The Taartwork Pies Cookbook: Grandmother's Recipe, Granddaughter's Remix

The Taartwork Pies Cookbook: Grandmother's Recipe, Granddaughter's Remix

by Brittany Bennett


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"Armed with her Oma’s generations-old dough recipe and a decidedly Brooklynized pantry, Bennett established her taart company. Its best recipes have been assembled in this innovative, scrapbook-feeling collection." - The New York Times

Discover a Secret Family Pie Recipe That Has Survived Generations

The origin of Taartwork Pies, Brittany Bennett’s Brooklyn-based bakery, was her Oma and an old, crumpled piece of paper that held a very special recipe— one that her Oma brought all the way from Amsterdam. Since then, all of Brittany’s standout pies have incorporated that perfect pie crust recipe— a sweet, crispy texture with a hint of lemon, a combination that gives these pies that extra special something.

With simple, fresh ingredients, you can create a dessert that will have family and friends coming back for seconds—or even thirds. Enjoy recipes like Traditional Dutch Appeltaart, Strawberry-Thyme Balsamic Pie with Ricotta Whip, Rose Hip Poached Cherries with Pistachio Crumble or Plum and Juniper Berry Tart—each one celebrating in-season produce to capture the most dynamic flavors. And with each filling, you have the option of using Oma’s Dutch Taart Dough, Chocolate Dough or Vegan Dough, so there will always be new flavor combinations to try.

As Brittany’s Oma would say, it’s not just about eating, it’s about indulging in the time spent together. So gather those closest to you, crack open The Taartwork Pies Cookbook and create new memories with every delicious treat.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781624145223
Publisher: Page Street Publishing
Publication date: 03/06/2018
Pages: 144
Product dimensions: 7.80(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.40(d)

About the Author

Brittany Bennett is the owner of Taartwork Pies. Her pies have appeared in Vogue, Bustle and W Magazine and her writing has appeared on NYLON and The Coveteur. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Read an Excerpt



This is a hands-on, intensive pie that asks you to decimate, or at least abandon, any timid nature. Beating around the butter won't do. I'm afraid you'll only be massaging butter into smaller balls of butter and have tangled yourself in a very long, tedious procedure of getting dough. Dig into the bowl the way your heart dives into writing love letters. Act with intention and give it your all.

Start by measuring out the flour.

Sprinkle citrus zest over the flour like the blizzard of your dreams.

Don't forget the sugar.

Incorporate together for an even distribution.

Smush and mash the butter into the flour and sugar with passionate fists. Singular ingredients will morph into a unified treat. Use butter that is close to room temperature in the winter. On a humid summer day, use chilled butter; otherwise, the soft butter will make a dough that's harder to work with.

As you knead, digging into the bowl to fold everything together, the dough will first become crumbly. It will come together, forming a neat ball with minimal cracks. My cousin Bettina describes creating this dough as "building a sand castle and then destroying it." When it's done, you should see streaks of butter throughout, like summer highlights.

When pressing the dough into the pie pan, it molds like clay. Press it down, spread it thin (but not too thin, you don't want it to be sheer or see any of the pan) and stretch it across the pan to fill all creases. The ease of working with the dough in this phase and in topping the taart is dependent upon the climate of your kitchen.

Temperature matters. Particularly with the environment in which you're baking and the butter you're using to make the dough.

I have baked plenty of pies in my kitchen without air conditioning or an industrial grade fan, making my baking station feel near 450°F (232°C). When baking in a kitchen with temperatures over 71°F (22°C), the dough becomes tougher to work with, cracking and sweating under the heat of your hand. Though, it's not impossible to handle, and it's certainly an experience, I suggest everyone sweat their way through. A cooler, temperate room keeps the butter firm as it gets worked into the dough and the elasticity remains more intact. Humidity is the enemy, so the chiller the kitchen, the better the pie. Dough will crack under humidity's reign, and sweat and break in the oven.

Oma's dough isn't a traditional, flaky dough typical to American pies. But that's because Oma is Dutch first and Canadian second. The taart dough has a denser texture, much like a shortbread crust or cookie. It doesn't roll out well, so it's meant to be pressed into the baking pan.

It is going to crack. Even if you do everything perfectly, it will a little bit. It won't be perfect, far from a typical definition of the term "perfect." My Oma traditionally rolls logs of dough between her fingers and then out on the countertop until they're similar in length to a garden snake. When she picks it up, delicately, it always crumbles in two. But instead of throwing her hands in the air, she continues with the topping and simply mends them back together on top of the pie. Her casual and no-frills attitude may be credited to her lifelong career as a nurse, and it's one to adopt. The pie will bake and it won't matter what cracked when it's being ravaged with a fork.

Get in there.

Use your palms like they're the best kitchen tools you've got.

Your dough is perfect when it forms a seamless ball.

Butter up your pan of choice.

Press this dough into your pan. It's an intimate process.

For the right thickness, roll a piece of dough between your hands and flatten it before placing in the pan.

To build a dough wall, roll the dough into a rope and flatten against the pan's sides.

Finishing touches.


Think outside the lattice. Of course, the traditional topping is a classic choice that's hard to — pardon the pun — top. But there are many more creative avenues to venture down. If a pie is an offering, an edible object to consume and converse and connect over, let it be an exclamation mark on your table.

With cookie cutters or your paring knife penmanship, carve letters and shapes out of dough to get the point across.

When cutting shapes and letters, press the dough down to create a canvas, about 1/4-inch (6-mm) thick. Chill the dough for 20 to 25 minutes to help firm it up if your kitchen is too humid.

When your topping is finished, wash over it with egg and a splash of water for it to brown while baking. Sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon.

Perfection is bland here. Let juices overflow and stain the crust.


Blind Baking: After fitting the dough to a pie pan, let it rest in the fridge for at least 2 hours, until firm. Butter a sheet of tin foil and fit it into the pie shell. You can use pie weights to weigh the dough down, but my favorite — and I've found, most effective — tool in deceiving the crust into believing it's baking something so that it holds its form is dry garbanzo beans. Bake it at 350°F (175°C) for 50 minutes, until golden brown. Remove the pie from the oven, let it cool for a hot minute and then remove the tin foil and weights. Put the pie back into the oven for 10 minutes.

Bake all pies in a rack fitted to the middle of your oven and at 350°F (175°C), always. This is a standard temperature for baking. While some pies may require a longer baking time at this temperature, the low and slow technique ensures that everything will be baked evenly and hold the most vibrant flavors of the filling.

Getting that perfectly crisp bottom crust is a matter of choice in pans. There is a variety of pans to bake with — ceramic, Pyrex, tin. Each material conducts heat differently, which affects the dough. One pie with a heavily juiced filling baked in a pan like the Fire King Peach Lustre pan might look pretty, but the pan doesn't function well in crisping the crust. The bottom crust will all together turn into a sloppy glop of a bottom. While delicious and reminiscent of a crumble, this is not ideal for a dessert meant to have a bottom crust. Pyrex glass pans, metal and aluminum foil will give you your best bottom crust.

Use a scale for precision. What you don't want is too much flour and too little butter. You'll end up with a crumbly dough that falls apart very easily. The ideal texture will be smooth with minimal cracks. You can choose to decrease the sugar in the dough to as low as 1/4 cup (50 g).




1½ cups / 239 g unbleached all-purpose flour


3 cups / 360 g unbleached all-purpose flour


1 cup / 143 g unbleached all-purpose flour
To make the dough, combine all the ingredients except the butter, or coconut oil for vegan dough, in a large mixing bowl. Toss until the ingredients are uniform. Add the butter and mix with your hands. Scoop the flour in an upward motion with your fingers formed like claws and clench the mixture, pushing down with your palms to smash and morph the butter. After about 5 to 7 minutes of kneading, the dough should start to come together. Continue until it's in a ball and few crumbs fall off.

To press the dough into the taart pan, break off pieces of the dough and flatten with the palm of your hands. Press the dough into the prepared pie pan and spread it out with your fingers as far as it will stretch without breaking. Continue to do so, morphing together until the sides and bottom are lined in dough.

To make a lattice in the way Oma prepares it, take a handful of dough and roll it into a ball. On a clean work surface, roll the dough into logs. Place one dough log on top of the pie filling, starting in the center and working your way out, forming crisscrosses as you go. If one log breaks, fuse it back together and keep going.

Whisk an egg in a small bowl and add a touch of water. With a pastry brush or your very clean fingers, wash the top of the crust with the egg. If you're making vegan dough, you can substitute the egg wash for olive oil or melted coconut oil diluted with a little bit of water.

NOTE: Oma's Dutch Taart Dough easily doubles to make three 9-inch (23-cm) pies or one 9-inch (23-cm) pie with enough dough left over to make a lattice and design for eye-popping embellishment. Instead of using 11/2 cups (360 g) of butter (3 sticks) when doubling the recipe, use 1 cup and 6 tablespoons (330 g) (2 sticks and 6 tablespoons).



We all say in the winter that we wish it were summer, but I think what we all mean to say is that we wish it were spring. Besides looking forward to using a bird's chirp as an alarm clock again, there is the return of juice. Fresh, sweet juice straight from a strawberry. When my sisters and I were kids and asked for dessert, Oma would place a bowl of strawberries in front of us. At first confused by the lack of sugar or chocolate dressing, we'd pause to see if this was a joke, but when my Oma, once a nurse who cared deeply for our vitamin C intake, left it there we dove in. We'd eat them until our cheeks were sticky and sugar seemed unnecessary.

Now when the first quarts of strawberries debut in New York, I stock up and try to stop myself from devouring them all in one sitting, so I get the chance to turn on the oven and create something with those little ruby treasures. Naturally, it's pie that I make. You can't go wrong with a simple strawberry pie that showcases all of its natural talent. But I also enjoy the Vanilla Almond Strawberry Pie for the crunch or the saucy chocolate bed the strawberries are perched upon in the Black Bottom Strawberry Pie. Spring is a time of no sweat and short-sleeve tees and is the introduction to an exciting season of the first fruit pies. You can, of course, substitute the fresh berries springing up in your region with the strawberries I call for in any of these recipes.


I will devour anything labeled "vanilla almond," so I knew I had to explore this flavor with a strawberry pie. The almonds are pulsed down to a crumb, which adds a satisfying crunch to the soft, sweet fruit. Adding chamomile syrup furthers the idea of all the bliss in breakfast. It is, as I detailed in a note to self, "SO GOOD."


1½ lbs (about 5 cups) / 450 g fresh strawberries, hulled and halved

&# 88; cup / 50 g organic cane sugar
Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C).

Prepare Oma's traditional pie dough and your tin (here).

In a small bowl, combine the cut strawberries with vanilla, salt and brown sugar.

Using a food processor or powerful blender, pulse the almonds until they're crumbs. If you pulse or process the almonds too furiously, you might end up with almond butter! Add the ground almond crumbs to the strawberries and let macerate for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, to make the chamomile syrup, combine the sugar and water in a medium saucepan. Stir over medium-high heat with a wooden spoon until the sugar dissolves, about 2 to 3 minutes. Bring the water to a steaming simmer and add the lemon peel and chamomile. Remove from the heat and let steep for 15 minutes. Pour through a fine mesh sieve into a small bowl and allow time to cool, about 8 to 10 minutes.

Slowly pour some excess liquid from the strawberries out. (You can save this liquid in a clean bowl to boil into a syrup of its own to avoid waste later.) Add 3 tablespoons (44 ml) of the syrup to the strawberries and stir in the arrowroot until everything is combined.

Pour the filling into the prepared pie shell, top with a lattice or design of your inspired choice and bake for 50 to 55 minutes. Allow the pie to cool on a rack for at least 2 hours before slicing in!


This is where winter meets spring. Citrus still circulating, like Meyer lemons and blood orange, welcome the fruit to the warmer months. And today they congregate in the shell of a pie. The custard is silky and tops the crumbly, crusted canvas harmoniously. The citrus flair stands out, making this a rich pie my mom asks for regularly.


1 lb (about 2 cups) / 500 g mango (about 11/2 mangoes), cubed
Mint leaves and edible flowers, for garnish

Prepare Oma's traditional pie dough and pre-bake (here).

Puree the cubed mango with the lemon juice in a food processor or powerful blender until smooth, about 45 seconds. Whisk the eggs and yolk in a medium mixing bowl and combine with the pureed mango. Stir in the zest, sugar, spices, vanilla and salt.

Pour the mango mixture into a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, whisking constantly to avoid scrambling the eggs. Continue to whisk, letting the filling bubble and thicken for about 12 to 14 minutes. You'll know the bright orange filling has reached ideal thickness when it's able to coat the back of a wooden spoon.

Remove from the heat and stir in the butter until it's melted and makes the filling silky.

Pour the filling into a clean bowl and let set in the fridge for at least 2 hours or overnight.

Pour the set curd into your pre-baked pie shell. Set in the fridge for 1 hour and enjoy!

TIP: When storing overnight, cover with Saran Wrap and make sure to lay it flat over the custard to avoid a skin film developing.


This straightforward and simple strawberry pie has a sweetness enhanced by dark maple syrup. When something like an in-season strawberry, which I will regard as a natural wonder, is as miraculous as it is, you don't need much more to accentuate its flavor force. Strawberries are the kind of fruit you have access to year-round, no matter your location on the globe, because large commercial farms are pumping them out. We eat them on toast and in cereals, turn them into ice cream and frostings, or pop them in our lunches for a healthy snack. But it isn't until you stroll upon a farm stand in early June that you taste your first one. Their skin is a deep, robust, bright red and the juice from the first bite is the closest to love at first sight your taste buds will ever understand. This pie celebrates the sweetness of the fruit without much added sugar.


1½ lbs (about 5 cups) / 691 g fresh strawberries, hulled and quartered
Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C).

Prepare Oma's traditional pie dough and your tin (here).

Toss the strawberries in the brown sugar. Stir in the lemon juice until all the strawberries are covered and glistening. Let the berries macerate in the bowl for 30 minutes.

Drain any excess liquid and then toss the strawberries in the arrowroot, maple syrup and scraped contents of the vanilla bean. Pour the filling into the prepared pie shell and bake for 50 to 55 minutes, or until golden brown. Resist an early slice and let the pie cool on a rack for at least 2 hours, as it will continue to thicken!


Excerpted from "The Taartwork Pies Cookbook"
by .
Copyright © 2018 Brittany Bennett.
Excerpted by permission of Page Street Publishing Co..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents

Introduction 11

Ingredients 15

Dough 19

Oma's Dutch Taart Dough 25

Vegan Dough 25

Chocolate Dough 25

Spring 27

Vanilla Almond Strawberry Pie with Chamomile Syrup 29

Mango Curd Tart with Fresh Mint and Edible Flowers 30

Sweet Strawberry Pie 32

Strawberry Grappa Pie 33

Strawberry-Rhubarb Ginger Spice Pie 35

Strawberry-Thyme Balsamic Pie with Ricotta Whip 36

Lemon Custard Pie with Herb Blooms 39

Honey Lemon-Chamomile Pie with Salted Oatmeal Crumble 40

Elderflower Strawberry Pie 42

Black Bottom Strawberry Pie 43

Bee Tart 45

Sage Bloom Strawberry Tart 46

Slow Hibiscus Sun Tea Rhubarb Tart 49

Summer 51

Brown Butter Roasted Apricot Buttermilk Pie 53

Rose Hip and Poached Cherry Pie with Pistachio Crumble 54

Mixed Berry Chocolate Surprise Pie 56

Classic Blueberry Pie 57

Robust Peach-Raspberry Pie with Cornflake Crumble 59

Lemon Zest Dark Berry Pie 60

Molasses, Peach and Candied Ginger Pie 63

Chili Cherry Pie with Chocolate Crumble 64

Zesty Peach Pie with Almond Crumble 67

Honey Apricot Open-Faced Tart 68

Stone Fruit Medley Pie 70

Plum andjuniper Berry Tart 71

Open-Faced Roasted Cherry Tart with Tahini-Cocoa Whip and Fresh Currants 73

Peach and Currant Reduction Pie 74

Buttermilk Pie with Raspberry Swirl 77

Fall 79

Traditional Dutch Appeltaart 81

Zucca Pie (Traditional Pumpkin Pie) 82

Maple Pumpkin Pie 83

Dairy-Free Date-Sweetened Squash Pie 84

Cheesy Pear and Fig Pie 87

Honeynut Squash Pie 88

Gingered Pear Pie 89

Brown Sugar Pear and Rosemary Goat Cheese Tart 90

Long Island "Iced Tea" Cheese Pumpkin Pie 93

Herbed Apple Pie 94

Apple Pie with Oatmeal Crumble 97

Sesame Pumpkin Pie with Chocolate-Tahini Swirl 98

Plain Ol' Pear Pie 100

Pumpkin Fig Pie 101

Lavender Zucca Pie 103

Vendemmia Pie 104

Winter 107

Beet-Red White Chocolate Pie 109

Cranberry Tea Curd Tart 110

Speculaas Parsnip Taart 112

Dark Chocolate Spearmint Tart 113

Brown Butter Maple Carrot Pie 115

Salted Date Tart 116

Lemon Olive Oil Mini Tarts 117

Cranberry Sauce Apple Pie 118

Chocolate Coconut Tart 120

Spiced Flourless Chocolate Pie 121

Mary Lou's Brown Sugar Almond Pie 123

Spiced Grapefruit Curd Tart 124

Egg-Free Rosemary Chocolate Silk Pie 127

Honey Sweet Potato Pie 128

Acknowledgments 131

About the Author 133

Index 134

Customer Reviews