Tag Archives: individual dessert

No Bake Chocolate Raspberry Truffle Tarts

BY HELEN S. FLETCHER, ON
COPYRIGHT, HELEN S. FLETCHER, 2017. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
ALL PHOTOS BY PASTRIES LIKE A PRO UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.

Chocolate Raspberry Truffle TartThis No Bake Chocolate Raspberry Truffle Tarts is an easy, sophisticated looking but easy to execute tart.  While especially nice for Valentine’s day, it is good anytime.

The no bake press in crust is filled with a chocolate truffle filling and can be made weeks ahead and frozen.  Thaw in the refrigerator.  Several hours before serving, let the tart come to room temperature and top with the raspberries.

While I have used 4 1/4 inch heart shaped pans with removable bottoms, a single 9 x 3/4 inch quiche pan with a removable bottom may be used for this No Bake Chocolate Raspberry Truffle Tarts. Continue reading

Individual Apple Crostatas

BY HELEN S. FLETCHER, ON
COPYRIGHT, HELEN S. FLETCHER, 2017. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
ALL PHOTOS BY PASTRIES LIKE A PRO UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.

Individual Apple Crostatas with Pastry CreamThe Italians call them crostatas and the French call them croustades but they are basically the same item.  Individual Apple Crostatas with Pastry Cream is a meeting between the pastry worlds of Italy and France.

Traditionally, a butter crust that is pleated is used as the vessel for the apple crostatas  but in researching this, phyllo seems to be a second choice. When it comes to the restaurant, I stick with tradition when making the crostatas.   Tony’s serves them with vanilla ice cream and caramel sauce.  While I love this version, my accompaniment of choice is pastry cream piped into the warm crostata.  The chill of the pastry cream softening in the warm apple pastry is truly special and looks so much more difficult than it is. Continue reading

Baked Pluots with Amaretti Crisp

BY HELEN S. FLETCHER, ON
COPYRIGHT, HELEN S. FLETCHER, 2017. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
ALL PHOTOS BY PASTRIES LIKE A PRO UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.

Baked Pluots with Amaretti CrispMy daughter-in-law Kate absolutely loves pluots and I agree.  Fully ripened,  this combination of plums and apricots is decadently sweet and lends itself perfectly with amaretti cookies.  Crushed with brown sugar, almonds and butter they add a bit of sweetness to the pluots.  If you can’t find pluots use any ripe plum.

If you’ve never experienced a pluot it is a treat. Sixty to seventy percent plum with thirty to forty percent apricot this fruit is almost heart shaped. It can be eaten raw, grilled, or baked as in this quick dessert.Pluot for Baked Pluots with Amaretti Crisp Continue reading

Apple Caramel Hand Pies

BY HELEN S. FLETCHER, ON
COPYRIGHT, HELEN S. FLETCHER, 2017. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
ALL PHOTOS BY PASTRIES LIKE A PRO UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.

Finished PhotoHand Pies have been around as long as people have been cooking.  Anything enclosed in bread or pastry that can be eaten out of hand qualifies.  It can be a turnover, English pasty, a calzone, or Russian pierogis.  Every culture has a hand pie no matter what they call it.

While many hand pies are savory, sweet hand pies qualify and have been front and center of late.  Any pie filling or sweet filling can be used as long as it isn’t runny.  A number of pastries can be used but I particularly like this Mock Puff Pastry.  The recipe has been around a long time.  I remember seeing it first in the ’80’s.  It combines two techniques – pie crusts and the laminating of doughs.  This dough contains no water.  It is held together with sour cream which makes a very tender, as well as tasty, pastry.

It is important when making the pastry to make sure the butter stays in pea size piece as in a pie crust.  The pastry should not come together in the mixer.  It should be removed as soon as it clumps together.  It is pushed together into a cohesive dough on the work surface and rolled into a rectangle.  I fold mine into what is called a book fold as has more layers than the traditional three fold laminated pastry. Continue reading

Triple Chocolate Heart Tarts

BY HELEN S. FLETCHER, ON
COPYRIGHT, HELEN S. FLETCHER, 2017. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
ALL PHOTOS BY PASTRIES LIKE A PRO UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.

Triple Chocolate Heart TartTriple Chocolate Heart Tarts – gorgeous, sophisticated, stunningly flavorful and easy – what more could you want in a Valentines dessert?  When I had my bakery, we made so many of these both for Valentines day in these adorable tart shells and during the year when we made them in 12” European tarts it was amazing.  What’s “so many” you ask.  What about 1500 pieces which amounted to 125 tarts for banquet desserts usually with only a few days notice?  If you can’t find 4 1/4” heart shaped tart pans, use 4 1/4” round ones – the dessert will be just as gorgeous, sophisticated, stunningly flavorful and easy!

Because these tarts are very short, there is only a small amount of “crust” on the bottom to anchor the filling.  The majority of the filling is poured over the bottoms and allowed to set up in the cooler.  The remainder is heated just to loosen it and combined with whipped cream for a third layer of chocolate.  The finish I have used here is the one we used at the shop.  The rosette is piped on with a bit of buttercream which we always had around.  I have included a chocolate ganache if buttercream is not to be had. Continue reading