In this week's Taste of the Past, the focus is on Lee Svitak Dean's first seasonal menu, published on Sept. 17, 1989. Since then, Lee, who started as a Taste staff writer in 1982 and has been the section's editor since 1994, has published dozens of quarterly menus, many of which became the basis for her 2009 cookbook, "Come One, Come All, Easy Entertaining with Seasonal Menus."

Here are two staff-tested recipes from that first story, perfect for a late-September meal.


Serves 6.

Note: This recipe must be prepared in advance. From the Sept. 17, 1989 issue of Taste.

For pastry:

1 pkg. (1 lb.) frozen puff pastry, defrosted until soft enough to roll, but still very cool

Flour for rolling pastry

For caramel sauce:

1 c. sugar

½ c. water

¾ c. heavy cream

3 tbsp. butter

For apple filling:

6 large tart apples (about 3 lbs.)

4 tbsp. (1/2 stick) butter

1/3 c. sugar

1 tbsp. flour

1 egg, lightly beaten with 1 tsp. water


To prepare pastry: On a lightly floured board, roll half of pastry (1 sheet) into a 13-inch square; transfer to an 11-inch tart pan with a removable bottom. Press pastry into bottom and sides of pan and trim edges even with top rim. Refrigerate pastry lined pan and remaining pastry while preparing sauce and filling.

To prepare caramel sauce: In a medium saucepan over high heat, combine sugar and water and cook, without stirring, until mixture turns golden brown (this takes quite a while, but it will need watching so the mixture doesn’t burn). Immediately remove from heat and slowly whisk in cold cream, working quickly as the sugar will harden almost instantly, but stirring should smooth out most of the lumps. Stir in butter until melted. Strain out any lumps before using.

To prepare tart: Adjust oven rack to lowest position and preheat oven to 425 degrees. Peel, halve, core and thinly slice apples. In a large skillet over medium heat, melt butter. Saute apples, turning often, until barely tender, about 5 to 8 minutes. Remove from heat and sprinkle with sugar and flour, stirring until coated. Pour hot apples and their juices into pastry lined pan. Measure ½ cup warm caramel sauce and pour over apples (reserving remaining caramel sauce; it may be refrigerated in a tightly sealed container for up to 2 weeks). On a lightly floured board, roll remaining puff pastry into a 13-inch square and cut a 12-inch circle, cutting a 1-inch circle out of the center. Place pastry over apples, pressing pastry onto rim of pan and trimming edges. Brush top with egg glaze. (If desired, re-roll pastry scraps, cut into decorative shapes and place on top of tart, then brush with egg glaze). Place tart on a rimmed baking sheet and bake until top is a deep golden brown and top crust has pulled away from the sides of the pan, about 30 to 40 minutes. Remove from oven, transfer to a wire rack and cool for 10 minutes. To keep sides from sticking, place tart on a bowl smaller than the tart pan. Carefully lower the sides and then raise them back in place and place tart on a wire rack. Let tart cool in pan for at least 30 minutes. When ready to serve, warm remaining caramel sauce in a microwave oven or a double boiler. To serve, remove sides of tart pan, place tart on a serving plate, slice, spoon warm sauce over each serving and serve.


Serves 8.

Note: This recipe must be prepared in advance. From the Sept. 17, 1989 issue of Taste.

2 lb. carrots, peeled and cut into 3- by ¼-inch julienne

2 c. dry white wine

2 c. white wine vinegar

1 c. water ½ c. olive oil

2 tbsp. sugar

2 tsp. salt

2 bay leaves

¼ c. freshly chopped fresh oregano, plus extra for garnish

¼ c. freshly chopped flat-leaf parsley

2 large garlic cloves, minced

½ tsp. red pepper flakes

2 tsp. Dijon mustard


Leave julienned carrots in cool water until ready to cook. In a medium saucepan , combine white wine, vinegar, water, olive oil, sugar, salt, bay leaves, oregano, parsley, garlic and pepper flakes. Cover and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer about 10 minutes. Strain liquid, discarding solids, and return liquid into saucepan. Add carrots, return saucepan to high heat and bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and cook until carrots are just beginning to become tender. Strain carrots, reserving liquid and transferring carrots into a shallow baking dish. Whisk mustard into liquid, pour liquid over carrots, cover and marinate at least overnight or up to 1 week. When ready to serve, remove from refrigerator and bring carrots to room temperature. Drain, garnish with freshly chopped oregano and serve.