Baking Dessert Pastry Recipes Tart

Browned Butter Pear and Walnut Tarts – two ways

I love the breathing in the brisk air while admiring the beautiful colours of autumn. Tis the season of pear harvest at our house. My parents planted an Asian pear tree in the yard when I was a child and now we get to enjoy its bountiful harvest every fall. There are usually so many that we need to give them away to family and friends. This year, I’ve even canned them in syrup and made them into a fruit butter. Asian pears have a high water content, a distinct fruity, fragrant flavour and its texture is crunchy and grainy. They are great for eating fresh, and make excellent desserts. This time, I experimented tarts with a browned butter walnut filling with a spiced streusel topping with crystallized ginger. I liked the fall flavours of this tart, it is also light and fruity, great as a dessert after dinner. The browned butter flavour works very will the the pears and walnuts. This recipe would work great with any kind of apples or pears, just be sure to choose a firm and ripened fruit. For more textures, top it with the spiced streusel topping and dust with icing sugar just before serving. For a simpler and rustic version, simply omit the streusel and ginger topping and serve with some whipped cream!

Pear Tart with Streusel


Browned Butter Pear and Walnut Streusel Tarts

Serving Size: 12 - 3" inch round tarts OR 8" to 10" inch round


    Sugar Crust
  • 90g sugar
  • 180g butter - cold
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 270g cake and pastry flour, sieved
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Browned Butter Walnut Filling
  • 40g ground walnuts
  • 40g all purpose flour
  • 1 egg
  • 95g golden sugar
  • 40g whole milk
  • 40g whipping cream
  • 85g browned butter, warm
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • Spiced Walnut Streusel - Dressed version
  • 60g all purpose flour
  • 60g ground walnuts
  • 60g sugar
  • 60g butter - cold, cut in to small cubes
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp ground cardamom
  • Assembly
  • pears - peeled, and sliced to about 1/4" thick
  • OPTIONAL : crystallized ginger - cut into small cubes
  • OPTIONAL: whipped cream for rustic version


    Sugar Crust
  1. Place cold butter in a mixing bowl with the sugar, with a paddle attachment on low speed, mix until the butter becomes smooth.
  2. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add the egg yolk and vanilla extract. Mix until incorporated.
  3. Add in sieved flour, mix on low speed just enough so the dough is no longer dry, make sure all ingredients has been evenly distributed.
  4. Shape dough into a disk and wrap in plastic. Refrigerate overnight for a more even baking colour.
  5. Before rolling, let dough sit out for about 10-15 minutes to soften. On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough to about 3-4mm thick, turning the dough after each roll to prevent sticking, flour as needed.
  6. Measure the size of your tart pan/ring, cut out the shapes you need.
  7. If the dough is too warm, place it back in the fridge to chill, otherwise you can start lining the pan/ring. When lining, be sure to get into the edges on the bottom, flush the dough right up to the top of the pan, trim off excess.
  8. Chill lined pan/ring. Pierce the bottoms of the tart with a fork before baking, or blind bake them (yields nicer looking shells - optional). Bake at 325 F for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.
  9. Blind baking (see photos): Line chilled tart pan/rings with parchment, fill with beans or rice, up to the top. Bake until edges start to brown, take out and remove paper, beans and take out from the pans/rings, return to oven to bake to golden brown.
  10. Remove shells from pans/ring, let cool until ready to use.
  11. Browned Butter Filling
    - Browning Butter
  12. Take about 1/2 cup of butter and place in a small saucepan, heat butter on low medium heat until mixture browns to a cinnamon colour, swirling the pan every couple of minutes. Strain to get rid of browned milk solids, cool until ready to use.
  13. In a medium bowl, whisk egg and sugar until it becomes pale. Add milk,whipping cream, and egg to incorporate.
  14. Add flour, ground walnuts and salt to the mixture and mix until the dry ingredients are absorbed.
  15. Lastly, slowly add warmed browned butter while whisking to incorporate. Chill until ready use.
  16. Spiced Walnut Streusel
  17. Combine all ingredients with the mixer or with your hands. Break up into small pieces and bake on a parchment lined cookie sheet at 325 F for 15-20 minutes. Cool until ready to use.
  18. Assembly
  19. Have the tart shells ready and placed on a cookie sheet, spoon or pour browned butter filling into each tart shell to about 2/3 full.
  20. Arrange pears in the filling.
  21. Bake at 325F for 15-20 minutes, until the top has turned golden and the filling is no longer runny.
  22. Cool until ready to serve.
  23. Version 1 - Dressed
  24. Break up streusel and place on the tarts, dust lightly with icing sugar. If desired, place crystallized ginger cubes on top.
  25. Version 2 - Rustic
  26. Serve as is or with some whipped cream.

Browned Butter Pear Walnut Tart

I like both the dressed up and rustic version. For an elegant dinner, you can make the dressed version as it has more layers of flavour and textures. For a casual dessert or if you are pressed for time, the rustic is just as delicious. Which version are you going to try?

Baking Cake Dessert Recipes

Olive Oil Cake with Fresh Peaches

Olive Oil Cake with Fresh Peaches

This year’s summer has been a bit hectic for me, nonetheless enjoyable. I am sending off my summer with a cake, with seasonal local peaches. I love peaches when they are so juicy and sweet, I even froze some for later use, for smoothies and baking. This is the first recipe that I’ve tried making from a book called World Class Cakes by Roger Pizey, the book caught my eye at the bookstore because of its beautiful photography, design, and it contains so many recipes of different pastries from different countries, not just cakes. The cake definitely didn’t disappoint. It is not a complicated cake at all, in fact, I love cakes that are simple like this that I can make on the weekend and enjoy with a cup of tea.


Glazing the Cake with Apricot Jam

Olive Oil Cake with Fresh Peaches

Serving Size: 6


  • 3 gggs
  • 2 tbsp finely grated orange zest
  • 1½ cups superfine sugar (granulated)
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 1/3 cup whole milk
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour, sifted
  • 1 cup self-rising flour, sifted (you can make the blend at home, see note)
  • 2 peaches, sliced
  • ¼ cup apricot jam, warmed and strained


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F, and grease a deep 7 in round springform cake pan.
  2. Beat together well the eggs, zest, and sugar.
  3. Add in the oil and the milk, alternating these wet ingredients with the sifted flours until well combined.
  4. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan and bake in a preheated oven, for 10 minutes.
  5. Carefully remove the cake from the oven and if a crust has formed make several cuts and even intervals on the surface of the cake and place the sliced peaches in the cuts.
  6. Return the cake to the oven and bake for 40 minutes.
  7. Remove from the oven, let cool for 10 minutes in the pan, and then turn out onto a wire rack.
  8. While the cake's still warm, brush liberally with the warmed jam for a glossy finish.
  9. Serve a generous slice with a small glass of grapps or vin santo.


Recipe adapted from World Class Cakes, 2013 by Roger Pizey, Race Point Publishing.

Notes from the my kitchen:

  1. To make self-rising flour, blend 1 cup of all-purpose flour with 1¼ tsp of baking powder, and ¼ tsp of salt. Considering this is a British recipe, I used cake flour when making my self-rising flour, all-purpose flour will work too but the texture will be a bit denser.
  2. I think my peaches were quite large, not even one whole peach went into the cake, so adjust according to the size of your fruit.
  3. I baked my cake in a 7 in round pan, however it took much longer than 40 minutes to cook through. I baked it for about 1.5 hours, near the last 30 minutes, I placed a piece of foil on the cake to avoid the top from burning.  Cooking time will depend on your oven, if you have a convection oven, it will cook faster, use a cake tester to make sure it comes out clean before removing it from the oven. I think baking in an 8 in pan will work very well as it will cook faster and you can decorate the top with more peach slices.
  4. I used a homemade apricot jam to glaze it and the result was very good, the cake tasted even better the next day as it was more moist. I had a slice with more apricot jam, it added a nice tart and fruity flavour to the cake.

Fresh Peach Cake

As much as I don’t like sending the warm summer off, I do love the brisk autumn air of Vancouver. I am ready to get out to enjoy the rest of the summer and to welcome the season of pumpkins and falling leaves.

Her pleasure in the walk must arise from the exercise and the day, from the view of the last smiles of the year upon the tawny leaves and withered hedges, and from repeating to herself some few of the thousand poetical descriptions extant of autumn – that season of peculiar and inexhaustible influence on the mind of taste and tenderness – that season which has drawn from every poet worthy of being read some attempt at description, or some lines of feeling.” 

- Jane Austen, Persuasion

Canning Cookbook Review Jams Recipes

Raspberry and Plum Jam


The summer is a season of harvest and preserving. It feels especially rewarding when I get to open a little jar of summer in the cold winter months. Nothing beats the flavour and taste of homemade jams. I was very excited when I received a review copy of Best of Bridge Home Preserving:120 Recipes for Canning Fruits & Vegetables because I love making fruit jams at home using seasonal and local ingredients, for just enjoying at home and for gift giving. I usually make single-fruit jams, this was my first time trying a mixed-fruit jam, and this recipe is a winner. I made raspberry jam last year, and really loved the flavour of it. This one combines the little tartness and fruitiness in the plums and the bold flavour of raspberries. It is also great because it only has half of the seeds of a regular raspberry jam. Making jams is really not difficult and the equipment is inexpensive and can be  easily found in supermarkets. The book is very user-friendly, especially if you are new to preserving it will have all the information to get you started. As for me, I’ve only made fruit jams, I might venture into the chutney, pickle, and marmalade recipes in this book. If you’ve never made jams before and would like to try this recipe, you can do some research online and you should be able to make this without too much difficulty.

Home Preserving

Raspberry and Plum Jam

Yield: Makes about six 8-ounce (250 mL) jars.

Plums add delicious yumminess to this jam, which has half the seeds of regular raspberry jam. It can also be made with red or black plums, or with plumcots (a cross of plums and apricots).


  • 2 cups/500 mL raspberries
  • 2 cups500 mL finely chopped yellow or red plums
  • 1?4 cup/60 mL lemon juice
  • 5 cups/1.25 L granulated sugar
  • 1 pouch (3 oz/85 mL) liquid pectin


  1. In a large, deep, heavy-bottomed pot, combine raspberries, plums and lemon juice. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring constantly. Add sugar in a steady stream, stirring constantly. Bring to a full boil, stirring constantly to dissolve sugar. Immediately stir in pectin; return to a full boil. Boil hard for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and skim off any foam. Stir for 5 to 8 minutes to prevent floating fruit.
  2. Ladle into sterilized jars to within 1?4 inch (0.5 cm) of rim; wipe rims. Apply prepared lids and rings; tighten rings just until fingertip-tight. Process jars in a boiling water canner for 10 minutes. Transfer jars to a towel-lined surface and let rest at room temperature until set. Check seals; refrigerate any unsealed jars for up to 3 weeks.


Courtesy of Best of Bridge Home Preserving:120 Recipes for Canning Fruits & Vegetables by Best of Bridge Publishing Ltd. 2014 © Reprinted with publisher permission.

NOTE: Actually…I changed the recipe a little…I added the zest of half a lemon for the refreshing taste and half of a vanilla bean. I just love the vanilla flavour in this jam, it adds a sweet and dessert-like character to it. I also like my jams with a chunky texture, so I usually don’t chop or crush the fruit too much, but it is totally up to you!

My favourite way to have any kind of jam is slathering it on a buttered piece of fresh bread or toast (*drooling a little*). Though the recipe says it will yield six 250 mL jars, I was able to get five, it depends on the fruit itself such as the moisture, pectin, and the pot you use etc. but to me, all it matters is the delicious jam!


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