8 or 9 years ago when I was a new food blogger, I joined a MEME group known as Tuesdays with Dorie where we made a different recipe from her cookbook, Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan, each week. Of ALL the recipes we made this was one of my all time favorites! It is PERFECT for this time of year!

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 stick plus 1 tablespoon very cold unsalted butter
1 large egg yolk

  • To make the dough, put the flour, sugar and salt in a food processor and pulse a few times to combine.
  • Scatter the pieces of butter over the dry ingredients and pulse until the butter is cut in coarsely.
  • Add egg and process in long pulses about 10 seconds each until smoother.
  • Turn the dough out onto a work surface and knead just to incorporate any dry ingredients that might have escaped mixing.
  • Gather dough into a ball and flatten into a disk. Wrap well and chill for at least 2 hours or for up to 1 day.
  • Butter the tart pan and press the dough evenly along the bottom and up the sides of the pan.
  • You want to press the crust in so that the pieces cling to one another and knit together when baked, but you don’t want to press so hard that the crust loses its crumbly texture.
  • Freeze the crust for an hour before baking.
  • To partially bake the crust, center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 375°.
  • Butter the shiny side of a piece of aluminum foil and fit the foil tightly against the crust.
  • Bake the crust 25 minutes.
  • Then carefully remove the foil. If the crust has puffed, press it down gently with the back of a spoon.
  • Bake for another 3 to 5 minutes, then transfer the pan to a cooling rack.

3 medium pears, firm but ripe
1 lemon
1 cinnamon stick
4 cups water, optional
1 1/4 cups sugar, optional

  • Peel the pears.
  • In a saucepan just large enough to hold the pears, whisk together the water and sugar until the sugar dissolves.
  • Add the cinnamon stick and the juice of the lemon.
  • Bring to a boil.
  • Add the pears to the boiling syrup, reduce the heat so the syrup simmers to GENTLY poach the pears for about 15 minutes. They should be tender when pierced with a knife.
  • Remove from heat and set pan aside to cool the pears to room temperature.

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
2/3 cup sugar
3/4 cup ground blanched almonds
2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 large egg, room temperature
2 teaspoons dark rum or 1 teaspoon PURE vanilla extract
Confectioners’ sugar for dusting

  • Add butter and sugar to a food processor and process till mixture is smooth and satiny.
  • Add the ground almonds and continue to process until well blended.
  • Add the flour and cornstarch, process,.
  • Add the egg, processing for about 15 seconds more, or until the almond cream is well blended.
  • Add the rum or vanilla and process just to blend.
  • Scrape the almond cream into a container and either use it immediately or refrigerate it until firm, about 2 hours.


  • Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350°.
  • Line a baking sheet and set aside.
  • Cut the poached pears in half.
  • Core them and make sure to pat them dry so that their liquid won’t keep the almond cream from baking.
  • Fill the baked crust with the almond cream, spreading it even with an offset metal icing spatula.
  • Thinly slice each pear half crosswise, lift each half on a spatula, press down on the pear to fan it slightly.
  • Place it, wide-end toward the edge of the crust, over the almond cream. The halves will form spokes.
  • Put the crust on the lined baking sheet, slide the sheet into the oven and bake the tart 50 to 60 minutes.
  • The almond cream will puff up around the pears and brown. Transfer the tart to a rack to cool to room temperature.
  • Right before serving, dust the tart with confectioners’ sugar..

NOTE:  Almond cream pairs well with a variety of fruits such as apricots, peaches and apples as substitutes or combinations.




1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) of butter, cold and cubed
1/4 cup ice water

3/4 pound fresh apricots, pitted and chopped
1/2 pound fresh cherries, pitted
2 tablespoon cornstarch
1/4 cup sugar + more for sprinkling
Juice of half a lemon

1 egg, beaten


  • Cut butter into small cubes and place in the freezer for 15 minutes.
  • Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
  • Pulse flour, sugar and salt in a food processor.
  • Add butter and pulse until it resembles a coarse meal.
  • Gradually add ice water and pulse until the dough forms a coarse meal.
  • Turn the dough out onto a work surface and very lightly and sparingly, knead just to incorporate dry ingredients.
  • Flatten into a circle; wrap individually in plastic.
  • Refrigerate dough for at least an hour. 
  • Remove dough from refrigerator; place on floured work surface.
  • Using a rolling pin, roll out the dough into a rough 11-12 inch circle.
  • Trim the edges to a clean circle with a pairing knife.
  • Transfer the circle to a baking sheet or pizza pan lined with parchment paper.
  • Mix 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch and 2 tablespoons of sugar in a bowl and spread on the bottom of the dough.
  • Toss apricots and cherries with the rest of the cornstarch, sugar and lemon juice.
  • Arrange the fruit on the bottom of the dough, leaving 2 inches of dough around the outside.
  • Fold up and pleat the dough over the top of the fruit, leaving the center uncovered.
  • Lightly brush the top of the pastry with the beaten egg and sprinkle both the dough and the fruit with 1/4 – 1/3 cup sugar.
  • Place the Galette in the oven and cook for 40-45 minutes until golden brown and bubbly.
  • Remove from oven and transfer to a cooling rack immediately.
  • Serve warm or at room temperature with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

NOTE 1*:   If you are in a huge hurry, Pillsbury from the dairy case can be substituted.
NOTE 2**: When cherries aren’t readily available 1 can Comstock cherries can be substituted.  Just add apricots and if they aren’t available, reconstituted dried apricots work great! When I need to use these I soak them in Malibu rum for a little extra flavor – just be sure and DRAIN them well!


I originally found this recipe for Banana Cobbler over at Frugal Antics of a Harried Housewife (unfortunately her website is no more apparently) and we instantly fell in love with it.  I made it and it was instantly all gone.


Author: adapted from Southern Living
1 cup self rising flour
¾ cup sugar
1 cup milk
1 stick butter, melted (next time I’ll use 6 tablespoons)
3 small or 2 medium bananas
¾ cup packed brown sugar
1 stick butter, softened (next time I’ll use 6 tablespoons)
½ tsp ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon cinnamon (I added)
½ cup self rising flour
1 cup oatmeal
1/4 cup chopped walnuts (I added)
  • In a bowl, stir together the flour, sugar and milk until smooth.
  • Add the melted butter.
  • Spread the batter into a greased 11X7 pan.
  • Slice bananas evenly over batter.
  • In another bowl, combine remaining ingredients.
  • Sprinkle over bananas.
  • Bake at 375 ˚ for 40 minutes or until filling bubbles.
  • Serve with whipped cream or ice cream.
We loved it.  But what I personally loved was the basic template of the recipe.  So I tried the same base recipe with a few minor changes, AND traded out BANANAS for BLUEBERRIES and you know what? It was awesome.  But what was really awesome was that even though the base was the same, the flavor was unique!

1 cup self rising flour
¾ cup sugar
1 cup milk
1 stick butter, melted
1 bag frozen BLUEBERRIES OR 2 boxes of fresh
¾ cup packed brown sugar
6 tablespoons butter, softened
½ tsp ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon cinnamon (I added)
½ cup self rising flour
1 cup oatmeal
1/4 cup chopped walnuts (I added)
  • In a bowl, stir together the flour, sugar and milk until smooth.
  • Add the melted butter.
  • Spread the batter into a greased 11X7 pan.
  • Slice bananas evenly over batter.
  • In another bowl, combine remaining ingredients.
  • Sprinkle over bananas.
  • Bake at 375˚ for 40 minutes or until filling bubbles.
  • Serve with whipped cream or ice cream.


THE WEATHER IS FINALLY COOLING DOWN ENOUGH TO BAKE AGAIN!!! There is nothing like the aroma of tasty treats baking with roasted nuts and caramelizing sugar and honey – YUM!

1 3/4 cup all purpose flour
3/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
2 1/2  tablespoons water
1 large egg yolk

1/3 cup fragrant honey
1/4 cup dark molasses
1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
3 1/2 ounces heavy cream
3 tablespoons dark rum
1/2 cup chopped walnut
1 cup macadamia nuts, breaking half of them into small pieces
1/4 cup fine granulated sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1½ teaspoons ground cloves
6 large egg yolks

  • Add flour and 3/4 cup unsalted butter in a food processor, processing to a sand-like consistency. 
  • Add the one large egg yolk and water, processing again quickly. 
  • Pour out and quickly bring together to form a disc. Layer it between two pieces of baking paper. 
  • Rest in the fridge for 30 minutes.
  • Preheat the oven 400°.
  • Roll the pastry out evenly and lay over a 10 inch loose-bottomed tart tin. NOTE: It is important that there are no gaps or breaks in the pastry anywhere or your filling will leak. 
  • Chill for 10 minutes.
  • Line the inside of the tart tin with parchment paper.
  • Fill with a baking chain, baking weights or dried beans and bake for about 25 minutes, removing the weights and parchment paper for the last five minutes – the pastry shell needs to pick up a hint of golden color.
  • In a small saucepan whisk together the honey, molasses, stick of butter, cream and rum untill well blended and warm.
  • Set aside to cool. 
  • Toss walnut pieces with macadamia nuts and both sugars with the ground cloves. 
  • Lightly whisk the 6 egg yolks and then whisk them into the cooled honey mix. 
  • Pour this over the nuts and sugar and blend well.
  • Place the tart tin on a lined baking tray to catch any drips and pour the filling into the pastry case. 
  • Bake for 30 minutes or until well caramelized.
  • Carefully remove the tart from the oven and cool for 20-30 minutes. NOTE: the filling will be very hot straight from the oven. 
  • Once cooled, use a sharp knife to cut into wedges and serve with whipped cream if you like.


OUR Baking partner’s challenge this month is a Galette, an open pie pastry. It was suggested by Suja of Kitchen Corner try it.  Galettes make a wonderful rustic fall fruit dessert.


1 cup All purpose flour
1/2 cup Cake Flour
1/2 cup Chilled Unsalted Butter, chopped
2 tablespoons Sugar
1/4 teaspoon Salt
4 tablespoons Ice water
3 apricots, sliced
1 cup cherries, pitted
Juice of 1 Lemon
4 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • In a bowl mix flour, salt and sugar. 
  • Add butter pieces to the flour. Using a pastry blender cut in through the flour, rapidly till the mixture becomes coarse. The flour will look like large flakes and the butter in the size of peas. If you are using a food processor, first pulse the flour, sugar and butter. Then add the butter and pulse for 7- 8 times till the dough attains the above mentioned texture.
  • Slowly add ice cold water, 2 tablespoons at a time and mix until the dough starts coming together, making sure that the dough masses together roughly but the butter pieces remain about the same size.
  • Transfer this onto a lightly floured work surface.
  • Flatten into a rectangle rapidly with heel of your palm. 
  • Rapidly pat and smooth the top. 
  • Lift the dough off work surface using a pastry sheet. 
  • Flip the bottom of the rectangle to the middle and the top down to cover it like an envelope.
  • Tuck the two sides towards the bottom. 
  • Cover in plastic wrap and refrigerate for half an hour to relax the gluten.

  • Meanwhile make the filling. 
  • Toss together the apricots and cherries.
  • Whisk together the sugar, cornstarch, vanilla and lemon juice.
  • Toss fruit with lemon juice mixture. Set Aside.
  • Preheat oven to 350° and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. 
  • Remove dough from the fridge and place on a lightly floured surface. 
  • Roll into 1/8 inch thick circles. You can use a plate to cut into the desired size. Fold the disk into half and gently transfer into the baking sheet. Unfold it and sprinkle a mixture of flour and sugar. You will need around two tablespoons. 
  • Arrange the fruit mixture in a single layer in the center of the disc leaving 3 inches border. 
  • Fold the edge up over the filling forming loose pleats. Gently press the pleats so that it stick together. 
  • Sprinkle with coarse sugar. 
  • Bake for 20 minutes or until the filling is bubbly and the pastry is golden brown. 
  • Remove from the oven and allow it to cool down a bit in the pan and then transfer to a wire rack.


CRUST – do NOT over mix
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour + flour for rolling
1/4 teaspoon fine ground sea salt
2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 cup cold unsalted butter, chopped
3 tablespoons ice cold water

  • In food processor pulse flour, salt and sugar until combined.
  • Add butter pieces, pulsing until becomes coarse crumbs.
  • Sprinkle with ice water.
  • Pulse again JUST until dough is crumbly, but holds together when squeezed together. You can add 1-2 more tablespoons as necessary to get desired texture.
  • Form dough into a disc, wrap in plastic wrap and chill at least 1 hour.

2 1/2 pounds white peaches, pitted, peeled and sliced
1 bag frozen blackberries, thawed and drained well
1/4 cup light brown sugar
2 tablespoons Wondra flour

  • Toss fruit together and then sprinkle with flour and brown sugar tossing again until well coated.

1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
1/3 cup Wondra flour
1/3 cup old fashioned rolled oats
6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, chopped

  • Combine flour, brown sugar and rolled oats.
  • Using your hands add butter and work into large crumbs.


  • Preheat oven to 375°.
  • Lightly flour rolling pin and work surface.
  • Roll out dough to 12 inches.
  • Place dough in a 9 inch pie pan or make free form galette on prepared cookie sheet.
  •  Add filling and top with crumble mixture.
  • Bake 1 hour until golden and bubbly.
  • Let cool on wire rack 1-2 hours before serving.


This makes 2-4×13 tarts. This is a very versatile recipe that can be made as all pumpkin, or pumpkin banana or apple pumpkin or apple banana pumpkin…

They are both good, but I think I’m partial to the Banana Pumpkin.

1 batch of your favorite pie dough
2 cups pumpkin pure’e or 1 cup pumpkin pure’e, 1 ripe banana and 3/4 cup chunky applesauce
2 large eggs
3 large egg yolks
1 1/2 cups half and half
3/4 cup sugar plus caramelizing sugar
3/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon ginger
1 teaspoon cloves
1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

  • Preheat oven to 375°.
  • Prepare and measure dough to 2-7 x 16 inches pieces.
  • Lay dough over 4 x13 tart pan with removable bottom. DO NOT PUSH INTO PAN – this may crack your crust. Gently lift and lower dough into tart pan careful to form corners.
  • Trim edges flush with pan.
  • Cut a piece of parchment paper to fit into tart pan. 
  • Place tart pan on cookie sheet.
  • Fill with pie weights and bake 25-30 minutes until begins to brown.
  • Let cool to lukewarm, remove pie weights and parchment paper.
  • Blend together, the pumpkin, eggs, half & half, sugar, salt, ginger, cloves and cinnamon.
  • Pour into tart.
  • Pour custard mixture into tart.
  • Reduce to 325°.
  • Bake tart 30 minutes or until custard is set and starts to puff.
  • Cool 1 hour.
  • Chill at least 2 hours.
  • Sprinkle generously with sugar.
  • Pass flame of kitchen torch over sugar until golden and melting.
  • Let sugar cool until hard.
  • Cut into pieces.


2 large Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored & sliced into 8 wedges

1/2 lemon, juiced

2 cans Pillsbury crescent roll dough

1 cups sugar

1 tablespoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon nutmeg

1 can Squirt soda

4 tablespoons butter, sliced thin

  • Preheat oven to 350˚.
  • Spray a baking dish with PURE.
  • Submerge apple wedges into a bowl of ice water with the lemon juice.
  • Separate the crescent roll triangles.
  • Remove the apples and dry on paper towels.
  • Roll each apple in a triangle, starting at the small end.
  • Put the rolls in the baking dish.
  • In a small bowl combine the sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg.
  • Sprinkle evenly over the rolls.
  • Top with the thin slices of butter.
  • Pour the soda over everything.
  • Bake until golden brown (about 40-45 minutes).
  • Serve with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.


2 apples, peeled, cored and chopped
4 ounces orange juice with pulp
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon apple pie spice
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons golden raisins
puff pastry*
cinnamon sugar
egg, beaten
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
2 tablespoons hot water

  • Thaw the pastry sheets at room temperature until they’re easy to handle (about 45 minutes).
  • Pre-heat the oven to 375°.
  • Whisk the orange juice, apple pie spice, brown sugar and sugar together in a medium saucepan. Bring to a low boil.
  • Add apple pieces and raisins.
  • Line baking sheet with silicone mat or parchment paper.
  • Unfold pastry sheet on a lightly floured surface. Roll the pastry sheet into a 10-inch square. Cut the pastry sheet into 4 (5-inch) squares. Repeat with the remaining pastry sheet.
  • Spoon 1/4 cup of apple mixture into center of square.
  • Brush the edges of the pastry squares with the egg.
  • Fold each pastry in half over the apple mixture and press the edges to seal.
  • Place the filled pastries onto the baking sheets.
  • Brush the tops of the pastries with the egg.
  • Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the pastries are golden. Let cool on the baking sheets for 2 minutes. Remove the pastries to a wire rack and let cool.
  • Place the butter into a small microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on HIGH for 30 seconds. Stir in the confectioners’ sugar. Stir in the water, adding additional water, if necessary, until the icing is the desired consistency.
  • Drizzle the icing over the pastries.

*If you’re in a hurry, you can substitute a can of crescent rolls and have a similar dessert.


I usually make everything from scratch, but this recipe is too good to mess with much. I have reduced the fat a bit and altered the ingredients to meet my family’s likes, but other than that this recipe is fantastic as is. The key is to remember to layer exactly as listed! It is great in a pinch since most ingredients are always in the cupboard or freezer. The original recipe called for the butter before the nuts and coconut, but I changed that. By putting it last, the nuts and coconut toast up fantastically.

1 large can crushed pineapple, undrained
2-3 cups frozen blueberries
1-3 ripe banana(s), sliced thin
1 cup sugar
1 box yellow cake mix, dry
1/2-1 cup minced walnuts
1/2-1 cup flaked coconut
1 1/2 -2 sticks butter, melted

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • Layer exactly as listed in even layers
  • Bake 45-60 minutes until it tests done

Homemade Puffy Pastry for Baking Partners & APRICOT RUM RAISINS

This month we’re trying our hand at homemade puff pastry.  Gotta tell you I’ve done this before and everyone should try it at least once, but I now have no problem spending the extra money for Pepperidge Farm to do it for me.

This recipe is suggested by Sangeetha Priya of Nitha Kitchen. She made homemade spinach pinwheels, but I am just not into spinach that much so I changed mine to a sweet pastry – APRICOT PINEAPPLE DANISH.

HOMEMADE PUFF PASTRY    Recipe Source :- BBCFood 
You can make the pastry a day before and store in refrigerator or freeze it for longer use!!!

2 cups strong plain flour (I use King Arthur)
1 cup butter at room temperature, but not soft
1 teaspoon sea salt (I used Makrut Lime Sea Salt from Savory Spice Shop
2/3 cup cold water
  • Sift the flour and salt into a large bowl. Make a well in the flour and pour in about two-thirds of the cold water, mixing until you have a firm rough dough adding extra water if needed.
  • You can use food processor/blender at this time.
  • Turn out onto a lightly floured board, knead gently and form into a smooth rectangle.
  • Cover with cling film and leave to rest for at least 20 mins in the fridge. Overnight works too.
  • Roughly break the butter in small chunks, use two parchment paper and chunk them loosely. You need to see bits of butter.
  • Using Knife or scale and bring it to shape and store in refrigerator with the same parchment paper till use.
  • Now roll the dough with thick center, place the butter at center and seal it properly.
  • Roll the dough in one direction only, until 3 times the width, about 20 x 50cm.
  • Keep edges straight and even.
  • Fold the top third down to the center, then the bottom third up and over that.*
  • Give the dough a quarter turn (to the left or right) and roll out again to three times the length.
  • Fold as before, cover with cling film and chill for at least 20 mins before rolling to use.
  • Roll and fold four more times, chilling after two.
  • You can fold 4 times the previous day and then next day you can fold two times.
  • In the whole process brush off the excess flour over the pastry dough.
  • Chill the dough for an hour or more before using.
  1. When you feel the dough is sticky just chill in refrigerator before the next fold.
  2. You can check out this video for making the puff pastry.


I tried a design and wasn’t totally thrilled with it, but I’ll go back to a rope design next time.


1 cup butter
1 cup milk
1 1/2 cups warm water
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

2 tablespoons yeast
4 eggs, beaten
7 1/2 cups flour
  • In a saucepan melt butter.
  • Add milk and water whisking until smooth consistency and JUST boiling.
  • Cool 5-10 minutes so you don’t kill the yeast.
  • Add the sugar, salt and yeast to form a sponge like blob.
  • Add the eggs until uniform consistency.
  • In a mixer with a dough hook attached, combine flour and yeast mixture.
  • Knead well. Put in refrigerator for at least several hours, but overnight is better.
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  • Roll a ball of dough the size of a golf ball into a rope and coil into a circle. Make sure the center is thinner than the outer edges to hold the filling in. Sometimes I prefer squares, but you just have to work with your dough after you have it coiled.
  • Fill with a heaping tablespoon of filling per danish (recipe below).
  • Let rise an hour in a warm place.
  • Bake 15 minutes.
  • Frost with Cream Cheese Frosting (see below). If you prefer a drizzle thin out this frosting with a couple extra tablespoons of milk until desired consistency.
Cream cheese apricot raisin filling
1 bag large dried apricots, chopped

1/2 cup golden raisins, chopped
1/4 cup golden rum

  • Soak apricots and raisins in rum for an hour or overnight.
  • Drain off rum.
  • Set aside.
8oz pkg cream cheese
1 egg
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 tablespoons grated orange peel
  • Blend cream cheese, egg, powdered sugar and orange peel together until smooth.
  • Fold in apricots and raisins into the cream cheese mixture. Or my favorite is to fill them as 2 separate fillings with the cream cheese first and the apricot in the center of that.

Cream Cheese Frosting
16 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter, softened
juice of 1 lemon
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3 cups powdered sugar

  • In a medium bowl beat cream cheese and butter until smooth.
  • Add lemon juice and vanilla. Beat until blended.
  • Add powdered sugar gradually until well blended and smooth.
  • Ice first layer and then add 2nd cake top and ice again including sides of cake.
  • Refrigerate 1 hour to set icing before serving.






2-3 large Granny Smith apples (4 Cups)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon flour
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup apple juice

2/3 cup flour
1/2 cup old fashioned oatmeal
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 small box Cook & Serve Lemon Pudding (NOT instant)

Preheat oven to 350°.
In a large mixing bowl combine all CRISP ingredients and mix well. Pour into an un-greased stoneware pan.
In a mixing bowl combine the topping ingredients and mix until crumbly.
Sprinkle topping over apple mixture.
Bake 45-60 minutes or until apples are tender and topping is crisp and golden.
Serve warm with a scoop of French vanilla ice cream.