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Entries in Desserts (29)


Recipe: French Apple Tart

French Apple Tart

Adopted from Saveur (recipe by Sara Moulton)

Yield: 11 inch tart pan


1 1/4 c flour, plus more for dusting

12 Tbsp unsalted butter, cubed and chilled

1/4 t kosher salt

7 Golden Delicious apples, peeled, cored and halved

1/4 c sugar

1/2 c apricot jam

Whipped cream or vanilla ice cream, for serving


Combine flour, 8 Tbsp butter and salt in a food processor and pulse until pea-size crumbles form, about 10 pulses. Drizzle in 3 Tbsp ice-cold water and pulse until dough is moistened, about 3-4 pulses. Transfer dough to a work surface and form into a flat disk; wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Unwrap dough and transfer to a lightly floured work surface. Using a rolling pin, flatten dough into a 13 inch circle and then transfer to a 11 inch tart pan with a removable bottom. Trim edges; chill for one hour.

Heat oven to 375 degrees F. Working with one apple at a time, thinly and evenly slice into sections, keeping slices together. Press sliced apple half gently to fan it out; repeat with remaining apple halves. Place 1 fanned apple apple half on outer edge of the tart dough, pointing inward; repeat with 7 more apple halves. 

Separate remaining apple slices. Starting where the apple halves touch and working your way in, layer apples to create a tight rose pattern. Fill in any gaps with remaining apple. Sprinkle with sugar and then dot with remaining butter. Bake until golden brown, 60-70 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat apricot jam in a small saucepan until warmed and loose; pour through a fine strainer into a small bowl and set aside. Transfer tart to a wire rack; using a pastry brush, brush top of tart with jam. Let cool completely before slicing and serving with whipped cream.


Recipe: Spiced Pear Cake

Spiced Pear Cake

Adapted from Bake or Break

Yield: 12-16 servings


For the Cake

3 c all-purpose flour

2 t baking powder

1 t baking soda

1 1/2 t ground cinnamon

1/2 t salt

1/2 t ground cloves

1/4 t ground allspice

1/4 t freshly ground nutmeg

1 c unsalted butter, softened

1 c granulated sugar

1 c packed light brown sugar

4 large eggs

1 t vanilla extract

1 c sour cream

2 large pears, cut into small pieces (about 2 cups)

For the Glaze

4 oz cream cheese, softened

1 1/2 c confectioners sugar

1/2 t vanilla extract

1/2 t ground cinnamon

2-3 Tbsp milk

Pecans for decorating (optional)


To make the cake:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F

Generously grease a 10 c Bundt pan

Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, cloves, allspice and nutmeg. Set aside.

Using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Mix in vanilla.

Add flour mixture alternating with sour cream until just combined. Stir in pears with a spatula or wooden spoon.

Transfer batter to prepared pan. Bake for 50-55 minutes, or until a pick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.

Cool in pan on wire rack for 10 minutes, then remove cake from pan onto wire rack to cool completely.

To make the glaze:

Using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat cream cheese, confectioners sugar, vanilla and cinnamon until smooth. Add milk, 1 tablespoon at a time, mixing until glaze is pourable.

Poor glaze over cooled cake. Sprinkle chopped pecans on top, if using.  Allow glaze to set for 10-15 minutes before serving.


Recipe: Plum Cake

Plum Cake

Adopted from Martha Stewart Recipes

Yield: 9 inch cake, 8-10 servings


1 1/2 c plus 2 Tbsp all purpose flour (spooned and leveled)

1/2 t baking powder

1/4 t salt

1/2 c packed light brown sugar

3 large eggs

1 t pure vanilla extract

2 t finely grated lemon zest

1/4 c sour cream

3 plums, halved, pitted and cut into eighths

Confectioners sugar, for dusting


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Butter an 8-by-2 inch or 9-inch cake pan and line bottom with a round parchment.

In a bowl, whisk together 1 1/2 c flour, baking soda and salt.

Using an electric mixer, beat butter and sugars until light and fluffy. With mixer on low, beat in eggs, one at a time until incorporated; beat in vanilla and lemon zest. Beat in 1/2 flour mixture, then sour cream. Add remaining four mixture. Mix just until combined.

Spread batter into pan and smooth top with a knife. In the bowl, toss plums with 2 Tbsp flour and push gently into batter. (You want the fruit to show through the top; the flour should prevent it from sinking into the batter.)

Bake until cake is golden, about 30 minutes; loosely tent with foil and bake until cake pulls away from side of pan and cake tester inserted in center comes out clean, about 35 minutes more.

Let cool in pan for 15 minutes. Run knife around cake edge and remove cake from pan. Dust with confectioners sugar before serving.


Recipe: Plum Tart

Plum Tart

Recipe adapted from Amanda Hessler,

Yield: 11 inch tart (8 servings)


1 1/2 cup plus 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour

3/4 t kosher salt

3/4 c plus 1 t sugar

1/4 c vegetable or canola oil

1/4 mild olive oil

2 Tbsp whole milk

1/2 t almond extract

2 Tbsp cold, unsalted butter

20 small Italian plums (1 1/2 to 2 lbs)


Heat oven to 425 degrees F

In a mixing bowl, stir together 1 1/2 c flour, 1/2 t salt and 1 t sugar.

In a small bowl, whisk together the oils, milk and almond extract. Pour this mixture into the flour mixture and mix gently with a fork, just enough to dampen. Do not overwork the dough.

Transfer the dough to an 11-inch tart pan and use your hands to pat out the dough so it covers the bottom of the pan, pushing it up the sides to meet the edge. It should be about 1/8 inch thick all around. Trim and discard the excess.

In a bowl, combine 3/4 c sugar, 2 Tbsp flour, 1/4 t salt and the butter. Using your fingers, pinch the butter into the dry ingredients until crumbly, with a mixture of fine granules and tiny pebbles.

Arrange the plums in concentric circles, cut-side-up on the pastry, leaning against each other like fallen dominos; they should fit snugly. Sprinkle the sugar-butter mixture over top (it will seem like a lot).

Bake for 35-45 minutes, until shiny, thick bubbles begin enveloping the fruit and the crust is slightly brown. Cool on a rack. Serve warm or at room temperature, preferably with generous dollops of whipped cream.


Recipe: Stone Fruit Tea Cake

Stone Fruit Tea Cake

Adopted from Rustic Fruit Desserts

Yield: 10-12 servings

Tea Cake is not overly sweet and tastes great as an afternoon snack paired with tea or coffee. Neither cake nor tart, this dessert defies description: a fruit filled shortbread perhaps? This dough freezes well and can be pulled out of the freezer on short notice, anytime you have extra fruit on hand. 


1 Tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature, for the pan

2 1/4 c all-purpose flour

1 t baking powder

1 t fine sea salt

1 c granulated sugar

3/4 c (6 oz) unsalted butter, at room temperature

3 eggs

1 T pure vanilla extract

2 1/2 c coursely chopped mixed stone fruit, fresh or frozen

1 T turbino sugar


Whisk the flour, baking powder and salt together in a bowl.

Using a handheld mixer with beaters, or a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, cream the sugar and butter together on medium-high speed for 3-5 minutes, until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl after each addition, then add the vanilla.  Add the flour mixture and stir just  until a smooth dough forms. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap, flatten into a 1 inch-thick disk and freeze for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter a shallow 10 inch round baking pan or tart pan.

Divide the dough into two equal portions and pat one portion evenly into the bottom of the prepared pan. Spread the fruit over the dough. Break the remainder of the dough into tablespoon-size pieces and distribute atop the fruit, then sprinkle the turbino sugar over the dessert.

Bake for approximately 45 minutes*, or until lightly golden brown and firm. Cool for 30 minutes before serving.