Posts Tagged ‘bakery’

plum torte

05 Oct

Plums are one of the few fruits that are better eaten cooked than raw, since cooking enhances their sweetness.  This recipe was printed many years ago in the NY Times.   My friend has the original copy and has been making it for years.  Yesterday, when I saw a box of Italian plums beckoning in Costco, it reminded me of these delicious pies.  Aside from its’ good old-fashioned taste, it is also easy to prepare.  The recipe calls for a springform pan, but will work well with a 9-inch pyrex pie plate or a disposable pan.


  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick)
  • 1 cup unbleached flour, sifted
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 24 halves pitted Italian purple plums
  • Sugar and cinnamon for topping.
  • Sprinkle of lemon juice



1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Cream sugar and butter in a bowl. Add flour, baking powder, salt and eggs, and beat well.

3. Spoon the batter into a spring form of 8, 9 or 10 inches. Place the plum halves skin side up on top of the batter. Sprinkle lightly with lemon juice, and (up to 2 tablespoons of) sugar, depending on the sweetness of the fruit. Sprinkle with about 1/2-1 teaspoon of cinnamon, or to taste.

4. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes. Remove and cool; refrigerate or freeze if desired (but first, double-wrap the tortes in foil, place in a plastic bag, and seal). Or cool to lukewarm, and serve.

5. To serve a torte that has been frozen, defrost and reheat it briefly at 300 degrees.

Yield: 8 servings

Total time: 1 hour 15 minutes


patchwork lattice peach & cherry pie

28 Jul

Some people have an aversion to pie.  Well, not eating pie, but making pie.  The actual pie crust is not much of a challenge, but transferring it to a pie plate, baking it so it doesn’t shrink down the bottom of the pie plate, and making a decorative top, may be a little daunting to some.  On the flip side, there’s something very exciting about serving a pie at the table!  So here is a compromise; a luscious peach & cherry filling, oozing with flavorful juices, without a bottom crust,  and simply covered with slabs of pie dough in an informal patchwork design.

The dough is made, as always, in a food processor, which literally takes about two minutes. If you refrigerate it for at least 30 minutes it becomes easy to roll out, though this process, too, is less crucial than for a pie, because the dough will be cut up.

My mother pulled this recipe out of the New York Times in July 2009, and as so often happens, she couldn’t find it recently when she wanted to make it again.  Luckily, she had shared it with the guest she had served it to, and was able to get it from her.  Credit for the recipe goes to Mark Bittman who used a mixture of cherries and peaches for his pie. The pits can be left in the cherries, which results in better flavor, but if you don’t like the idea of spitting at the table, take them out first.

Yesterday, my mother and I took a trip to Battleview Orchards to pick peaches.  This was more of an activity to keep the children busy, as they had no day camp.  We took my son and a niece and 2 nephews all aged between 9 & 11.  Naturally, we came home with more peaches than we had what to do with and I immediately made this pie.  Tomorrow, the rest will become fruit soup!

You can use any stone fruit or berries you like; just adjust the amount of sugar and lemon juice to get a mixture that’s sweet but not cloying, and with enough acidity to taste a bit sharp. (Many plums and berries won’t need any lemon juice.)

You can make it in a 9 x 13 baking dish, a deep dish pie plate or even a cast-iron skillet. In any case, the result will be a rustic but delicious pie-like dessert.


  • 8 Tablespoons (1 stick) cold butter cut into 8 pcs.
  • 1 1/2 cups flour, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 C + 2 Tablespoons sugar
  • 3 lbs. peaches sliced in wedges
  • 1 Cup cherries
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice


1. Heat oven to 400.  In a food processor, combine 1 C + 2 Tbs flour, salt & 1 Tbs sugar.  Add butter and process until butter and flour are blended and mixture looks like course cornmeal, about 20 seconds. Slowly add 1/4 cup ice water and process.  Form dough into flat disc, wrap in plastic and freeze for 10 minutes or refrigerate for 20 min.
2. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, toss fruit with remaining 6 tablespoons flour, 3/4 c sugar, and lemon juice and place in baking dish.
3. Put dough on a floured board and sprinkle with more flour. Roll dough into a 12 inch adding flour and rotating dough as needed.  Cut dough into 3 inch wide strips, then cut again crosswise into 4 inch long pieces.  Scatter pieces over fruit in an overlapping patchwork pattern.
4. Brush top of dough lightly with water and sprinkle with remaining Tbsp sugar.  Transfer to oven and bake until top is golden brown and juice bubbles, 35-45 min.  Transfer to cooling rack, serve warm.
No Comments

Posted in recipes


cinnamon sticky buns

22 Jul

sticky-buns-9.jpg sticky-buns-10.jpg

Fasting seems to bring out the creative chef in everyone.  All day we think about what it is we are going to eat, and, of course, our dreams far surpass our capacity.  After a fast, my husband and I usually entertain invited and uninvited guests, and last night was no different.  I am usually  in the kitchen the better part of the day preparing for the feast, but since my friend, Sarah Lasry-Leizerowski offered a (humongous) side of herb encrusted salmon and a stupendous quiche (which I am craving right now!), and yet another friend was bringing eggplant parmesan, wraps, sushi, cheese blintzes and mini potato knishes, there wasn’t much for me to do  save for setting the table and making an onion soup.

But how can I just make almost nothing on a fast day? At 4:00pm, I decided to put up a dough for cinnamon sticky buns which I had made once before for my friend’s sons’ Bar Mitzvah.  The recipe was from the Simply Recipes Website and served warm out of the oven it was outrageous!  I doubled the recipe and timed one to come out of the oven shortly before serving time, and I put the other one (raw) in the freezer for another time.  This recipe is not difficult and worth every moment of effort.  It was the highlight of the meal and Sarah was not joking this morning when she said we were in a food-induced coma from all the yummy food last night!

Cinnamon Sticky Buns



  • 1/4 cup warm water (105° to 115°)
  • 1 (1/4-ounce) package active dry yeast
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 4 Tbsp. unsalted butter, plus more for greasing
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 1 Tbsp. finely grated orange zest
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon. salt
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting


  • 1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. ground cinnamon
  • 4 Tbsp. unsalted butter


  • 3/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 4 Tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 3 Tbsp. honey
  • 1 Tbsp. light corn syrup
  • 1 1/2 cups (6 ounces) coarsely chopped pecans


  • 3 oz cream cheese (room temperature)
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter (softened)
  • 1 1/2 cups confectionary sugar
1 Make the dough. In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine warm water, yeast and 1 tsp. sugar. Stir to dissolve and let sit until foamy, about 5 minutes. Add milk, butter, remaining sugar, egg yolks, orange zest, salt and 3 cups flour. Mix on low speed until blended. Switch to a dough hook and then, again on low speed, slowly incorporate the remaining 1 cup of flour, as needed. Increase speed to medium, kneading dough until smooth and slightly sticky (adding a little more flour if too wet), 3 to 5 minutes. Shape the dough into a ball and place in a large, buttered bowl. Turn dough over in bowl to coat with the butter from the bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 1 hour (or 2 hours if not in an entirely warm place). After the dough has risen, punch down. Turn out onto a lightly floured cutting board and let sit 20 minutes.

sticky-buns-1.jpg sticky-buns-2.jpg

2 Make the filling. Combine brown sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Melt butter; keep separate.

3 Roll dough out into a 12″ x 18″ rectangle. Brush with melted butter and sprinkle with cinnamon-sugar mixture. Starting with the long side, roll dough into a cylinder. Place seam side down on a flat surface and cut crosswise into 15 slices.

sticky-buns-3.jpg sticky-buns-4.jpg

sticky-buns-5.jpg sticky-buns-6.jpg

4 Make the topping. In a 1-quart saucepan, combine brown sugar, butter, honey and corn syrup over low heat; stir until sugar and butter are melted. Pour mixture into a greased 9″ x 13″ pan and sprinkle pecans on top.

sticky-buns-7.jpg sticky-buns-8.jpg

5 Place dough slices, flat side down, on top of prepared topping. Crowd them so they touch. Cover with plastic wrap, leaving room for the buns to rise.  You can rise till double in size or refrigerate overnight if you want to bake them fresh for breakfast.  If you do, remove the rolls from the refrigerator and let stand at room temperature while the oven pre-heats.

6 Preheat oven to 375°. Bake buns until golden, 30 to 35 minutes. Remove pan from oven and immediately (and carefully as not to spill hot topping on your toes!) invert onto a serving tray or baking dish. Let buns cool slightly and serve warm.

7.  Mix all glaze ingredients together and drizzle over the warm pastry.  The dough should not be too hot as the glaze will melt.

1 Comment

Posted in recipes