Desserts, Free Recipes, Pies and Tarts

Boiled Apple Cider Custard Tart

Makes one 11-inch tart A classic northeast specialty typically made in pie form, but upgraded here to an elegant tart. Serve each slice with vanilla ice cream to offset the brightness of the apples. Pears can be easily substituted for the apple. To see how it’s done, check out this […]


Crème Brûlée

Makes 5 servings We can all thank legendary CIA pastry chef instructor, Dieter Schorner, for reinvigorating the United States’ collective love of crème brûlée as pastry chef of New York City’s famed Le Cirque in the 1980s. Enjoy our classic version, but don’t be afraid to add spices or other […]


Crème Caramel

Makes 6 servings Crème caramel is a dessert that produces its own sauce, as long as you are patient with it. After the custard bakes, it needs to cool long enough for two things to happen: the custard must become firm enough to unmold, and the caramel underneath the custard […]


Diplomat Cream

Makes about 4 cups Diplomat Cream, a blend of pastry cream and whipped cream, can be used as a filling for cream puffs or chocolate éclairs, or as a layer in a trifle or icebox cake. The pastries should be baked and cooled before you make the diplomat cream; once […]


Lemon Curd

Makes about 1 1/2 cups A curd is a fruit juice-based custard. Though lemon is popular, you can replace the lemon juice in this recipe for lime juice, clementine juice, or any other slightly tart fruit juice. Ingredients 6 large egg yolks 3/4 cup sugar (divided use) 3/4 cup (1 […]

Chef's Blog, Chef's Notes Plus

Making Cheesecake

Deliciously dense cheesecake is a cross between custard, pie, and cake. It can seem troublesome—from cracking tops to dry crusts—but with a great recipe (we happen to like ours quite a bit!) and some patience, you can make a perfect cheesecake each time. 1. Making a crumb crust Crumb crusts […]


Pastry Cream

Makes about 2 cups Pastry cream, which is essentially vanilla pudding, is incredibly versatile. It is commonly found as a filling in eclairs or as the base of a fresh fruit tart, but you can also use it for trifles, as a layer cake filling, in a cream pie, or […]

Desserts, Free Recipes

Pumpkin Spice Crème Brûlée

Makes 6 servings This recipe combines the classic crème brûlée with the popular pumpkin spice flavor we all know and love (especially in lattes!). Don’t let its reputation as a high-end dessert fool you—crème brûlée is actually not too difficult to make! In fact, baking and pastry students learn to […]

Chef's Blog, Chef's Notes Plus

Recipes Between the Lines: Hot Water Bath

If you’ve ever encounter a recipe that told you to, “Bake in a hot water bath” with no further instruction, keep reading. Some ingredients are just more sensitive than others, and as you discover more about food, you learn how to handle even the most delicate of ingredients (talking about […]

Chef's Blog, Chef's Notes Plus

Tempering Eggs for Smooth Custards and Creams

Tempering is a technique that allows you to add eggs to a hot liquid without scrambling them. We see tempering in recipes for crème brûlée, vanilla sauce, pastry cream, and some savory cooked egg dishes. The technique itself is simple but fast-moving, and it requires some preparation before beginning to […]