Category Archives: Pies and Tarts

Cherry Hand Pies

Tuesday, 14 March 2017

My Dad loves pies. I have vivid memories of going to Dupars in the Valley with my Dad when I was a little kid and ordering pie with him. He has hysterical stories that he tells about his interactions with the Dupar’s waitresses who I remember would wear uniforms with aprons. My dad is a charmer and I’m sure the old gals all loved him. I grew up thinking that my father’s favorite pies were banana cream pie and chocolate cream pie. Although it’s true that he loves those, his deepest pie dream is Cherry pie. I did not learn this until two months ago. Since then I have been working to perfect my crust and pie making ability. My Father is now 88-years old – not bad for a guy who has been smoking Marlborogh cigarettes for...

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Classic Pumpkin Pie

Tuesday, 13 December 2016

My grandmother used to make a delicious pumpkin chiffon pie. I started making it when I started making Thanksgiving but it was never quite as good my grandma's pie.  Also, it is a pie that takes a long time to make and gelatin is involved which, as a vegetarian is kind of a no-no as gelatin comes from critters.  I have tried several pumpkin pie recipes over the years looking for a good one that does not involve gelatin and that’s a bit easier than my Grandma’s.  Until now, I have had little success with the Thanksgiving pumpkin pie. I am now a self-proclaimed pumpkin pie wizard.  Here's my secret - do not use fresh pumpkin.  In the past, I would buy a sugar pumpkin and roast it and mash it, and use it for the pie but the thing...

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Apple Pie

Monday, 05 December 2016

It is Thanksgiving 2016. Even in this insane year there is much to be thankful for. Keeping it simple, let’s be thankful that Ellen discovered this Crunch-top Apple Pie who knows how many years ago. She usually insists on making it. Then she insists on serving it, and sometimes she even insists on deciding which guest gets to eat it (Susan…. remember that Thanksgiving?). This year we had a talk and she agreed that I could give it a go on my own. Here’s a photo of the Sunset cookbook with the recipe (on short-term loan to me), my gorgeous new rolling pin (works like a dream), and the PIE (not as pretty as Ellen Neiman’s but then it only took me 40 minutes start to finish and dollars to donuts it tastes the same as...

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Chicken Pot Pie

Monday, 31 March 2014

You have to be a masochist to make a chicken pot pie. Honestly. It is such a pain in the butt – so time consuming – exhausting in fact. And although homemade pot-pies are delicious - so are Mrs. Swanson’s and you don’t have to do anything other than buy it and pop it in the oven. I remember when I was a kid my parents would go out on Friday or Saturday night and our babysitter Maria Ceraceda or her sister Agnes (who, by the way, was President of the Davy Jones fan club - FYI) would make us dinner (Chicken Pot Pies, popcorn or hot fudge Sundays – parfait style) and we got to eat on TV trays in front of the TV. Best nights ever. Sometimes Maria would bring her boyfriend Renee over and he would teach us sign-language – that...

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Black Rice Crust Quiche

Sunday, 24 November 2013

Alan has great friends.  I get to have Alan's friend as my friends now by virtue of my association with Alan.  Lucky me.  Two of his friends invited us to their weekend house up in Idyllwild. They have invited us up about a dozen times and we can never go for a variety of reasons – all legitimate I might add - but this time it actually happened and the timing couldn't have been better because the following weekend it snowed! Their home is lovely, the fire warm and welcoming, the wine and vodka freely flowing. It’s in a pine forest, in a little valley community called Pine Cove. The views feature beautiful pine trees with a backdrop of the San Gorgonio mountains. Their home is filled with family heirlooms - from hooked rugs...

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You’re A Tart. Make A Tart. Peach Tart.

Sunday, 01 September 2013

(from Disa Fink in Denmark) I have written about this tart crust before but every time I need it I have to search wildly on Batch-33. It seems to be hidden in a section on Satsuma plums. This is really probably the best tart dough ever in the whole world (thank you Disa) and in summer when there is so much delicious stone fruit around and berries abound, I generally keep a crust or two frozen for last minute pie rustique! Tomorrow night Nick Barlow is coming for dinner and I’ll throw one together for him for sure! I’m hoping that by using the word “Tart” three times in the title of this posting that it will pop up quickly when I search for ‘tart crust’. Let’s hope. Down with frustration! Peach...

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French Apple Tart And More Lost Family

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

I think it was a little gutsy making a “French Apple Tart” just three days after Alex returned from a month-long trip to France…. That would be Paris, France. I know. I know. I know. You’re probably thinking hubris. But really it was more like foolhardiness I think. The thing is, it’s Fall. Fall is all about Apples – so so many kinds of apples. I made a commitment, back in the summer, that I was going to get close with apples this Fall. And it is now Fall. Fall lasts only so long so I had to get going and people were coming for dinner so it was the perfect moment to start my relationship with the apples. The people who were coming for dinner, in addition to Alex and Jared, happened to be Alan’s relatives – yes...

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A Pretty Thing – Satsuma Plums

Monday, 06 August 2012

My mom Ellen told me about the Satsuma Plums and the depth of their great inner beauty which seemed to elude us for jam making purposes. I wrote about that a week or so ago when I talked about making plum jam. What happened was that the man at the Farmer’s Market in Culver City was out of the Satsuma’s that he had promised us. It was a big disappointment but we found some other pesticide–free, red-inside plums and jammed with those – my mom included. Well this past Saturday morning, my neighbor Sue Kaplan showed up with 10-lbs of Satsuma plums which she claimed were ‘pesticide free.’ She didn’t look me in the eye when she said it so I’m not sure it was true but I decided to go with it. If it was deception, so be it. Sue...

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