Hot Plate

A gauntlet of goodies: Try to ignore the creamy profusion of profiteroles and pistachio cream cakes long enough to reach the splendid peach-plum amaretto tart, all the way at the end of the imposing glass case at the Epicure French Bakery and Tea Room [2005 West Gray, (713)520-6174]. Austrian-trained pastry chef Amir Khan loads a sweet, buttery linzertorte shell with firm, purple-skinned quarters of fresh plum, sunny slices of peach and amaretto-tinted pastry cream then tops the tart with a glossy apricot glaze clear as spring water. "It's our own special creation, a recipe in our family for more than 20 years," says Khan, with justifiable pride. "You won't find these fruits in a tart anywhere else.

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