Featured Recipes

Mango Tart with Blackberries

Serves: 8 to 10

Tangy blackberries sprinkled on a buttery tart pastry are topped with fanned slices of sweet mangoes. This pairing of fruit is not only a dynamite flavor combination, but when sliced the contrasting colors of apricot and purple make this tart an eye-appealing beauty. Because this tart is not rich, it is especially nice to serve after a heavy meal or for the diet-conscious.

The sweet pastry dough pairs especially well with fruit tarts because of its fine cookie-like crumb and rich, buttery flavor. While I like to use a food processor to cut the butter into the flour, the procedure can also be done with a pastry blender or by rubbing the fat in with your fingertip.

1 11-inch Sweet Tart Pastry crust baked
2 tablespoons strained apricot preserves, warmed

1. Brush the bottom and sides of the baked pastry crust while it is still warm. Set aside to cool while you prepare the filling.

1 1/2 cups unsifted all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons superfine sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes, firm
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1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large or 3 medium mangoes
1 1/2 to 2 cups fresh blackberries
3 tablespoons cornstarch
5 tablespoons sugar, divided
1 1/2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup apricot preserves
1 tablespoon water
1. Sift dry ingredients into a large bowl.
2. Toss the butter through the flour mixture to coat the pieces. Using your fingertips, rub the fat into the flour, working it until you have created a coarse meal with a few pea-size particles of fat.

1. Place the flour, sugar and salt into the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade. PULSE 3 to 4 times to blend.
2. Distribute the butter around the bowl and PULSE 6 to 7 times. Then process for 6 to 8 seconds. The crumbs should be about the size of coarse meal with a few pea-size particles of fat.
3. Empty the crumbs on to a cool surface, such as marble or a chilled counter. Form the mixture into a mound. Make a 4 to 5-inch well in the center of the mound. Combine the egg and vanilla, and pour the mixture into the well.
4. Using a fork, draw the crumbs into the egg mixture, about 1 to 2 tablespoons at a time. When all of the crumbs are added, toss the mixture a few times with a pastry scraper to form large clumps, then scrape into a mound.
5. Using the heel of your hand, push about 2 to 3 tablespoons of the dough at a time, outward in 6 to 8-inch sweeps. This will incorporate the fat and flour together and give the crust a delicate texture. If your hand becomes sticky, flour it as needed. Repeat the process until all of the dough has been worked. Gather the dough into a mound again, then repeat the entire procedure 2 additional times
6. After the third fresage, flour your hands and gently knead the dough 5 or 6 times to make it smooth. Shape into a 4 to 5-inch disk. Dust the disk lightly with flour, score with the side of your hand, cover with plastic wrap and
refrigerate for 20 minutes before shaping. DO NOT LET THE DOUGH BECOME TOO HARD or it will be difficult to roll. If it does, let the pastry soften at room temperature.
7. Roll the pastry. Transfer pastry to an 11-inch tart pan with and shape the dough into the pan. After the dough is shaped prick the bottom and side lightly with a fork at 1/2 to 1-inch intervals. Place the tart pan on a half-sheet to jelly-roll pan and refrigerate for at least 15 minutes.

When making Sweet Tart Pastry, the correct temperature of the butter is extremely important because the fat is cut into the flour in a food processor, and it can be easily overworked. Unlike Classic Tart Pastry, where the particles of fat are usually visible, Sweet Tart Pastry is more like a cookie dough. The butter should be firm enough to make crumbs without becoming pasty, yet soft enough to blend into a smooth dough. If you press the butter with your finger, it should feel firm, but not as hard as it would feel if it were extremely cold or frozen.

1. Tear an 18-inch square of heavy duty aluminum foil. Make a buttered circle in the center of the foil 2 inches larger than the size of the pan. Place the foil buttered side down, centering it into the baking pan.
2. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Position the shelf in the lower third of the oven. Fill the pan with enough dried beans or baking nuggets to just cover the surface of the pan. Do not overfill.
3. Bake the crust for 15 to 18 minutes or until the sides begin to brown. Remove the pan from the oven. Let stand for about 30 seconds then gently remove the foil and the beans.
4. Reduce the oven to 375 degrees. Continue to bake the crust for 3 to 5 minutes or until golden brown. If the bottom of the pastry shell puffs up, tap it very gently with the bottom of a fork to expel the air. This must be done carefully so the pastry doesn't break. When the crust is done cool completely before filling.

1. Mangoes: Cut cheeks from fruit, and peel. Place the mango flat-side down on a cutting board, and slice lengthwise into 1/4-inch pieces. Trim flesh from the sides of the pit and cut into 1-inch pieces. Set aside.
2. Wash and thoroughly dry the blackberries. Cut larger berries in half.
3. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Position oven shelf to the lower third of the oven.
4. Combine the cornstarch and 3 tablespoons of the sugar in a large bowl. Add the blackberries and shake the bowl to coat the berries with the dry ingredients. Empty the mixture into the pastry shell and set the tart on a shallow pan.
5. Use the smaller pieces of mango to fill in gaps around the blackberries. Cover the berry mixture with the sliced mango, fanning the slices on the outer edge and tapering them towards the middle. Make a second smaller row to fill in the center. Tuck less-uniform pieces under the even slices.
6. Drizzle lemon juice over the top. Combine the remaining sugar with the cinnamon, and sprinkle the mixture over the fruit.
7. Bake the tart for 45 to 50 minutes or until the juices begin to bubble and the edge of the crust is golden brown. Remove the tart from the oven, lift from the shallow pan, and cool on a rack.

1. place the apricot preserves and water in a heatproof glass container. Heat in a microwave oven on medium power for 20 to 30 seconds, until bubbling. Pass through a strainer. Gently brush the warm apricot glaze on the top of the hot tart. Let stand 1 hour before cutting. This tart is best when served warm.

This recipe can also be found in the Kindle edition of my book, Great Pies and Tarts, which is available now from Amazon:

Copyright © 2017 by Carole Walter, CCP

Glazed Lemon Cookies

Makes 16 4 1/2-inch cookies

One day I took these cookies to my family to critique. I don't know if it was the size of the cookie or the lemon frosting that caught my granddaughter Samantha's eye. "What are these giant cookies?" she asked as she licked away at the icing. I told her they were lemon cookies. "I l-o-o-v-e lemon cooki
s!" was her perky reply. The cookie has a golden buttery crumb that is richly flavored with lemon, and a lemony frosting, to boot! When you make these cookies, the dough will be soft, but after chilling it becomes manageable. A pastry scraper makes dividing the dough easier, but a sharp knife will do. If lemon is your weakness, beware! The entire—cookie—big as it is! will disappear!

For the cookies:
1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour, spooned in and leveled
1 cup strained cake flour, spooned in and leveled
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, slightly firm
2 tablespoons freshly grated lemon zest
1 1/2 cups sugar
4 large egg yolks
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Makes about ⅔ CUP; enough for 4 dozen 2-inch cookies

For the glaze:
2 cups strained confectioners' sugar, spooned in and leveled
2 tablespoons hot lemon juice, plus additional as needed
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
⅛ teaspoon of salt


1. Position the shelves to the upper and lower thirds of the oven. Heat the oven to 350°. Dab the corners of oversized cookie sheets (14 x 17-inch) lightly with butter and line with baking parchment.

2. Strain the all-purpose and cake flours together with the cream of tartar, baking soda and salt.

3. Using an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the butter on medium low speed with the lemon zest until creamy and lightened in color, about 2 minutes. Add the sugar in a steady stream, beating again for 1 - 2 minutes. Blend in the egg yolks, mixing for 45 - 60 seconds, then pour in the lemon juice and the vanilla extract, scraping down the bowl as needed.

4. Reduce the mixer speed to low, add the dry ingredients in three additions, mixing just until blended. Transfer the dough to a clean bowl, cover with plastic wrap and chill for 1 hour.

5. Working with one half of the dough at a time, place it on a floured surface. With lightly floured hands, shape the dough into a disk, coating it with a light dusting of flour. Using a dough scraper or a sharp knife, divide the dough into 8 pie-shaped wedges. Flour your hands again and shape each wedge into a ball. (NOTE: This is a soft dough and should not be overworked.) Place 6 of the balls on the prepared cookie sheet 3-inches apart, and using the heel of your hand, gently flatten into 3 - 3 1/2 inch disks. Repeat with the remaining dough to form 8 more disks.

6. Bake the cookies for 18 to 20 minutes or until the edges are golden brown. To insure even browning, two-thirds of the way through baking rotate the sheets top to bottom and front to back. Remove the cookies from the oven, let stand for 5 minutes then carefully loosen with a large, metal spatula. Transfer the cookies to cooling racks set over wax paper.


7. Place the confectioners' sugar in a large bowl and add 2 tablespoons of hot lemon juice and 2 tablespoons of corn syrup. Stir with a small whisk or spoon until very smooth. The glaze should pour from a spoon in a steady stream. Use additional liquid sparingly. A little bit goes a long way.

8. While the cookies are still warm, spoon 2 - 3 teaspoons of Lemon Glaze on each cookie. Using a small offset spatula or the back of a teaspoon, immediately spread the glaze thinly over the top, coating the entire cookie. Set aside and let the cookies air dry until the frosting has hardened.

STORAGE: Store in an airtight container, layered between strips of waxed paper, for up to 1 weeks. These cookies may be frozen. The glaze can be stored tightly covered in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Many more of my my cookie recipes are available in my book, Great Cookies, available from Amazon for the Kindle:


Copyright © 2017 by Carole Walter, CCP

Nut Souffle Roll

Serves 8 to 10

This light, moist flourless sponge roll is filled with chocolate whipped cream and is absolutely luscious. Serve it with a bowl filled with whole strawberries, leaving the green portion on. If you never made a rolled sponge cake, it’s easier to do than you may think.

1 cup walnuts or pecans
1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
5 large egg yolks
1 large whole egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
5 large egg whites
Pinch salt
1 recipe Chocolate Whipped Cream

1. Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees. Butter a 10 1/2 x 15 1/2 x 1-inch jelly roll pan and line the bottom with baking parchment. Lightly butter the parchment.
2. Place the nuts and 2 tablespoons sugar in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Process for 20 to 30 seconds, or until the nuts are ground very fine. Set aside.
3. Place the yolks and the whole egg in a stand mixer fitted with the whip attachment. Beat for 2 minutes on medium speed, until thick and light in color. Add 1/3 cup sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, taking about 2 minutes to blend it in well.
4. Reduce mixer speed to low. Add the vanilla, then add the nut mixture. Remove the bowl and empty the mixture into a large wide bowl and set aside.
5. In a clean bowl, with a clean whip attachment, whip the whites at medium speed until frothy. Add the salt and continue beating until the whites form firm peaks. DO NOT OVERBEAT.
6. Using a 2 3/4-inch wide rubber spatula, fold 1/4 of the whites into the nut mixture, taking about 20 turns to lighten. Fold the remaining nut mixture into the whites, taking an additional 30 turns. Empty the batter into the pan and smooth the top with a small offset spatula or the back of a tablespoon, spreading it evenly into the corners. Run your thumb around the edge of the pan to clean the sides. Tap the pan gently on the counter to even out the batter. Bake 18 to 20 minutes, unti the top feels set and is springy to the touch.
7. While the cake is baking, cut a 20-inch piece of parchment, set it on a flat workspace and sprinkle lightly with 1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar.
8. Remove the cake from the oven, place the pat on the edge of the parchment closest to you. IMMEDIATELY invert the cake onto the parchment, protecting your hands with pot holders, Remove the pan and gently peel off the paper. Starting on the long side, tightly roll the cake in the paper rolling it away from you. Place cake seam side down on a cake rack to cool. While the cake is cooling, prepare the whipped cream.

1 2/3 cups heavy cream, well chilled
3 tablespoons strained confectioners’ sugar
2 to 3 tablespoons strained unsweetened cocoa
¾ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 tablespoons Kahlua, or dark Jamaican rum, opt.,
1. Put the cream confectioner’s sugar, and cocoa in the bowl of a stand mixer. Using a whisk, stir just to blend. The sugar and cocoa will not dissolve completely. This is okay. Cover and chill in the refrigerator for 20 minutes or longer. Also, chill the whip attachment.
2. Remove from the refrigerator and whip on MEDIUM-LOW speed with until the cream begins to thicken. Add the liqueur, the vanilla, and beat until the cream falls in soft mounds when the whip is lifted.
3. Remove from the mixer. With a large whisk, whip until the cream thickens, is smooth, and holds its shape. DO NOT OVERBEAT or the cream will become grainy.

1. Carefully unroll the cake, but not completely flat. The edge closest to you should remain curled. Spoon about 2/3 of the cream under the curled edge first. Spread the filling with a small offset spatula, evenly over the rest of the cake, leaving a 1-inch boarder on the far side.
2. To roll the cake, tuck the curled edge nearest you under and lift the parchment up, starting on the side nearest you. The cake will roll. Continue rolling until the far end is on the bottom. Carefully lift the roll with your hands (DON’T PANIC, JUST DO IT!).and place it seam down on an oblong platter. A long wooden bread board is great for this..
3. Place a strip of waxed paper along each side of the cake. Using a small offset spatula, spread the remaining whipped cream over the cake. Run the wide side of a decorating comb or the tines of a fork in a zigzag manner over the entire cake. If you like, sprinkle the top with 2 tablespoons finely chopped nuts..Carefully cover the cake with an aluminum foil tent and refrigerate until ready to serve. This cake can be made up to 1 day ahead.

STORAGE: Store leftover cake in the refrigerator, loosely covered with aluminum foil, for up to 3 days.

Copyright © 2017 by Carole Walter, CCP

Boston Cream Pie

Serves 6 to 8

As summer is pie season, Fourth of July festivities tend to be celebrated with fruit pie. This year why not try something unique and uniquely American.

Boston Cream Pie is a traditional American dessert, enjoyed over many decades. It is made with a simple sponge cake that is filled with pastry cream. The cake is topped with a chocolate glaze that randomly drips over the side of the cake. Besides being delicious, the cake can be made up to 1 day or several hours in advance.

½ cup milk
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 cup sifted cake flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
¾ cup superfine sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 1/3 cups milk, divided
1/3 cup sugar
4 teaspoons corn starch
1 tablespoon flour
1 large whole egg
1 large egg yolk
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup heavy cream whipped to soft peaks

1 ounce unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 ounce semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
2 teaspoons unsalted butter
2/3 cup strained confectioners' sugar
2 tablespoons boiling water (about)
2 teaspoons light corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons dark Jamaican rum (optional)

1. Position rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees. WELL BU'ITER a 9-inch round layer pan and line with a parchment circle.
2. In a small saucepan, warm the milk and butter on low heat until the butter is melted. Set aside.
3. Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt in a triple sifter. Set aside.
4. Beat the eggs on medium-high speed in an electric mixer fitted with beaters or a whip attachment for about 2 minutes. Gradually add the sugar, I tablespoon at a time, taking about 4 to 5 minutes to blend it in well. Scrape the sides of the bowl occasionally. The mixture will thicken and turn light yellow in color.
5. Reduce mixer speed to medium. Add the vanilla, then pour in the hot milk IN A STEADY STREAM, taking about 10 seconds. Immediately add the dry ingredients all at once, and beat just until blended, scraping the sides of the bowl as necessary. Increase mixer speed to medium--high and beat 10 seconds. The batter will be very thin. Remove the bowl from the mixer and quickly pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake 30 to 35 minutes, or until the cake begins to come away from the sides of pan and is golden brown and springy to the touch.
6. Set on a cake rack to cool for about 10 minutes. Run a thin knife around the sides of the pan to loosen. Invert pan onto the rack sprayed with non-stick coating and peel off the parchment paper. Cool right side up.

1. In a medium saucepan, combine 1 cup of milk and the sugar, and bring to a slow boil over low heat. Set aside.
2. In a small bowl, combine the cornstarch and flour. Gradually stir in the remaining 1/3 cup milk, whisking until very smooth. Then whisk in the whole egg and the egg yolk. Add to the hot sugar/milk. Bring to a boil on low heat, whisking constantly, until the mixture is thick and smooth. Cook 30 to 45 seconds after the mixture reaches the boil, stirring gently with a wooden spoon to prevent scorching.
3. Remove from the heat and stir in the butter and vanilla. Press a piece of buttered waxed paper onto the filling to prevent a skin from forming. Cool until tepid. Stir in 1/3 of the whipped cream. Fold in the remaining cream and refrigerate until filling is chilled.
4. Place the chocolates and the butter in a small glass bowl. Set the bowl in a pan filled with 1 til the ingredients are melted and smooth, or melt in a microwave. Off the heat, stir in the sugar and water alternately, beating well. Blend in the corn syrup, then the vanilla. Stir in the rum.. The glaze should be glossy and pourable. If it is too thick, stir in a little more hot water.

1. Divide sponge cake horizontally into 2 layers. Set the bottom layer cut side up on a serving plate. Cut 4 strips of waxed paper, each 4-inches wide, and slide under edge of the cake to keep plate clean while you frost.
2. Place about 1/2 of the custard into a 14-inch pastry bag fitted with a large ½-inch round decorating tube. Pipe a ring of custard around the edge of the cake, starting 1/2-inch in from the edge of the cake. Empty the remaining custard into the center of the cake along with the remaining contents of the pastry bag. Using a small offset spatula, spread the custard evenly on the bottom layer. Position the second layer over the first, cut side down.
3. Pour the glaze over the center of the cake holding the bowl about 10-inches high. Using a 10-inch metal spatula, QUICKLY ease frosting to edges of cake, allowing it to drip randomly down the sides. The chocolate glaze will begin to set almost immediately. Refrigerate until 1/2 hour before serving. If made ahead, cover loosely with aluminum foil. Leftover cake will keep refrigerated up to 3 days.

Copyright © 2017 by Carole Walter, CCP
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