A classic apple charlotte has a crust of buttered bread slices filled with caramelized apples. In this quick version, apple wedges are sautéed with honey and maple syrup, topped with buttered toast and turned out of the pan like a tarte Tatin.
This tart is a favorite dessert at Jacques Pépin’s house. You can make it with any seasonal fruit, such as rhubarb, peaches, cherries, apricots or apples. The dough is buttery, flaky and very forgiving. And it comes together in 10 seconds in a food processor.
Orange is the classic choice with chocolate, but candied grapefruit peel has a little bitterness that is also enjoyable. Jacques Pépin prefers using a deep, strong, dark chocolate with about 70 percent cocoa—the richer the better.
The French call pound cake quatre-quarts ("four-fourths") because it is made with equal parts flour, sugar, eggs and butter. Jacques Pépin's mother, aunt and cousin all have their versions. He likes to fold in candied citrus peels to make a French fruit cake; he also loves plain slices dipped in espresso.
To make sure the pastry stays crisp and flaky, arrange the raspberries on top no more than 30 minutes before serving. The jam not only sets the berries in place, it also adds flavor intensity and gives them a beautiful shine.