tarts

Blueberry and Hazelnut Crostata 

Crostata evokes many memories of a summer semester I spent in Bologna, Italy when I was backpacking in Europe as a university student. I spent most of my hard-earned money on eating and sightseeing and I fondly remember all the bakeries serving many variations of this infamous Italian Tart. Plums, berries, apples, grapes all made their way into these traditional crostatas bursting with homemade jams, flaky and buttery crusts liberally dusted with icing sugar.

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I used to walk through the streets sightseeing and eating my crostata with icing sugar dusting my face, a happy memory! I had a sweet tooth and couldn’t resist trying all the delicacies in the dozens of pastry shops that lined the streets.

When E.D.SMITH contacted me to collaborate on their fall campaign to celebrate their 135th birthday, I was delighted as it brought back memories of baking as a child with my mum. We used to love using their pie fillings and their jams were a staple in our house.

E.D.SMITH is an iconic Canadian food brand with roots dating back to 1882 and is currently the #1 pie filling in Canada and the largest Canadian manufacturer of jams and fruit spreads.

For their fall campaign, E.D.SMITH is inspiring the newest generation of Canadian home cooks to look past traditional jam on toast and plain pies to get creative with E.D.SMITH’s products.

My mission is to inspire you to explore the versatility of their products and show you how E.D.SMITH’s pie fillings and Triple Fruits spreads can fit within your lifestyle and today’s food trends.

I love a good challenge and what better way than to recreate one of my favourite desserts, a fruit filled crostata! A traditional crostata is an open-faced fruit tart, often with a decorative lattice top and made with a homemade jam.

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I particularly enjoy E.D.SMITH’s Blueberry Pie Filling and thought it would be a great swap out for a traditional blueberry jam. As we head into the fall season, I made this crostata with the addition of ground hazelnuts as it gives the crust a gently nutty bite and it complements the Blueberry Pie Filling nicely. If hazelnuts are not to your liking, they can easily be replaced with ground almonds.

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The addition of nuts in the pastry dough, coupled with the yolks creates a well rounded, rich crust that pairs nicely with the pie filling making you want to savour each bite.

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This Blueberry and Hazelnut Crostata is sure to become your favourite too. It’s a delicious twist on a traditional, familiar dessert with a delicate lattice topping. I hope you enjoy making it as much as I do.

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Blueberry and Hazelnut Crostata Recipe

Pastry Crust Ingredients:

2 cups all purpose flour

1/4 cup ground hazelnuts (or almonds)

3 Tbsp. sugar

1/4 tsp kosher salt

1/4 tsp citrus zest (lemon, orange or grapefruit)

1/4 tsp ground vanilla bean (or extract)

Pinch of ground cinnamon

3/4 cup cold unsalted butter, chopped

1 large egg + 1 yolk

3/4 can of E.D.SMITH Blueberry Pie Filling

Egg wash (1 egg + 2 tsp water)

9″ Fluted round tart pan with a removal bottom

Directions:

  1. In a stand up mixer bowl with the paddle attachment, add the flour, ground hazelnuts, sugar, salt, zest, vanilla and cinnamon. Mix on low until combined.
  2. Add the chopped butter and egg yolk, and mix until combined. Do not overmix as you still want to see bits of butter throughout.
  3. On a clean surface roll out 2 sheets of cling wrap and place the dough in the centre and gently form a disk. Flatten, cover in cling wrap and refrigerate for at least 15 minutes.
  4. Preheat the oven to 350F
  5. Roll out the pastry dough on a floured surface to approximately 14-16″ in diameter and l/2” thickness. Gently transfer it to the tart pan and press into the pan, bringing the dough up to the sides.
  6. With a sharp knife, cut off the excess dough and reserve to make a lattice top.
  7. Add the E.D.SMITH Blueberry Pie Filling into the base.
  8. Roll out the excess dough and using a fluted pastry wheel cut strips to place over top the filled pastry.
  9. In a crisscross pattern overlap the strips and crimp the edges.
  10. *Alternate method; on a flour dusted parchment sheet you can create your lattice top pattern and chill it for 15 minutes. Gently flip it over-top the tart, sealing the edges and discarding any excess dough.
  11. Brush with the egg wash and bake at 350°F for 40-45 minutes or until golden.
  12. Remove and place on a baking rack to completely cool.
  13. Remove the tart ring and dust generously with icing sugar and cut into slices. Enjoy!

*The Crostata will keep for 4-5 days in an airtight container, refrigerated.

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DARK CHOCOLATE TART WITH TOASTED SESAME CARAMEL

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Chocolate is one of my favourite ingredients to bake with and this deliciously easy tart is no exception.  I used dark chocolate as it pairs amazingly well with the Toasted Sesame Caramel Dessert Sauce from #PresidentsChoice.

When I received this month’s box I was delighted to see 2 ingredients that I really love, which are Passion fruit and Caramel.  The PC Black Label Passion Fruit Condiment is quite heavenly in the sense that it works well as a vinaigrette poured onto salad or glazed on your BBQ shrimp.

 

The Toasted Sesame Caramel Dessert Sauce is the perfect consistency of a runny caramel speckled with flecks of toasted sesame seeds (genius!) and pairs well with so many desserts including pouring it on your favorite ice cream, spread on crepes and my personal favourite used as a filling for a dark chocolate tart.

When I opened  jar of toasted sesame caramel, I was amazed how smooth the texture was and the right amount of sesame. Instantaneously, a thought of a traditional chocolate tart with caramel center emerged and I became challenged to make a tart that would compliment the sesame flavor. The idea of using dark chocolate was my first option as it is not overly sweet and would complement the sweet caramel. The toasted sesame hardly gets the attention it deserves as it flavor is not overbearing. The caramel sauce inspired me to decorate the tart with a hard set caramel, but can be served on its own or dusted with cocoa powder.

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Another suggestion if your willing to take a chance is to add espresso and cinnamon to the tart mixture.  I have fond memories of travelling through Italy and being served a dark chocolate square with my shot of espresso. The espresso’s bitterness is followed by a sweet but not having the fatty texture of milk chocolate to remove the after taste of the espresso. In this recipe, I have added both ingredients.

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As we roll into the second month of #PlayWithYourFood #PCBlackLabel campaign with #PresidentsChoice, I want to share some exciting news!  President’s Choice has offered to giveaway a #PCBLACKLABEL BLACK BOX for you to win on my Instagram account! You can win 2 delicious #PCBlackLabel products in addition to a $50 gift card! How exciting is that?  In order to enter the contest, you will need to go to my Instagram page

    The contest will run until June 28th at which time a winner will be selected randomly. Good luck!  *This contest is open to Canadian residents only.

    Whether you’re a home chef or an aspiring foodie, the PC Black Label Collection makes it easy to unleash your culinary curiosity and get creative. Discover the entire collection and be inspired to #PlayWithYourFood at pc.ca/blacklabel.

     

    DARK CHOCOLATE TART WITH TOASTED SESAME CARAMEL RECIPE

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    *  This recipe makes enough for a standard 8 to 9 inch round tart pan.

    It’s important to use a spring form pan (or tart ring) with a removal base for easy baking and removal of the tart and source out high quality ingredients as it produces the best flavours and will quickly get noticed by your guests.

    The steps are very straightforward and relatively easy to put together.  Just be sure to chill the tart dough until its firm enough for you to roll out. Once it’s baked, be sure it is completely cooled before adding the caramel sauce.  Finally, another important note is to ensure that the caramel is hardened (slightly) or really cold before adding the layer of chocolate ganache otherwise the chocolate will mix into the caramel.

    Ingredients:

    Tart Shell:

    1 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes

    1 1/3 cups all purpose flour

    1/2 cup cocoa powder
    1/2 cup sugar
    1/4 tsp fleur de sel or kosher salt
    1/2 tsp vanilla extract
    Pinch of baking powder
    Pinch of ground cinnamon
    Pinch of ground espresso

    Chocolate Ganache (Recipe below)

    1 jar of  PC BLACK LABEL Toasted Sesame Caramel Dessert Sauce

    Instructions:

    1. Whisk all the ingredients in a large bowl and set aside.
    2. Chop the butter and add it to the flour bowl mixture, crumbling it into the flour making pea sized crumbs.
    3. Work the ingredients quickly until they come together creating a pliable dough.  Do not over mix, you should still see little pats of butter throughout.
    4. Shape the dough into a disk and flatten
    5. Wrap with plastic wrap and chill until ready to use.

    Chocolate Ganache:

    1 cup cold whipping cream
    2 cups dark chocolate, chopped

    1. In a microwave safe bowl, warm the cream until just boiling – about 1-2 minutes, depending on your microwave.
    2. Carefully remove and add the chopped chocolate.
    3. Let it sit for 1 minute.
    4. Whisk gently until incorporated and set aside.

    Bake the Tart:

    Preheat oven to 375°F

    Butter an 8″ or 9″ spring form pan or tart ring and set aside.

    1. On a floured work surface, roll out the dough to 1″ thickness and line the tart ring or pan. Ensure you bring up the dough on the sides that’s deep enough to hold the caramel filling and the chocolate ganache, approximately 2-3 inches in height.
    2. Use a fork and gently indent the dough all over to create tiny little holes.
    3. Bake for 25 – 30 minutes until cooked through.
    4. With the back of a spoon, push down the base of the tart to ensure it is flat and no holes remain (they should be baked through).
    5. Let the tart shell cool completely.

    Assembly:

    1. Pour the caramel in an even layer in the tart base and refrigerate or freeze until set and it’s no longer runny.
    2. Once chilled completely, remove and pour the chocolate ganache over top the caramel and smooth out with a spatula quickly as it will start immediately.
    3. Return to the refrigerator until completely set.
    4. Remove 20 minutes before serving and use a hot knife to slice through the tart.  Rinse the knife and repeat.  This ensures you get clean slices each time you cut into it.

    Enjoy!

    If you make this recipe please share and use my hashtag, #hautesucre on the social media channels, as I would love to see them!

     

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     (This post is sponsored by President’s Choice.  I used their PC Black Label Toasted Sesame Caramel Dessert Sauce to make this easy Dark Chocolate Tart.)

    Spinach and Goat Cheese Tart with a Quinoa Crust *gluten-free 

    I love this tart! It’s easy, simple and delicious.  And did I mention it’s vegetarian?

    I’ll be honest, I was skeptical of my 6 year old son liking this tart due to the ‘green spinach’ layer under all that goat cheese but he devoured it for dinner alongside a vegetable soup. Yay!

    It’s relatively easy if you follow my steps below and the pastry is quick and you can press it into the tart pan without having to fuss about rolling it out.  Easy peasy weeknight dinner sorted, great for meatless Mondays!

    It’s the perfect main course served with a nice side salad or sliced into small squares or wedges and served as appetizers.
    I hope you’ll enjoy it!

    *And don’t forget, if you make this tart using my recipe below, please tag it #hautesucre on your social media accounts as I would love to see it!😊

    Spinach and Goat Cheese Tart with a Quinoa Crust Recipe

    Ingredients:

    Crust:

    1 cup quinoa flour

    3/4 cup all purpose flour (or gluten-free flour)

    3/4 cup cold butter, chopped

    3-4 tablespoons cold water

    1 tsp salt

    1 tsp sugar

    1 4×14 tart pan with a removable bottom 

    Method:

    1. Combine all the ingredients into a small food processor and pulse into a dough has formed.

    2. Roll onto a flour surface or press the dough into a tart pan with a removable bottom. Set aside.

    3. Preheat oven to 425°F

    Filling:

    Ingredients:

    2 cups baby spinach

    3 garlic cloves

    1 large egg

    1/4 cup cream

    Salt

    Pepper

    Fresh thyme

    200 grams fresh goat’s cheese

    *Dried shallots (optional garnish or add to filling)

    Method:

    1. In a small food processor, add the spinach, garlic, egg and cream.  Pulse until the spinach breaks down and the egg is combined. Add the salt, pepper and fresh thyme.

    2. Pour the filling into the prepared crust and smooth evenly.

    3. Crumble the goat cheese over top the filling covering completely.

    4. Bake for 30 minutes.

    5. Remove and let cool 15 minute before cutting.

    Enjoy!😊

    Roasted Mushroom and Chèvre Tart

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    This recipe was originally featured on The Society.

    Roasted Mushroom and Chèvre Tart Recipe:

    1 sheet of Puff pastry (you can use store bought, thawed)
    1 1/2 cups white mushrooms, rinsed and bottoms trimmed, (thinly sliced)
    1 cup cremini mushrooms, rinsed and bottoms trimmed, (thinly sliced)
    2 garlic cloves, crushed
    350g goats cheese (Chèvre)
    2 tblsp Olive oil
    Fresh cracked pepper
    Maldon sea salt or fleur de sel
    Sprigs of fresh thyme
    Flat leaf parsley, chopped

    Preheat oven to 425°F

    Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper

    1. Roll out the puff pastry into a rectangle and place on parchment lined sheet.

    2. In a small bowl combine half of the goats cheese and the crushed garlic and then spread a thin layer on top of the puff pastry.

    3. Arrange the sliced mushrooms lengthwise (in approx 5 columns, as shown in the picture) on top of the goat cheese and sprinkle with salt, pepper, 1 tblsp olive oil and thyme.

    4. Spirnkle the remaining goat’s cheese on top (in small dallops) and lightly drizzle the entire tart with olive oil.

    5. Top with a few sprigs of fresh thyme.

    Bake approx 30 min until puff pastry has risen and the tart is golden brown.

    Just before serving, top with fresh, chopped parsley. Enjoy!

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    Puff Pastry Tarts

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    I’m holding onto summer, the best way I know how.  To eat an abundance of in-season fruits and veggies and turning them into some of the easiest desserts ever, simple and delicious.
    You don’t need a lot here, grab your favourite fresh fruits and some puff pastry and you’re ready to go!

    This is a basic recipe for in season Ontario nectarines, sweet black mission figs and raspberries. You can’t go wrong with any combination.  Enjoy! 🙂

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    Puff Pastry Tarts:

    1 sheet of puff pastry, thawed
    3-4 nectarines,  sliced
    5 black mission figs,  sliced
    1/4 cup raspberries
    1/4 cup blueberries
    *Jam (optional)
    Raw sugar for
    Maple syrup (for the glaze)

    Preheat oven to 425° F

    Line a baking sheet with parchment and place the puff pastry on top.  With a sharp knife, section the sheet into 3 long rectangles.

    Score the edges and top 2 rectangles with the sliced nectarines and raspberries or blueberries in desired pattern.

    Arrange the sliced figs on the third and scatter with raspberries.
    Sprinkle raw sugar over the top and bake for approx 25 minutes or until golden and the pastry has risen.
    Glaze the top of the tarts with the maple syrup with a pastry brush.  Slice into pieces just before serving or when fruit has set.
    Top with fresh whipped maple cream or serve with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream.  Enjoy! 🙂

    *optional ~ you can brush the base of the pastry with your favourite jam before topping with fruit.

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    Chocolate Avocado Tarts with a Cashew and Date Crust (RAW)

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    Chocolate Avocado Tarts with a Cashew and Date Crust (RAW)

    4-6 small tart shells (with removable bottoms) or 1 – 8″ springform pan
    (Line the bottoms with parchment for easy removal)

    tart base:

    1 cup raw cashews
    5-6 medjool dates, pitted OR 8-10 small dates
    2 tsp coconut oil
    1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
    Pinch of fleur de sel or Maldon sea salt

    Combine all the ingredients in a food processor and pulse.
    Spoon nut mixture into tart bases evenly and level with back of a spoon.
    Put the tart shells in the freezer to set whilst preparing the filling.

    Filling:

    1 ripe avocado
    1/3 cup dark cocoa
    1/2 cup raw sugar
    1/4 tsp fleur de sel or Maldon sea salt
    5 tblsp coconut oil
    1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract or the seeds of 1/2 vanilla bean

    Combine all the ingredients in a food processor and pulse until smooth.
    Transfer to a piping bag with a decorative tip and fill the tarts or spoon into the tart shells and level off the tops. Put them back in th
    e freezer until ready to serve.

    *remove the tarts from the freezer 5-10 min before serving