Fruit tarts/pies/etc are my favorite type of dessert. When Joey and I visited my relatives in Hawaii, I had my first glimpse of a galette. It was divine. 3+ years later, I’ve made my first galette and oh my it is wonderful. The recipe is adapted from here, and here.

Gallivanting Peach Galette 

Serves 5


1/2 of Pate Brisse Recipe (courtesy of Martha)
4 Large peaches, sliced
1 Lime, juiced (or lemon)
1/3 cup and 2 Tbs. Sugar
1 Tbs. Cornstarch
1/2 Tsp. Salt (oops, I added 1 Tsp– c’est la vie)
1 Egg, large
1 Tbs. Milk

1. Make Pate Brisse Recipe and cool in refrigerator for at least 1 hour.
2. While the Pate Brisse is cooling, combine the sliced peaches, lime juice, 1/3 cup sugar, cornstarch and salt in a medium sized bowl.
3. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Upon removing the Pate Brisse from the icebox, place on counter for 10 minutes. Then roll out the dough into a rectangle (or circle)–whatever you like. Place parchment paper on your baking sheet. Roll the dough loosely over the rolling pin and transfer to baking sheet. Place fruit filling into the center of the dough leaving a 1.5 inch margin around all edges. Fold the edge over the filling, and marvel at the rustic beauty! Whisk the egg and milk together and brush over edge using a pastry brush. Sprinkle the remaining sugar over the crust.
4. Bake for 45-50 minutes until the edges are golden brown. Upon removal from the oven transfer to a cooling rack, otherwise the crust will be soggy. Serve with ice cream, yogurt or freshly whipped cream. Enjoy the deliciousness!!


Strawberry shortcake is one of my favorite desserts of all time! Instead of serving with whipped cream or ice cream, I often elect to drown the shortcake in milk. It is divine. I’ve adapted this recipe from Martha Stewart.

Strawberry Shortcake

Serves 8

6 cups Strawberries, quartered
1/2 cup and 2 Tb Sugar
3 cups All-purpose flour
4 Tsp Baking Powder
3/4 Tsp. Salt
12 Tb. Unsalted butter (1.5 sticks), diced into small pieces
1/2 cup Skim Milk
2 Eggs, large

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
2. Toss strawberries with 2 Tb. sugar and set aside.
3. In a large bowl, mix flour, baking powder, 1/2 cup sugar and salt. Add butter and stir until combined. (Alternatively you can use a mixer and pulse until the mixture has pea-sized specks of butter–about 10-12 pulses)
4. In another bowl, whisk the eggs and milk together. Pour over flour mixture and stir until mixed (Note: the dough is rather sticky)
5. Spoon batter on to a parchment paper lined cookie sheet. Bake in oven for about 20 minutes until slightly golden brown. Cool and serve with strawberries, milk and if you choose ice cream or freshly whipped cream.

It is too hot hot hot to cook… I think the heat index tomorrow is 110 degrees here in Durham. This leads me to an important observation:

Ice Cream for Dinner!!!
peach ice cream & triple berry sorbet
source: The Parlour’s facebook page

(followed by a salad for dessert)

If you are from around here, I highly recommend visiting Durham’s mobile-school bus turned ice cream truck, The Parlour. Please accept my apologies for no picture of the fabulous decadence that I have previously consumed. I seem to have forgotten to take them as a result of the heat delirium/ice cream bliss.

Last week in honour of the new season of True Blood our dear friends Steve and Sam had us over for a viewing party. Steve, another master baker scientist extraordinaire, made a delicious trifle. It was divine and reminded me of the mini-trifles Maureen made for our engagement party (Thanks Maureen!). Steve was gracious to share his recipe, so here it is!!

Peach Trifle (otherwise known as English Trifle, or True Blood food for humans)
1 Trifle Bowl — the presentation is one of the best parts of this dessert, so the trifle bowl is essential.

1 (18.25 ounce — standard size) package yellow cake mix [or double this recipe]
12 oz. raspberry jam
1 (29 ounce) can sliced peaches [or fresh peaches, if they are in season]
1/2 cup sherry or brandy
1 (6 serving size) vanilla pudding mix [or homemade vanilla pudding!]
3 cups milk
2 cups  heavy whipping cream
Sliced toasted almonds

1) Prepare the cake layers in 2, 9-inch round cake pans per the box’s instructions, i.e, 2 separated cakes for layering

2) Once cooled, place one layer in the bottom of the trifle dish. Cover with 1/2 jam, 1/2 peaches, 1/2 liquor, and some of the juice from the peaches.  Use up to 1/2 of the juice — this will determine the moistness of the cake — and 1/2 of the juice will yield a very moist, almost sloppy trifle.

3) Place the next layer of cake on top of all the ingredients that you just added.   Repeat the placement of the jam, peaches, and liquor in the same manner on top of the second layer of cake.

4) This step is optional in my opinion, but the classic recipe calls for it.  I think that the trifle is excellent without the pudding layer.  Prepare the vanilla pudding according to the package using the 3 cups of milk.  Pour the hot pudding over the top of the trifle; let cool.

5) When pudding is cool and set, whip fresh whipping cream and spread on top. Decorate with toasted sliced almonds.

Keeps well in the fridge, or eat it all at once if you are trifle obsessed! Goes well with coffee and vampires too.

Joey loves pie. I was in Montreal for a conference over his birthday, so I made a strawberry rhubarb pie as soon as I returned (along with the help of HP, aka the master baker). I was able to use the rest of the frozen strawberries, which made for quite a mess. I wanted to make pie crust, but didn’t have time–so I ran to Fresh Market to pick up frozen pie crust, which came to the rescue!

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie
Makes 2 pies

8 cups of strawberries, remove tops and sliced (If using frozen, defrost on the countertop for a few hours before slicing)
5 cups rhubarb, sliced and trimmed (use vegetable peeler to remove the rhubarb skin)
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup cornstarch (add 2 Tb more if using frozen strawberries as there is excess liquid)
1 Tb cinnamon
1/2 Tsp salt
4 store bought pie crusts (or use your favorite recipe)
2 Egg yolks + 1 Tb water, for glaze

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Mix the brown sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon and salt. Fold in strawberries and rhubarb. Spoon filling into the pie crusts. With the remaining top crusts, cut into strips. To make a lattice pattern, place ~12 strips all in one direction and then place ~6 strips in the other direction. You may have to combine the scraps and roll out with a rolling pin in order to have enough strips. For fun, make leaf patterns on crust. The easiest way to do this is to use a knife to cut out a leaf shape. Draw a line down the center of the leaf and then make indentations along each side of this line. Place two leaves near each other on the edge of the crust and place a “berry” in between. Use a fork to crimp the edge of the crust. Mix the egg yolks with water and use a pastry brush to spread glaze on top of the lattice and decorations.

Place pies on a large cookie sheet and place in the oven. Bake for 20 minutes at 400 degrees and then lower the temperature to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, bake for 60-90 minutes or until the pie is set and the crust is brown. Remove from oven and let cool completely. Serve with vanilla ice cream.

“Bleeding” strawberry juice from the frozen strawberries. Using frozen strawberries in pie is certainly messy!