One of my favorite flavors is Almond. The flavor can be simple or complex depending on how it is used. This month, for Avid Bakers Challenge, we used it in some lovely little tarts. The crust and the filling both had almond flavors and ground almonds. And it was just right.


Topped with slices of peach and drizzled with a simple sugar/milk glaze it was a perfect dessert. Simple, but possibly quite elegant. The only change I made in the recipe from King Arthur Flour was to drizzle the glaze over the peaches rather than place the peaches over the glaze spread on the tart. It cut down some on the sweetness, but not the flavor. I made 1/2 of the rcipe and ended up with 3 well filled tarts.

You can find the recipe on the KAF site. After you check out the recipe, check out the tarts from the other ABC members.


I know I haven’t been in on the Friday Fun lately. Life has been too crazy. And I have been in a cooking/baking funk. Seeing this week’s choice kinda brought me out of it. And while I was expecting more of a cake that fact that it was a filled, with cherry jam, giant cookie was just fine with me.


According to Dorie this gâteau is a ‘double crusted tart, one in which the crust is like butter cookies.” Bingo! Perfect quick and tasty dessert.


It was good with just a little whipped cream. Even better with some home made vanilla ice cream.

You can see the rest of the Gâteaus on French Fridays with Dorie.

If you want to try the recipe it is on NPR but you REALLY need to get Dorie’s Around my French Table for your bookshelf

Actually, as Donna wrote it, it’s supposed to be rosemary on the tarts, but since I am not a big fan I subbed in basil. Which was a good thing since my goat cheese is harb and garlic, specifically, basil. How can you go wrong with doubling up on a good flavor?


The pick this week is Kayte’s, who has been awol for a while and is now back and making great picks for us as usual. What do you need for this one? Puff pastry, potatoes, goat cheese (Donna called for slices but all I buy is a local soft cheese), and rosemary basil. Drizzle with a little EVOO and some cracked pepper. Delish!!


The recipe is on page 158 of Donna’s modern classics: Book 1

And don’t forget to visit with

for their tarts.

Living in Louisiana means that every year we have a Sweet Potato season. Those lovely orange orbs of sweetness can be used for just about anything – cookies, biscuits, bread, soups, stews – or just eaten with some butter and cinnamon sugar (our fave). But most of all they make great pies…or tarts.

When the November/December issue of Louisiana Cookin’ showed up there was a recipe for a Sweet Potato tart that I just could not pass up!


      Enough for two 10 inch tarts

    2 pounds sweet potatoes, cooked, peeled, and mashed (about 3 cups mashed)
    2 cups sugar
    3 large eggs, slightly beaten
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
    1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
    1 (12-ounce) can evaporated milk
    1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 350°. On a lightly floured surface, roll out Piecrusts, and fit into 2 (lO-inch) fluted tart pans with removable bottoms. Gently press crusts into bottom and up sides of tart pans and trim. Line pans with parchment paper, and place pie weights on top.

2. Bake until crusts begin to set, about 10 minutes. Remove pie weights and parchment paper, and bake until lightly browned, about 8 to 10 minutes more. Let crusts cool on a wire rack 10 to 15 minutes.

3: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine sweet potato, sugar, eggs, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, butter, evaporated milk, and vanilla. Mix on low speed to combine.

4. Divide filling evenly among prepared crusts. Bake 10 minutes; decrease heat to 300°, and bake until tarts have set and are dark golden brown, about 45 to 50 minutes.


The first time I baked mini tarts with this recipe. And I made a few changes. I did not include the butter (mainly because I forgot it was in the microwave), deceased the sugar by 1/2 and subbed in Truvia, increased all the spices just a smidgeon. I also used whole eggs rather than all yolks. It didn’t hurt the taste AT ALL.
You can find the original recipe on Louisiana Cookin’

And if you want lots of yummy Louisiana recipes this is THE place to find them.

Louisiana may be hot in the summer and breed mosquitoes the size of house cats, but the food is spectacular. French, Spanish, and African cuisine form the base for many of your dishes. And while not pretty, this pie is spicy and delicious. perfect for National π DAY!!

Donna uses lots of fresh ingredients in her recipes as well as lots of flavours rather than lots of salt. I have also learned it is important to have two more things in the freezer – puff pastry and filo. There are a lot of recipes in her books that use one or the other. This time, it was filo to make


    spinach and feta tart

my choice for this week’s Wednesdays with Donna Hay.

Even though I picked this I really wasn’t sure if I would like it. Feta is something I am just beginning to appreciate. I have used it before in Donna’s and other’s recipes, but it is still new in my kitchen. And I like raw spinach, but I am still NOT a fan of cooked.

The recipe calls for dill, S&P, onions, and sour cream as well as the feta and spinach. I wilted some spinach as called for but after I mixed everything up for the filling it didn’t seem to be enough so I simply snipped in some raw. I could not tell the difference at all. So next time I make this I will simply put some raw spinach into the filling and save a step.

THIS was delicious!! I made 1/2 of the tart in a 6″ dish and it was quite filling. It was my supper last nite and will be part of lunch later this week. The filo surrounded the filling with a nice light crunch much better than a pie crust.


I think you could also use the filling in those little filo cups. After all, its not about the crust, it’s all about the filling.

The recipe is on page 170 of Donna’s modern classics: Book 1

Check with

    for their pies.

And if you would like to join us on Wednesdays with Donna Hay, just leave one of us a comment. We’d love to have you in our small group.

Oops! Almost forgot…


I hope 2014 brings you blessings, joy, and happiness.

You could make a tart and the day would be happy. At least my day. There are so many ways to make a tart. Sweet. Svory. Veggie. Meat. Apple. Cheese. The possibilities are endless. And that is the problem with this week’s theme for I Heart Cooking Club. I had my heart set on Donna’s Maple Cream Tart. I had all the ingredients. Then I made B a coconut cake. And then a Bundt for National Bundt Day so I really didn’t need anything else sweet in the house. Savory it is.


    lentil and goat’s cheese tarts
    150g (5 oz) du puy orange lentils
    6 sheets filo pastryI used regular pie crust
    50g (1 1/2 oz) butter, melted
    500g (16 oz) ricotta
    4 eggs
    1 1/2 cups (12 fl oz) milk
    1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
    cracked black pepper and sea salt
    120g (4 oz) goat’s cheese, sliced

Place the lentils in a saucepan of boiling water and cook for 15 minutes or until tender. Drain and set aside.
Preheat the oven to 160°C (325°F). Cut the cut crust into circles for 6″ tarts. Line 8 greased 1/2 cup (4 fl oz) capacity tart dishes with the pastry, folding to fit the edges in the dishes.
To make the filling, mix the ricotta, eggs and milk in a food processor until smooth. Place in a bowl and stir through the cooked lentils, parsley, pepper and salt. Pour the mixture into the pastry shells and top with the goat’s cheese. Bake for 30 minutes or until the filling is set. Serve warm. Serves 4.
• You can also use blue cheese or aged cheddar.

As you can see I did make some changes to fit our tstes. The goat cheese I used was herb and garlic which really added great flavor to the tarts.

I made 4 mini tarts and one larger 1 cup capacity with cheddar cheese on top.


I liked the one with goat cheese better. Probably because it had the herb and garlic.

Donna’s original recipe is on page 76 of off the shelf

Check out what tarts the other IHCC participants made.IHCC Donna Hay Badge resized

I like caramel. And I like easy. This tart is both. A sweet tart crust filled with a simple caramel custard. Sugar, water, cream. Milk, eggs. How can you possibly go wrong with that?


And did I mention the toasted sliced almonds?

I made the whole recipe which resulted in 5 minis and some left over custard – just for me!


If you want the recipe it is on page 457 of Dorie Greenspan’s around my French table

And check with the other Doristas and click on LYL to find out about their tarts.

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