with Greg Patent, Award Winning Cookbook Author

Pies and Tarts

Christmas Apple Loaf

Christmas Apple Loaf

This terrific mildly spiced loaf cake, loaded with dried fruits and toasted nuts, gets its special taste and texture from a very thick homemade apple purée. Because it keeps really well at room temperature, this loaf is something you’ll want to have on hand for […]

Huckleberry Tart

Huckleberry Tart

The food processor makes great pastry. The speed of processing insures ice water and butter maintain their chill. The fat stays solid and the dough rolls out like a dream. For the filling, beaten egg whites coat the huckleberries with a protein film to keep them from oozing during baking.

Amaretti Sour Cherry Pie

Amaretti Sour Cherry Pie

I think summer wouldn’t be summer without the promise of sour cherries. When I first wrote about them a few years ago, I forgot to tell you the story of where I get these rubies of the fruit world, so tart and full of sunshine. […]

Italian Prune Galette

Italian Prune Galette

Last week I was thrilled to find Italian prunes at our farmers’ market, and I thought I’d repost my recipe for baking them in a galette. I’d always called these succulent fall fruits Italian Prune Plums. But I now have learned, thanks to my friend, John Keegan, that I have been wrong. Here’s what he wrote when I made my original post on October 14, 2013.

Topsy Turvy Caramel Apple Cake

Topsy Turvy Caramel Apple Cake

This cake makes a fine change of pace dessert for a Thanksgiving dinner. The key to the success of this cake is a preliminary cooking of the apples on top of the stove. Apples in an upside-down cake should be tender and completely cooked. No crunch, please. Firm-sweet apples, such as Cameo or Braeburn, are excellent in this cake because they hold their shape and deliver a sweetness that complements the buttery brown sugar topping. Browning the butter before combining it with brown sugar and cinnamon adds a nutty caramel flavor. This cake is best when very fresh, and it reheats beautifully the next day in a warm oven for 5 to 10 minutes.

Classic American Apple Pie

Classic American Apple Pie

I like lots of apples in my pie, about 5 pounds worth, and I’ve found that by partially cooking the apples first in butter with sugar and spices, the apple flavor becomes concentrated, the apples reduce in volume, allowing me to pack a huge amount of flavor into a pie–and I don’t need to use any flour or cornstarch as a thickener. Another bonus, the apples will be tender. No crunchy apples for me, please.

Pear and Almond Galette

Pear and Almond Galette

Teaching at Rancho La Puerta is always full of surprises. The guests who sign up for my classes are a diverse group of extremely accomplished people from all walks of life. But in the kitchen, we’re all equals, because in the time we have together there is one aim: to cook a menu of seven recipes in two hours and to sit and enjoy the meal together. Cooking is all about the pleasures of the table and the sense of community it fosters.

At my first class, Dana Shaltry, a pediatric orthodontist, volunteered to make the dessert, a rustic French pear galette. I had demonstrated how to make the ground almond bases and pastry with a food processor, and Dana took it from there. He rolled the dough into a rough circle, cut the pears into thin slices, and arranged the fruit beautifully over the ground almonds.

Peach Galette

Peach Galette

 When peach season arrives in Montana, which is now, I rush into the kitchen to bake a galette.  And what is a galette?  It’s a sheet of thin, buttery pastry topped with fresh fruit.  The edges of the dough—which may be ragged—are simply folded up […]

Sour Cherry Streusel Tart

Sour Cherry Streusel Tart

Fresh sour pie cherries are as precious as rubies. Bright and shiny like the gems they resemble, the sour Montmorency cherries have a short season (only 2 to 3 weeks in July) in western Montana, so I always pick some off a neighbor’s tree to […]

Greek Greens Pie

Greek Greens Pie

In the summer, I cook up all sorts of greens and freeze them to use in the winter.  After a quick cleaning, I plunge the greens into a large pot of boiling water for a few minutes to set their color and to cook them.  […]