Festive Fall Tart Recipes

A guide to baking the perfect fall treat: tarts, including pastry and machine-age dough, and festive Autumn tart recipes for apple, caramelized pear, pumpkin bourbon, maple pecan and cranberry tarts.

| September/October 1988

Celebrate the fall season with home-baked harvest tart recipes.

Festive Fall Tart Recipes

AH, SEPTEMBER SONGS: THE RHYTHMIC whisper of dry leaves, the staccato crackle of the year's first fires, the basso rumble of school buses, the reedy whine of family and friends-"Are you ever going to bake us another pie?"

Autumn seems to orchestrate a return to the kitchen, to lure us back to the stove. With cooler days and nights, heating up the oven becomes a pleasure. Gone are the hectic days of late-summer canning and freezing, when we swore that if we ever got the garden cleaned out we'd never set foot in a kitchen again; cooking for pleasure becomes conceivable once more. An abundant harvest bids us put it to use, and its beauty-the brilliant colors, elegant shapes and rich scents of apples, pears, pumpkins, grapes-inspires us to create something splendid.

And all around us, people trumpet their encouragement. They flatter. ("The restaurant's apple pie was adequate, of course, but compared to yours...") They wheedle. ("Just one more little pumpkin pie wouldn't be much work.") They bribe. ("OK, what if I did all the dishes for three full days?") And, ultimately, they plead. ("Ple-ease!")

The reason for this cacophony is that sooner or later all bakers tire of the same tune: After preparing the third apple pie of the season, the fourth just isn't much of a challenge. How do we harmonize the mundane cravings of our nearest and dearest with our longing to hum new melodies?

Tarts: Traditional enough to substitute for old standbys, jazzy enough to keep the cook interested, they're pretty enough to serve as fitting anthems to a beautiful season.

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