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Maddalena Fuller



The only thing better than eating breakfast in bed is having breakfast on a balcony, front porch or in a  garden. If I had any of those things, I would certainly want to make a pistachio tart or a cherry galette and eat it outside in the morning sunshine with a newspaper, a latte, and the company of a friend who can nod, read and chew with only the occasional murmur, smile and upward glance.

However these pastries are so pretty they almost deserved to be enjoyed by many. Perhaps they are too fine for a breakfast of two. Perhaps instead they ought to furnish a bridal party breakfast, or a croquet event in the park with hats and gloves.

Apricot Pistachio Tart (makes 9 x 17 tart)

  • 10-12 apricots
  • 1 cup + 1 tbsp unsalted pistachios, toasted
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter cut into cubes
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 box of thawed puff pastry
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 tbsp heavy cream
  • 2 tbsp raw sugar
  • 1/4 cup apricot jam
  1. Process 1 cup nuts and granulated sugar. Add butter and process to form a paste. Add egg, vanilla and set aside.
  2. On a lightly floured surface, press edges of both pastry sheets together to form one. Roll out 9 x 7 inch rectangle and transfer to baking sheet. Spread pistachio preserve over pastry leaving a 3/4 inch border.
  3. Arrange apricots in vertical rows. Fold in edges of the dough, using your fingers to make a scalloped edge. Refrigerate 30 minutes.
  4. Preheat oven to 400 degrees C. Whisk together yolk and cream and brush the wash over over the tart shell. Chop remaining nuts and sprinkle with the raw sugar over  the apricots. Bake for approx 35 minutes – rotating halfway until the crust is golden brown and the fruit is juicy. Let cool on a wire rack.
  5. Meanwhile, heat jam with 2 tbsp water on low heat. Sieve it and brush it over with a brush.

Note on pastry: If you are using puff pastry defrost it before trying to roll it. Roll it out to the size you want,  add your toppings, fix the edges and then refrigerate it – as the dough won’t puff if its too soft.

Sweet Cherry Galette

  • 1/4 + 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1/4 cup unsalted almonds, toasted and cooled
  • 1/4 freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 pounds of sweet pitted cherries
  • 2 tbsp cold unsalted butter, cut into squares
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 tbsp heavy cream
  1. Prepare dough on baking sheet as described above.
  2. Process 1/4 cup sugar, almonds, nutmeg and salt into the food processor.  Gently toss in cherries.
  3. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spoon the cherries over the dough leaving 3/4 inch boarder to be scalloped.
  4. Sprinkle with butter cubes and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  5. Whisk yolk and cream and brush over the tarts, sprinkel with remaining sugar before baking.
  6. Bake until golden: about 45 minutes.

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Every summer I look forward to making fresh custard tarts and fruit pies, depending on the season. They are always beautiful and easy to prepare.
You can fill a pre-baked pie shell with any kind of custard, although the following recipe is probably my favorite. Light and creamy with a hint of lemon makes a delicious base for most fruits and berries.

Buttermilk Pastry Cream

  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 3 tbsp flour
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp freshly grated lemon zest
  • 4 tbsp fresh lemon juice

Whisk together the dry ingredients. Put the buttermilk and egg yokes into a small saucepan and cook over medium heat, whisking constantly. Add the dry ingredients and continue stirring for about 4 minutes or until the mixture thickens. Stir in the lemon and vanilla. Let cool completely and refrigerate before adding to the pie shell.


Combine 1/2 cup of fruit jam, something light colored and seedless works best -like apricot or grape jelly to 1/4 cup of water and boil. Let cool slightly and apply glaze to the fruit ornamented pie using a pastry brush.

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