Category Archives: Tart


Pie 6 main
I am glad to do the Daring Baker’s Challenge this month. Considering all that’s been going around me…Oh life can’t get any busier? Just when I think its time to relax something else pops up. I am a stay at home Mom and feel that I am more occupied than my Husband. There are days I wish I was given a “time out” lol!
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Rachael from Pizzarossa was our lovely June 2013 Daring Bakers’ host and she had us whipping up delicious pies in our kitchens! Cream pies, fruit pies, chocolate pies, even crack pies! There’s nothing like pie.

Pies and Tarts have always been everyones favorite at home. After all the strawberry picking that we do every year, Strawberry Pies and Tarts are the first thing that comes to my mind.I was completely intrigued by the recipe of “Momofukus Milk Bars” famous “CRACK PIE”. The name itself sounds interesting.
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Bon Appetit says about Crack Pie, “Anyone who has taken a bite of this Milk Bar best seller immediately knows the reason for the sassy name. Once you start eating this rich, salty-sweet pie with its oat cookie crust, you won’t be able to stop.” A thick, chewy crust filled with an outrageously sweet gooey filling, it’s a wicked sugar-rush. You’ll want small servings!
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Crostate are traditional Italian sweet treat most often filled with Jam, preserved or fresh fruit or any nut based fillings or pastry cream. Since I had lot of Strawberry Preserves at home I decided to make a “Strawberry Crostata”.

I decided to make a small Crack Pie. So I halved the recipe and followed the instructions. Though I loved this Pie, but it was definitely too very sweet for me. I had infact reduced the amount of sugar by two tablespoon but looks like that wasn’t good enough. Having said that, this has by far been one of the most delicious Pies I have ever baked. The goey filling which tasted like caramel with an oats cookie crust was to die for. I had this with some whipped cream on top…ummm sinful:)

Crack Pie


  • Oats Cookie Crust
  • 4 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature, divided (3 & 1 1/2 tbsp)
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons light brown sugar, divided (2 & ½ tbsp)
  • 1 tablespoon white sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • a pinch baking powder
  • a pinch baking soda
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • Filling
  • 1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon white sugar
  • 2 tablespoon light brown sugar
  • 1/2 tablespoon dry milk powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted, cooled slightly
  • 3 1/4 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Powdered sugar for dusting


Oat Cookie Crust

1. Position rack in center of oven and preheat to moderate 350°F. Line a 18" square baking pan with parchment (baking) paper. Lightly spray or butter 4" pie dish.

2. Combine 3 tablespoons of the softened butter, 2 tablespoons of the brown sugar and the white sugar in medium bowl. Using an electric mixer, beat until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.

3. Beat an egg, discard half of it, add the remaining to the mixer and beat until pale and fluffy, about 1 minute.

4. Add oats, flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt and beat until well blended, about 1 minute.

5. Dump oat mixture into prepared baking pan and press out evenly to edges of pan.

6. Bake until light golden, might take around 12 minutes. Transfer baking pan to wire rack and cool cookie completely, about an hour.

7. Using your fingertips, crumble the cookie a into large bowl - there should be no identifiable pieces of cookie remaining. Add the remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons butter and 1/2 tablespoon brown sugar. Rub in with your fingertips until the mixture is moist and sticks together when pressed between your fingers.

8. Transfer cookie crust mixture to pie dish. Using your fingers, press mixture evenly onto bottom and up sides of pie dish (about 1 inch/2.5cm up the sides if your pie dish is deep). If your pie dish is shallow, place it on a baking sheet in case of overflow.


1. Position rack in center of oven and preheat to moderate 350°F. If possible, use bottom-only heat, or the filling may brown too quickly.

2. Whisk both sugars, milk powder, and salt together in a medium bowl.

3. Add melted butter and whisk until blended.

4. Add cream, then egg yolks and vanilla and whisk until well blended.

5. Pour filling into crust.

6. Bake 25 minutes (filling may begin to bubble up). Reduce oven temperature to 325°F. Continue to bake until filling is brown on top and set around edges but center still jiggles slightly, about 20 minutes longer.

7. Cool pie completely in pie dish on wire rack. Chill uncovered overnight.

8. Sift powdered sugar lightly over top of pie. Cut pie into thin wedges and serve cold.

Crostata Di Marmellata


  • Pasta Frolla ( Basic Italian Pie Pastry)
  • 2/3 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • grated zest of 1 medium lemon
  • 1-2/3 cups all-purpose (plain) flour
  • pinch salt
  • Filling
  • 2 cups Strawberry Preserves
  • Glaze
  • ¼ cup apricot jam
  • 1-2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice


1. Using a paddle attachment on a stand mixer or an electric hand mixer or whisk, cream the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy, 2 - 5 minutes. The amount of time you cream the butter will affect the final dough - longer means lighter which in turn means a softer, more fragile dough which is less easy to work, but I prefer the texture of the cooked pastry this way because it's lighter too. If you want to do a more intricate lattice, I'd recommend a shorter creaming time so you have a firmer dough.

2. Add the egg, vanilla and lemon zest, one at a time, mixing thoroughly after each addition.

3. Add the flour and salt and mix until the dough comes together but remains soft, about 1 minute using a stand or electric mixer or a wooden spoon if mixing by hand. Don't over-mix.

4. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes to one hour.

5. When getting ready to bake, rest dough at room temperature for about 30 minutes.

6. Lightly grease a shallow 9"/24cm metal pie dish.

7. On either a piece of parchment or a lightly floured surface, roll 2/3 of the dough (I weighed my dough and 2/3 was about 12oz/340g) out to a circle to generously line the pie dish. I prefer to use parchment with a circle traced on it so I can roll it as quickly as possible, before the dough gets too soft to handle, then use the parchment to transfer it to the dish.

8. Transfer the dough to the pie dish, press in gently and roll the edges to form a good surface for attaching the lattice later. Prick all over the bottom with a fork.

9. Refrigerate the dough-lined pie dish for 30 minutes to reduce shrinkage during baking.

10. Preheat oven to moderate 350°F/180°C/gas mark 4..

11. Line pastry with parchment and fill with dry beans or pie weights. Bake until set, around 15 minutes.

12. Remove the weights and parchment and allow to cool. If using a springform or loose based pie dish, remove the side of the pan.

13. Preheat oven to moderately hot 400°F/200°C/gas mark 6.

14. Roll the remaining dough to fit the pie dish and cut it into roughly half inch/1.5cm-wide strips.

15. Spread the filling over the par-baked crust.

16. Arrange the strips of dough in a lattice over the filling (see links below for some how-to guides - you can do an intricate intertwined lattice or a very simple overlay one like I've done), trim as needed and lightly pinch the ends onto the rolled edge of the bottom crust.

17. Place pie dish on a baking sheet and place in center of oven. Bake until lattice is golden, around 20 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare the glaze.


1. Heat the jam and water in a small saucepan over medium heat until mixture comes to a boil. Alternatively, you can heat it on medium-high in a bowl in the microwave for about 2 minutes, stirring halfway.

2. Strain through a fine mesh sieve if it's chunky.

3. While glaze and pie are both still warm, brush over lattice crust.

4. Allow pie to cool completely before serving.

Thanks Rachael for the lovely challenge!

Bon Appétit


We can’t seem to get enough of California. It was just last month that we were at San Diego and Los Angeles and this time it was SFO. We were there to visit our friends and it was so much fun. The weather was perfect. It had the hustle and bustle of New york and the quaint beach lifestyle of Florida. We instantly fell in love with the city. Our friends were excellent hosts and took us around the city.

We visited the iconic Golden Gate Bridge, SFO Downtown, Pier 39,Union Square, beautiful drive across the Bay and much more. The highlight of the trip was shopping at Daiso a Japanese shop where you get household, kitchenware, utensils, stationary / gift bags, travel containers , tiny props etc. Daiso has the best price to fulfill impulsive buys; almost everything is $1.50 unless otherwise indicated. I got carried away and picked up props for food photography. This is definitely the one stop shop for all food props. They don’t seem to have any other outlets in the Midwest, the only options is to shop online. I was lazy enough to put all the things together for the below photograph…just a few for your eyes:)

Coming to the recipe, I baked this Tart last week when we were craving for something Savory. It is easy to make and is very filling too. The secret to a good crust is to have everything cold and to handle as little as possible.

I had some filling left over and used it for quesadillas the next day. I also didn’t need the entire dough, so with the remaining I made an upside down tart,recipe to follow shortly:)



2 cups all purpose flour
12 tablespoon (1 1/2 sticks) butter( chopped into small pieces)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup+ 2 tablespoon water

Nut Filling

1/2 cup almonds
1 garlic clove
2 tablespoon olive oil

Onion Filling:

2 large onions ( sliced)
2 tablespoon olive oil
a teaspoon chili flakes/chili powder
1/2 teaspoon sugar
a tablespoon cilantro (chopped)
salt as per taste
a teaspoon balsamic vinegar( optional)

sliced tomatoes for decoration

Pulse the flour and salt in a food processor. Add butter and pulse until it forms a coarse meal. With the motor running drizzle water little by little( a tablespoon at a time, as you might not need all of the water) until the mixture begins to hold together. You will end up with a soft ball. If you think the dough is too sticky, add little more flour and knead using your fingers. Flatten the dough into a disc and wrap in a plastic wrap; refrigerate it for about 30 minutes. Meanwhile get started with the filling.

For the Nut filling pulse walnuts and garlic in a food processor. With the machine running, add the olive oil and run until the mixture is finely chopped. Set aside.

For the Onion Filling – Heat oil in a wok. Saute the onions until golden brown. Add the chili powder,salt and sugar. Continue to cook and scrape until the onions richly browned and caramelized.Now at the end if you wish add the balsamic vinegar or wine( if you like) to de-glaze your pan and bring in some additional flavors to the onions. Set aside.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to a 16 by 8 inch rectangle. Fit this dough into a 14 by 5 inch rectangular tart pan with a removable bottom. Trim the excess dough from all the sides. Pierce all over the bottom with a fork . Refrigerate for about 45 minutes.

Preheat oven at 375F. We have to blind bake the tart shell – Line the Tart shell with a parchment and fill it with dried beans or pie weights. Bake for about 15 minutes or until the crust begins to brown. Remove the pie weights and parchment, bake the tart shell for 10 minutes more. The shell must be golden brown. Allow it to cool.

Spread the nut filling all over the shell. Bake for 2-3 minutes. Now top it with the caramelized onions and finally bake for another 15-20 minutes. If you feel the crust is browning fast, cover it loosely with an aluminium foil and bake. Once done, decorate with sliced tomatoes and cilantro. Serve warm.

Tarts are easy to bake, if you’ve mastered the art then there is so many recipes you can come up with.There are endless ideas for the filling. You may just whip up some cream, fill the baked shell, decorate with fruits or whip mascarpone cheese and mango puree, or use vegetables such as Zuchini,Beets, Squash and ofcourse cheese.

Bon Appetit!

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