bourbon pecan pie

bourbon pecan pie | the thoughtful plateThis year has gone by SO incredibly fast. Does anyone else find it hard to believe that Thursday is Thanksgiving?

Just this morning I pulled out an index card and wrote MY THANKSGIVING CONTRIBUTIONS over a list of the things I’m in charge of this year. Brussels Sprouts Salad, for one. Pumpkin Pie for the traditionalists. And this- Bourbon Pecan Pie. It’s been the star of the Thanksgiving dessert show for three years running, and I’m pretty sure there would be an uprising if I didn’t make it. Continue reading

bakewell tart

bakewell tart | the thoughtful plateThe word “bakewell” has come up several times during my travels through the interwebs as of late, always in conjunction with the word “tart.” Now I obviously know what a tart is, but I confess I really had no idea what bakewell meant and had never looked it up.

A bit of research revealed that Bakewell is a town in England, and judging by the name, I think I’d love to live there. (Can you imagine how cool it would be if Josey Baker baked his bread in Bakewell, England? I digress.) Continue reading

cherry pie bars

IMG_4533-6I have two different approaches when it comes to composing blog posts.

Sometimes, I write the body text first. Words come, I type them, and it feels really good. When that happens, all that’s left are the parts that come easiest to me: recipe + photos. Blogging is fun when this happens.

Other times, I write the recipe first. Then I go fiddle with the photo editing. All the while, my mind is turning. Words, where are you?? Continue reading

whole lemon bars

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetI am a huge fan of lemon bars. So when I saw a recipe in the Smitten Kitchen cookbook for lemon bars not made with the juice of a million lemons but rather with one whole lemon- every part except the seeds- I knew I had to try it. That was almost a whole year ago. I know. Such procrastination.

A lot has happened this year. Perhaps most notable is that I’ve made huge strides towards becoming 100% gluten free. (Excellent bread still gets me sometimes though, I won’t lie.) I wrote my first gluten free post in May, and since that post was published, I have had the best time immersing myself in this new way of baking. There have been some failures, many successes, and much learning along the way.

Continue reading

salted caramel apple tart

salted caramel apple tart

Confession: I had never made caramel before I made it for this salted caramel apple tart.

That could be the reason why my first attempt was a flop. I followed Adrianna’s instructions exactly, but ended up with clumps of hard caramel protruding like icebergs from a puddle of smooth-ish caramel. I didn’t take a picture (for obvious reasons), but the sight made me laugh.

Then I cleaned my pot and whisk, grabbed my copy of Joy the Baker’s cookbook, measured new ingredients, and tried again. I slightly adapted Joy’s recipe for “Almost Burnt Salted Caramel Sauce”. It took a bit longer than my first attempt, but I ended up with beautifully smooth, salty-sweet caramel that was totally worthy of an apple tart.

Continue reading

blueberry tart

IMG_3746This tart is so fun to make, and the process is fairly simple and straightforward too. Bake the slightly crumbly tart shell, make a smooth vanilla pastry cream, and cook fresh blueberries down until they become a gorgeous compote.  Once each element has cooled, just layer and serve!  It’s a great use for any blueberries you have that may be a little too soft to enjoy plain, like I had.  Three simple components that come together to create a beautiful and satisfying summer dessert.

Continue reading