough called pasta frolla. We’ve taken this idea and added almond paste to give it an extra nutty edge. When filled with an intense fruit jam – we tried it with autumn olive berry jam made from berries picked in New England – you have a lovely dessert. The plums are optional. (Ripe peach slices would work as well.)

Our crostata keeps and travels well so consider it making it for a picnic or a tailgate party. This recipe is forgiving. Use a smaller pan and save half the dough for another recipe. Make certain the tart is completely cool before slicing or the jam may ooze from the tart. You can warm the crostata slightly before serving, just they way we like to eat it with a cup of black tea.

 For the Italian Jam Tart recipe, click here.

Many Reasons to Give Thanks

At this time of the year, we try to give thanks in any way we can.  A donation, a phone call or the surprise gift of something from the oven. 

Here are a few recipes that might help you with the latter. A pumpkin raisin loaf with cinnamon topping, a flaky pear and almond tart and a golden almond polenta cake saturated with lemon syrup.  And two bonus recipes, a French pear frangipane tarte and a decadent chocolate pistachio pie. We hope these recipes will take you into the holiday season. And help you give thanks.

FROM OUR RECIPE BOX – Pumpkin Raisin Apple Loaf with Cinnamon Streusel

Pumpkin Raisin Apple Cake with Cinnamon Streusel

Nothing says Thanksgiving like pumpkin.  This moist loaf is studded with fruits. The pumpkin puree makes the crumb especially tender and gives it an orange hue.  Cinnamon Schmear in the streusel topping adds a burst of taste and texture.

We’ve added a few marzipan pumpkins to set the scene for our photo.  Send us an email and we’ll share our tips for how to make these pumpkins at home.  It is an easy project to do with the kids.

Pumpkin Raisin Apple Loaf with Cinnamon Streusel

Pear Frangipane Tart

FROM OUR RECIPE BOX – Pear Almond Frangipane Tart

 Serendipity made us try our favorite rustic tart recipe using ripe Bosc pears and a generous layer of Almond Schmear. (See Our Thanks below.) The crust dough is mixed in the food processor.  It stays flaky because the fat is left in good sized chunks. Slices of ripe pears are cushioned on a generous layer of Almond Schmear, a sweet contrast to the savory crust.

The trick is baking the tart long enough so that the crust browns thoroughly.  The pear slices should also develop nice browned edges.  We normally bake this tart on a paper-lined baking sheet.  It bakes even better when the baking sheet is placed on a pre-heated baking stone.  (When testing this recipe, we discovered that Emile Henry has a flat ceramic platter, part of a Tarte Tatin set, which acts as both a baking stone and serving plate. It produced the excellent results shown in this photo.)

 Pear Almond Frangipane Tart

Sweet Life in Paris by David Lebovitz

OUR THANKS –  French Pear Frangipane Tarte from David Lebovitz

 Cookbook author and food blogger extraordinaire, David Lebovitz created a lovely seasonal pear tart recipe, which he posted on his web site earlier this month.  The step-by-step photos are instructive but it is the finished dish that tempts.  We appreciate his kind words and the enthusiastic response we’ve received from readers of his blog and the recipe in question. [Hint: Its secret ingredient is Almond Paste.]

 French Pear Frangipane Tarte

Apple Festival

Crisp, tart, sweet and tangy, it’s apple season. In celebration of their peak, here are three apple recipes we hope you’ll enjoy.

A warm and portable apple pie with a hint of almond is one recipe we think you’ll find many excuses to make. We’ve updated the apple charlotte with a layer of cinnamon and we’ve retooled the baked apple with a creamy almond filling and a hint of whiskey, which can be omitted for the younger set.

FROM OUR RECIPE BOX – Apple Almond Cream Cheese Hand Pies

Apple Almond Cream Cheese Hand Pie

Warm apple pie says autumn like nothing else. But if the crust is soggy or the filling runny, there’s only disappointment. Hand pies or turnovers rarely get soggy if you bake them long enough so that the dough develops a nice brown color. The layer of Love’n Bake Almond Schmear adds an aromatic note but also acts as a moisture barrier, which helps keep the pies crisp and flaky. A knob of cream cheese is a tasty surprise. It balances the sweetness of the apples and filing while adding a rich note.

This all purpose dough has great keeping properties. If you use it to make these pies, they will keep for a few days when stored loosely covered at room temperature. That is, if you don’t eat them all hot from the oven.

Apple Almond Cream Cheese Hand Pies

FROM OUR RECIPE BOX – Cinnamon Apple Charlotte

Cinnamon Apple Charlotte

The classic apple charlotte, layers of buttered bread and cooked apples, gets a makeover with our Cinnamon Schmear Filling. Whether you use Braeburn, Macintosh or other baking apple, cook the filling long enough so that it becomes quite dry. This ensures that the charlotte will hold its shape after cooking. (Using a wider, squat casserole will make a shallow charlotte that will be easier to cut while still warm.) Enriched bread such as Challah would be a good choice for this dish although any type of quality sliced bread will do.

As this dish celebrates the flavors of apple and cinnamon, it needs little garnish. A simple spoon of whipped cream, sour cream or yogurt should do.

Cinnamon Apple Charlotte

Father’s Day

Logo for BlogGive a round of applause to the Dads in your life this month with something home made. Cherry season arrives shortly and our homey cherry cobbler with a hint of mint and an almondy crust is sure to please. Or surprise him with a flaky palmier spiked with cinnamon. Reading the daily Wall Street Journal will be so much more sweet.

FROM OUR RECIPE BOX – Cherry Mint Cobbler with Almond Biscuit Crust

Cherry Mint Cobbler Almond Biscuit Crust

Cherry Mint Cobbler with Almond Biscuit Crust

 Almonds and cherries go well together in part perhaps because they are related botanically. Members of the genus prunus – along with peaches and plums – almonds and cherries share that distinctive almond extract note. (You’ll find it within the cherry pit, which is used in Eastern Europe to make a flavoring extract.)

With this in mind, we have little trouble coming up with a summer cherry cobbler with a rich almond paste biscuit crust. The mint adds some freshness to the cherry syrup but can be omitted if desired. When making the biscuit topping, be sure to flatten the dough to a thickness of 3/4-inch or less. You want there to be as much filling as crust on top. And some people might like a thinner crust. (Bake the biscuits on a baking sheet and used for strawberry or peach shortcake.) And don’t rush baking the cobbler. You want the topping puffed, nicely browned and cooked through.

Cherry Mint Cobbler Recipe

FROM OUR RECIPE BOX – Cinnamon Palmiers

Cinnamon Palmiers

Cinnamon Palmiers

Palmiers or elephant ears are addictive puff pastry cookies, crunchy and caramelized with granulated sugar. A generous layer of Love’n Bake Cinnamon Schmear gives them an added dimension.

Use purchased puff pastry following the package instructions for thawing them. We’ve found that heating the Cinnamon Schmear briefly in a microwave helps make it more spreadable, especially if you prefer a thinner layer of filling. For a more even appearance, you can flip the pastries once they have baked half way. (We found this an unnecessary step but share it for those who might be interested.)

Cinnamon Palmiers

Old time favorites.

samll-sige-logoWe flipped through the pages of our family cookbook to come up with two old time recipes this month. A seasonal pie celebrates the arrival of rhubarb in the garden. And its almond-scented crumble adds flavor and texture to a pie that is good enough to serve Mom. And the humble ice box cake gets a lift with hazelnut paste. Who can resist a simple yet delicious party dessert?

FROM OUR RECIPE BOX – Strawberry Rhubarb Pie with Almond Streusel Topping

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie with ALmond Streusel

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie with Almond Streusel

 Along with tulips and daffodils, rhubarb is the first thing to pop in many spring gardens. And rhubarb means pie. The classic combination of strawberries and rhubarb makes our mouths water. Our pie sports a crunchy topping with distinct almond notes.

We recommend a mealy piecrust for the bottom of this juicy pie. Mealy crust is made by cutting the fat into the dough until it resembles cornmeal. This crust resists getting soggy as would a crust made from flaky pie dough. The topping is a variation of one we use for fruit crumble or crisp. In fact, you could make this without a bottom crust to be scooped and served in a bowl with ice cream on top.

For the Strawberry Rhubarb Pie with Almond Streusel Topping Recipe, click HERE

 FROM OUR RECIPE BOX – Chocolate Mocha Hazelnut Icebox Cake

Chocolate Mocha Hazelnut Icebox Cake

Chocolate Mocha Hazelnut Icebox Cake

Did your Mom make icebox cake, the kind made with Nabisco Chocolate Wafers and lots of whipped cream? The dark cocoa wafers soften overnight. When sliced, the cake reveals zany striped layers.

If you’re feeling nostalgic and looking for a simple way to use some Love’n Bake Hazelnut Praline, this cake is for you. First you spread a small amount of Hazelnut Praline on each cookie before coating it with the whipped cream. Use as much or as little Hazelnut Praline as you like. A spike of chilled espresso coffee tints the cream giving it a sophisticated mocha flavor. We love the combination of hazelnuts, chocolate and coffee but we think that Love’n Bake Pistachio Paste would work if you sandwich the wafers with plain whipped cream.

For the Chocolate Mocha Hazelnut Icebox Cake recipe, click HERE

From Our Recipe Box – Lemon Almond Mazarins

Lemon Almond Mazarins

Lemon Almond Mazarins


A popular Swedish pastry, the mazarin is an almond sponge baked in a buttery crust. We’ve flavored the filling liberally with lemon juice and rind. (Orange or lime would work well too.) Once cooled, the mazarins are given a light coating of sugar glaze, which dries into an opaque coating. More dressed up than a cookie, these little  tartlets are perfect afternoon snacks.  We also like to top them with fresh apple or plum slices or fresh berries. They make festive tartlets for any occasion and freeze beautifully to have on hand when needed.

For the Lemon Almond Mazarin Recipe, click HERE.