Category / Desserts

Desserts Recipes

Fresh Fruit Tart with Buttery Graham Cracker Crust

Fruit tarts are wonderful and delicious summer time treats.  They are a light dessert and can be served after a summer meal or with brunch.  Plus they make a stunning presentation and are a easy to create.  Here is a recipe I have been using for years.

Special Supplies:

 9″ Tart pan
Silicone basting brush

Crust Ingredients:

1 premade Pillsbury pie crust
3 tablespoons Apricot Jam
dried beans
OR
1/3 cup butter
1/4 cup water
1 1/4 cups finely crushed graham crackers
3 tablespoons Apricot Jam

Crust preparation:

Assemble the tart pan. 

Line the pan with the Pillsbury crust. 

Fill the crust with dried beans to keep it from rising and bake in the oven at 350 degrees F until the edges are golden brown. 

Remove from oven and cool.

OR

Assemble the tart pan. 

In a microwave safe bowl, melt the butter, then stir in the water. 

Add the crushed graham cracker crumbs and mix well. 

Spread the crumb mixture evenly into the pie pan.  Press onto the bottom and sides to form a firm and even crust. 

Bake at 375 degrees F for 4-5 minutes until lightly browned. 

Remove from oven and cool

Filling Ingredients:

1/2 cup sugar
2 tbsp corn starch
1 3/4 cups milk
2 beaten egg yolks
1/2 tsp vanilla

Filling Preparation:

In a medium sauce pan combine the sugar and cornstarch.  Gradually stir in the milk. 

Cook and stir over medium heat untill thick and bubbly, about 2 minutes. 

Remove from heat.  Stir in about 1 cup of the hot cooked mixture into the beaten egg yolks. 

Pour the egg mixture back into the rest of the hot filling mixture in the saucepan.  Bring this mixture to a gentle boil for 2 minutes. 

Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla. 

Transfer the filling to a bowl, cover and refrigerate for 4 hours.

Topping Ingredients:

2 cups of fresh fruit such as strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, sliced kiwi, peach slices, blueberries, sliced papaya.

Final tart assembly:

With a basting brush, gently apply a thin layer of apricot jam to the pie crust bottom and sides and let dry about 5 minutes.  This will prevent the crust from becoming soggy.

Pour and evenly spread the cooled filling into the pie crust.

Arrange fresh fruit on top of the filling.

Keep refrigerated before and after serving.

These recipes have been adapted from those found in the 1996 edition of Better Homes and Gardens New CookBook.  This is a fantastic cookbook for a new chef in your life.  It is also great for college bound students living on their own for the first time. 

I have also added this recipe to Tastebook.  There you can find all of Tilly’s Nest’s recipes to date in one convenient place.

Photo Credit:  Tilly’s Nest

Desserts Recipes

Cupcakes

I made these cupcakes for the kids to bring into school to share with their friends.  They were extremely easy to make, plus what is not to love about Spring chicks!  These would make a wonderful Easter dessert where children will be present.  They would also make a terrific centerpiece displayed upon stacked cake plates.  The possibilities are endless with these adorable cupcakes.

Here is how I did it:

For the cupcakes, I used a box mix, following the directions to make two dozen.  Next I frosted them with store bought chocolate icing.  To each top, I added yellow peeps surrounded by colorful jellybeans. They were a huge hit!

Photo credit: Tilly’s Nest

http://www.deborahjeansdandelionhouse.com/

Desserts Recipes

Sticky Toffee Banana Cake

Over the weekend, we had dinner at our friends’ house.  My friend is an awesome baker and she wowed us with this one!  In all, with chilling time, the recipe takes about 2 hours.  It was incredibly delicious and my tastebuds are craving more!  I can not wait for the bananas on my counter to get mushy!
Ingredients
Toffee Sauce
1 1/4 cup plus 3 tbsp heaving whipping cream
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup dark corn syrup
1/4 cup butter
1/8 tsp salt
Banana Cake 
2 cups all purpose flour
1/ 1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 cup butter, room temperature
2/3 tbsp packed dark brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 cup very ripe mashed bananas (2-3)
1 tbsp rum (optional)
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp salt
Fresh bananas for topping
Preparation
Toffee Sauce (can be made 2 days in advance and refrigerated)
In small saucepan over medium heat, bring 1 1/4 cups cream, brown sugar, corn syrup, butter, and 1/8 teaspoon salt to a boil.  Whisk continually until sugar is dissolved.  For the next 15 minutes, reduce the heat to medium low and simmer until sauce thickens and  thickly coats the back of your spoon.  Remove from heat, and whisk in 3 tablespoons or so of heavy cream to thin the sauce to desired consistency.  Cover and chill.  Rewarm slightly prior to use.
Banana Cake
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease and flour a non-stick 8″x8″x2″ pan and set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, and salt.   Set aside. With your electric mixer, in a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar together until well blended.  Beat in 1 egg at a time.  Then add the mashed bananas, rum and vanilla and continue to beat them until well incorporated. Next, slowly add the dry ingredients.  Add a 1/4 of the dry ingredients at a time, blend until just incorporated then repeat 3 more times.   Spread batter into baking pan.
Bake cake for 35 to 38 minutes or until a toothpick in the center comes out clean.  Remove from oven and spread 1/2 of the toffee mixture onto the top of the cake.  Return the cake to the oven and bake until the sauce is bubbling and thick.  This should take about 6 minutes.  Remove from oven and cool the cake in the pan on a cooling rack for 30 minutes. 
Serve pieces of cake slightly warm or at room temperature with toffee sauce, sliced fresh bananas and even a dollop of fresh cream or vanilla ice cream on the side.
This recipe has been adapted from Bon Appetite Magazine.  The original recipe can be found here. You can find all of the recipes shared on Tilly’s Nest at Tastebook in our very own cookbook.
 Photo Credit:  Dan Forbes