Blueberry and Shaker Lemon Pie

The Behind the Curtain Dessert Challenge is all about baking and making sweets. Every month we are given two required ingredients to work with. This month it was Blueberries and Lemon. Two awesome fruits that pair so well. Lemon desserts are so summery and refreshing. Blueberries are gorgeous little blue gems that I adore. I wanted to showcase them separately but in one dessert. So I did sort of a half-half stacked pie with my creation: a Blueberry and Shaker Lemon Pie.

lemon bluebryy pie 047

Tasty reading ahead, KEEP GOING… →

Cranberrylove: Cranberry Lime Galette

What could be a appropriate in season fruit to cook with for the love bloghop this November than cranberries. They bring up memories of holidays to come and huge feasts to enjoy. My mom always made her own cranberry sauce. I can’t stand the canned stuff.

So tart on its own when you bite into a fresh cranberry. You feel the tartness creep into your ear canal. Add a little sugar and it is a whole new taste. Did you know that cranberries are now part of the growing list of Superfruits due to their nutrient contents and antioxidant qualities? 95% percent of crops go to juice making so only 5% make it to other uses like fresh packaged bags or dried fruits.

Psssst, don’t forget there are only 2 days left to enter the An Edible Mosaic Coobook Contest

The idea of this recipe came from the blog The Dogs Eat the Crumbs, the recipe being part of the Tuesdays with Dorie group. A more traditional cranberry tart usually has walnuts in it, perhaps some cinnamon. What really attracted me to this version was the lime and ginger. The recipe suggested raspberry jam but I used some fig jam I have made a little while back. The flavor was so wonderful and complex, I really loved this filling.

I do want to point out your galette will not turn out burnt a bit like mine. My oven sometimes conks out and refuses to get hot enough…I had to do most of the baking in a toaster oven.


Yields 6

Cranberry Lime Galette

15 minPrep Time

50 minCook Time

1 hr, 5 Total Time

Save RecipeSave Recipe


  • puff pastry
  • 1 8 oz package fresh cranberries
  • 2 apples
  • 1 cups sugar
  • zest and juice from one lime
  • 1.5 in chopped fresh ginger
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup fig jam


  1. Roll out puff pastry into a large circle...say size of a pie plate plus 3 inches around.
  2. In a large bowl mix all the ingredients together very well.
  3. Pour topping in the middle of the puff pastry and fold edge over the topping, giving it a rustic pie look.
  4. Bake in a preheated oven at 375 degree for 20 minutes, reduce heat to 325 degrees and bake for 30 minutes more, until the crust is well-browned and the filling has cooked down and is bubbly.
Recipe Type: Desserts


Cranberry cultivation is pretty much done only in the North East of the US and most of Canada. I thought I would show you a pic from Wikipedia of a cranberry harvest. It is a pretty impressive site. I did find out from the article thought that during the growing process the beds are not flooded. They are only flooded when it is time for harvest as it facilitates the process.

Please join in on the #cranberrylove fun by linking up any cranberry recipe from the month of November 2012. Don’t forget to link back to this post,so that your readers know to come stop by the #cranberrylove event! The twitter hashtag is #cranberrylove 🙂

My fellow co-hosts are…

Deanna @ Teaspoon of Spice @tspbasil

Kimberly @ Badger Girl Learns to Cook @bdgergrl

Evelyne @ Cheap Ethic Eatz  @cethniceatz

EA @ Spicy RD @thespicyrd

T.R. @ No One Likes Crumbley Cookies @TRCrumbley

Shulie @ Food Wanderings @foodwanderings

Becky @ Baking and Cooking, A Tale of Two Loves


5 Star Makeover: Tarte Tatin with Sage, Vanilla and Clove Infused Butter

This month’s theme for the 5 Star Makeover is quite seasonal: Apples. With such an easily adaptable ingredient to field of options was pretty wide open. But I decided finally to go for a very classical dish, a wonderful French apple pie cooked in a luscious caramel sauce. It is a very sophisticated tasting pie which consists of 3 ingredients in profusion: lots of butter, lots of sugar and lots of apples.

It may not be the absolutely prettiest pie in the world but the taste is really gourmet. The first time I had a Tarte Tatin was at a lovely French restaurant in Montreal called Tonnerre de Brest. This charming true french bistro serves outstanding French classics and the small place is true to a real bistro like you find in France. I believe it was my first visit that I ordered this dessert. I was blown away and conquered for ever. If I see it on a menu I always get it. I added an interesting little twist to my version. I infused my butter with an interesting combination of sage, cloves and vanilla. The notes of this infusion was beautifully subtle and very welcomed.

I love the folkloric tale recounting the origin of this pie. The Tarte Tatin was first created by accident in a French Inn, in the 1880s. The hotel was run by the two Tatin  sisters. Supposedly one of the sister was work in the kitchen preparing meals for the customers. She started to make a traditional apple pie but left the apples cooking in butter and sugar for too long. In an attempt to save the pie, she tried to rescue the dish by putting the pastry base on top of the pan of apples and baking it in the whole pan in the oven. She then served the pie by flipping it onto a plate. Another version to the story I heard is that when taking the pie out of the oven the sister would have dropped it on the floor and she tried to save it by slipping it onto a plate and serving it upside down. Either story had the same result: the Tarte Tatin was a success.

Ξ Tarte Tatin with Sage, Vanilla and Clove Infused Butter Ξ

8 to 10 firm apples: a mixture of sweet and acidic varieties. I used Fuji and Gala.
4 ounces (1 stick) unsalted butter, slightly soft
4 cloves (1/4 tsp rounded, ground)
8 sage leaves (2/3 tsp dried)
vanilla bean, 2 inch segment
1 cup sugar
8 ounces (half a box) puff pastry

1. In a small sauce pan heat the butter over medium heat. When the butter is frothing and bubbly, turn heat to low, halve a 2 inch segment of vanilla bean and scrape the beans into the butter, then add 4 cloves and 8 sage leaves. Heat for five minutes, stirring occasionally, then off the heat and set aside to steep. Strain the infused butter.

2. While your butter is infusing, peel, core and halve lengthwise the apples.

3. Preheat the oven to 400F. Pour the butter in a cold large skillet. Make sure to cover the bottom and sides of the skillet. Sprinkle the sugar on the top and shake to ensure it is evenly distributed. Arrange the apples standing on their sides, in concentric circles, embedding them in the butter/sugar mix. Pack the apples in as tight as you can.

4. Turn the burner on med-high and cook the apples. It will take 10 to 20 minutes. I like to turn them half way if the piece  are still solid. As the apples cook, the sugar will turn to a caramel as well. Keep an eye on the pan, ideally you want a rich deep toffee color.

5. Roll out the puff pastry into a disc 1 inch wider than the rim of the pan. When the apples are ready, drop the disc of pastry onto the apples and let the edges hang over the sides of the pan. Place the pan in a preheated oven and bake for fifteen minutes, or until the pastry is nicely browned.


6. Remove from oven and let it rest for 5 minute. Then place an inverted plate, slightly bigger than the pan, over the top. Hold with one hand firmly the plate and grip the handle with a cloth firmly with the other hand. Quickly flip the skillet over so the plate is underneath. Lower the plate and pan onto a steady surface, pause a moment, and then lift off the pan. Serve warm.

hosted by 5 Star Foodie & Lazaro Cooks!

Chocolate Apple Pie with Nut Crust

Looking for a practically guilty free pie when the sweet tooth attacks? Well I have a recipe for you. This recipe was given to me by Stef. The crust of the pie is made of crushed nuts, and egg white and a bit of sugar. That is it. You could fill it any way you like but here is our somewhat low cal version. Note the ingredients are to make one pie, we just happen t make two when he showed me.

Chocolate Apple Pie with Nut Crust


  • 1 1/2 cups crushed nuts of your choice (we did 1/2 almonds and 1/2 hazelnut)
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1-2 tbsp sugar is desired
  • you can add cinnamon, nutmeg or what you like for extra flavor
  • 1/3 cup dark chocolate
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 3 apples
  • 1 tsp butter
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • cinnamon to taste
  • sliced almonds
  • 2 oz dark chocolate, melted


  1. Crush your nuts if whole, use about 1 cup of whole nuts to get 3/4 cups crushed.
  2. Mix nuts with egg and sugar plus spices is desired.
  3. Spread in a pie shell evenly and cook at 350F till the crust is golden.
  4. Melt chocolate and mix in cream until homogenized. Spread in the bottom of crust.
  5. Sprinkle a layer of sliced almonds.
  6. Peel and core apples and then cut in thin slices.
  7. In a pan melt the butter and add apples with sugar and cinnamon. Cook until just tender.
  8. Poor apples into the pie crust and spread evenly.
  9. Sprinkle a few sliced almonds again and swirl decoratively the remaining dark chocolate.
  10. Refrigerate 2 hours before serving.

Daring Bakers: Crostata

I have been in pie eating mode lately but none were baked by me, actually from the store, because I did not have a kitchen for 2 weeks. But good news the kitchen is done and I’ll post about that experience soon! I had just bought also about a month ago a tart pan with a removable bottom (for like $8 !!! on liquidation) which I had yet to baptize. I know shame on me. So when I saw this month’s challenge, and Italian pie called a Crostata, I was very excited. I knew exactly what I would put in it but will keep you in suspense for just a bit.

The 2010 November Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Simona from briciole. She chose to challenge Daring Bakers’ to make pasta frolla for a crostata. She used her own experience as a source, as well as information from Pellegrino Artusi’s Science in the Kitchen and the Art of Eating Well.

Pasta frolla is a fabulous recipe used to make pie crusts or shortbread-like cookies. It is a sweet and rich crust which I find makes it perfect for a tart filling, hence it often being used with marmalade like it was suggested in the challenge. This is not your boring pie crust. I think one of the reasons I don’t make pies a lot is because I usually care more for the filling. Not the case with the pasta frolla. Here is the recipe I used but click here if you want to see various versions.

Pasta frolla


  • 1/2 c. minus 1 tablespoon [105 ml, 100 g, 3 ½ oz] superfine sugar
  • 1 and 3/4 cup [420 ml, 235 g, 8 1/4 oz.] unbleached all-purpose flour
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1 stick [8 tablespoons / 4 oz. / 115 g] cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg and 1 large egg yolk, lightly beaten in a small bowl
  1. Whisk together sugar, flour and salt in a bowl.
  2. Rub or cut the butter into the flour until the mixture has the consistency of coarse crumbs. You can do this in the bowl or on your work surface, using your fingertips or an implement of choice.
  3. Make a well in the center of the mounded flour and butter mixture and pour the beaten eggs and vanilla into it (reserve about a teaspoon of the egg mixture for glazing purposes later on).
  4. Use a fork to incorporate the liquid into the solid ingredients, and then use your fingertips.
  5. Knead lightly just until the dough comes together into a ball.
  6. Shape the dough into a flat disk and wrap it. Chill the dough in the refrigerator for at least two hours.

Now for the filling! I decided to go with something we did in a past challenge: my citrus preserves from the September Daring Cooks challenge. This preserve is low in sugar and high in rind so I knew it would be perfectly extra tart as I wanted it to be. Now since my preserve was made up of large pieces I just threw it in the blend to break it up into a jam consistency. 1 cup and 3/4 is required according to the given recipe.

Now I also added some shredded coconut. This coconut was actually left over from another recipe I did that day. My friend Faith over at An Edible Mosaic recently posted a recipe on how to make homemade coconut milk. I got around to making it today and by the end of it you have plenty of leftover coconut. Go to her blog for the recipe. It was quite an experience to make my coconut milk. It can get messy but definitely worth trying it once. I got over a liter of milk with a nice head of coconut cream that I can use in other recipes.

So in the bottom of the pan I put my shredded coconut and I gently spooned over my marmalade so it would cover the coconut. I found there was not enough filling for my crust…happy I added the coconut, I would go with 3 cups of filling personally. Now before I tell you how to assemble it let me tell you this dough breaks easy…do the plastic wrap suggestion. DO NOT use the parchment paper, I did that and it stuck.

Assembling and baking the crostata:

  1. Heat the oven to 375ºF [190ºC/gas mark 5].
  2. Take the pasta frolla out of the fridge, unwrap it and cut away ¼ of the dough. Reserve this dough to make the lattice top of the crostata. Refrigerate this dough while you work on the tart base.
  3. To help roll the crostata dough, keep the dough on top of the plastic wrap that you had it wrapped in. This can help rolling the dough and can also help when transferring the dough to your pan.
  4. Lightly dust the top of the dough and your work surface with flour. Keep some flour handy to dust the dough as you go along.
  5. If the dough is very firm, start by pressing the dough with the rolling pin from the middle to each end, moving the rolling pin by a pin’s width each time; turn the dough 180 degrees and repeat; when it softens, start rolling.
  6. Roll the dough into a circle about 1/8th inch (3 mm) thick.
  7. Flip dough over the pan, centering it, and delicately press it all around so the corners are well covered. Peel away the plastic wrap.
  8. Trim the excess dough hanging over the edges of the pan. Press the remaining dough around the border into the sides of the pan making sure the border is an even thickness all the way around.
  9. Prick the bottom of the dough with a fork in several places.
  10. Spread the jam or fruit preserves evenly over the bottom of the crostata.
  11. Take out of the fridge the reserved pasta frolla you had cut away earlier. Roll it with your pin and cut into strips or use cookie cutters to make small shapes; or roll with your hands into ropes.
  12. Use the prepared strips or rolls of dough to make a lattice over the surface, or decorate with the cut shapes.
  13. Brush the border and strips of dough with the reserved beaten eggs.
  14. Put the tart in the oven and bake for 25 minutes or until the tart is of a nice golden hue.
  15. When done, remove the tart from the oven and let cool. If you have used a tart pan with a removable bottom, then release the tart base from the fluted tart ring. Make sure the tart is completely cool before slicing and serving.

Oh my the smell wafting in the air as this crostata came out of the oven was to die for. It is very hard to wait for it to cool down before attacking it. But I managed to control myself and was rewarded with a perfect slice of crostata that I enjoyed with a glass of coconut milk.

That crust is just sexy!

International Incident: Foie Gras à la Evelyne de Cochon Pizza Pie

I had a few other titles in mind for this post, such as:

Food Orgy for One
Martin Picard Made Me Do It

But I decided to stick with the brand new name of this brand new monthly event, Jeroxie’s brainchild: the International Incident Party. Long Live the International Incident!

Basically we are given a theme and then we have free reigns to come up with a submission. I saw the first “party” on a few blogs I follow about a month ago and I was jealous with envy I had not know about it. After that I put Jeroxie’s RSS in my feed. Well my feed program is not so hot because I think it missed a few new posts in general of the blogs I follow. Hence I found out THIS MORNING that the deadline for this new event was tonight!

I decided to throw caution to the wind as I was planing a quiet day and come up with insane recipes and a finished post for tonight. Actually as soon as I saw the theme I knew right away what I was going to make. The theme was Pizza Pie. I had both a savory and sweet inspiration so I did both.

Tasty reading ahead, KEEP GOING… →

Stuffed Like a Maple Cochon

The past week has was like a surreal dream for everyone on the guest list. Was our coveted reservation at the Cabane à sucre Pied de Cochon really less then 7 days away? Finally? For real? After all we sent out a request to be on the wait list in August and only got a confirmation in January. We were all insanely ecstatic.

And many of my friends and colleagues regarded me with envy and jealousy. It was delicious lol. One friend even texted me while I was there: “Eat your heart out, you B…… xoxox”.

Yes, the day had actually arrived: 23 of us, members and spouses of the Montreal Foodie Blogger group, met at the Cabane à sucre Pied de Cochon for a $49 brunch meal we will not soon forget. It was a momentous event also because about half the guest were new members. I was so happy to meet everyone and put a face to names I knew so well from online. It was as well our first meeting with a healthy mix of French and English bloggers, bridging cultural gaps.

OK, enough with the emotional gushing! Bring on the food!

After driving past a scary stretch of commercial non traditional sugar shacks on the main road and being convinced we were lost a few times we finally drove up a dirt road that ended with a rather large but crude shack. In other words it was what I picture a traditional sugar shack should look like.

Tasty reading ahead, KEEP GOING… →