Displaying items by tag: pastries and cakes



This is a French version of lemon meringue pie. It is lighter and more tart than the familiar one we all know and love. The difference is that a tart lemon curd is used as the filling and the meringue is cooked on a slow heat rather than a high one. We loved it in the test kitchen. It’s easy to make and you can buy the lemon curd (add some extra grated lemon rind if you do) and even the pastry base if want to make it even easier.

To avoid weeping meringues: Make sure the filling is warm when you top it with the meringue; it encourages a better bonding of the two to prevent weeping. Sprinkle about ⅓ cup cake crumbs over curd before adding the meringue, as they will absorb any liquid and pretty much disappear. The lemon curd is tangy, fresh and keeps for two weeks refrigerated, or for up to six months in the freezer.

Servings: 6 to 8

Prep Time: 25 minutes

Ready In: 1 hour




4 egg yolks

½ cup granulated sugar

⅓ cup fresh lemon juice

2 teaspoons grated lemon zest

½ cup unsalted cold butter, cut in 8 pieces

1 9-inch pre-baked pastry shell

⅓ cup cake crumbs or challah breadcrumbs


4 egg whites

½ cup granulated sugar

Pinch Salt

1 teaspoon lemon juice


Place egg yolks in heavy pot. Whisk together with sugar, lemon juice and zest. Place pot over medium heat and whisk in cold butter. Cook for about 6 minutes, stirring or until mixture thickens and all butter is incorporated. The mixture should coat the back of a spoon. Do not allow to boil, otherwise it will curdle. Cool slightly and fill pie shell with curd.
Preheat oven to 325 F.
Place filled tart shell on a baking sheet and place in the oven for 10 minutes or until lemon curd is warmed through.
Combine egg whites, sugar, salt and lemon in a heat-proof bowl, and set it into another bowl filled with hot water. Let egg mixture stand, stirring, for 5 minutes to warm up the whites. Remove bowl from water bath and beat on high for 4 minutes or until meringue forms stiff peaks when beaters are lifted.
Remove filled tart shell from oven and sprinkle cake crumbs in an even layer over the curd. Carefully spread meringue over top being sure to seal it with the pastry edge and trying not to incorporate any cake crumbs into the meringue itself. Use the back of a spoon to make lots of peaks and valleys in the meringue.
Place in oven and bake until peaks are golden, about 15 minutes. Cool.


A tangy and sweet late-harvest riesling would be splendid with this tart. - Beppi Crosariol
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This is one of these desserts that separates into layers giving it a crust, a filling and a topping. It is easy to make and always impresses. It makes an extra one for second helpings or eating out of the fridge next morning.

Servings: Serves two with one leftover for the morning.

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Ready In: 1 hour including, cooling time



2 large eggs

¼ cup unsalted butter, melted

¼ cup all-purpose flour

1 cup whipping cream

½ cup granulated sugar

½ cup unsweetened grated coconut

1 tablespoon finely chopped candied ginger

½ teaspoon grated lime rind

1 teaspoon vanilla

¼ teaspoon salt



Preheat oven to 350 F.

Whisk ingredients together in a large bowl. Divide among three buttered 4-inch ceramics ramekins.

Bake for approximately 25 to 30 minutes or until top is golden and middle is set. The flour will settle to form a crust, the coconut forms a topping and the centre is a tangy egg custard filling. Serve warm.



This pie, with its candied ginger, would be lovely with a late-harvest gewürztraminer, either from Niagara or the Alsace region of France (where they’re labelled “vendange tardive”). Opulent in texture, sweet but balanced with acidity, they often taste subtly of ginger and spice. - Beppi Crosariol
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Tourtière is the savoury centrepiece of réveillon, the traditional Québécois dinner held on Christmas Eve. Light and flaky pastry is the key to this dish – you want to keep the focus on the subtly spiced filling. Make it ahead of time and reheat at 350 F until piping hot (about 25 minutes.)


Servings: 8 to 10

Ready In: 3 hours, 45 minutes



3 cups all purpose flour

1½ teaspoon salt

1 cup (8 ounces, 250 grams) unsalted butter, frozen

⅓ cup cold water

2 tablespoons white vinegar


Savoury filling

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

3 cups onion, chopped

2 pounds (1 kilogram) ground pork

1 tablespoon garlic, chopped

1 teaspoon allspice

½ teaspoon cayenne or more to taste

2 teaspoons dried thyme

1 bay leaf

1 tablespoon dried savoury

1 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

1 cup beef broth

3 tablespoons rolled oats

¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped



Combine flour and salt in a bowl. Grate frozen butter into dough. Toss together lightly, leaving some streaks of butter in the dough.

Combine water and vinegar and sprinkle over flour mixture, a little at a time, tossing together with a fork until the pastry is moist enough to hold its shape when pressed between fingers.

Gather pastry into a ball, it should not feel sticky. (Add a sprinkling more flour if it is.)

Flour the counter or pastry board lightly. With a floured rolling pin, roll the pastry out into a rectangle approximately 8 x 12-inches. Fold the pastry into thirds, like a letter. Turn the dough so the open edges face you and roll out into a rectangle again. Repeat this procedure once more. Cover dough with plastic wrap and chill one hour. For smaller pies, use half of dough, larger ones need two-thirds or all of it. Freeze any remaining dough for another occasion. Roll dough out to a ¼-inch thickness.



Heat oil in a skillet or heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and cook until beginning to brown, about 8 to 10 minutes. Add ground pork and cook, stirring to break up clumps of meat until pinkness disappears, about 3 minutes. Add garlic and all the spices, stir together and sauté for 1 minute.

Add beef broth and oats. Cover and simmer for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until pork is cooked and mixture is thick. If it is not thick enough remove the lid and cook until it is moist but not runny. Stir in parsley and remove bay leaf. Add additional salt, pepper or spices as needed. Cool.


To Assemble:

Preheat oven to 450 F.

Divide pastry in half. Roll out half to fit a 9 or 10-inch deep pie plate or loose bottom flan pan. Add filling. Cover with remaining pastry, sealing edges and cutting away any excess. Make 3 or 4 incisions on top of pastry to allow steam to escape and decorate with a few pastry leaves. Brush with egg yolk.

Bake for 10 minutes then reduce heat to 375 F and bake for 45 minutes. If the pastry browns too quickly, tent it with foil until finished cooking. Serve hot or cold. Serves 8 to 10.

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Smoking is a hot trend in restaurants. It's not just smoked meat: Vegetables, fish, cheese and fruit are all under the smoking gun. Here, I've used smoked cheese, but if you prefer not to use the smoked variety, substitute with grated fontina or cheddar. Serve with sprouts.

Servings: 8 to 10


Ready In: 55 minutes


2 tablespoons olive oil

1 cup red pepper, thinly sliced

1 teaspoon garlic, chopped

1 teaspoon ginger, chopped

2 cups thinly sliced leeks, white part only

1 cup zucchini, thinly sliced

1 cup fennel, thinly sliced

6 shiitake mushrooms, sliced

Salt and freshly ground pepper

2 tablespoons mint, chopped

1½ cups smoked mozzarella, grated

½ pound (250 g) frozen puff pastry, defrosted

1 egg, beaten


Preheat oven to 400 F. Heat olive oil in skillet on medium-high heat. Add red pepper and sauté for 2 minutes. Add garlic, ginger, leeks, zucchini, fennel and mushrooms. Sauté until tender-crisp, about 4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and remove from heat. Let cool 5 minutes. Stir in mint and cheese. Let cool completely.

Roll out pastry to a 10 x 12-inch rectangle. Pile vegetables along upper third of pastry lengthwise leaving a 1-inch wide border on short sides. Brush all sides with beaten egg. Fold short ends up over filling then roll from the long edge into cylinder cutting off pastry excess. Place seam side down on parchment-lined cookie sheet. Brush with egg. Use a sharp knife to cut four slashes along top of strudel.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until pastry is golden brown.

Cool to room temperature before slicing.

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This can be made as one large tart or as individual portions. I prefer to make small tarts as they are easier to pick up to eat, but as a first course a larger one looks spectacular. This recipe doubles easily. A watercress garnish adds a nice flourish.

Servings: 14


Ready In: 2 hours, 30 minutes



3 ounces (90 g) unsalted butter, cut in chunks

3 ounces (90 g) goat cheese, cut in chunks

½ teaspoon salt

1 cup all-purpose flour

Caramelized Onions

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 large Spanish onion, thinly sliced

½ teaspoon salt



1 egg

½ cup whipping cream

6 black olives, coarsely chopped (about a ¼ cup)

1 teaspoon Herbes de Provence

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

¼ cup shredded parmesan cheese

1 teaspoon cracked fennel seed



3 leaves basil, finely sliced


Combine butter, cheese and salt in a food processor. Sprinkle in flour. Pulse to combine.

Remove pastry from food processor and gently knead together. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for 1 hour.

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add onion, sprinkle with salt and cook, stirring occasionally, for 30 to 45 minutes, or until golden.

Preheat oven to 375 F.

Roll out pastry to a ⅛-inch thickness. Using a 3-inch cutter, cut rounds and fit into mini muffin or tartlet cups, or place in a 9-inch false bottom tart pan. Set aside.

Whisk together egg and whipping cream. Combine caramelized onions, olives, Herbes de Provence, balsamic vinegar, cheese, cracked fennel and cream mixture. Place in tarts. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes or until golden. Garnish with basil.

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Some brands of frozen puff pastry are pre-rolled, some are not. Depending on what you have, roll out into a 10-inch square, approximately 1/8 of an inch thick. Refrigerate until needed. Make ahead and reheat when needed in 350 F oven for 15 minutes.


Servings: 4

Ready In: 45 minutes


⅓ cup unsalted butter

⅔ cup brown sugar

4 baking apples, such as spy's or pink lady, peeled, quartered and cored

1 teaspoon grated lemon rind

½ teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon ginger

½ package frozen puff pastry

1 egg, beaten with pinch of salt


Combine butter and brown sugar in a skillet over medium high heat. Add apples and cook until sauce is caramelized and apples are cooked, about 10 minutes. Add lemon rind, cinnamon and ginger. You will have about 2 cups of cooked apple.

Cut puff pastry sheet into 4 5 x 5-inch squares. Place pieces on ungreased baking sheet, divide apples among them. Bring up the 4 corners and seal with beaten egg. Brush the entire pastry with egg mixture.

Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until pastry is golden. Cool 10 minutes, then serve with ice cream

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This recipe is adapted from one provided by Danielle Locke (www.deelishdesserts.com), who sells her gluten-free baked goods at the farmers' market in Belleville, Ont. This is her most popular cake, slightly adapted for home bakers. We prefer the taste of stone-ground rice flour over regular, if you can find it. If dairy products are an issue for your family, you can substitute a lactose-free buttery spread for the butter.


Servings: 1 loaf

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cooking Time: 1 hour, 5 minutes

Ready In: 1 hour, 25 minutes


Lemon Loaf:

1 cup unsalted butter, softened

1¼ cups sugar

2 cups rice flour, less 2 tablespoons

½ teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons gluten-free baking powder

4 eggs

3 tablespoons lemon juice

2 teaspoons grated lemon rind


Lemon Glaze:

½ cup sugar

¼ cup lemon juice

2 teaspoons grated lemon rind


Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease a 9.5-by-5.5-inch loaf pan and line the bottom with parchment paper.

Combine butter, sugar, rice flour, salt, baking powder, eggs, lemon juice and lemon rind in a large mixing bowl and beat until thoroughly combined. Don't be concerned if batter looks slightly curdled.

Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 1 hour, 5 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean. (Place a piece of parchment paper loosely over the loaf if you're worried about it getting too brown.) Let cool in pan for 10 minutes.

Remove from pan and transfer to a rack over a plate.

Combine sugar, lemon juice and grated rind in a small pot over medium heat and stir until sugar has dissolved and mixture has just come to a boil. Brush glaze over top and sides of warm cake. Let cool fully and slice with a serrated knife to serve.

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This melt-in-your-mouth tart is similar to a tarte tatin most often made with apples. It is a staple in my kitchen and always receives the highest acclaim. The pastry is quite delicate and may be rolled out between two sheets of plastic wrap to prevent breaking. Freezing the pastry after it's been rolled out will allow you to place it on the hot skillet with confidence. Serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.



Servings: 8

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cooking Time: 55 minutes

Ready In: 2 hours 25 minutes



1 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon granulated sugar

1/2 cup unsalted butter, cubed

2 tablespoons water

1 tablespoon lemon juice


1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened

3/4 cup granulated sugar

5 large Bartlett pears (about 2 pounds/1 kilogram), peeled, cored and quartered


Combine flour, salt and sugar in a bowl. Cut in butter until mixture resembles small peas. Stir in enough water and lemon juice to bring dough together in a ball. (You may need slightly more or less liquid to do this.)

Roll out to a 12-inch round on a floured surface. Invert a 10-inch ovenproof skillet on top of pastry and use the point of a sharp knife to cut out a circle. Place circle on a baking sheet and freeze for 1 hour or until firm.

Preheat oven to 375F.

Spread butter in same 10-inch ovenproof skillet. Sprinkle with sugar. Lay in pears, round side down, with narrow ends going into centre. They should slightly overlap. Lay remaining quarters in centre to fill it.

Place on medium heat and cook for 15 to 20 minutes, shaking pan frequently, or until sugar has caramelized. Place pan on cookie sheet. Remove pastry from freezer and place on top. Bake for 35 minutes or until pastry is golden. It will shrink down onto the pears.

Remove skillet from oven and let rest for 10 minutes for juices to absorb (not too long or the pears will stick). Place a large serving plate on top of skillet and invert pan onto it. If any pears stick, ease them out and replace. Use a spatula to scrape out any remaining caramel and pour over pears. Serve warm.

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Traditionally served at Rosh Hashanah, this moist and flavourful cake symbolizes sweetness in the coming year. This may be baked in two loaf pans but start checking the timing after 45 minutes.



Servings: 10 to 12

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cooking Time: 1 hour 15 minutes

Ready In: 1 hour 25 minutes


31/2 cups all purpose flour (spooned in and levelled off)

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1 cup strong coffee

1 1/4 cup honey

4 large eggs

1 cups light brown sugar

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1/2 cup golden raisins or chopped dates dusted with 1 tablespoon flour

1 cup apple, peeled and grated


Preheat oven to 300 F. Grease and flour a 10-inch bundt pan.

Combine flour, baking powder, soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger in large bowl.

Stir together coffee and honey in a separate bowl.

Beat eggs until frothy. Gradually beat in sugar. Add vegetable oil and beat until combined. Beat in half of flour mixture and all of honey mixture into egg mixture. Stir in remaining flour mixture, raisins and apple. Batter will seem quite thin.

Pour batter into prepared bundt pan and bake for 1 hour 15 minutes or until cake is springy to the touch and a cake tester comes out clean.

Let cool in cake pan, unmould and leave in a cool place covered for 24 hours to allow flavours to mellow

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Hand pies are the name for individual pies folded into triangles or half moons. When folding, make sure that you don't get the blueberry filling right on the edge or you won't get a good seal. These may leak slightly, but are still mouthwatering.


Servings: Makes 10


Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cooking Time: 25 minutes

Ready In: 55 minutes including chilling time


Pastry Dough:

2 cups flour

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 cup cold butter, diced

2 teaspoons lemon juice

¼ cup ice water


4 cups wild blueberries

1 teaspoon lemon rind, grated

¼ cup sugar

3 tablespoons flour

1 egg white mixed with a little salt

¼ cup sugar for sprinkling


Combine flour, salt and butter in a food processor or by hand. Stir in lemon juice and enough cold water to hold pastry together. Form pastry into a ball, flatten slightly and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Combine 3 cups blueberries, rind and sugar in a pot over medium-low heat. Cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until blueberries are juicy. Stir in flour and cook for 1 minute or until absorbed. Remove pot from heat and stir in remaining 1 cup blueberries. Set aside to cool.

Roll out pastry into a rectangle and cut into 5-inch squares. Place squares on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Spoon about ¼ cup blueberry filling into centre of each pastry square. Brush edges with egg-white mixture and fold one corner over to meet the opposite corner to form a triangle. Press edges together, sealing with the tines of a fork. Brush lightly with egg white and sprinkle with sugar. Repeat with remaining pastry squares and filling. Cut slits into the top of each pie with a sharp knife and chill in the freezer for 20 minutes.

Preheat oven to 400F.

Bake hand pies for 20 minutes or until pastry is golden and filling bubbles.

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