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After our loved-up dinner of Cioppino, I was compelled to further spoil my fella with the following super indulgent (and super Valentine’s Day appropriate) dessert! A raspberry & dark chocolate tart…

Started out by making a lil’ chocolate cookie crust. Couldn’t find these surprisingly elusive “chocolate wafer cookies”, so I resorted to using the sexiest of children’s cookies – Teddy Grahams. Crushed them up in my (stupid) mini food processor, mixed the cookie crumbs with a bit o’ melted butter and then firmly pressed the buttery crumbs into my fluted, removable-bottom tart pan. Baked it in a 350F preheated oven for about 15 minutes and then let it cool.

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If there’s one thing I love about cold weather (apart from sweaters, indoor fires and booze-spiked morning beverages), it’s warm desserts. And what better way to enjoy a warm dessert than with a hearty crop of cold weather produce! I had the Granny Smiths, and given my near-obsession with the French, this next dessert was a no-brainer…

Apple Tarte Tatin!

I’ve had my share of this warm, caramelly pastry and the results have been as varied as one could expect; sometimes tart, sometimes super caramelly, sometimes mushy, sometimes firm. I’ve made it a few times (and had the pleasure of devouring it at a fab French restaurant near my house) and have determined that I prefer the apples to be firm, the pastry super buttery, and the caramel flavor pronounced. I believe I’ve achieved just that with the following recipe!

Started out with 6 firm, Granny Smiths…

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I missed apricot season. Like, really missed it.

I had a serious hankering for an apricot tart and without realizing it, I spent the whole “summer” dreaming about a luscious and succulent apricot tart served with a dollop of creme fraiche, enjoyed al fresco on some magical balcony overlooking the bay on a balmy summer evening. Needless to say, “summer” in SF lasted for about 3 days, balmy evenings are practically nonexistent here and I don’t even have a balcony. And on top of all that, apricots had an absolutely shite season, coming and going in the span of a week.

So, despite having found the most enticing recipe, there was no apricot tart.

{sadface}

Flash forward a few months… The produce section is looking heartier and more autumnal and I’m introduced to a little fruit that makes me go, “apricot, who?!”

Italian plums! Italian plums! Italian plums!

These little purple-skinned beauties were so enticing and foreign looking that I knew I had to have them. But what to make out of them… Why not revisit that apricot tart recipe, replacing those elusive fucking apricots with my new purple loves? I think I’m on to something…

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I have never made a tart. I’ve barely ever made a pie for that matter, but I’m finding more and more that I love baking! And what better opportunity to bake something special than for your honey’s birthday?

So that’s what I did. I decided that I would make a tart. And not just any tart, but a Cream Tart w/ Oranges & Honey in a Toasted Almond Crust.

Gulp.

I was a little weary of the undertaking, not only because of my tart-making virginity, but also because I don’t own a food processor or blender or mixer of any sort. And the recipe called for one. What to do?

Decided to do like the old-timeys, and got myself a pastry blender – those handheld, four-bladed, brass knuckle-type situations. Let me tell you… that thing’s amazing! Who needs a food processor when you’ve got one of these bad boys!

So I had my pastry blender, my whisk, my silicone spatula and a whole lot of elbow grease.

I was ready.

Started out by brushing the bottom of the tart pan with a bit of melted butter.

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Hi, I’m Lauriebot!


I live in San Francisco. I used to live in NYC, Washington DC, and London.

I like to take the pictures.

I like color, excess, food, light, clothes, and going places.

I also like talking to people.

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mmhmm[at]lauriebot[dot]com

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