Apple Maple Tart Tatin
This tasty twist on the classic French recipe adds some maple syrup to the caramel mixture used to flavor the apples. The recipe is from David Lebovitz’ new book, l’appart, about the ups and downs of buying and renovating his Paris apartment. It’s a fun read and there are a dozen or so great new recipes. This appears here with his permission.
Mango Lassi Tart
This light and delicate tart filling is based on the popular Indian drink that’s not unlike a mango smoothie. In India, mango lassi is sometimes perfumed with a few pinches of ground cardamom. If you’d like to try that combination, just sprinkle a little on the tart right before serving or pass some ground cardamom in a tiny bowl for the guests to add on their own if desired.
Strawberry Raspberry Mille-Feuilles
In France it’s popular during the summer to make tarts and other pastries like mille-feuille aux fruits rouges or “with red fruits,” meaning basically whatever berries are in season. We can’t obtain the tiny, intensely flavored wild strawberries or fraises des bois as easily as the French, but small, perfectly sweet, height-of-the-season berries work very well in this dessert. It’s fun and tasty to combine several types of berries, and if you have access to red currants, sprinkle in a few—not too many, or the fruit mix might be too tart.
Strawberry and Raspberry Tart with Mint
While I hate the indiscriminate use of mint leaves as a decoration for desserts in general, the flavor of mint in moderation is wonderful with berries. Right before serving this tart, I like to scatter tiny mint leaves on it, then lightly dust it with confectioners’ sugar. If you only have large mint leaves, then stack them and cut them into fine ribbons
Mexican Cheese Tartlets (Tartas de Requesón)
In Mexico these tarts are both sold and consumed with panes dulces, Mexican sweetened breads that are eaten for breakfast and later in the day for merenda, the late afternoon meal. The cheese used in Mexico is requeson, which is very similar to Italian ricotta, as it is made from whey rather than milk. But it’s usually clotted at a higher temperature, making the curds harder than ricotta, and has a higher salt content. Part-skim-milk ricotta is a perfect substitute.
Strawberry Cream Cheese Crumble Tart
I’ve often confessed in the past to being addicted to crumb topping. Recently I even found a new way to enjoy it—atop a tart that has a prebaked crust and a creamy filling. This does necessitate the extra step of baking the crumb topping separately, but you can do that while baking the tart crust. The crisp crumb topping with a hint of chopped almonds is a perfect contrast to this tart’s light cream cheese filling and juicy strawberries
French Lemon Meringue Tart (Tarte Au Citron Meringuée)
This is based on a similar tart made by Philippe Conticini at his Pâtisserie des Rêves shop in Paris. I was struck by a photo of the tart topped with a wave of meringue. Fortunately M. Conticini was forthcoming with his method for achieving this unique effect.
Lesley’s Individual Double Chocolate Tarts
These ethereal chocolate tarts come from my friend Lesley Chesterman, restaurant critic and food writer at the Montreal Globe, Quebec’s premier English-language newspaper. You can also make a single large tart—you may have a little more filling and/or ganache than you need.
Lattice-Topped Apple Tart
This is so much more practical to prepare and serve than a standard apple pie baked in a sloping sided pie pan. It’s free-standing on a platter for serving and only needs to be cut into wedges, with none of the sometimes destructive digging underneath the bottom crust to extract wedges from the other type of pan. It’s also much more elegant looking than a plain apple pie.