The Dish: Acclaimed pastry chef Claudia Fleming shares her favorite sweet and savory recipes

Acclaimed chef shares her favorite recipes
Acclaimed chef shares her favorite recipes 05:36

Pastry chef Claudia Fleming is the author of what Bon Appétit magazine called "the greatest dessert book in the history of the world." As the acclaimed cookbook nears its 20 year anniversary, Fleming has re-released "The Last Course," and she joined "CBS This Morning" to share some of her favorite recipes, both sweet and savory. 

Fennel and bitter green salad with pomegranate and goat cheese (serves 4) 

Ingredients (SALAD):

  • ½ medium fennel bulb
  • 4 loosely packed cups baby arugula
  • ½ small head radicchio, leaves torn
  • 2-ounces olive oil marinated goat cheese
  • ¼ cup cured black olives, rough chopped
  • ¼ cup fresh pomegranate seeds

Ingredients (DRESSING):

  • 1 tablespoon Champagne vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed orange juice
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • About ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

To make the salad, slicing the fennel paper thin (you can do this up to an hour ahead and hold it in a bowl of ice water until just before serving). Combine the fennel with arugula and radicchio leaves in a salad bowl.

To make the dressing, Combine the vinegar and orange juice in a small mixing bowl.

Season with salt and pepper then, slowly whisk in 3 tablespoons of the oil. Taste the dressing and add enough additional oil so the vinaigrette tastes nicely balanced.

Dress the fennel and greens mixture with half of the vinaigrette. Crumble the marinated goat cheese and distribute it over the salad, along with the chopped olives, and pomegranate seeds.

Finish the salad by spooning enough of the reserved vinaigrette over it so the garnish is well dressed then serve.

Assorted toasts (serves 4) 


  • 1 loaf ciabatta, sliced about ½ inch thick
  • About 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 8-ounces fresh sheep's milk ricotta
  • 8-ounce jar olive tapenade
  • ¼ pound thinly sliced prosciutto
  • 8-ounces homemade or prepared peeled roasted red peppers
  • 4-ounces chili infused honey
  • 1-ounce fennel pollen

Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Spread the oil out on a sheet tray. Arrange the bread in a single layer on the pan. Turn each piece over so both sides get some olive oil.

Season very lightly with salt then toast until the bread is golden, about 15 minutes.

NOTE: Assemble the toasts as you like; I usually spread a few slices with ricotta and season with salt and pepper, top others with tapenade, pile prosciutto alone or with roasted red pepper on a several more. Garnish as you go with honey and fennel pollen. 

Slow-roasted garlic chicken with sweet potatoes (serves 4) 

Ingredients (CHICKEN):

  • 3 to 3 ½-pound chicken (preferably a free range local bird)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • About 2 tablespoons minced fresh garlic
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • About 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature

Ingredients (POTATOES):

  • 3 large sweet potatoes
  • About ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
  • 3 tablespoons good quality aged balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

Use your fingers to separate the skin from the chicken's breast and thighs. Salt and pepper the cavity.

In a small bowl, combine the garlic, parsley and butter. Season lightly with salt and pepper and then cream the butter mixture so the garlic and parsley are evenly distributed.

Again, using your fingers, smear the garlic mixture under the skin of the chicken directly on the breast and thighs, working the butter towards the leg meat. 

Sprinkle the chicken's skin with a little more salt and some pepper, truss it (so it cooks evenly) then place it in a roasting pan or ovenproof skillet large enough to hold the bird and eventually the sweet potatoes. Roast the chicken for an hour, basting after 30 minutes with the pan juices. 

When the chicken has roasted almost an hour peel the sweet potatoes, cut them into spears then place in a bowl and toss with the olive oil; season with salt and pepper. Arrange the sweet potatoes around the chicken and continue roasting.

Stir the potatoes after 30 minutes so they cook evenly. Begin checking in on the chicken (which will likely require a total of about 2 hours to cook). When an instant-read thermometer in the thigh registers 160 degrees (and the juices run clear) the bird is done.

Remove it from the oven and let it rest in a warm place until the potatoes are tender, they'll need about an hour all told.

Meanwhile, lightly toast the sesame seeds in a dry pan over low heat.

TO SERVE: Carve the chicken and place the meat on a serving platter. Spoon the sweet potatoes into a serving bowl (or around the chicken). Drizzle them with Balsamic, season with salt then sprinkle with sesame seeds and parsley and serve. 

Caramel blood oranges (serves 6) 


  • ½ cup pistachios
  • 8 small blood oranges (or a mixture of sweet and blood oranges)
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of light corn syrup

Toast the pistachios in a 300 degree oven, about 10 minutes. Allow the nuts to cool, chop them and reserve them for garnish.

Peel and segment the oranges. Using a sharp paring knife, carefully trim away the bitter white pith that surrounds each segment. Place the oranges in a serving bowl.

Combine ½ cup water, sugar and corn syrup in a large heavy saucepan. Heat over medium high, swirling the pan as the mixture simmers and the sugar dissolves then begins to caramelize.

Cook swirling until the caramel is a dark amber, about 7 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat. Taking care to avoid being spattered if the caramel bubbles over, add ¼ cup of water to stop the cooking.

Stir until the water is incorporated and the caramel is smooth, about 5 minutes.

Pour the caramel over the orange segments, garnish with the chopped pistachios and serve.

Chocolate caramel tart (makes 24 tartlets, or one 10" tart) 

Ingredients (DOUGH):

  • ½ cup unsalted butter
  • ½ cup plus 1 tablespoon confectioner's sugar
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • ¾ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup unsweetened Dutch-processed cocoa powder

Ingredients (CARAMEL):

  • 2 cups sugar
  • ¼ cup light corn syrup
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons crème fraiche

Ingredients (GLAZE):

  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 3 ½ ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • Pinch of sea salt, optional

Directions (DOUGH):
Cream the butter with the confectioner's sugar in an electric mixer. Add the yolk and vanilla and beat until incorporated and smooth.

Sift in the flour and cocoa and mix on low until just combined.

Gather the dough into a ball, form it into a disk, wrap it in plastic and then chill for at least one hour but up to 3 days.

Directions (SHELLS):
Heat the oven to 325 degrees. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough into an 18 x 12-inch rectangle, just under a ¼ inch thick.

Cut out 24 rounds with a 2 ½ inch cutter, then fit each into a muffin tin, trimming away any excess dough.

Prick the shells all over and chill for 20 minutes.

Blind bake the shells, lining them with foil then weighting them with pie weights or dried beans. Bake until the edges begin to look a bit cooked, 15 minutes, then remove the foil and weights and continue baking until the shell bottoms look set and dry, 5 to 10 minutes longer.

Let the shells cool for a minute then carefully transfer them to a rack to cool completely.

Directions (CARAMEL):
Combine ½ cup of water, the sugar and corn syrup in a large saucepan and heating over medium high, swirling the pan so the mixture browns evenly.

When it is dark amber, about 10 minutes, remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the butter, then the cream and the crème fraiche (the caramel will bubble and foam dramatically so be careful).

Remove the filling from the heat and let the caramel settle, then while it is still warm, divide it among the tart shells. Allow the caramel to cool completely, at least 45 minutes.

Directions (GLAZE):
Bring the cream to a boil over medium high heat. Meanwhile, put the chopped chocolate in a mixing bowl.

Pour the hot cream over the chocolate, letting the two begin to melt together for 2 minutes, then whisk until smooth.

Pour glaze over each tart then set the tarts aside so the glaze can cool for at least 2 hours. Serve at room temperature, sprinkled with sea salt if desired. 

Campari spritz (serves 1)


Combine 1 ounce of Campari with 2 ounces of freshly squeezed blood orange juice in a glass or shaker. 

Stir or shake to mix then add about 3 ounces of Prosecco (or other dry sparkling wine).

Serve over ice. 

Prosecco sabayon (approx. 2 cups) 


  • ¼ cup heavy cream 
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup Prosecco (or other dry sparkling wine)

Have a bowl set over ice ready to go. Whip the cream until it holds soft peaks and reserve in the refrigerator. 

In the top of a double boiler, working over medium heat (or in a metal bowl set over a saucepan filled with simmering water), whisk together the yolks and sugar until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is smooth.

Add the Prosecco and whisk until the mixture is thick and glossy and a dollop holds its shape when spooned onto a plate, about 4 minutes.

Transfer the sabayon to the bowl set over ice and whisk until the mixture feels cold. Fold in the whipped cream and serve.