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Category Archives: Pies and Tarts

Happy Thanksgiving!

Written on October 13, 2014 at 7:25 pm, by

It’s never too late to say it – Happy Thanksgiving! I am grateful for so many things … this pecan pie is one of them.

Righteous Pie

Written on November 17, 2013 at 11:44 am, by

Every now and then, I like to feed my cookbook habit by checking out what titles will be released in the months to come. I will scour the publisher sites, as well as the big book retailer sites, and augment my already ridiculous cookbook wishlist with even more cookbooks. More more more! I remember the  Continue Reading »

Breaking Up Is Hard To Do.

Written on September 16, 2012 at 6:49 pm, by

Summer, I’m breaking up with you. It was nice while it lasted but there’s a new love in my life and he’s called Fall. He’ll be here any day now. We had a good time, Summer. There were the pretty dresses and the flip flops; the nights on the patio and the barbecues; the fruity  Continue Reading »

Magazine Mondays: Zucchini!

Written on June 25, 2012 at 7:11 pm, by

For me, one of the signs that summer has truly arrived is the opening of the farmer’s market at Nathan Phillips Square. The farmer’s market is part of Fresh Wednesdays, a summer event at the square every Wednesday. It’s a lovely destination for the many people who work in the nearby downtown area – it’s  Continue Reading »

Magazine Mondays: Pie. Chocolate Pie.

Written on June 18, 2012 at 2:09 pm, by

Wow. It has been a long time between Magazine Mondays! Whilst I try not to chew off my nails during the Italy-Ireland game at the 2012 Euros, I thought putting up a new MM post might be a good way to relax. What better way to take your mind of hot, sweaty men in shorts  Continue Reading »

Magazine Mondays: Pizza Pie!

Written on November 7, 2011 at 9:34 pm, by

When they said that an apple a day keeps the doctor away, they did not specify in what form you had to consume the apple. I choose to consume my apple in the form of pie, pie and more pie. Growing up, apple pie was “the” dessert in our house. My mom baked a lot  Continue Reading »

Magazine Mondays: Back with Pie

Written on October 17, 2011 at 4:00 pm, by

My goodness it has been a long time! It’s been far too long between Magazine Mondays posts and for that I apologize. What can I say? I’ve had a lot of busy Mondays since the last one! I’m back, though, and not a moment too soon. While my efforts to curtail magazine purchases in 2011  Continue Reading »

One Final Goodbye …

Written on October 5, 2011 at 7:40 pm, by

I am an autumn baby and the fall is my time. I am not, however, completely immune to the allure of summer. It’s hard to not feel right with the world on a beautiful, warm summer evening when the sun is still out and the air is warm and sweet. It’s hard not to feel  Continue Reading »

Magazine Mondays: Strawberries … And Family …

Written on July 4, 2011 at 7:25 pm, by

I hope everyone is enjoying a tremendous holiday season. I certainly had a great Canada Day and as often happens in life, my family got a reminder of what’s important: your loved ones. This is a short Magazine Mondays post and it’s all about the simple and good things: pastry, hand-picked strawberries, pie and lots  Continue Reading »

Happy Canada Day!

Written on July 1, 2011 at 9:54 am, by

I want to wish all my fellow Canadians, wherever you are, the happiest of Canada Days! I hope it’s full of good weather, smiles, pie and strawberries! Ciao!

Magazine Mondays: Chocolate!

Written on February 21, 2011 at 6:39 pm, by

When it came time to bake for Valentine’s Day, I had a tough choice between Red Velvet Shortbread Cookies and this luscios tart from Food & Wine. Ever the diplomat, I made both! For last week’s edition of Magazine Mondays, I featured the cookies but for this week I’m sharing with you a most delicious  Continue Reading »

A Daring Crostata

Written on November 27, 2010 at 12:30 am, by

The 2010 November Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Simona of briciole. She chose to challenge Daring Bakers’ to make pasta frolla for a crostata. She used her own experience as a source, as well as information from Pellegrino Artusi’s Science in the Kitchen and the Art of Eating Well. This month’s challenge for the  Continue Reading »

Magazine Mondays … On the Road Again!

Written on November 7, 2010 at 5:48 am, by

Wow. Feels like forever since I posted! I have to apologize for my absence but I am in the middle of a big work project and by the time I get home at night there’s not much left in the tank for blogging (or baking). Just wanted to drop you a note to say that  Continue Reading »

Crostata. A Revelation.

Written on October 20, 2010 at 12:30 am, by

Today is six weeks to the day that I returned from Italy. That is stunning to me because in my mind, I still feel very much there. In the mornings, in particular, I can recreate my time in Italy with such clarity that I swear I’m sitting at my kitchen table in our little house  Continue Reading »

Magazine Mondays: Apricots!

Written on October 4, 2010 at 12:30 am, by

If you live somewhere where apricots are still in season that I am insanely jealous of you. I adore apricots, and yet, I find it more and more difficult to find really good apricots in the summer time. Some of our family members have apricot trees so I try to be extra nice to them  Continue Reading »


Written on September 21, 2010 at 2:06 pm, by

I have been thinking about endings lately. As I looked at the calendar and noted that today is the last full day of summer, I thought that the end of another season has come with a new one to begin. Today was also another ending of sorts. My mom and I attended the funeral of  Continue Reading »

Magazine Mondays: Ricotta!

Written on September 20, 2010 at 12:30 am, by

I would like to thank Tia of Buttercream Barbie; Tina of Life in the Slow Lane at Squirrel Head Manor and Janie of Panini Girl for guest-hosting Magazine Mondays while I was away. Thank you, ladies! While I was in Italy, I was fortunate enough to enjoy some really delicious and fresh ricotta. For my  Continue Reading »

Magazine Mondays: More Rhubarb!

Written on May 17, 2010 at 6:48 pm, by

Hot on the heels of my delicious baked rhubarb, I bring you Rhubarb Tartlets from Issue 9 of Jamie Oliver’s magazine. I am a huge fan of tartlets. This is mainly due to the fact that I can pretend that I am eating a pie all by myself (a dream of mine) and I don’t  Continue Reading »

Magazine Mondays: Apples!

Written on January 18, 2010 at 7:08 pm, by

In October, Mama Cream Puff and I bought a bushel of the most beautiful Jonagold apples we’d seen in a long time. Locally grown, their gorgeous colour was enough to tempt us, nevermind how delicious they were! For the first month or so we ate so many out of hand that I didn’t give much  Continue Reading »

The 12 Days of Cookbooks: Day 8

Written on December 8, 2009 at 12:30 am, by

And on the eigth day of the 12 Days of Cookbooks I give you Domenica Marchetti’s Big Night In: More Than 100 Wonderful Recipes for Feeding Family and Friends Italian-Style. Domenica Marchetti is a cookbook author of Italian background who has very quickly become one of my favourites. I also own her book The Glorious  Continue Reading »

The 12 Days of Cookbooks: Day 7

Written on December 7, 2009 at 12:30 am, by

And on the seventh day of the 12 Days of Cookbooks I give you Carole Bloom’sBite-Size Desserts: Creating Mini Sweet Treats, from Cupcakes and Cobblers to Custards and Cookies. Carole Bloom is yet another brilliant pastry chef and cookbook author who I am lucky enough to “know” through her books. I own several of them  Continue Reading »

Happy Thanksgiving!

Written on October 12, 2009 at 5:41 am, by

Today is Thanksgiving Day in Canada and next to Christmas, it is my favourite holiday. Even though our background is Italian, we have embraced this North American holiday to the fullest! Turkey. Stuffing. Squash. Cranberries. Gravy. Lots o’ gravy. Pecans. Brussel sprouts. Potatoes. Rolls. Pie. You name it, it’s on the table. This year, among  Continue Reading »

I Confect

Written on October 7, 2009 at 6:39 pm, by

I love Cath of A Blithe Palate for many, many reasons, not the least of which being that every now and then, unto my life, she will bring joy in the form of a cookbook. That’s what I call a fabulous virtual friend. Were I ever to meet her in person, I just might smother  Continue Reading »

… and I’m Back!

Written on September 14, 2009 at 5:47 pm, by

Cream Puff is back! I had an amazing vacation in Italy. I spent three weeks enjoying my family and friends, all the while surrounded by the most incredible food and wine. And best of all, I got to stay in our little house that we finished renovating last year. It was truly a magical vacation.  Continue Reading »

True Story. The Dog ate my Skate.

Written on July 16, 2009 at 7:41 pm, by

Okay. That’s not a true story. For starters I don’t have a dog and secondly, there was no skate to be eaten. And by skate I’m referring to the fish and not the footwear. Don’t be afraid. I have not gone crazy. I speak of the July 2009 Daring Cooks’ challenge that you may have  Continue Reading »

Magazine Mondays: Dulce de Leche Ice Cream Tartlets!

Written on July 6, 2009 at 12:30 am, by

Oh, people! Get thee to Food & Wine and print thee a copy of this recipe now! (Don’t forget the Vanilla-Caramel Sauce and the Mocha Fudge Sauce). This is a winner by every standard that I use to judge recipes. Delicious. Beautiful to look at. Easy. The only warning I give you is that you  Continue Reading »

Magazine Mondays: Tarts!

Written on April 20, 2009 at 12:30 am, by

I’m back with one of my favourite Magazine Mondays post in a long time. This recipe hasn’t been bookmarked for very long. I was sitting on the subway a few weeks ago, on the ride home, trying not to nod off. I pulled out the April 2009 issue of Bon Appétit and on page 23,  Continue Reading »

Happy New Year!!!

Written on December 31, 2008 at 3:14 pm, by

Wait. What?! 2009 … already … but where did 2008 go??? Okay … well … while I try to figure that question out I hope you’re all enjoying yourselves with much good food and drink. I had a heck of a time trying to figure out what the official goodbye to 2008 dessert would be  Continue Reading »

My New Favourite Thing

Written on December 3, 2008 at 10:34 pm, by

Cream Puffs in Venice readers, meet my new favourite French Apple Tart. French Apple Tart, meet Cream Puffs in Venice readers. I was introduced to my new favourite French Apple Tart in the whole wide world by Ina Garten, author of the brand new Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics. When I write reviews, I try  Continue Reading »

Happy Thanksgiving!

Written on October 13, 2008 at 6:08 am, by

It’s Thanksgiving Day in Canada and like so many other Canadians, we’re enjoying the beauty of the harvest. It’s been a beautiful holiday weekend, certainly one to make you remember that inspite of the strange times we find ourselves living in, there is much to be thankful for. As always, I’m most thankful for my  Continue Reading »

Apple Days and Chilly Nights

Written on October 6, 2008 at 1:01 am, by

You’ll have to forgive me but the fall brings out both the best and the corniest in me. I just love this time of year and I’m not afraid to get all mushy about it. Go ahead. Mock me if you must. But this is MY time of year and I’m going to enjoy every  Continue Reading »

Hello, Autumn!

Written on September 22, 2008 at 7:01 pm, by

While I’m still trying to hold on to a bit of summer, I’m also happily welcoming my favourite season of the year, Autumn. What can I say? I’m a sucker for leaves changing colour, frosty mornings, cool but sunny days and that feeling of winter, just around the corner. Oh yes … and HOCKEY!!! Just  Continue Reading »

Saturday August 2, 2008; 3:37 p.m.

Written on September 9, 2008 at 5:21 am, by

Saturday August 2, 2008; 3:37 p.m. That is the exact time that my vacation started. That is the time of the last e-mail I sent (to Lis, for the record). Right after that e-mail, I turned off my computer, and shortly thereafter left for the airport. And so began three weeks of computer-free living in  Continue Reading »

See You in September … or Thereabouts

Written on August 1, 2008 at 11:31 pm, by

Happy August, my friends! This is a short post to let you know that I’m heading to Italy to visit my family for three weeks! I will be gone for almost all of August. While I am Canadian in every sense, I cannot deny the bond I feel with the country where my parents were  Continue Reading »

Go Figure!

Written on July 28, 2008 at 6:15 pm, by

Go figure! For this week’s edition of Magazine Mondays, I’m featuring a recipe that I came this close to dumping in the food waste bin. When I bought the 2007 April/May issue of Taste Italia, I immediately bookmarked a recipe for Apricot Almond Shortbread (Frollino di albicocca e mandorla). For starters, the title is slightly  Continue Reading »

Peachy Keen

Written on July 14, 2008 at 7:49 pm, by

I love peaches. Love ’em. And any time I can find a dessert that showcases them I’m always game. I’ve said before and I’ll say it again that one of my very favourite summer experiences is the chance to eat a sun-warmed peach and have all those sweet juices running down your hand. It’s truly  Continue Reading »

Coping …

Written on July 9, 2008 at 9:37 pm, by

Monday was a great start to the week, but sometimes you need a little something to help you cope with the rest of it. Here’s a sweet little strawberry tart from Lori Longbotham’s incredible Luscious Berry Desserts. I bought this cookbook last year and indulged in some recipes both here and here. This one is  Continue Reading »

Strawberry Monday!

Written on July 7, 2008 at 4:27 pm, by

For this Monday’s edition of Magazine Mondays, I bring you not one but two desserts with strawberries! Is there anything better than a locally grown, perfectly ripe strawberry? I would argue that among all the gifts that the garden gives us, the strawberry ranks as one of the very best. We’ve been indulging in fresh  Continue Reading »

Let the Sunshine In!

Written on April 8, 2008 at 5:35 pm, by

I just can’t help myself! The weather has been so gorgeous lately as spring finally begins to show itself, little by little. Perhaps it’s the long winter that we had or the fact that for a good two months I had almost no time to think about anything outside of work, but I’m just so  Continue Reading »

Pucker Up!

Written on January 28, 2008 at 1:01 am, by

Welcome to the first Daring Baker challenge for 2008! Wow! It seems like yesterday that we were just getting ready for the holidays and it’s hard to believe that the first month of the new year is already almost over. This month’s host is one of our longest standing members, the lovely Jen of The  Continue Reading »

News + News + Tart = Monday

Written on November 12, 2007 at 5:49 pm, by

While I don’t have a Magazine Mondays entry this week, I’ve been a bit too busy to hit the magazine pile recently, I did think it a good idea to keep the general housekeeping theme for Mondays with this catch-all post. I’ve got some news and a tart that will make your mouth water! First  Continue Reading »

Apples, Apples Everywhere!

Written on October 9, 2007 at 6:23 pm, by

To be sure, one of the highlights of the fall are apples. I could go on and on about the beauty of this fruit (and yes … of course … the temptation of it all), but I’m sure you all know that there’s not much better than a juicy, crisp apple. While we enjoyed our  Continue Reading »

SHF #35: The Beautiful Fig

Written on September 4, 2007 at 7:45 pm, by

It is my great honour to announce that I am the host of the 35th edition of Sugar High Friday! Created by Jennifer of The Domestic Goddess over two years ago, Sugar High Friday is an event to celebrate all that is sweet in our lives. Every type of sweet imagineable has been explored over  Continue Reading »

Daring Bakers Get Tarty!

Written on August 28, 2007 at 9:01 pm, by

Some months, I wait anxiously for the day to post the Daring Baker challenge. And then other months, like this one, I wake up one morning only to find that the month is almost gone and the Daring Baker challenge is about to escape me. My friends, it has been a busy and frenzied month  Continue Reading »

SHF #34: Good Things Grow in Ontario!

Written on August 25, 2007 at 2:57 pm, by

While many people are familiar with the City of Toronto, I often feel that not enough people know that Toronto is located within the province of Ontario (Canada is divided into ten provinces and three territories). For those of us who live in Ontario, we’re blessed to be in a location where both urban and  Continue Reading »

A Birthday Wish

Written on August 16, 2007 at 6:00 pm, by

Today is the great Julia Child’s birthday! To honour this day, Lisa of Champaign Taste is hosting the second annual food blog event to honour the birth of one of the most influential women in food history. Not bad for someone who didn’t start cooking seriously until she was in her 30s! What else can  Continue Reading »

Farewell, My Beauties!

Written on July 21, 2007 at 8:06 am, by

The glory of strawberry season is profound, yet so fleeting! Just as quickly as the lovely red berries make an appearance, they’re gone, leaving behind a deep longing that will last for another year. Several years ago, I began cultivating a strawberry plant in our backyard garden. Happily, that one plant has now multiplied into  Continue Reading »

Adrift …

Written on July 13, 2007 at 10:33 pm, by

… in a sea of blueberries! And I can’t imagine a better place to be. I’m off to Montreal for a few days but I leave you with this incredible blueberry tart. I hope it helps get you through the weekend. Naturally, it’s from Lori Longbotham’s must-have cookbook: Luscious Berry Desserts. Bon weekend! Ciao!

Pie of Comfort

Written on May 1, 2007 at 12:16 am, by

During the winter, I wrote a post about rice pudding and how I find it one of the most comforting dishes imaginable. A mere spoonful of rice pudding will cure whatever ails me and I suspect that it’s the same for so many other who enjoy this dish. For this reason, as I looked through  Continue Reading »

At Home with Giada

Written on April 16, 2007 at 12:11 am, by

I certainly hope Jamie Oliver doesn’t mind, but I’ve been cheating on him with Giada De Laurentiis. Can you blame me? While I rarely watch her television program, Everyday Italian, I am a fan of her cookbooks. I don’t think anyone would disagree when I say that they very clearly fall into the category of  Continue Reading »

And a Happy Easter to You!

Written on April 8, 2007 at 9:05 am, by

Those rumours that I kept hearing about the Easter Bunny being spotted in our neighbourhood proved to be true. The house is full of baskets of eggs and Easter lilies. At the moment, my mother is in the midst of working her magic as the incredible meal that we will be enjoying this afternoon begins  Continue Reading »

SHF #27: The Amedei High

Written on January 21, 2007 at 10:14 pm, by

Ah, the joys of a sugar high! January’s sugar high is being hosted by none other than David Lebovitz who clearly knows that chocolate is king … and queen for that matter. The theme for SHF #27 is Chocolate by Brand. When I bake, I generally use Lindt chocolate, which is easy to find in  Continue Reading »

Cookbook Spotlight: Baking with Dorie Greenspan (Part Two)

Written on November 9, 2006 at 7:18 am, by

After the success that I had with Dorie’s Buttery Jam Cookies, I decided that I would try one more recipe from her cookbook, Baking:  From My Home to Yours, for the Cookbook Spotlight that I was invited to participate in by Sara of I Like to Cook. Instead of randomly choosing a recipe, I decided  Continue Reading »

Happy Birthday to Me!

Written on October 23, 2006 at 8:20 am, by

  For my birthday, I would like the best gift that a foodblogger could possibly ever receive. I would like for all of you to come to my home this evening, and share this White Chocolate-Raspberry Tart with me. What better way could a Cream Puff possibly celebrate her birthday?! Ciao! White Chocolate-Raspberry Tart with  Continue Reading »

Giving Thanks

Written on October 9, 2006 at 12:00 am, by

  As much as I love Christmas, Thanksgiving is the holiday I look forward to most. For me, Thanksgiving Day is like a perfect photograph … crisp colours, happy faces and clarity. I love that the sun always shines and that the air is cool on Thanksgiving Day. I love the colours of the leaves  Continue Reading »

What a Peach!

Written on August 7, 2006 at 9:27 pm, by

When I think back to the summers of my childhood, some of my most pleasant memories are of peaches. I can still distinctly remember the feeling of biting into a ripe peach and enjoying the contrast between the juicy sweetness that would inevitably trickle down my chin and that fuzzy peach skin that would tickle  Continue Reading »

A Rustic Tart That Will Capture Your Heart

Written on August 4, 2006 at 12:09 am, by

Fine Cooking is my favourite food magazine and this tart, from the August/September 2005 issue, has captured my heart. I’ve made it four times in the past week alone! Each time I’ve made a different version, but the apricot/raspberry is my favourite. I hope it captures your hearts as it has mine. Wishing all of  Continue Reading »

Canada Eats …

Written on July 30, 2006 at 3:16 pm, by

Oh … I’m a tired and sore Cream Puff! I’ve spent the entire day in a frenzy of baking. After pulling the last item out of the oven, I surveyed the destruction in the kitchen, quietly removed my apron, turned and simply walked away. I am now comfortably ensconced in our very cool basement, hoping  Continue Reading »

The Berry Jumble

Written on July 28, 2006 at 2:09 am, by

While I haven’t spent a lot of time blogging about selections from my Flavour of the Month, The Berry Bible, it’s mainly due to the fact that I’ve been having so much fun blogging about recipes that I either consider classics or ones that I simply must try for the first time like the Cherry  Continue Reading »

The Humidity Tango

Written on July 24, 2006 at 12:52 am, by

Pa rum pum pum … I once read that the tango is a dance where opposing emotions, like love and hate are inextricably intertwined. Pa rum pum pum … Each summer, I engage in what I like to call the Humidity Tango in my very own kitchen. Except there is no love in this tango.  Continue Reading »

Summer Tastes Like …

Written on July 21, 2006 at 7:35 pm, by

… the precious sweetness of the very last of the local cherries. As cherry season ends, Cream Puff hopes that the beginning to your weekend is as sweet as this tart. Ciao! Cherry Mascarpone Tart This recipe comes from the June 2006 issue of Food & Wine. I followed the recipe exactly, except for the  Continue Reading »

And They Ate Happily Ever After …

Written on June 29, 2006 at 3:34 pm, by

As fairytales do, this one has come to an end. June bids everyone adieu as July waits impatiently to be the star of the show. Of all the months, July is my least favourite. I know many people will nominate the oft-gloomy November or the very unpredictable March as the months they can do without.  Continue Reading »

A Rat-tat-tat-tat-touille!

Written on June 22, 2006 at 4:27 pm, by

Lest you get the impression that I only eat sweets, I’d like you to know that this Cream Puff also eats her veggies. Of course it helps if they’re roasted with lots of garlic, basil and olive oil, enrobed in a custard of cream and egg, and then baked in a golden tart. Not that  Continue Reading »

Once Upon a Roasted Red Pepper Tart with Olive Tapenade …

Written on June 21, 2006 at 1:05 am, by

So there I was, happily navigating the Cream Puff Highway when out of the blue … computer woes. Talk about getting kicked in the pâte à choux! June was supposed to be a fairytale, but it’s turned into a bit of bad dream with my inability to post regularly. Admittedly, I’ve felt somewhat lost and  Continue Reading »


Written on June 10, 2006 at 1:28 pm, by

I seem to have misplaced my lemon tart! How very embarrassing. Should you find it anywhere please let me know. I miss it desperately! Ciao! Lemon Tart Adapted from Once Upon a Tart … by Frank Mentesana and Jerome Audureau. For the tart crust: Follow the same recipe as for the Alsatian Apple Tart. In  Continue Reading »

A June Fairytale

Written on June 4, 2006 at 11:44 pm, by

It is the month of June, The month of leaves and roses, When pleasant sights salute the eyes, And pleasant scents the noses. — Nathaniel Parker Willis, "The Month of June" What is that in the air? Do you smell it? Close your eyes and breathe in deeply … there it is … the soft,  Continue Reading »

Cream Puff Goes to School: Week 2

Written on April 25, 2006 at 6:56 pm, by

On the menu for week 2:  pie dough and apple pie. The second week of baking class began with a demonstration of pie crust and the preparation for apple pie filling. Having practiced making pie dough in our first class, we were all ready to put our previous lesson to the test. After a rush  Continue Reading »

Apple Crostata

Written on March 30, 2006 at 1:15 am, by

On any given day, you will find a large basket of fruit on my kitchen table. This is for two reasons. First of all, it encourages my family to eat more fruit. And secondly, it’s pretty to look at. A perfectly ripened mango, an elegant pear, a juicy orange … all of them begging to  Continue Reading »