pie, crisps, & tarts

Pie, crisps, & tarts are spectacular vehicles for baking up fruits and vegetables into a single delicious dish. Sweet or savory, pies, crisps, & tarts are juicy, crispy, satiating ways for nature’s greatest produce to meet and unite. Some of my favorite recipes incorporate sweet and savory ingredients into one deeply satisfying package.

Chocolate, peanut butter, and caramel are all synonymous with delicious. In these chocolate peanut butter caramel tarts, chocolate, peanut butter, and caramel unite for a treat that is part pastry, part hand-pie, and somewhat resembles a classic Reese’s peanut butter cup

The chocolate shell is a cross between a cookie and pie crust and is a delectable companion to the chewy, creamy peanut butter caramel. Chocolate peanut butter caramel tarts are the perfect amount of decadence in a few small bites. 


for the chocolate tart shells

  • 1 ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup (1 stick) butter, cut into ½-inch pieces
  • 4-5 tablespoons ice water

for the peanut butter caramel

  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup water
  • ½ cup smooth natural peanut butter

chocolate tart steps

In a food processor or medium-sized bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, and salt until evenly combined. Add in the cubes of butter and pulse if using the food processor or press and pinch into the cocoa-flour mixture if making it by hand.

Slowly add in the ice water, one tablespoon at a time until the dough comes together. Be careful not to overmix or overhandle the dough so as not to soften the butter. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1-2 hours. 

peanut butter caramel steps

Heat the sugar in a small saucepan over medium-high heat until the sugar begins to melt, about 7 minutes. Do not stir the sugar at all during this time and instead swirl it around in the pot. Once the sugar is halfway melted, slowly add in the water and the peanut butter. Cook for another 7-10 minutes stirring constantly until the caramel thickens. Set aside to cool.

assembly and baking steps

Preheat the oven to 350°F. 

On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough and cut into circles. I used a 2 ¾-inch round cutter, but you can use the top of a jar or can. Grease a muffin pan with butter or a non-stick spray and push the circles into each muffin hole and pierce the bottom with a fork. Bake for 4 minutes then remove from the oven and add 1 tablespoon of peanut butter caramel to each cup and bake for another 15 minutes. Let cool slightly and serve!

Pears are one of my favorite succulent winter fruits known for their distinct shape and texture. Need I mention their health benefits, robust fiber content, or versatility? They can be added to salads or stews, served as a sweet companion to meat or cheese, or baked into a delightful crostada, galette, tart, or in this case, a pie – pear and marzipan pie!

This pear and marzipan pie’s pear filling is only slightly sweetened in order to balance the almond extract-enriched, sugary marzipan which lays atop it. With its flaky, buttery crust, tender filling, and marzipan topping, this pear and marzipan pie will chase your winter blues away. 


for the crust

  • 1 cup flour
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • ½ cup (1 stick) butter, cut into ½ inch cubes
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider or white vinegar

for the filling

  • 3 pears, sliced
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon ginger
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch

for the marzipan topping

  • 1 cup blanched almond meal or flour
  • ½ cup confectioners sugar
  • 1 teaspoon almond or vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons corn syrup
  • Pinch of salt

crust steps

Place the flour, sugar, and salt in a large bowl and mix to combine. In a separate bowl or measuring cup, combine the water and the vinegar and set aside. 

Sprinkle the cubes of butter into the flour mixture and toss them around. Pinch and press the flour into the pieces of butter until it is combined. The dough will be shaggy and there will be various-sized pieces of butter. Slowly drizzle in the water and vinegar mixture and continue to squeeze the dough together until it forms a ball. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1-2 hours.

filling steps

Thinly slice the pears and add them to a bowl. Cover them in granulated sugar and mix. Then add the lemon juice, lemon zest, ginger, and salt. Mix in the cornstarch. Set aside.

marizpan topping steps

Place the almond flour or meal, confectioners sugar, extract, corn syrup, and salt in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse to combine. The consistency will be sticky, slightly crumbly, and slightly oily. Scrape the sides, turn out the mixture onto a floured surface and shape into a ball. Roll out the marzipan and cut into any shape you would like.

pie assembly steps

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Remove the chilling pie crust from the refrigerator and press it into a pie dish. Bake the pie for ~45 minutes until the marzipan and crust turn golden.

Strudel is a fundamental part of Austrian cuisine as well as its famous coffee culture. Who couldn’t love flaky apfelstrudel (apple strudel) as a delicious breakfast or midday snack with a cup of coffee? I can personally enjoy it any time of day – kind of like its savory relative, cabbage strudel.

Cabbage sauteed in olive oil and caraway seasoned with salt and pepper is folded into the paper-thin strudel dough, brushed in butter, and baked until crispy. Cabbage strudel is incredibly inexpensive to make and is deeply comforting.

I always love hearing my mom’s stories about her grandmother rolling out the strudel dough on a large tablecloth and how she would help roll it up. Something about this just makes my soul feel warm. 

Here, I split the dough into two smaller portions to make it more manageable while retaining that classic strudel flavor and texture.

Note about flour: my family always used Hecker’s flour, but any high-protein flour, like King Arthur, will work. 


for the dough

  • 1 ¼ cups flour
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons neutral oil, divided
  • ⅓ cup lukewarm water
  • Flour for rolling out dough

for the apple filling

  • 4 tart, crisp apples, peeled, cored, and thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ½ cup raisins
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted, divided
  • ½ cup breadcrumbs

for the cabbage filling

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ large head of cabbage (about 2 cups) cut into ½ inch strips
  • 2 teaspoons caraway seeds
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

for brushing the strudel

4 tablespoons (½ stick) butter, melted

dough steps

Place the flour and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer and mix with the paddle. Slowly add in the water and 3 tablespoons of the oil and mix until combined. Replace the paddle with the dough hook and knead for 5 minutes until the dough is soft and pliable. Coat a medium-sized bowl with the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil and place the dough inside. Cover and let sit for 30 minutes to let the gluten relax.

apple filling steps

In a large bowl, combine the apples, lemon zest, sugar, raisins, and cinnamon. Mix thoroughly and let sit.

cabbage filling steps

Heat the olive oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Add the caraway seeds and toast them for 5 minutes, then add the cabbage, salt, and pepper. Let cook, stirring occasionally.

assembly steps

Preheat the oven to 425°F. Divide the dough in half and starting with the first half, roll out as thinly as possible on a lightly flour surface, using a rolling pin. Lift the dough from the surface and slowly and carefully stretch it by rotating it in the air. Place the thin dough on a piece of parchment paper and brush with butter. Cover ⅓ of the surface area with breadcrumbs and layer on the apple mixture. Fold over the sides and slowly roll the dough over itself from the filled side. Place on a baking sheet and brush with melted butter.

Repeat the rolling process with the second piece of dough, place on a sheet of parchment paper, and brush with butter. Then add the cabbage, fold over the sides, and roll up the dough. Place it on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and brush with butter.

Bake for 45 minutes until golden brown and flaky. Dust the apple strudel with powdered sugar before serving. Enjoy the strudel hot or cold!

Back in the summer, I became obsessed with picking wild raspberries from the various brambles that grow around our house and nearby. Wild raspberries are a bit of a prickly plant, so it was quite a production to pick a high volume of berries every day. Nonetheless, I persisted for my love of raspberries and for sharing the delicious creations that I made from them. I picked gallons of berries a day and made jars of jam and pints of sorbet. And, I froze a great deal.

Months later, it is now the dead of winter and the grey day doldrums are really kicking in. Though I love winter and its coziness, I do require the occasional reminder of brightness. Enter: my frozen raspberries from months past which I transformed into lemon raspberry curd.

This lemon raspberry curd pie is rewarding in so many ways. It is like a giant lemon bar meets raspberry pie and can be made into one giant pie, individual mini tarts, or cut into bars. The filling is quite rewarding to make and the natural color provides a beautiful taste of summer!


for the crust

  • ½ cup (1 stick) butter, cut into ½ inch cubes (cut in half then in half again)
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 tablespoons ice water
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

for the filling

  • 2 cups raspberries
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • ¼ cup lemon zest
  • 4 eggs
  • ½ cup (1 stick) butter
  • Powdered sugar

crust steps

Place the flour, sugar, and salt in a large bowl and mix to combine. Combine the water and the apple cider vinegar and set aside. 

Sprinkle the cubes of butter into the flour mixture and give it a toss. Use your fingers or a dough blender to press and pinch the flour into the pieces of butter until combined. The dough will be shaggy and there will be different sized pieces of butter. Slowly drizzle in the water vinegar mixture and continue to press and pinch the dough until it forms a ball. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1-2 hours.

filling steps

Add the raspberries to a medium or large pot and cook over medium-high, mashing continuously, until the berries begin to break down and release their juices, about 7-10 minutes. Transfer to a blender or food processor and puree until smooth. Strain in a mesh sieve and return the strained juice to the pan.

In a medium-sized bowl, combine the sugar, lemon juice and lemon zest. Add the eggs and mix thoroughly. Pour the entire mixture into the pan with the raspberries. Cook on medium-low for about 5 minutes until all of the ingredients are combined. Add the butter and stir constantly until it melts. Continue cooking for another 10-12 minutes until the mixture thickens.

assembly steps

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Roll out the crust and press it into a 9-inch pie dish. Bake the crust for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and add the filling. Bake for another 35-40 minutes. Let cool and sprinkle with powdered sugar.