Tag Archives: Tarts

Not Another Strawberry

Blueberry Buttermilk Biscuits

It might be strawberry season, but I’ve already had more than my fair share of these red berries during the past couple of months, and in efforts to avoid my yearly summer habit of over-consuming a certain type of food and then not being able to ever eat it again, I’m pushing this fruit to the side until the next time they come into season. Last summer my mom went though an apricot-obsession phase, so we were eating some sort of apricot-based dessert every night. While she did get creative, too much is too much. Countless apricot tarts and cobblers later, I’m through with that fruit under its every form. I can still enjoy strawberries, but it won’t be long until I lose them to anther unfortunate case of fruit-aversion. I won’t take the risk.

In my effort to find different summer food options, I encountered Bon Appétit magazine’s buttermilk biscuit recipe (you can find it here) as well as Trader Joe’s big box of organic blueberries. Since then, a happy combination of two great things has been found: blueberry buttermilk biscuits. The combo isn’t anything new, but these little cakes are a satisfying breakfast, snack, or dessert and a versatile base for many other dishes—they can be toasted and topped with butter and jam for breakfast, served with cream, mixed berries, and chopped mint as a light dessert, or eaten by themselves. Seeing as how simple these little treats are to make, there’s no reason not to try some other variations (maybe with chocolate chips? nuts?).

Of course, the addition of strawberries would probably make for a wonderful version of this baked treat, but I’ll be waiting ’till next summer for that one. Until then, blueberries it is.


Live from the Culinary House: A Farewell to Summer

As Rachelle and Matt settle into the new apartment, we bring you a new feature showcasing the recipes made in the Culinary Society Test Kitchen in the past week.

Stone fruit: fleshy fruit with a single seed: e.g. almond; peach; plum; cherry; elderberry; olive; jujube. Also, a culinary synonym for summer.

Peaches are the reason I first started cooking. At a function back in the summer of 2006, before I began to cook, I ate a most spectacular peach cobbler. Perfection in a small ramekin, I approached the caterers of the event and asked for the recipe. Guided by sheer gluttony, I wanted to make this cobbler for myself, over and over again.

Alas, the chef denied my request, saying that the cobbler was a secret recipe. I left dejected but determined to create a cobbler that was even better than the one I had that night. Throughout the summer, I tested peach cobbler recipes until I reached perfection. By the end of the summer, I suddenly realized—I liked cooking. And that’s the short story of how I came to cook: a combination of stone fruits and spite.

These recipes showcase stone fruits in more complex ways than simple cobbler. Inspired by the last days of summer, I used a combination of several different summer elements that I will surely miss as the days get colder.

Peach, Lavender, and Almond Quinoa Salad

Serves 4-6

6 C of cooked quinoa (which is 3 C of uncooked quinoa)

4 ripe peaches, peeled, pitted, and diced

5 green onions, chopped

¼ C sliced almonds, toasted

3 tbsp. parsley, chopped

2 tbsp. lavender, chopped (opt.)

1 tbsp. olive oil

1 tbsp. lemon juice

5 oz. feta cheese, crumbled

Salt and pepper to taste

Continue reading Live from the Culinary House: A Farewell to Summer

Rustic Apple Tarts

Hi all, here’s the recipe for the rustic apple tarts we made for Earl Jam!

All Butter Crust:

(adapted from SimpleRecipes.com)

This recipe makes 1 pâte brisée crust, enough for one tart. If you are making a pie with a bottom and top crust, double this recipe and form two discs of dough instead of one.


  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for rolling
  • 8 Tbsp (1 stick) unsalted butter, very-cold, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar (increase to 1 1/2 teaspoons if for a sweet recipe)
  • 2 to 4 Tbsp ice water, very cold

1 Start by cutting the sticks of butter into 1/2-inch cubes and placing in the freezer for at least 15 minutes (preferably longer) so that they become thoroughly chilled.

2 In a food processor, combine flour, salt, and sugar, pulse to mix. Add butter and pulse 6 to 8 times, until mixture resembles coarse meal, with pea size pieces of butter. Add water 1 Tablespoon at a time, pulsing until mixture just begins to clump together. If you pinch some of the crumbly dough and it holds together, it’s ready, if not, add a little more water and pulse again.

3 Remove dough from machine and place on a clean surface. Carefully shape into a discs. Do not over-knead the dough! You should still be able to see little bits of butter in the dough. These bits of butter are what will allow the result crust to be flaky. Sprinkle the disc with a little flour on all sides. Wrap the disc in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 1 hour.

4 Remove the crust disk from the refrigerator. Let sit at room temperature for 5-10 minutes. Sprinkle some flour on top of the disk.

Apple Walnut Filling:


  • 1 Pâte Brisée (tart dough) for a 10-inch tart (see all butter crust recipe) or 1 packaged, flat pie crust
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped, or 1/2 teaspoon dried (we actually completely forgot to add the thyme, but it turned out great without it!)
  • 2 large granny smith apples (or other good cooking apples such as jonagold or fuji), peeled, cored, chopped
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of lemon juice (optional)
  • Goat Cheese to crumble on top (optional)
  • 1 egg, water for egg wash.


1 Toss the walnuts, thyme, chopped apples, and sugar together in a medium size bowl. As you are working with the apples (chopping them, mixing them in with the other ingredients), if you want, you can squeeze a little lemon juice on them to help keep them from discoloring. Cover the mixture with plastic wrap while you prepare the crust.

2 Preheat oven to 350°F. Roll out pastry dough to 1/8th in thickness. Use cookie cutters to cut small circles in the dough. Roll out the circles once more to get them a little thinner, so that you can pinch up the edges, but not so thin that it wont hold the filling. Place a small amount of filling directly in the center of the dough, fold up edges in a circular motion and pinch together, leaving the top open, and the filling exposed. Whip 1 egg with a few tablespoons of water and brush over the edges.


3 Bake for 45 minutes to an hour, until crust is nicely browned. If at any time it looks like the walnuts are getting a little burnt, you can lightly tent a piece of aluminum foil over the center.

4 Remove from oven. Immediately crumble goat cheese over the top, and serve warm!


Key Lime Tart


What’s a summer BBQ without a cool refreshing dessert? This tart is much lighter than a traditional pie, and the graham cracker crust is made from scratch, making it crisp, almost like a cookie. The recipe is adapted from one of my favorite blogs, Dessert First. I omitted the meringue she used, as not everyone in my family loves meringue as much as I do, but it works well with whipped cream as well, homemade or store-bought whichever you have time for….

Graham Cracker Crust

makes about 16 3-in square tart shells

1 cup butter, room temperature

1/4 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1/4 cup honey

2 cups all purpose flour

1/2 cup whole wheat flour

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

I creamed the butter and sugars in a stand mixer until light and fluffy before adding the honey.

I then mixed the dry ingredients together in a separate bowl and added it to the wet ingredients in parts, making sure all the ingredients were fully incorporated.

The dough will come together but it is very moist due to the large quantity of butter. I flattened it into a disk and let it chill in the refrigerator wrapped in plastic wrap. After about an hour, I rolled it out on a floured surface and attempted to transfer it to my 9″ pie dish. This proved disastrous. So after many vain attempts, re-chilling, and re-rolling, and re-failing, I ended up just pressing it into the dish with my fingers.  It turned out a little uneven in places but it worked. I then let the dough chill for another 30 min before baking so that it crisped up properly. The recipe suggests baking for about 18 min although I baked for about 30 min until it became dark brown, which was a bit too long. 20 min would have been enough.

Key Lime Curd

adapted from Pierre Hermé’s Desserts

makes about 1 1/2 to 2 cups

1/2 cup sugar

2 eggs

1/2 cup key lime juice

1/2 cup unsalted butter, cut into 1 inch pieces, softened but not melting

I prepared the curd while the tart shell was in the oven. I first whisked the eggs and sugar together, before adding the lime juice. I whisked over a hot water bath until thick, adding the pieces butter one at a time. The recipe suggests blending the curd in a food processor and adding the butter while mixing on high. I’ve found that the same wonderful creamy effect can be obtained without transferring to the food processor. After thickening over the stove, I let the curd chill in the refrigerator until completely cool.

Once the tart shell cooled to room temperature, I poured the curd into the shell and let it cool in the fridge until it was ready to serve!