Pies & Tarts with ♥

I’m thrilled to be a (small) part of the blog tour for Dynise Balcavage‘s brand new book, Pies and Tarts with Heart.
Thank you to the publisher, Quarry Books, for sending me a review copy.

Every time I open Dynise’s book, I seem to land on the raw tarts section. I took that as a hint I should go for something raw in order to write this. Considering the temperatures were still sweltering here when I worked on this review, it seemed even more of a no-brainer.

I selected the Raw Cacao Almond Tarts, replacing the banana slices with fresh raspberries (as is suggested in the recipe), and adding a dusting of cocoa powder, as well as a few cacao nibs for show on top of the tarts. Oh, and fresh mint leaves. I hate mint in food (she says after sort of accidentally eating a chocolate mint Clif bar and getting a reminder of why she hates mint in food), but love the cuteness factor the leaves add to pretty much any dish.

It was a deliciously light and easy-on-the-eye dessert, fit for when you’re having company. Unless you’re really not in the mood to share, which I plead guilty to sometimes. Often. Sometimes often.

I also made the Easy Muffin Tin Pies, which can be filled with the jam you love the most; naturally sweetened apricot and strawberry jam for me since I can never pick just one. It didn’t take us long to eat through these, and we even deemed them perfectly acceptable for breakfast because of the jam.

I’m fond of cookbooks that not only offer a bounty of solid recipes, but that also contain fun and fascinating tidbits to read as intro text and headnotes. Dynise’s Pies and Tarts with Heart more than hits the spot in that area as well.
The book is filled with useful pie-making tips, creative savory pie recipes (Caramelized Onion Tart with Apple-Chile Chutney, Sun-Dried Tomato Tahini Tart), “imposter” pies (Pumpkin Whoopie Pies, Macaroni Pie), as well as pie topping options (Coconut Dulce de Leche, Whipped Nut Topping and 10 Variations) for when you need even more greatness on top of your already awesome pie.

If you’re looking for actual recipes to try the really good goods for yourselves, here are a couple that were posted elsewhere: Peach Pie with Salted Agave Drizzle & Mini Linzertortes. The Peach Pie is a brilliant beauty and definitely next on my to-make list.
I can already tell this gem of a book is going to look worn because of heavy use, sticky with sugar and splattered with cooked fruit very, very soon…