Fruit Pies and Tarts
Bill Bowick uses peaches two ways in this tart: He bakes them into the filling, then piles slices on top just before serving. When asked whether to accompany the dessert with ice cream or whipped cream, he responds, "Why not have both?"
Honeyed Yogurt and Blueberry Tart with Ginger Crust
Melissa Rubel Jacobson mixes creamy yogurt with honey so it's deliciously sweet and tangy, then she spreads it in a graham-cracker crust spiced with bits of crystallized ginger and tops it with plump blueberries.
Creamy Peach Tart with Smoky Almond Crust
An almost-instant crust, made with vanilla wafer cookies and smoked almonds, is the secret to this simple and unusual tart.
Georgia Peach Pie
When you slice into this delicious pie, don’t be surprised by the gap between the filling and the top crust. This happens when a pie is baked at high heat because the crust sets before the fruit in the filling has cooked down.
Deep-Dish Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie
The dough can be made with just butter, but swapping in some lard yields an even flakier crust. As for the filling, Grace Parisi has experimented with several thickeners, but cornstarch is her favorite for juicy fruit pies.
Paula Haney buys produce for her stellar pies at local farmer's markets.
Raspberry Tart with a Pistachio Crust
Pastry chef Jennifer McCoy often brings this raspberry tart, with its creamy filling and pistachio-studded crust, to dinner parties. She packs the components separately and assembles the tart just before serving.
Free-Form Blueberry Tart
Jeremy Sewall adds a little candied ginger to the tart's crust for a hint of spice; feel free to add more or omit it altogether.
Strawberry Tart with Flaky Pastry
For this exceptional, flaky dessert, Elisabeth Prueitt cuts the pastry into a precise circle and weighs it down during baking to create an elegant base for sliced strawberries and whipped cream. The adaptable crust can be topped with almost any seasonal fruit.
Michel Keller likes to make a big fruit tart using an 18-inch antique pan he inherited from his grandfather. He adapted his recipe to produce the far simpler, 12-inch version here.
White Peach Tart
“This crust is not what you'd expect,” Marco Canora says. “Instead of being crunchy, it's puffy and cakey.” The dough is terrific for impromptu baking, because it doesn't need to be chilled before it's rolled out. For the filling, Canora recommends using peaches that are ripe but still firm, as drippy fruit will make the soft crust soggy.
Free-form tarts (sometimes called crostatas) are an easy, quick-to-prepare way to use up seasonal fruit.
Pastry chef Heather Tirrell uses buttermilk to make the ricotta she piles on graham tartlet shells. But any good, store-bought ricotta would be fine, she says.
Apricot-and-Basil Shortbread Tart
Pastry chef Roy Shvartzapel layers roasted fresh apricots atop basil custard to make a gorgeous tart. The tender crust is extraordinary: Combining hard-boiled egg yolk and potato starch, it's based on a classic dough that he learned from Paris pastry genius Pierre Hermé.
Summer Plum Crostata
This elegant free-form tart, filled with sliced plums seasoned with cinnamon and orange zest, is especially easy to make since it doesn’t require a tart pan.
Summer Berry Tarts
Excellent-quality puff pastry (F&W likes the Dufour brand) makes all the difference to this minimalist fruit dessert. Berries simmered in a little sugar become a slightly gooey, fresh-tasting topping.
Stone Fruit Pie with Almond Streusel
For anyone who comes home from the farmers’ market with an overabundance of stone fruits, this pie from pastry chef Lori Baker is the answer. You can fill it with any combination of apricots, peaches, plums, cherries or nectarines.
Free-Form Pineapple, Mango and Berry Tarts
Chef Mauricio Couly created these tarts filled with local fruits like pineapple, mango and blueberries. The filling can, of course, vary depending on the season.
Black-Bottom Banana Cream Pie
Valeri Lucks, the co-owner and self-titled "chief people wrangler" and "pie master" at Milwaukee's Honeypie Cafe, says this pie marries two of her best-selling pies: chocolate cream and banana cream.
Dutch Apple Pie
F&W's Grace Parisi uses a mix of Granny Smith, Pink Lady and Golden Delicious apples for this iconic dessert.
Pastry chef Mitchelle Dy sautés plums in Chambord, a black raspberry liqueur, to give the succulent fruit even more sweetness and a slightly boozy edge. She then lays the plums in a puff pastry crust filled with ground almonds. The tart is gorgeous, but—because Dy prepares the almonds in a food processor and uses store-bought puff pastry—it’s simple to make.
Alsatian Rhubarb Tart
Jean-Georges Vongerichten bakes the raw rhubarb in the raw pastry shell, rather than blind-baking (precooking) the crust. But the cooks in the F&W Test Kitchen discovered you can use Vongerichten's method only in a convection oven; in a conventional oven, the shell didn't bake through. That's why the recipe here calls for cooking the tart shell completely before adding the rhubarb. However you make this dessert, it's irresistibly tangy, creamy and frothy.
Fig-and-Raspberry Tart with Chestnut Honey
A Tuscan classic, chestnut honey or miele di castagno has an unusually potent, savory flavor that gives this fall fruit tart a spicy kick. The bay leaves and rosemary sprigs on top perfume the tart beautifully (they are not meant to be eaten). A man of few superstitions, Peter Pastan always uses 11 bay leaves and 13 rosemary sprigs because odd numbers are lucky.
Free-Form Apple Tart
Sam Mogannam's wife, Anne Walker, usually makes this dessert with Arkansas Black apples—an heirloom variety—from Mogannam's parents'; orchard near Sacramento. The dense, tart apples are harvested late in the season. Granny Smiths are an easier-to-find alternative.
Flaky Pear Pie
Grant Achatz's pie, inspired by his mom's, is as straightforward as it gets, with a melt-in-your-mouth all-shortening crust and a lightly sweetened pear filling with just a hint of spice.