Finalist: Karen Baer Perez, Coral Springs The recipe: Pear tart with maple raspberry glaze Why it tastes so good: It's part fruit tart, part cheesecake, brought together by a graham cracker crumb crust and a raspberry/maple glaze. If you like your desserts sweet, this one's for you. Baker bio: Although Baer Perez, 54, works in sales for Carl's Furniture, she thinks baking might be in her genes. Her grandfather, Hyman Baer, owned Baer's Bakery in Merrick, N.Y. Her niece studied to be a pastry chef at Johnson & Wales University. Growing up in East Islip, N.Y., she couldn't wait for the weekly food section to arrive in the daily newspaper. Married 18 months ago to Joseph Perez — it's a first marriage for both — she's found a willing taste tester for her creativity. "He'll try anything I make."
Josh Ritchie, Sun Sentinel
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