christmas pie

Sweet flaky pastry (recipe follows)
250 ml pitted prunes, coarse chop
375 ml boiling water
150 ml candied kumquats, coarse chop
3-4 apples, peeled, cored & sliced to yield 750 ml of slices  
285 g marzipan (10 oz)
1/4 c butter
2 eggs
2 tbsp syrup from the candied kumquats
1 tbsp flour
Egg yolk glaze

In a bowl combine prunes and boiling water.  Cover and let steep 10 min.  Drain thoroughly. Mix prunes, kumquats and apple slices.  Set aside.  Into the bowl of a food processor crumble marzipan.  Add butter and blend until smooth.  With motor running, add eggs one at a time.  Set aside.

Roll out pastry into a 15" round and place in a 10" pie dish.  Do NOT trim.  Pour marzipan mixture into  dish, spreading it evenly.  Toss fruit mixture with kumquat syrup, then with flour and pile on top of marzipan.  Fold excess pastry over filling, letting it fall where it may (this will give it a draped appearance).  Brush with glaze.  Bake at 425F for 15 min, then reduce heat to 350F and bake 30-40 min longer until crust is golden brown.  Remove from oven to cool.  Serve warm or at room temperature.

sweet flaky pastry

825 ml AP flour
4 tbsp sugar
255 g (9 oz) unsalted butter,very cold
2 egg yolks
100 ml cold water

In food processor combine flour and sugar; pulse once or twice to aerate. Roll butter in flour, then cut in slices. Roll slices in flour, then cut into sticks and sticks into cubes. Place on top of flour in food processor. Process very briefly until mixture resembles very coarse meal.In a small bowl or measuring cup beat yolks with the water; with motor running pour down the feed tube of processor. Process a few seconds; do not allow dough to form a ball or pastry will be tough. Turn out dough onto work surface and knead gently to get it to stick together. Wrap in plastic bag and refrigerate 30 min or longer. Makes 2 9-11" piecrusts.

crumble french crust for apple or rhubarb pie

1 c AP flour
1/4 c brown sugar
1/4 c sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 c butter

Combine dries and cut in the butter. Sprinkle over pie filling and bake at 450F for 10 min, then 350F for 40-50 min.

butter crunch crust

1/2 c butter
1 c sifted flour
1/2 c chopped pecans or walnuts
1/4 c brown sugar

Mix all ingredients. Spread in a 9x13" pan and bake at 400F for 10-15 min. Take out of the oven and stir, breaking the crust up. Save 3/4 c for topping and immediately press remaining crumbs into a 9" pie pan. Cool. Pour in pie filling and sprinkle with reserved crumbs. Chill.

marion's pastry using oil

1 1/4 c AP flour
1/2 c vegetable oil
1 tsp sugar
3 tbsp milk
Dash of salt

Mix together and press into pie plate.

lime sour cream pie

1 1/2 c graham cracker crumbs (about 11 crackers) 
1/4 c unsalted butter, melted        

In a bowl stir together the crumbs and butter.Press mixture onto the bottom and up the side of an 8" pie plate (1 qt capacity).  Bake at 350'F for 8-10 min and let cool.

1 1/2 tbsp lime zest
1/2 c fresh lime juice   
1 c half and half
3/4 c sugar   
2 tbsp unsalted butter, soft
5 tbsp cornstarch
3/4 c sour cream
Sweetened whipped cream

In a metal bowl set over a saucepan of barely simmering water whisk together the zest, juice, half-and-half, sugar, butter and cornstarch and cook the mixture, whisking for 5-7 min, or until thickened and opaque.Let the mixture cool completely.Fold in the sour cream, pour the filling into the crust and chill the pie, covered for 1 hour or until it is cold.Garnish the pie with the whipped cream and lime slices.

lemon souffle pie

4 egg yolks, well beaten
3/4 c sugar  
4 tbsp lemon juice
1/4 1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp grated lemon rind
1 tsp vanilla
salt
4 egg whites
1 baked pie shell

Combine yolks, 1/4 c of the sugar & lemon juice.Flavour to taste with nutmeg & cook over water, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens.Remove from heat.Mix in grated lemon rind & vanilla.Cool.Add salt to egg whites & beat until soft peaks form; gradually add remaining sugar & beat until stiff.  Fold into warm lemon mixture.Spoon into baked shell & bake at 325F for 30 min or until golden brown.

lemon meringue pie

1 unbaked pie shell
1 1/2 + 1/2 c sugar
1/2 c cornstarch
1/4 tsp salt
2 1/2 c water
4 eggs, separated
3 tbsp butter/marg
1 tbsp grated lemon rind
1/2 c lemon juice
1/4 tsp cream of tartar

Prick 9" pie shell and bake at 450 F for 5 minutes. If bubbles form, prick again. Bake another 10 minutes until pastry is golden brown. Cool completely on rack in pie plate.

Combine 1 1/2 c sugar, cornstarch and salt in large saucepan; gradually add water, stirring with a wooden spoon. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens and bubbles. Cook 1 minute and remove from heat.

Beat egg yolks slightly in a small bowl; slowly blend in approximately 1/2 c of the hot cornstarch mixture; stir back into remaining mixture. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, 2 minutes; remove from heat (do NOT overcook). Stir in butter, rind and juice; pour into pie shell. Press a piece of plastic wrap directly onto filling to prevent skin. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours.

Beat egg whites with cream of tartar in a medium sized bowl until foamy. Start adding 1/2 c sugar, 1 tbsp at a time, beating at high speed until meringue forms firm peaks. Grease and lightly flour a small cookie sheet. Shape meringue into 6-8 mounds on sheet, swirling with back of spoon to form peaks. Bake at 350F for 15 minutes or until meringues are golden. Cool on sheet. Transfer to pie with a small spatula.

lemon meringue pie (cornstarch box recipe)

6 tbsp cornstarch 100 mL
1/4 tsp salt   1 mL   
1 c sugar   250 mL
2 c water   500 mL
3 egg yolks, slightly beaten
1 tbsp butter 15 mL       
6 tbsp lemon juice 100 mL
1 tbsp grated lemon rind  15 mL
3 egg whites
1/4 tsp cream of tartar  1 mL
6 tbsp sugar   100 mL
9" baked deep-dish baked shell

Combine cornstarch, salt, 1 c sugar and 1/2 c (125 mL) cold water in saucepan. Gradually add 1 1/2 c (375 mL) hot water. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture comes to a boil and thickens. Boil 1 minute. Mix a little hot mixture into egg yolks. Blend yolks into the cornstarch mixture. Cook and stir for 1 minute. Remove from heat; add butter, lemon juice and rind. Cool slightly. Pour into baked shell. Cool to room temperature. 

For meringue, combine whites and cream of tartar. Beat until soft peaks form. Gradually add sugar, beating until stiff peaks form. Spread over filling, carefully sealing to edge of crust. Bake at 400F (200C) for 5-10 minutes or until meringue is nicely browned.

french lemon pie

1 unbaked 9 or 10" pie shell
1 c sugar
3 tbsp AP flour   
3 eggs
1 c light corn syrup1/4 c butter/margarine, melted
2 tsp grated lemon rind
3 tbsp lemon juice
1 lemon, thinly sliced

Prepare shell in a fluted tart pan with removable bottom or a regular pie plate; chill. Mix sugar and flour in a large bowl. Add eggs, syrup and melted butter; beat with rotary beater until well mixed. Stir in lemon rind and juice. Pour mixture into unbaked shell. Arrange lemon slices on top. Bake on lower shelf of oven at 375F for 45 minutes or until centre is almost set but still soft. Cool thoroughly on wire rack before slicing.

lemon chiffon pie

9" pie pastry, baked
1 tbsp (1 envelope) gelatin   
4 eggs, separated
1 c sugar, divided
1/2 c lemon juice
1 tsp lemon rind
1/2 tsp salt

Soften gelatin in 1/4 c cold water. Combine the egg yolks, 1/2 c sugar, lemon rind, juice and salt in top of double boiler. Cook over boiling water until thick, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Stir in softened gelatin until dissolved.

Beat the egg whites until stiff not dry. Beat in the remaining 1/2 c sugar gradually. Fold whites into yolk mixture carefully, but thoroughly. Turn into prepared pie shell. Chill until firm (2-5 hours).

orange chiffon pie

1 envelope unflavoured gelatin
1/2 c water    
3 eggs, separated
1 tbsp finely shredded orange peel  
1 c orange juice
2 tbsp lemon juice
1/3 c sugar
1 baked 9" pie shell
1/4 c flaked coconut, toasted (opt)

In small saucepan combine gelatin, water and egg yolks. Cook and stir over low heat until gelatin dissolves and mixture thickens slightly. Remove from heat and beat in peel and juices. Refrigerate or chill over ice water, stirring frequently until thickened. Meanwhile, beat whites until stiff not dry. Gradually beat in sugar until stiff shiny peaks form. Fold into gelatin mixture and spoon into crust. Chill several hours, then top with coconut to serve.

kiwi tart with pastry cream

1 c milk
1/4 c sugar
3 tbsp AP flour
4 egg yolks, well beaten
Baked tart shell (See: Sweet Flaky Pastry, for instance)
2 tsp vanilla
1 tbsp chilled butter, cut in small pieces
4 small kiwis, peeled and cut in 1/4" slices
1/3 c apricot preserves, warmed and strained

Heat milk in small saucepan over medium heat until small bubbles appear around the edges. Mix sugar, flour and a pinch of salt in small bowl. With whisk, gradually beat in the hot milk until well blended. Return mixture to saucepan. Stirring constantly, cook over low heat until mixture comes to a boil and is very thick and smooth. Remove from heat; stir a few tablespoonfuls into the yolks, then add yolks to remaining mixture in the saucepan. Stir constantly over low heat for about 2 minutes, until thickened and smooth. Transfer to bowl. Stir in vanilla and butter. Place plastic wrap directly on surface and chill about an hour. To speed chilling, you can place bowl over ice water for 15 minutes, stirring often. 

Stir and spread pastry cream evenly in tart shell. Arrange kiwi slices, slightly overlapping, on top. Spoon a thin layer of apricot glaze over fruit. Serve within an hour.

blueberry lemon pie (condensed milk)

1 large pie shell, prebaked & cooled
3 egg yolks
1 can condensed milk
1/2 c lemon juice
1 tbsp lemon zest
4 c blueberries
1/2 c liquid honey
1/2 c water
2 tbsp cornstarch
2 tsp lemon juice
1 c whipping cream (35% MF)
1/4 tsp almond extract
2 tbsp liquid honey
1/4 c toasted almond slivers

In a medium sized bowl, beat together egg yolks, condensed milk, 1/2 c lemon juice & zest.Pour into prepared pie crust and bake at 350F for 10 min.Cool.

In a saucepan, combine 1 c blueberries, 1/2 c honey, water & cornstarch.Bring to boiling point & let simmer until thickened.Remove from heat & stir in 2 tsp lemon juice. Cool thoroughly & stir in 3 c blueberries.Spoon into pie shell over lemon mix & refrigerate.

At serving time, whip cream, sweeten with 2 tbsp honey & add almond flavouring.Spoon onto pie & sprinkle with almonds.

lemon cream cheese tart with blueberries

150 ml unsalted butter, soft
75 mL XXX sugar
300 mL AP flour

Grease and flour sides of 9" flan tin. Line bottom with parchment paper. In food processor, combine the XXX sugar and butter, then pulse in flour just until combined. Press dough into the flan tin approx. 1/4" thick. Refrigerate 30 minutes. Prick with fork and bake at 350F for 12-15 minutes or until slightly coloured. Prick air bubbles while baking if necessary. Cool completely.

750 g cream cheese, room temperature
250 mL XXX sugar     
50 mL lemon juice
5 mL vanilla
10 mL grated lemon zest

Beat cream cheese until soft. Add remaining ingredients and continue beating until like thick whipped cream. Spoon into shell and refrigerate 2 hours.

50 ml sugar
15 ml cornstarch
125 ml water
375 ml blueberries    

Mix cornstarch, water and sugar. Set aside. Bring berries and any juice to boil on medium high heat. Stir in cornstarch mixture and reduce heat. Continue cooking until thickened. Cool. Spread on tart.

partridgeberry flan

3/4 c margarine
1 1/2 c AP flour
2 tbsp XXX sugar
250 cream cheese
1/4 c icing sugar
1 tbsp milk
1 tsp lemon juice
2 c partridgeberries
1/2 c sugar
2 tsp cornstarch
2 tbsp water

Blend margarine, flour and 2 tbsp XXX sugar until mixture is in fine crumbs. Press into a greased flan tin. Bake at 375F for 15-20 minutes. Cool. 

Cream together cream cheese, 1/4 c XXX sugar, milk and lemon juice until smooth. Pour into crust, saving a small amount to decorate the top.

Boil the berries and white sugar until cooked. Combine water and cornstarch and pour over berries. Cook for 10 minutes then pour over prepared filling. Decorate with remaining cream cheese filling.

pecan tartlets

cream cheese pastry

1 c unsifted AP flour
1/2 c unsalted butter, slightly softened
3 oz cream cheese, soft
1/4 tsp salt

filling

1 egg, slightly beaten
1/2 c dark corn syrup OR Lyle's golden syrup
1/3 c firmly packed dark brown sugar
2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
1 tsp vanilla
Pinch of salt
1 c coarsely broken pecans

chocolate topping

2 oz semisweet chocolate
2 tsp flavourless oil

Blend together flour, butter, cream cheese and salt with mixed or fingertips until well blended and dough forms a ball. Divide into  24 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a ball. Press into small muffin or brioche pans. If dough softens too much chill briefly. Use floured fingers and don't tear as filling will stick.

Combine egg, melted butter, syrup, vanilla, brown sugar and the pinch of salt;stir together until well blended. Stir in pecans. Spoon filling into pans - should come almost to the top of tins. Bake at 350F for 25-30 min or until filling is set but centre is still soft. Cool in tins on racks. Loosen sides if necessary.  Carefully unmould and decorate with drizzles of chocolate glaze (melt together the chocolate and oil in top of double boiler over hot, not simmering, water and stir constantly until melted).

mock pecan pie

8-9" unbaked pie shell
3 large eggs
2/3 c sugar
2/3 c dark corn syrup
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 c butter, melted
2/3 c quick cooking oatmeal

Combine eggs, sugar, syrup, salt, vanilla and butter; blend thoroughly. Fold in oats and pour into shell. Bake at 350F for 50-60 minutes or until filling is firm.

fresh strawberry tarts

2 pts strawberries, washed & hulled
1/2 c sugar
1 tbsp cornstarch
1 tbsp lemon juice
6 cooked tart shells
Whipped cream (opt)

Measure 1 heaping cup of strawberries; put into saucepan. Crush; add sugar, cornstarch and lemon juice. Mix well and cook over low heat, stirring constantly until mixture is clear and thick.

Remove and put through a sieve. Allow to cook, then spoon over berries in bowl. Using spatula, carefully turn berries several times until all are coated with the glaze. Heap in tart shells and serve plain or with whipped cream.

phyllo fruit tarts

4 sheets phyllo pastry
1 tbsp melted margarine
3/4 c light cream cheese
1/3 c low-fat plain yogurt
3 tbsp sugar
grated rind of 1 lemon
1 c sliced mango
2 c fresh or thawed blueberries
1 tbsp XXX sugar

Brush one sheet of phyllo (keeping the rest under a damp towel) with melted margarine and cut crosswise into 3 strips (scissors work best). Fold each strip into 1/3's to form a square, then round off the corners and push gently into 3 muffin cups. Repeat with the 3 other sheets of phyllo to form 12 shells.

Bake at 400F for about 5 minutes or until golden. Beat cream cheese, yogurt, sugar and lemon rind until smooth. Divide among the tart shells. Combine mango and blueberries. Spoon into shells and sift icing sugar over the top.

pumpkin chiffon pie

9" baked shell
1 envelope gelatin
1 1/3 c mashed pumpkin, cooked or canned
1/3 milk
1 c sugar, divided
3 eggs, separated
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp ginger

Soften gelatin in 1/4 c cold water. Beat egg yolks with 1/2 c sugar until thick. Add the pumpkin, milk, salt and spices. Cook until thickened, stirring constantly. Add softened gelatin, stirring until dissolved. Cool. Beat egg whites until stiff not dry. Beat in 1/2 c sugar gradually. Fold whites into cooled pumpkin mixture. Turn into pie shell and chill before serving.

pumpkin pie without the crust

3/4 c sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp cloves
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 3/4 c pumpkin
3/4 c light cream or evaporated milk (see note)
1 - 9" unbaked pastry shell
Note: I use powdered skim milk and make it really thick, then instead of baking in a crust. I butter 4 custard cups and bake at 350 F for about 45 min or until a knife inserted in the centre comes out clean. If desired, make up a little pastry and bake shapes to put on top.

Mix sugar and spices together, then add remaining ingredients and blend well. Pour into shell. Bake at 350F for 50-60 min or until knife inserted in centre comes out clean.

prune and armagnac tart

2 c AP flour 500 mL
Pinch salt
2 tbsp sugar, opt 25 mL
7 oz unsalted butter 225 g
3 tbsp ice water 45 mL
1 tbsp lemon juice 15 mL
2 c prunes, halved 500 mL
1/4 c orange juice 50 mL
1/4 c Armagnac or brandy 50 mL
3 eggs
1/3 c sugar 60 mL
2 tsp grated orange rind 10 mL
1/2 c whipping cream 125 mL

  1. In food processor or by hand, combine flour, salt and the 2 tbsp sugar. Pulse in butter with an on/off motion until mixture resembles coarse meal. With processor running pour ice water and lemon juice into feeder tube. Immediately stop processing. In a bowl combine pastry into a ball.
  2. Alternatively, combine dry ingredients and rub in butter with your fingertips. Stir in liquids and form a ball.
  3. Roll pastry out on floured board until thin enough to fit into a 9" (23 cm) pie plate. Prick with fork.
  4. Place parchment paper or foil over pastry and weigh with beans. Bake at 425F (210C) for 15 minutes. Remove paper and weights and bake for another 5 minutes.
  5. Place prunes in a bowl and pour orange juice and Armagnac over them. Leave to soak for 30 minutes.
  6. Beat eggs and sugar together until well blended. Stir in orange rind. Drain prunes and stir soaking liquid into egg mixture. Whisk in cream.
  7. Place prunes over base of pie shell. Pour over egg and cream mixture. Bake on centre rack for 35-40 minutes at 350F (180C) or until mixture is set. Cool.

saskatoon tarts

These glazed tarts are easy to prepare, delicious and very attractive. Purchased tart shells make this dessert especially convenient.

4 oz cream cheese
1 tbsp freshly grated lemon rind

Blend together cream cheese and lemon rind. Cover bottom of each tart shell with cream cheese mixture.

3 c saskatoons
1 cup water
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3 tbsp corn starch
2 tbsp Grande Marnier (optional)

Crush 1 cup of berries and place in a small saucepan with  water. Simmer about two minutes. Strain and return saskatoon juice to saucepan. Combine sugar and cornstarch and add to sauce. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly until mixture is thick and  clear.

Cool, then fill tarts. Tarts may be garnished with a small dollop of whipped cream.

butter tarts (no raisins)

1 c brown sugar
1/3 c butter, melted
1 tsp vanilla   
1 egg, beaten
2 tbsp milk
10-12 unbaked tart shells   

Mix together sugar, butter and vanilla.  Stir in the egg & milk.  Pour into tart shells and bake at 400 F for 15 min.

butter tarts - my mother's recipe

2 1/4 c (1 lb) light brown sugar       
1/4 c (2 oz) soft shortening           
2 tbsp soft butter               
1 (or more) c raisins
1 1/2 tbsp golden corn syrup
4 eggs
3/4 tsp vanilla

Pour boiling water over raisins. Add to all other ingredients after edges are white (after draining well). Put pastry rounds in muffin pans and pour in mixture until about 1/2 full. Bake at 350 F for 20 min.

rhubarb pie

3 tbsp flour
1-1 1/4 c sugar
1/4 tsp salt
4 c diced rhubarb
Grated rind of 1 orange
1/4 c orange juice
2 tbsp butter
Double pastry

Mix flour, sugar, salt  and rhubarb. Add orange rind and juice. Turn into bottom crust. Dot with butter. Cover with lattice of pastry. Bake at 450 F for 20 min then reduce heat to 350 F and bake another 20 min.

rhubarb cream pie

1 1/2 c sugar
3 tbsp AP flour
1/2 tsp nutmeg OR few drops of Angostura Bitters
1 tbsp butter
2 well beaten eggs
3 c cut rhubarb
Double pastry

Blend sugar, flour, nutmeg and butter. Add eggs, beat smooth. Pour over rhubarb in 9" pastry-lined pan; top with pastry. Bake at 450 F for 10 min, then at 350 F for 30-40 min.

white potato pie

3 eggs
2 c light cream
2 c cooked mashed potatoes
1 c sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp salt
Ground nutmeg
Toasted slivered almonds
1 10" unbaked pie shell

Beat eggs slightly with a rotary beater. Stir in the light cream, mashed potatoes, sugar, vanilla and salt; beat with a rotary beater until mixture is smooth. Place unbaked shell on the oven rack; pour filling into the shell. Sprinkle with nutmeg. To prevent overbrowning, cover edge of pie with foil. Bake at 350 F for 25 minutes. Remove foil and bake another 15-20 minutes or until knife inserted off-centre comes out clean. Cool pie completely on wire rack. Sprinkle with the toasted almonds and additional nutmeg if desired. Store any remaining pie in the refrigerator.

pumpkin pie in walnut crust

Walnut Pastry (see below)
1/2 c firmly packed dark brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp cloves
1/2 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
1-16 oz can or 2 c pureed cooked pumpkin
2 large eggs
1 c evaporated milk

Prepare walnut pastry. Between 2 sheets of floured wax paper roll out one ball of the pastry to an 11" round. Remove top sheet of paper and invert pastry into 9" pie plate, letting excess extend over edge. Remove remaining sheet of wax paper. Trim pastry edge even with rim of pie plate.

To make braided pastry, between 2 sheets of floured wax paper, roll out remaining ball of pastry and pastry scraps to a 10 x 4 1/2" rectangle. Remove top sheet of wax paper. Cut into twelve lengthwise 3/8" wide strips. Braid 3 strips together; repeat 3 times with remaining strips. With water, moisten rim of pastry in pie plate. Place braids around rim of pie plate. Trim off any excess braid and pat braid ends together where they meet.
Heat oven to 425 F.

In large bowl, combine sugar, spices and salt. With electric mixer on medium speed, beat in pumpkin until combined. Add eggs and milk; beat until smooth and well blended. Pour pumpkin mixture in pastry lined pie plate.

Bake pie 10 minutes then reduce heat to 350 F and bake another 35 minutes or until centre of pie is set. Cool pie on wire rack to room temperature, then serve or refrigerate.

walnut pastry

2 c unsifted AP flour
1/2 c very finely chopped walnuts
3 tbsp sugar 
1/4 tsp salt
2/3 c chilled shortening
4-5 tbsp water

Combine flour, walnuts, sugar and salt. With pastry blender or 2 knives cut in shortening until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add water, 1 tbsp at a time, and stir lightly with fork just until soft, manageable pastry forms. Divide pastry into 2 balls and roll out as directed in recipe.

apple pear tart

4 medium Bartlett pears, peeled, cored and thinly sliced
3-4 large tart apples (preferably Greening or Pippin), peeled, cored and thinly sliced
Lemon juice
1/2 c honey, warmed
1/2 c coarsely chopped pecans or walnuts (or combination)
1/3 c currants
1/4 c brandy or Cognac
1 tbsp freshly grated orange rind
1 tbsp mixed spices (1 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1 tsp nutmeg and 1/2 tsp cloves or to taste)
12 thin phyllo pastry sheets (about 1/2 lb)
1 c unsalted butter, melted
1 tbsp brandy
XXX sugar

Combine pears and apples in large bowl. Sprinkle with lemon juice and toss to blend well. Add honey, nuts, currants, brandy, rind and spices. Cover and let stand at room temperature for at least 2 hours. Taste and adjust flavouring.

Place rack in lowest position of oven and preheat to 400 F. Generously butter 15" pizza pan or round baking sheet. Stack phyllo pastry on work surface. Remove top sheet (cover remaining with waxed paper and damp towel to prevent drying) and brush with melted butter. Fold in half lengthwise. Place one end in centre of pizza pan, allowing other end to extend over side of pan. Brush again with melted butter. Repeat with remaining 11 sheets, fitting carefully into pan and turning each sheet slightly so that one end is stacked in centre and outer ends fan out around pan.

Partially drain fruit mixture. Spoon fruit into centre of phyllo and sprinkle with 1 tbsp brandy. Fold overhanging pastry over filling, brushing top of each sheet with more melted butter before folding next sheet. Dust top of pastry with powdered sugar and drizzle with melted  butter.

Set pizza pan in shallow baking pan. Bake 12-15 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 F and continue baking, basting several times with butter from bottom of pan, until phyllo is golden brown, about 20-25 minutes. Cool slightly and dust with powdered sugar. Cut into wedges with scissors and serve. 

apple tart with pistachio crust

pastry

250 mL AP flour
50 mL sugar
125 mL butter
50 mL finely chopped pistachios

In large bowl, combine flour and 50 mL sugar. Using pastry blender, cut in butter until mixture resembles fine crumbs. Mix in finely chopped pistachios.Press crust mixture evenly into 9" (23 cm) tart pan with removable bottom; prick in several places with a fork. Chill in freezer for 30 minutes.  Bake at 450 F (230 C) for 10 to 12 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool. 

filling

4 large apples (unpeeled), cored & sliced 1 /4" thick
25 mL sugar
5 mL ground cinnamon

In large frypan, combine apple slices,  25 mL sugar and cinnamon. Cover and cook over medium heat, stirring twice, for 10 to 13 minutes or until apples are tender but not limp. Drain and cool. Starting at edge of pastry shell and working toward the centre, overlap apple slices in a spiral pattern.

topping

125 mL apricot jam                    50 mL coarsely chopped pistachios

Force apricot jam through a sieve to remove lumps. Brush jam evenly over apples. Sprinkle coarsely chopped pistachios in a ring around edge of tart.

plum phyllo turnovers

1/2 c honey
1/3 c water
2 slices fresh lemon peel
1 cinnamon stick
2 lb tart black plums, pitted & quartered
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cloves
3/4 tbsp arrowroot or cornstarch dissolved in 3 tbsp cold water
12 thin phyllo pastry sheets (about 1/2 lb)
 1 c unsalted butter, melted
1 c whipping cream, whipped with 1 tbsp honey
  1. Combine 1/2 c honey with water, lemon peel and cinnamon stick in large nonaluminum saucepan and bring to boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium and simmer 5 minutes. Add plums, cinnamon and cloves and return to boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, about 40 minutes. Stir in dissolved arrowroot and continue simmering until thickened, about 5-8 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool.
  2. Stack phyllo on work surface. Cut lengthwise into thirds; stack again. Cover with waxed paper and a damp towel to prevent drying. Remove top strip and brush with butter mixture. With short end in front of you, fold long sides into centre to form strip approximately 11x2". Place 1 tsp filling at bottom end. Fold pastry strip up over filling so that bottom edge meets left edge, forming a triangle. Continue folding back at right angles to make triangular shape, tucking in any remaining phyllo at end. Repeat procedure with remaining phyllo and filling.
  3. Preheat oven to 375 F. Generously butter baking sheet. Arrange phyllo triangles on sheet and brush generously with butter. Bake triangles 1 sheet at a time, brushing once with butter halfway through baking time, until crisp and golden, about 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool on rack 5 minutes. Transfer to platter and serve warm with whipped cream.

baklava

2 1/2 c finely chopped walnuts
1 1/2 c finely chopped almonds
1/2 c honey 
1 tbsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp fresh lemon juice
26 phyllo sheets (about 1 lb)
1 1/2 c unsalted butter, melted and clarified

cinnamon syrup

1 1/2 c honey
1 1/3 c water
4 whole cloves
3 cinnamon sticks
Chopped peel of 1 lemon
  1. Generously butter 9x13x2" pan. Combine nuts, honey, ground spices and lemon juice in a large bowl and set aside.
  2. Remove 9 sheets of phyllo; cover remainder with waxed paper and damp towel to prevent drying. Begin lining baking pan 1 sheet at a time, generously brushing each sheet with melted butter. Sprinkle with half of the nut mixture. Repeat procedure with another 9 sheets of phyllo; sprinkle with the remaining nut mixture. Top with remaining 8 sheets of phyllo, generously brushing each sheet with butter. Trim edges. Brush top with melted butter.
  3. Using sharp knife, preferably serrated, make 6 or 7 lengthwise cuts in baklava (depending on size of pieces desired), keeping knife straight and making sure it slices through all layers (use your free hand to hold phyllo gently behind knife).
  4. After all lengthwise cuts are made, slice diagonally beginning at upper corner of pan. Continue until all the pastry has been cut into diamonds. Brush again with melted butter.
  5. Bake at 375F for 30 minutes, basting twice with melted butter. Reduce over temperature to 350 F and continue baking until crisp and golden, about 30 to 40 minutes.
  6. Meanwhile, make syrup by combining all the ingredients in a medium saucepan and bringing to boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and continue boiling gently for 15-20 minutes. Let cool completely and strain before using.
  7. Spoon syrup over hot baklava and let cool completely in the pan before removing pieces.

Baklava pieces can be wrapped individually in plastic and stored in an airtight container in refrigerator for up to 2 months.

plum tart

crust

1 1/2 c walnuts           
2 tbsp sugar
1/3 c firm cold butter

filling

8  oz almond paste
1/2 c heavy cream
2 eggs
4 each firm green & red plums
2 tbsp  arrowroot
Juice & slivered rind of 1 lemon
1/2 c orange juice
1/2 c Cointreau
  1. In food processor process walnuts, sugar & butter until a  ball forms.  Chill 1 hour.  Press out  evenly into  9" tart pan 1"  deep (make a rim).  Chill 30 min.  
  2. In food processor process crumbled almond paste, cream & eggs until smooth.  Pour into crust.  Bake on a cookie sheet at 350F until firm to  the touch  - approx 30 min.  Cool.  
  3. Halve and pit plums.  Cut into paper-thin slices with sharp knife.  Alternate the plums in rows of each colour on the filling.  Chill.  
  4. In  saucepan stir arrowroot, orange & lemon juice and lemon rind over medium heat until bubbles and thickens.  Remove from heat and stir in Cointreau.  Spoon glaze over plums while it is still warm.  
  5. Cut tart into small wedges and serve.

marion's tart pastry

1 c butter
2 c flour
3 tbsp sugar

Mix together and press into tart pans.

tortiere

1 lb ground lean pork
1/2 lb ground beef chuck
1 large onion, finely chopped (1 c)
1/2 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 1/4 tsp poultry seasoning
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp celery salt
3/4-1 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp ground sage
1/2 c water
2 small potatoes (3/4 lb) cooked & mashed
1 double pie crust
1 egg

Combine pork, chuck, onion and garlic in skillet; cook until meat is no longer pink. Stir in poultry seasoning, salt, celery salt, pepper, sage and water; cover. Simmer 20 minutes; uncover and simmer 10 minutes longer. Remove from heat; stir in potatoes. Cool.

Prepare bottom crust; put in pan so as to have a 1/4" overhang. Spoon in meat mixture and fold edges over meat. Brush with egg. Place top crust over meat and trim flush with edge of pan. Cut small centre slits. Decorate with fancily cut leftover pastry. Brush with egg.

Bake at 425 F for 15 minutes, then 350 F for 25 minutes until pastry is golden brown. Serve slightly warm with sour pickles and a tossed salad.

french apple pie

3/4 lb apples, peeled and sliced
2 tbsp lemon juice
1/4 c seedless raisins
3/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 c sugar
1/2 c brown sugar
2 tbsp AP flour
2 tbsp butter
1/4 c chopped pecans
Pastry for 2-crust pie

Line 9" pie plate with pastry. Fill with apples and sprinkle with lemon juice and raisins. Combine spices and white sugar; sprinkle over apples. Blend brown sugar, flour and butter until crumbs form. Mix in pecans and sprinkle over filling. Cut steam vents in top crust and add to pie. Seal edges. Bake at 450 F for 10 minutes, then 350 F for 40-50 minutes. If crust browns too quickly, cover with foil.

almond tart

1 tbsp orange flavoured liqueur
3/4 c heavy cream
3/4 c sugar
1/8 tsp almond extract
1 c sliced almonds
9" tart shell (see below) partially baked
Whipped cream

Warm cream and sugar in small pan over low heat until sugar is dissolved and the mixture is translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in almond extract, liqueur and almonds. Pour into tart shell. Spread evenly. Bake at 425 F for 25 minutes, rotating the pan once or twice to brown evenly. The top should be a deep golden brown. Cool on rack, then gently remove pan rim. Serve with whipped cream.

tart shell

1 c AP flour
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 c chilled butter
1 tbsp water

Mix flour and salt. Add butter cut into small pieces. With fingertips work flour and butter until particle are the size of small peas. Sprinkle with water and work it in with the fingers to make a soft dough. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes. Using heel of hand, press dough over bottom and sides of a 9" loose bottom tart pan. Prick dough all over and chill. Press a piece of foil snugly into the shell. Bake at 425 F for 8 minutes. Remove foil and bake 4 minutes longer or until shell looks dry but not browned.

lassy tart

1 1/2 c butter or shortening
4 c AP flour
1/2 c sugar
2 tsp allspice
1 c molasses
1 tsp cloves
2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp baking soda dissolved in 1/4 c warm tea
Partridgeberry Jam for filling

Combine all ingredients and divide equally into 8 equal parts (for 4 pies). Pat 4 pieces into well greased pie plates. Roll out remaining dough - you'll need a fair amount of flour as it will be sticky - and cut into strips.

Fill with cold partridgeberry jam and place lattice strips over top. Bake at 350 F for about 30 minutes. You can use other types of jam, but nothing comes close to the combination of the sweet molasses crust and tangy partridgeberries.