Tag Archives: Dessert

Peach-Sweet Tea Sherbet

I'm not a fan of sherbet but I really loved this: captures the taste of fresh peaches perfectly, and it's not icy.
1+ quart sherbet
Shopping List

3  large fresh peaches (or frozen)

1/2 cup buttermilk

almond extract

1 tsp citric acid

11/2 cups milk

1/2 cup heavy cream

3/4 cup sugar

1/2 cup light corn syrup

3 TBL black tea leaves (loose, not from tea bags)

2 tsp tapioca starch OR 4 tsp cornstarch

The book Hello, My Name is Ice Cream is an outstanding source of information and recipe ideas for ice cream. I found the amount of almond flavor overwhelming and suggest a smaller amount here.

Peel

  • 3 large fresh peaches

If using frozen peaches make sure they are peeled.

Cut the peaches into chunks and heat in a small saucepan, mashing. Cook for about 5 to 10 minutes. Let cool and strain through a medium-to-fine sieve. You need to obtain 11/4 cups peach puree and to it add

  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1 couple drops (1/8 tsp) almond extract
  • 1 tsp citric acid

Refrigerate this mixture.

In a saucepan, combine

  • 11/2 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup light corn syrup (The book provides other options)

Over medium heat, cook and stir until it comes to a full boil.  I prefer to use tapioca starch, but ATTNif you are using cornstarch, add

  • 4 tsp cornstarch dissolved completely in 2 TBL water

Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 2 minutes more. Remove from heat.

If you are using tapioca starch, add

  • 2 tsp tapioca starch dissolved completely in 2 TBL water

Add

3 TBL black tea leaves (not from tea bags)

Steep for 6 minutes, but ATTN no longer as it will impart a bitter taste. Strain the hot base through a fine sieve and cool in an ice bath. When the temperature is cool to the touch (50º F), combine with the peach mixture.  Refrigerate for at least 4 hours (to get a better texture). Churn in ice cream freezer. While  you can eat it right away, it’s much better packed and frozen for at least 4-6 hours.

Dana Cree’s excellent book Hello, My Name is Ice Cream

 

Mango Lassi Frozen Yogurt

The hint of orange flower water really makes this frozen yogurt a delight. It's tangy.
1+ quart of frozen yogurt
Shopping List

2 cups full fat Greek yogurt

2 or 3 fresh mangos or 300g frozen mango pieces

1/4 cup buttermilk

1 tsp orange flower water

1 cup heavy cream

2 TBL milk

1 cup sugar

1/4 cup light corn syrup

2 tsp tapioca starch OR 4 tsp cornstarch

The recipe in Hello, My Name is Ice Cream is a much more nuanced description of how to make this frozen yogurt, giving you a number of options for thickeners (“texture agents”) and it has a more subtle mango flavor. I pushed up the mango puree volume substantially. I encourage you to track down the book if you have any interest in ways to improve the result through the use of other texture agents or alternatives to the corn syrup I used. Don’t use low-fat Greek yogurt: it will change the texture of the result because of the higher water ratio.

In a blender, puree about

  • 300g (3/4 pound) mango peeled cubes (fresh or defrosted)

run through a medium strainer to remove any stringy bits. You should have about 11/3 cups mango puree.

Combine and refrigerate

  • 11/3 cups mango puree
  • 2 cups full-fat Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1 tsp orange flower water
  • 1/2 tsp salt

In a saucepan, combine

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup light corn syrup  (The book provides other options)

Over medium heat, cook and stir until it comes to a full boil.  I prefer to use tapioca starch, but ATTNif you are using cornstarch, add

  • 4 tsp cornstarch dissolved completely in 2 TBL cold milk

Reduce heat to a low boil and cook for 2 minutes more. Remove from heat.

If you are using tapioca starch, add

  • 2 tsp tapioca starch dissolved completely in 2 TBL cold milk

Cool the hot base mixture using an ice bath. When the temperature is cool to the touch (50º F), pour the base through a fine sieve to combine it with the mango mixture.  Refrigerate for at least 4 hours (to get a better texture). Churn in ice cream freezer. While  you can eat it right away, the frozen yogurt will have a  much better packed and frozen for at least 4-6 hours.

Dana Cree’s excellent book Hello, My Name is Ice Cream

 

Fresh Cherry Crostata

Easy to make and adaptable to other fruit (see notes)
Makes a 12-inch crostata, serving about 8 people
Shopping List

8 ounces (2 sticks) butter

1/4 cup sugar

2 TBL almond flour or blanched, slivered almond ground finely

2+ cups  flour

3 pounds fresh cherries, pitted (or other stone fruit)

1 TBL tapioca starch or corn starch (for other stone fruit)

A crostata is a homestyle pie that is made in a free-form shape on a flat pan.

In food processor bowl, combine

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 TBL sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Add

  • 6 ounces (11/2 sticks) cold butter, cut into dice

Pulse food processor until mixed. With the motor running, in a slow stream begin to add

  • 1/2 cup ice water

ATTN however you will not use all the water.  As soon as the dough starts to come together, stop the motor. (Discard any extra water.) Form the dough into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap or place in a sealed container and ATTN refrigerate for at least one hour.

Prepare the fruit just before the dough comes out of the oven. If using cherries, wash and pit them, removing stems. If using peaches or other larger stone fruit, peel them by dipping briefly in boiling water, cut into wedges or desired pieces..

Preheat oven to 400º F.

In a small bowl combine the following

  • 2 TBL almond flour
  • 1 TBL flour
  • 1 TBL sugar

ATTN If using fruit other than cherries, add

  • 1 TBL flour (for a total of 2 TBL)
  • 1 TBL tapioca starch

Roll the dough into a 15-inch circle, even up the edges of the dough and transfer to a baking tray that has sides Spread the almond/flour mixture in the center 12-inch circle and place the fruit in that area. Fold the outer 11/2 inch edge of dough in, making a pattern of decorative folds with the excess. Spread

  • 2 TBL melted butter

on the dough and then sprinkle with

  • 2 TBL sugar (sometimes I use coarser sugar)

Bake for 50 to 60 minutes until the crust is lightly browned and the fruit is bubbling. Remove and serve slightly warm or at room temperature.

Adapted from Food & Wine Magazine.

 

Pâte Sucrée

Shopping List

  • 16 ounces (about 15/8 cups) all purpose flour
  • 8 ounces (2 sticks) butter
  • 5.5 ounces granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 11/2 Tbl heavy cream
  • 1 Tbl vanilla extract

This is a sweet tart dough. Makes 2 tart shells. Use one, freeze one to use later.

Sift

  • 16 ounces (about 15/8 cups) all purpose flour

and set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream

  • 8 ounces (2 sticks) butter
  • 5.5 ounces granulated sugar

on high speed until light and fluffy, stopping regularly to scrape down the sides, bottom and paddle, about 8 minutes. One at a time, add

  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk

and beat well between additions. Scrape one more time, then give it a good final mix on high speed. Add

  • the 16 ounces of sifted flour
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 11/2 Tbl heavy cream
  • 1 Tbl vanilla extract

Mix on low until the dough comes together. Finish mixing by hand with a large rubber spatula. Divide the dough into two flat, round disks. Double wrap tightly in plastic wrap and chill for at least two hours.

One hour before baking, roll out the dough on a heavily floured surface, until it is just shy of 1/4-inch thick. Roll the dough back onto the rolling pin, then gently roll it out over the tart pan. Press the dough into the pan to shape it, then cut off the excess, leaving 1/4-inch of overhang. Chill for one hour.

Adjust oven rack to center position and preheat the oven to 350°F. Remove the tart shell from the fridge, trim the overhang off of the edge of the tart, patch any thin parts or cracks with excess dough. Line the tart shell with foil and fill with weights or beans. Place the tart in the center of the bottom rack of the preheated oven. Bake for 20 minutes, rotating halfway through. Remove the weights and foil, and continue to bake until the bottom is golden brown, about 15-20 additional minutes. Cool the shell completely before removing from the pan or filling.

 

 

Fig and Hazelnut Tart

 

Shopping List

1 cup blanched hazelnuts, toasted

1/3+ cup granulated sugar

scant light brown sugar

1/2 tsp kosher salt

2 large eggs

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cold, cut into chunks

1 Tbl Frangelico

1 Tbl vanilla extract

about 15 fresh black figs

In an 8- to 10-inch tart pan, make

  • 1/2 recipe for Pâte Sucrée (Sweet Tart Dough), blind baked and cooled

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Adjust oven rack to middle position. In a food processor, combine

  • 1 cup blanched hazelnuts, toasted
  • 1/3+ cup granulated sugar
  • scant light brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt

Pulse until the mixture is sandy and there aren’t large pieces of nuts left.  Add

  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cold, cut into chunks
  • 1 Tbl Frangelico
  • 1 Tbl vanilla extract

and pulse until the eggs are smooth but chunks of butter are still visible, about 15 – 20 short pulses. Scrape the sides of the food processor and pulse an additional 5 times. Scrape the mixture into the cooled tart shell. Arrange

  • about 15 fresh black figs, stems trimmed and cut in half

cut side up on top of the filling.

Bake 20 minutes at 375°F, then rotate the tart 90 degrees on the rack. Lower the oven to 325°F and bake until the figs begin to bubble and caramelize and the filling turns golden brown all over, about 45 additional minutes, turning again halfway through. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely before serving.

Flourless Orange and Almond Cake

No butter, no oil, no flour: a delicious, moist cake with the flavor of almonds and orange. Served with a marmalade sauce.
Makes an 8-inch or 10-inch cake
Shopping List

2 navel oranges

65g or 100g brown sugar

130g or 200g granulated (white) sugar

4 or 6 eggs

165g or 250g almond flour

1 tsp or 11/2 tsp baking powder

This recipe can make either an 8-inch or 10-inch pan. Whichever you use, ATTNmake sure it is at least 11/2 inches high.

Simmer, covered thoroughly in water for 2 hours:

  • 2 navel oranges

Alternatively, place them in a 6-quart pressure cooker with enough water to cover (even if you have to hold them down to measure it) and process at high pressure for 20 minutes. Let pressure release naturally. Discard the water.

Preheat oven to 350º F. Line the bottom of the greased baking pan with parchment paper.

In the bowl of a food processor, combine

  • 65g or 100g brown sugar
  • 130g or 200g granulated (white) sugar
  • 4 or 6 eggs

Process until it forms a fluffy mixture. Cut the cooked unpeeled cooked oranges into 8 pieces. The two I used weighed 600g after cooking, so for the 8-inch cake I used only 400g of the orange; I discarded the excess. Add the measured orange to the food processor and process until it has been fully incorporated: you’ll see small pieces of skin floating through the mixture. ATTN For the larger cake I had to process it in two batches.

Combine in a bowl

  • 165g or 250g almond flour
  • 1 tsp or 11/2 tsp baking powder

Transfer the liquid mixture to a large bowl. Add the dry ingredients and stir to combine. Transfer batter to prepared pan and bake. The small cake takes about 45 to 60 minutes. The 10-inch cake bakes for 60 to 90 minutes. The top will get fairly dark (cover with loose foil if it’s getting too dark) and a toothpick inserted in the middle should come out clean.

Cool for 10 minutes on a rack, run knife around pan and then invert twice (removing parchment paper) and leave it on a rack to finish cooling.

Thin out some orange marmalade with water at a simmer. Let cool. To serve, combine some mascarpone with milk or cream, served on the side of a slice of cake, drizzling the top of the wedge with a spoonful of the thinned marmalade mixture.

Adapted from the Polpo cookbook

 

Almond Polenta Pound Cake

We love this cake, but getting to this point was a little bit of torture. Read the story at the end of the recipe.
Makes one Bundt or 10-inch tube cake
Shopping List

3/4 cup (11/2 sticks) unsalted butter

1/2 cup (4 ounces) almond paste

11/4 cup sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

6 eggs

11/2 cups cake flour

3/4 cup coarse cornmeal

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 cup heavy cream

Preheat oven to 350°. Grease and flour a Bundt or 10-inch tube pan.

Separate

  • 6 eggs

Reserve egg yolks. With electric mixer beat egg whites with

  • 1/4 cup sugar

until soft peaks form. In an electric mixer, cream together

  • 3/4 cup (11/2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup almond paste
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Scrape down the sides of the bowl frequently. Add all six egg yolks to butter-sugar mixture and blend well. In another bowl, sift together

  • 11/2 cups cake flour (or 11/2 cups less 3 tablespoons of sifted all-purpose flour)
  • 3/4 cup coarse cornmeal (I prefer the consistency of Quaker cornmeal)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

Add to the butter-sugar mixture. Add

  • 1 cup heavy cream

Mix until well blended and set aside.

Fold half the egg whites into the butter mixture and incorporate well. Gently fold in remaining whites and pour mixture into prepared pan.

Bake 65 minutes. Cake will be done with the top is golden and is firm to the touch. A toothpick inserted in the cake will come out clean when cake is completely baked.

Let the cake cool on the rack for ATTN 15 minutes before turning out.

The original recipe calls for one 9-inch pan. When Bob mixed the batter, he knew he had a problem: it couldn’t all fit in one pan. He called the Coyote Cafe restaurant in Santa Fe, asked for the pastry chef, and told her his dilemma. She said, “Oh, the old pastry chef contributed most of the dessert recipes, and many of them have problems.” She even went as far as naming one recipe that should be completely avoided. Her suggestion was a bigger pan and longer baking. This is now one of our favorite recipes.

Adapted from Coyote Cafe, by Mark Miller

Dried Fruit Fruitcake

My mother found the basis for this recipe in Family Circle or Good Housekeeping magazine around 1970 and made it several times. Before eating this, I thought fruitcake was awful, but this is a real delight.
2 loaves or 1 large round cake

Combine

  • 2 cups dried apples, finely chopped
  • 6 ounces dried apricots, chopped
  • 8 ounces pitted whole dates, snipped into small pieces
  • 1 cup currants
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 3/4 cup calvados (or apple juice)

(Note that this totals to about 8 cups of fruit but the volume will vary depending on how it is packed and how large the pieces are cut.)  Let mixture stand 1 hour.

Meanwhile, stir together and set aside

  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 tsp ground allspice

Preheat over to 300º F. Make batter by creaming

  • 1 cup butter

Blend in

  • 1 cup sugar

One at a time, beating after each, add

  • 6 eggs

Add flour mixture in 3 parts, alternating with a total of

  • 16 ounces applesauce

Stir in fruit after incorporating flour. Grease and flour pans: I use 2 9- by 5-inch loaf pans, but you may choose to make one large cake in a 10-inch tube pan.  The tube pan takes 2 hours to cook and the loaf pans take about 1 hour 45 minutes.

Cool cake(s) and remove from pan(s). Soak cheesecloth in

  • brandy as needed

wrapping cake(s) in cheesecloth, then in a plastic bag. Store the cake at room temperature, but avoid hot places. Check back on the cake every 2 weeks and if the cheesecloth has dried, be sure to re-soak the cloth and re-wrap the cake. The cakes will need about 6-8 weeks of aging before they are ready to eat.

ATTN The brandy you choose will change the flavor of the cake. A fruit-flavored brandy, such as Calvados or Grappa would probably be great. I’ve used Metaxa and been quite happy, but I’ve also had great results with cheap blackberry-flavored brandy, which is what my mother always used.

Creamy Coffee Pops

When making this recipe, choose strong coffee. I used decaf to accommodate our friends. If you have already got ready-made coffee, you need about 11/2 cups of coffee. Or starting from the basics, in a French press,  brew

  • 3/4 cup  ground coffee (I used decaf espresso to accommodate our friends)
  • 2 cups boiling water

In a mixing bowl, combine

  • 11/2 cups strong brewed coffee
  • 2/3 to 3/4 14-ounce can of sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream

Stir until everything is mixed thoroughly, adjusting the sweetness to your taste by varying the varying the amount of sweetened condensed milk. Refrigerate the mixture for an hour and pour into a frozen pop mold.

In my mold it was enough to make 11 pops, but it will vary according to the size of the molds you use.

 

Key Lime Pie Pops

No key limes in mine, but the taste is wonderful.
Shopping List

4 large limes or 7-8 key limes or 1 bottle key lime juice

14-ounce can of sweetenend condensed milk

1/2 cup heavy cream

1/2 cup milk

1 box graham crackers

Zest limes to make

  • 2 tsp lime zest

Juice limes to make

  • 3/4 cup lime juice

Combine juice, zest and

  • 14-ounce can of sweetenend condensed milk
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • pinch salt

Stir to mix and pour into popsicle molds. Freeze until solid.

Coarsely crush graham crackers to make

3 cups of graham cracker crumbs

To serve, dip mold in lukewarm water for 10 seconds. Unmold each popsicle,   press each side into graham cracker crumbs, coating thoroughly.

ATTNUse gluten-free graham crackers if you want a gluten-free dessert. The pops are also delicious without the coating.

From Smitten Kitchen who republished it from Paletas by Fany Gerson

 

Old Jew Cake

We served these bar cookies at a large party. Over the next few days we received several requests for this recipe, and all the callers had two things in common: they were over 45 and Jewish. We renamed the recipe shortly thereafter. But what age is “old” these days, anyway?
Makes 20 bars
Shopping List

1 cup cake flour

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 cup plus 3 tablespoons sugar

1/3 cup packed almond paste (about 3 ounces)

5 eggs

1/2 pound (2 sticks) margarine

2 tablespoons corn syrup

1/4 cup milk

11/2 teaspoon almond extract

13/4 cups finely chopped unblanched almonds (see tips)

1 cup yellow cake crumbs (see tips)

1/2 cup seedless raspberry jam

Powdered sugar

Position a rack in the middle of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350°. Line a 101/2– by 151/2– by 1-inch baking pan (jelly roll pan) with heavy aluminum foil, letting the foil extend over the edges of the pan. (If you don’t have a pan that size, you might have to adjust the baking time: I have made this in a 9 x 13 x 1 inch pan successfully.) Grease the foil by ATTNputting a pat of margarine on the pan and placing the pan in the warm oven for 30 seconds, and brushing the softened margarine around.

Sift together and set aside.

  • 1 cup cake flour (or 1 cup less 2 tablespoons of sifted all-purpose flour)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

Whip together to form soft peaks

  • 3 egg whites (reserve yolks for next step)

Reduce the speed to medium and slowly beat in

  • 3 tablespoons sugar

Reserve egg whites for use at end of recipe.

In the mixer beat on medium speed until blended smoothly, about one minute

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup packed almond paste (about 3 ounces)
  • 1 egg

Add and mix until blended, about one minute

  • 1/2 pound (2 sticks) cold or slightly softened margarine, cut into pieces
  • 2 tablespoons corn syrup

Add, one at a time

  • 1 egg (yes, the remaining whole egg)
  • 3 egg yolks (reserved above)

Beat for one minute, stopping the mixer to scrape down the sides of the bowl during the process. Decrease the speed to low and add

  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 11/2 teaspoons almond extract

The mixture may look curdled: fear not. Add

  • 11/4 cups finely chopped unblanched almonds
  • 1 cup yellow cake crumbs (see note below)

Also add the flour mixture, and mix just until all the ingredients are incorporated and the batter looks smooth. ATTNDo not overbeat.

Using a large rubber spatula to fold the egg whites into the almond batter, working just until no white streaks remain. Spread the batter evenly in the prepared pan. Bake until the top is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 22 minutes.

Cool thoroughly in the pan. Use the overhanging edges of aluminum foil to lift the bars out of the pan, then peel the foil away from the sides. Invert the bars onto the back of the baking pan and remove the foil carefully. With the bottom side up and the long side facing you, cut the bars in half. You will have two pieces measuring about 10 by 71/2 inches each. Spread one piece with

  • 1/4 cup raspberry jam

Use the removable bottom of a tart pan to invert the remaining piece and slide it, top side up, on top of the jam-covered layer. Spread

  • 1/4 cup raspberry jam

over the top. Sprinkle with

  • 1/2 cup finely chopped unblanched almonds

evenly over the top and dust the top with

  • powdered sugar

You will have one double-layered piece measuring about 10 by 71/2 inches. To cut into 20 pieces, cut four rows the long way and five rows across. This makes 20 bars, 2 by 11/2 inches.

ATTNYou can process the almonds in the food processor until some are ground but larger pieces up to 1/4 inch in size remain. A combination of ground and finely chopped almonds gives the best results.

ATTNGrate 1/3 of a Sara Lee or other commercial pound cake to make 1 cup of cake crumbs.

You can also assemble this as a single-layer cake. Either way, ATTNthe top layer looks best if you put the nuts on 6 hours or less before serving. The cake keeps up to a week in a cool kitchen, but it won’t sit around that long.

Adapted from 125 Cookies to Bake, Nibble and Savor by Elinor Klivans

Lemon Rice Cake

A gluten-free lemon cake we love to serve. The cake has a distinct texture from the rice flour, somewhat like that of cheesecake.
Make about 20 pieces
Shopping List

1/2 pound butter

2 cups sugar

6 eggs

3-4 lemons

21/4 cups rice flour

Grease and flour an 9x9x2-inch pan. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Grate 3-4 lemons to make

  • 1/4 cup lemon rind

Juice lemons to make

  • 3 TBL lemon juice

Reserve juice and rind. Separate

  • 6 eggs

Beat and reserve yolks. In a mixer, beat egg whites until foamy. ATTN Slowly add

  • 1 cup sugar

beating until egg whites form soft peaks.

Reserve egg whites and in mixer bowl, cream

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter (or use ATTN unsalted Fleishman’s margarine to make a dairy-free version)
  • 1/4 tsp salt

light and fluffy. Gradually add

  • 1 cup sugar

Add beaten egg yolks, lemon rind and lemon juice to mix. Add

  • 21/4 cups rice flour

Fold egg whites into batter. Place batter into the greased pan and bake for 55 minutes. Cool in pan 10 minutes, then remove.

When cool, cut into 20 pieces.

 

Lemon Bars

For Paul Chazan, who can’t get enough of them.

Makes one 9- by 13-inch pan, or 36 bars

1 cup unsalted butter

21/2 cups sifted powdered sugar

21/4 cups sifted flour

4 eggs

2 cups sugar

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 cup lemon juice

3 tablespoons grated lemon peel

ATTNThere is an alternate crust recipe below if you prefer something with a bit of crunch from some cornmeal.

Preheat oven to 350° F. To prepare crust, beat

  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup sifted powdered sugar

until creamy. Stir in

  • 2 cups sifted flour

until evenly blended. Spread evenly into an ungreased 9- by 13- by 2-inch baking pan. Bake in a 350° oven for 15 minutes, or until lightly browned.

While the crust is baking, prepare the filling. Beat

  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups sugar

until light and fluffy. Stir in

  • 1/4 cup sifted flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoon grated lemon peel

Pour filling over hot crust. Return to oven and continue baking for 30 minutes, or until filling is set. Remove from oven and cool for 10 minutes.

Make glaze by combining

  • 2 cups sifted powdered sugar
  • 3 tablespoons hot water

Stir until sugar is dissolved. This makes a sweet, fairly thick white glaze. We prefer a thinner, translucent glaze. Start with 1 cup of sugar and add water, or more sugar, as desired. Spread over top and finish cooling. Cut into bars. They keep well wrapped in foil or in an airtight container.

Adapted from The Old-fashioned Cookbook, by Jan McBride Carlton

I recently discovered an alternate crust I like for lemon bars, from the wonderful book Chewy Gooey Crispy Crunchy, by Alice Medrich.

Preheat oven to 350° F. Line a 9- by 13-inch pan with aluminum foil. In a bowl, combine

  • 11/3 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda

In mixer bowl, beat together

  • 1/4 cup softened butter
  • 2/3 cup sugar

Add

  • 1 whole egg
  • 2 TBL buttermilk or yogurt
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla

Beat the least possible amount of time on the lowest speed to combine in the flour. Knead by hand to ensure flour is incorporated. Press into lined pan, prick everywhere with a fork, then bake for 25 minutes until deep golden brown. Continue by pouring filling over hot crust as describe above.

Hot Fudge Sauce

This started with a recipe from marthastewart.com, I am embarrassed to say.
Almost 2 cups

Chop into small pieces

  • 6 ounces of chocolate

Martha recommended semisweet chocolate, however I used dark chocolate (70%) from Trader Joe’s and the result was not too sweet.

In a medium saucepan over a medium high setting, heat until boiling

  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup clear corn syrup

Reduce the heat and add all the chocolate. Whisk until it is completely melted and a smooth sauce forms. Remove from heat and add

  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Let cool to a bit before serving as it’s a bit thin while still hot. The leftovers can be refrigerated and reheated. It won’t keep forever like the commercial stuff, but I’m sure it will be gobbled up well before that’s an issue. It’s delicious.

 

Rhubarb Crumble

Not particularly sweet — on purpose.
4 to 6 servings

Preheat oven to 350 F. Wash, dry and trim

  • 11/3 pounds of rhubarb

Cut it into short pieces across the stem. It will make about 4 cups (one quart).

Add

  • 3 TBL sugar
  • 3 TBL flour

Let stand for 15 minutes, while you mix the crumble topping.

In another bowl, combine

  • 2/3 cup flour
  • 1/3 cup oats
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
  • 1/8 tsp salt

When it is mixed thoroughly, add

  • 5 TBL butter, melted

mix together with your fingers. It should stick together.

Butter a 11/2 quart ovenproof dish. Dump the rhubarb mixture in. Dot with

  • 1 TBL butter

Place the topping over the rhubarb. You want to press it down so it holds together a bit. Bake in oven until bubbly and top is browned, about 35 to 45 minutes. Sometimes I put it under the broiler to finish the browning, but if you do that, keep an eye on it!

Delicious served in bowls with vanilla ice cream.