Posted on

Gingered Peach-Blackberry Slab Pie

slab

Fresh ginger adds a warm, spicy undertone to this stone fruit and berry pie, which is ideal for serving a crowd. The rectangular slab pie is baked in a jelly-roll pan, so it serves more people than a traditional round one.

Gingered Peach-Blackberry Slab Pie

For the pie dough:

3 3/4 cups (19 oz./590 g) all-purpose flour

3 Tbs. sugar

1 tsp. salt

3 sticks (24 Tbs.) (12 oz./375 g) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch (12-mm) dice

6 to 8 Tbs. (3 to 4 fl. oz./90 to 125 ml) very cold water

 

For the filling:

3 lb. (1.5 kg) peaches, peeled and sliced

2 cups (8 oz./250 g) blackberries

1/3 cup (4 fl. oz./125 ml) honey

1 Tbs. fresh lemon juice

3 Tbs. cornstarch

1 1/2 tsp. minced fresh ginger

 

1 egg plus 1 tsp. water, lightly beaten

1 Tbs. sugar

 

To make the dough, in a food processor, pulse together the flour, sugar and salt until combined, about 5 pulses. Add the butter and process until the mixture resembles coarse meal, about 10 pulses. Add 6 Tbs. (3 fl. oz./90 ml) of the ice water and pulse 2 or 3 times. The dough should hold together when squeezed with your fingers but should not be sticky. If it is crumbly, add more water 1 tsp. at a time, pulsing twice after each addition. Turn the dough out onto a work surface, divide in half and shape each half into a disk. Wrap the disks separately in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to overnight.

 

Position a rack in the lower third of an oven and preheat to 400°F (200°C).

 

On a lightly floured work surface, roll out 1 of the dough disks into an 18-by-14-inch (45-by-35-cm) rectangle. Roll the dough around a rolling pin and unroll it into a jelly-roll pan. Gently press the dough into the bottom and sides of the pan. Trim the edges, leaving a 1/2-inch (12-mm) overhang.

 

To make the filling, in a large bowl, toss together the peaches and blackberries. In a small bowl, stir together the honey, lemon juice, cornstarch and ginger. Add to the fruit mixture and toss until well combined. Transfer the filling to the dough-lined pan.

 

Roll out the remaining dough disk into an 18-by-14-inch (45-by-35-cm) rectangle and place over the filling. Fold the top crust underneath the edge of the bottom crust and press together to seal. Flute or decorate the edge of the crust as desired. Using a sharp knife, cut several slits in the top crust. Brush the crust with the beaten egg mixture and sprinkle with the sugar.

 

Bake until the crust is golden and the filling is bubbling, about 1 hour and 10 minutes, tenting the pie with aluminum foil halfway through baking to prevent the top from browning too quickly. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let the pie cool for at least 1 hour before slicing and serving. Serves 12.

Posted on

Homemade Hamburger Buns

hamburger

Here’s a great way to take your Labor Day cookout to the next level. Homemade hamburger buns take some time to prepare, but the payoff is huge: a soft, pillowy roll with a slightly sweet, yeasty flavor. Make the most of the last days of summer with your best burger yet.

Homemade Hamburger Buns

1 1/2 cups milk

8 Tbs. (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces

4 1/2 tsp. active dry yeast

4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting

5 Tbs. sugar

1 Tbs. kosher salt

1 egg, beaten with 1 tsp. water

Sesame seeds for sprinkling (optional)

 

In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the milk and butter and heat until the butter is melted, about 7 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool to 105° to 115°F. Add the yeast and stir until the yeast is dissolved. Let stand for 10 minutes.

 

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, combine the 4 cups flour, the sugar and salt and beat on low speed until combined, about 30 seconds. Add the milk mixture and knead until the dough forms a ball, about 1 minute. Increase the speed to medium-low and knead until the dough is smooth and elastic, 4 to 5 minutes. Remove the dough from the mixer bowl, oil the inside of the bowl and return the dough to the bowl. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and let the dough rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 1 hour.

 

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the dough into a 10-by-7 1/2-inch rectangle. Using a ruler as a guide, cut the dough into 2 1/2-inch squares. Transfer to the prepared baking sheet, spacing the buns evenly apart, and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm place for 30 minutes.

 

Preheat an oven to 400°F.

 

Remove the plastic wrap from the baking sheet. Brush the tops of the buns with the egg mixture and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Bake until the buns are golden and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of a bun registers 190°F, 14 to 16 minutes. Transfer the buns to a wire rack and let cool completely. Cut in half and use as hamburger buns. Makes 12 hamburger buns.

 

For slider buns: Follow the instructions above but roll out the dough into a 9-inch square. Cut into 1 1/2-inch squares and place on 2 parchment-lined baking sheets. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place for 30 minutes. Position 1 rack in the upper third of an oven and 1 rack in the lower third and preheat to 400°F. Brush the tops of the buns with the egg mixture and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Bake for about 14 minutes, rotating the baking sheets from top to bottom and 180 degrees halfway through baking. Makes 36 slider buns.

Posted on

Mississippi Mud Pie

mississippi

Don’t be intimidated by this long recipe. It has many steps but you’ll be rewarded with a masterpiece! To simplify the process, the pie can be made over two days: make the crust and cake on the first day, and the pudding and whipped cream on the day that you plan to serve it.

Mississippi Mud Pie

For the cookie crust:
About 1 lb. (500 g.) chocolate sandwich cookies (about 40), such as Oreos, processed to very fine crumbs (about 3 1/2 cups /10 1/2 oz./330 g.)
5 Tbs. (2 1/2 oz./75 g.) unsalted butter, melted

Flourless chocolate cake batter (recipe follows)

For the pudding:
3/4 cup (6 oz./185 g.) sugar
1/2 cup (1 1/2 oz./45 g.) natural cocoa powder
1/4 cup (1 oz./30 g.) cornstarch
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
4 large egg yolks
2 1/2 cups (20 fl. oz./625 ml.) whole milk
3 Tbs. unsalted butter
2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
3 oz. (90 g.) dark chocolate, chopped

For the topping:
1 1/4 cups (10 fl. oz./310 ml.) heavy cream
2 Tbs. sugar
Chocolate shavings

To make the crust, preheat the oven to 300ºF (150ºC). Lightly spray the bottom and sides of a 9-inch (23-cm.) springform pan with nonstick cooking spray. Line the pan with parchment paper and lightly spray the parchment. Place the cookie crumbs in a bowl, add the melted butter, and stir until combined. Press the crumb mixture into the bottom and up the sides of the prepared pan. Chill in the freezer for about 10 minutes. Bake until the crust is dry to the touch, about 10 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack. Raise the oven temperature to 350ºF (180ºC).

Prepare the cake batter as directed, then pour the batter into the partially baked crust. Bake until the cake is set but still jiggles slightly, 38-42 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely. As it cools, the cake will deflate in the center and look sunken. Tightly wrap the cake and refrigerate for at lest 3 hours or up to overnight.

To make the pudding, in a saucepan, whisk together the sugar, cocoa, cornstarch and salt. Add the egg yolks and half of the milk and whisk until combined. Whisking constantly, slowly pour in the rest of the milk. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat, whisking constantly to keep it from scorching.

Cook for 30 seconds, then strain into a heatproof bowl. Add the butter, vanilla and chocolate and whisk until combined. Continue to whisk to cool the mixture slightly. Let the pudding stand for 15 minutes. Cover with plastic wrap pressed directly onto the surface of the pudding to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate until chilled, 2-3 hours.

Stir the chilled pudding to loosen it, then pour on top of the cake, making sure to stay inside the crust. Spread the pudding in an even layer. Chill for at least 30 minutes. Meanwhile, whip the cream and 2 tablespoons sugar to medium peaks. Spread the whipped cream over the pudding. Sprinkle with chocolate shavings. Remove the sides of the pan, cut the pie into wedges, and serve. The pie can be kept, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Makes 1 large pie.

Flourless Chocolate Cake Batter

4 Tbs. (2 oz./60 g.) unsalted butter
6 oz. (185 g.) dark chocolate, chopped
2 Tbs. plus 1 tsp. instant espresso powder
1/4 cup (2 fl. oz./60 ml.) strong brewed coffee, at room temperature
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
1 Tbs. pure vanilla extract
6 large eggs, separated, at room temperature
1 cup (8 oz./250 g.) sugar

Melt the butter and the chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over (not touching) simmering water in a saucepan. Remove from the heat and whisk until smooth. Let cool. In a small bowl, whisk together the espresso powder, coffee, salt and vanilla. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the egg yolks with 1/2 cup (4 oz./125 g.) of the sugar on medium-high speed until the mixture is light and has almost doubled in volume, about 5 minutes. Add the chocolate mixture and beat until just combined.

 

Reduce the speed to low, add the coffee mixture, and beat until just combined. In a clean bowl, using the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites on medium-high speed until foamy. Gradually raise the speed to high, add the remaining 1/2 cup sugar, and beat until soft peaks form. Scoop 1 cup (8 fl. oz./250 ml.) of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture and gently fold in using a rubber spatula. After about 30 seconds of folding, add the remaining egg whites and fold in until almost completely combined. Take care not to overmix. Use as directed. Makes one 9-inch (23-cm.) cake.

Posted on

Crunchy Toffee Triangles

toffee

Chewy and moist on the inside, these indulgent bars get crunch from toffee pieces mixed into the dough and a generous sprinkling of almonds on top. Great for dessert or afternoon tea, these treats also pack well in lunch boxes.

Crunchy Toffee Triangles

2 1/4 cups (11 1/2 oz./360 g.) all-purpose flour

1 tsp. baking powder

1/4 tsp. kosher salt

1 cup (8 oz./250 g.) unsalted butter

1 cup (8 oz./250 g.) granulated sugar

1 cup (7 oz./220 g.) firmly packed dark brown sugar

2 large eggs

1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

8 oz. (250 g.) toffee pieces

3/4 cup (3 oz./90 g.) whole almonds, lightly toasted and coarsely chopped

 

Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Butter a 9-by-13-inch (23-by-33-cm.) baking pan. Line with parchment paper, letting the paper overhang the long sides by 1 inch (2.5 cm.).

 

In a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat together the butter and sugars on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, 2-3 minutes. Add the eggs and vanilla and beat on low speed until the eggs are completely incorporated. Beating on low speed, slowly add the dry ingredients and continue to beat until almost incorporated. Add the toffee pieces and beat on low speed just until incorporated. Spread the dough evenly in the prepared pan. Sprinkle the top evenly with the almonds.

 

Bake until golden around the edges and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with only moist crumbs attached, about 25 minutes. Let cool completely in the pan on a wire rack, about 1 hour. Run a metal spatula around the edges of the pan and use the parchment paper to lift the dessert from the pan. Cut into 18 triangles and serve. Makes 18 cookies.

Posted on

Coconut, Almond and Chocolate Bars

coconut

Nutty, chewy and chocolaty, these bars hit every craving. A toasty almond crust is topped with a creamy coconut and dark chocolate filling, and finished with a thick bittersweet glaze. This recipe calls for cream of coconut; similar to condensed milk, it can be found on the baking or drink aisle in most well-stocked supermarkets.

Coconut, Almond and Chocolate Bars

For the crust:

1 cup (5 oz./155 g) all-purpose flour

1/4 cup (2 oz./60 g) firmly packed dark brown sugar

1/4 tsp. kosher salt

6 Tbs. (3/4 stick) (3 oz./90 g) cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces

3/4 cup (3 1/4 oz./105 g) slivered almonds, toasted and chopped

 

For the filling:

1/2 cup (4 fl. oz./125 ml) canned cream of coconut

3 oz. (90 g) bittersweet chocolate, chopped

1/4 cup (2 oz./60 g) sour cream

4 Tbs. (1/2 stick) (2 oz./60 g) unsalted butter

1 1/4 cups (5 oz./155 g) unsweetened flaked coconut

 

For the glaze:

3 Tbs. heavy cream

3 Tbs. unsalted butter

3 1/2 oz. (105 g) bittersweet chocolate, chopped

 

Preheat an oven to 350°F (180°C). Butter an 8-inch (20-cm) square baking pan and line with parchment paper, leaving an overhang of about 2 inches (5 cm) on all sides. Butter the parchment.

 

To make the crust, in a food processor, combine the flour, brown sugar and salt and process to mix well. Add the butter and almonds and process until the texture resembles fine meal. Transfer the mixture to the prepared pan and press firmly into the bottom. Bake until the crust is barely firm to the touch, about 40 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool completely.

 

Meanwhile, make the filling: In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, bring the cream of coconut to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low, add the chocolate and stir constantly until melted. Transfer to a bowl. Add the sour cream and butter and stir until melted and smooth. Stir in the flaked coconut. Cover and refrigerate for about 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Spoon the filling into the cooled crust, smooth the top and refrigerate while you make the glaze.

 

To make the glaze, in a small saucepan over medium heat, bring the cream and butter to a simmer, stirring frequently. Reduce the heat to low, add the chocolate and stir until melted and smooth. Pour the hot glaze over the filling and spread to cover it evenly. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

 

Using the parchment, lift the dessert from the pan. Cut into bars and serve. Makes 12 to 16 bars.

Posted on

Deconstructed Apple Crisp with Buttermilk Ice Cream

cream

This recipe was created by Liz Williams, Pastry Supervisor at Blackberry Farm. She gives the classic apple crisp a creative makeover: The topping is transformed into oatmeal cookies that are served on top of the apple filling in individual bowls. A scoop of buttermilk ice cream adds the perfect finishing touch.

 

To get a head start on this recipe, you can make the apple filling a day in advance; let cool, then cover and refrigerate. The cookies can be baked the day before and stored in an airtight container at room temperature. The ice cream can be made up to 3 days ahead of time and stored in the freezer.

Deconstructed Apple Crisp with Buttermilk Ice Cream

 

For the apple filling:

1 cup (250 ml) water
2 Tbs. dark rum
Wide strips of zest from 1 lemon
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 cup (185 g) golden raisins
1/2 cup (90 g) currants
1/2 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
6 cups (750 g) peeled, cored and chopped Granny Smith apples (about 6 apples)

1/2 cup (105 g) firmly packed light brown sugar
Finely grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
1/2 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 tsp. sea salt

 

For the oatmeal cookies:

3 cups (280 g) rolled oats
1 1/2 cups (235 g) all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. sea salt
20 Tbs. (2 1/2 sticks/315 g) unsalted butter
3/4 cup (185 g) firmly packed dark brown sugar
1/2 cup (105 g) firmly packed light brown sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
Whole pecan halves for garnish (optional)

 

For the buttermilk ice cream:

2 cups (500 ml) half-and-half
1/2 cup (160 ml) corn syrup
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
6 egg yolks
2/3 cup (155 g) sugar
1 cup (250 ml) buttermilk

 

To make the apple filling, in a saucepan, combine the water, rum, lemon zest strips, juice of 1/2 lemon, raisins and currants. Scrape the vanilla bean seeds into the pan and add the pod. Set over medium-high heat and bring to a boil, then remove from the heat and let steep for 30 minutes. Drain the fruit, reserving the cooking liquid. Discard the lemon zest and vanilla bean pod.

 

In a large saucepan over medium heat, combine the apples, brown sugar, the rehydrated fruit, 1/2 cup (125 ml) of the reserved cooking liquid, grated zest and juice of 1 lemon, nutmeg and sea salt. Cover and simmer for 5 minutes, then uncover and simmer until the apples are tender, about 5 minutes more. Serve the filling warm or at room temperature.

 

To make the cookies, position 1 rack in the upper third and 1 rack in the lower third of an oven. Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

 

In a bowl, using a fork, stir together the oats, flour, baking soda and salt.

 

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the flat beater, beat together the butter and brown sugars on medium speed until creamy, about 2 minutes, stopping the mixer to scrape down the bowl as needed. Add the eggs one at a time, beating after each addition, then beat in the vanilla. Reduce the speed to low, add the oat mixture and beat until incorporated.

 

Scoop 2 Tbs. dough for each cookie onto the prepared baking sheets, staggering the cookies 8 to a sheet. Flatten the cookies with the palm of your hand, then press 4 pecans in a row on top of each cookie. Bake until golden brown, 12 to 13 minutes, rotating the baking sheets from front to back and 180 degrees halfway through baking. Transfer the baking sheets to wire racks and let cool for 5 minutes, then transfer the cookies to the racks and let cool completely. Repeat to bake the remaining dough. The recipe makes 32 cookies, so you’ll have some left over for later enjoyment.

 

To make the ice cream, in a saucepan, combine the half-and-half and corn syrup. Scrape the vanilla bean seeds into the pan and add the pod. Set over medium heat and bring to a simmer, then remove from the heat.

 

Meanwhile, in a bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and sugar until thick. Slowly add the hot half-and-half mixture, whisking constantly until fully incorporated. Pour the mixture back into the pan, set over medium-low heat and cook, stirring continuously, until the mixture thickens and coats the back of a spoon, 9 to 10 minutes; do not allow it to boil. Pour the custard through a fine-mesh sieve set over a clean bowl. Nestle the bowl in a larger one filled halfway with ice water and cool the custard to room temperature. Refrigerate until chilled.

 

Whisk the buttermilk into the cold custard. Transfer to an ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Transfer the ice cream to a freezer-safe container, cover and freeze until firm, at least 4 hours or up to 3 days.

 

To assemble, divide the apple filling among 8 individual bowls and top each with a scoop of ice cream. Place a cookie, whole or crumbled, on top. Serve immediately. Serves 8.

Posted on

Gruyere & Caramelized Onion Pull-Apart Bread

bread

This savory, cheesy onion loaf is made by layering yeasty bread dough and caramelized onions with shredded Gruyere and fresh herbs. Once baked, it pulls apart easily into individual slices, so it’s easy to serve and share — and the flavors are just right for a fall feast.

Gruyere & Caramelized Onion Pull-Apart Bread

For the dough:

½ cup milk, 105 to 110ºF

½ cup plus 2 Tbs. water, 105 to 110ºF

1 ½ tsp. dry active yeast

3 cups Williams-Sonoma Family Farms Country French Organic Flour

1 ½ tsp. kosher salt

1 ½ Tbs. sugar

4 Tbs. unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 Tbs. melted butter, for brushing

 

For the filling:

1 Tbs. olive oil

1 medium onion, sliced thinly

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

1 1/2 cups shredded gruyere cheese

1/2 tsp. dried thyme leaves

1 tsp. coarse ground brown mustard seeds

3 Tbs. melted butter

 

Combine milk and water in a bowl.  Sprinkle with yeast and let yeast bloom, 5 to 10 minutes.  Stir to combine.

 

In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a dough hook, blend flour, salt and sugar on low speed for 30 seconds.  Slowly add yeast mixture, then add butter.  Increase speed to medium-low and continue kneading an additional 8 to 10 minutes.  Dough should be smooth and elastic and shouldn’t be sticky.  Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl and cover with plastic.  Let dough rise at room temperature until doubled in size, 1 to 1 ½ hours. Lightly brush the inside of a 9-inch by 5-inch stoneware loaf pan with melted butter.

 

Meanwhile, prepare the filling: In a medium nonstick skillet, warm the oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook until caramelized, about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Season with salt and pepper. Let cool to room temperature. In a medium bowl, combine the gruyere, thyme, and mustard seeds. Refrigerate until ready to use.

 

Punch down the dough, turn out onto a lightly floured working surface and roll out into a 16×10-inch rectangle. Brush with 2 Tbs. of the melted butter. Using a pastry scraper or pastry wheel, cut the dough in half lengthwise, then crosswise into 8 even sections. Top each piece of dough evenly with caramelized onions, followed by the cheese mixture. Stack 4 of the topped dough pieces on top of one another, turn the stack sideways and place in the pan so the cheese mixture faces the short end of the pan and the long cut edges of the strips face up. Repeat with the remaining dough, onions, and cheese mixture, lightly pressing the strips into each other. It will be a tight fit.

 

Cover with plastic wrap and let dough rise 30 minutes. Brush the top of the loaf with the remaining 1 Tbs. melted butter.

 

Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F.

 

Remove the plastic and transfer to the oven. Bake until the top is golden and the interior temperature is 190ºF, about 40 minutes, tenting the top of the bread loosely with foil if it begins to brown too quickly. Transfer the pan to a wire rack to cool 10 minutes, then turn loaf out onto the rack to cool 20 minutes longer before serving. Serve warm. Makes one 9-inch by 5-inch loaf.

Posted on

Sweet Potato Cheesecake with Marshmallow Meringue

potato

Vibrant orange sweet potatoes create a beautiful contrast to the dramatic marshmallow meringue topping in this unique cheesecake, which is perfect for a Thanksgiving feast. You can bake the cheesecake a day in advance, then refrigerate until ready to add the meringue. For a quicker finish, replace the meringue topping with sweetened whipped cream and skip the torch.

Sweet Potato Cheesecake with Marshmallow Meringue

For the crust:

1 1/8 cups (155 g) all-purpose flour

1/2 cup (60 g) ground pecans

3 Tbs. firmly packed light brown sugar

8 Tbs. (1 stick/125g) unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly

 

For the filling:

1 tsp. ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg

1/4 tsp. allspice

1/4 tsp. salt

1 lb. (500 g) cream cheese, at room temperature

1 cup (170 g) firmly packed light brown sugar

1 cup (250 g) roasted and pureed sweet potatoes

1 Tbs. vanilla extract

4 eggs

 

For the marshmallow topping:

3/4 cup (200 g) egg whites

1 cup (170 g) firmly packed light brown sugar

1/4 cup (85 g) sorghum syrup or light agave nectar

Seeds of 1 vanilla bean

 

Preheat an oven to 350°F (180°C).

 

To make the crust, in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the flat beater, beat the flour, pecans, brown sugar and butter on low speed until combined, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Press the crust into the bottom of a 9-inch (23-cm) springform pan. Bake until lightly browned, 10 to 12 minutes. Cool on a wire rack. Reduce the oven to 300°F (150°C).

 

To make the filling, in a small bowl, combine the cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and salt. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the flat beater, beat the cream cheese and brown sugar on medium speed until smooth, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the sweet potato puree, vanilla and spice mixture and beat until smooth, about 1 minute. Add the eggs one at a time, beating after each addition.

 

Wrap a double layer of aluminum foil around the bottom and sides of the springform pan. Add the filling and smooth the top. Place in the center of a roasting pan. Pour hot water into the roasting pan to reach halfway up the sides of the springform pan. Bake until the cheesecake is firm but jiggles slightly in the center, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Let cool in the water bath before topping with the meringue. The cheesecake can be refrigerated overnight.

 

To make the meringue, in a saucepan, bring 1 inch (2.5 cm) of water to a simmer. Place the egg whites, brown sugar, sorghum syrup and vanilla bean seeds in an electric mixer bowl and set over but not touching the simmering water. Whisk until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture is hot, about 2 minutes. Place the bowl on the mixer and beat with the whisk attachment on high speed until the meringue cools to room temperature and stiff peaks form, 5 to 6 minutes.

 

Lightly pat the cheesecake with a paper towel to remove moisture. Mound the meringue on top, using a pastry spatula to spread it to the edges. Using a spoon, create mountains of meringue around the surface. Lightly brown with a kitchen torch. Serve immediately or refrigerate for up to 6 hours. Serves 8 to 12.

 

Posted on

Apple and Cranberry Galette

galette

This beautiful open-faced pastry, with scarlet cranberries nestled among golden apple slices, is a gorgeous finale for a holiday meal. Because the fruit filling has been simmered before it goes into the oven, the galette bakes quickly and evenly. This recipe makes 2 galettes—each one will serve 5 or 6 people.

Apple and Cranberry Galette

For the pastry:

1 3/4 cups (9 oz./280 g.) all-purpose flour

6 Tbs. (2 oz./60 g.) white cornmeal

2 tsp. sugar

3/4 tsp. salt

12 Tbs. (1 1/2 sticks or 6 oz./185 g.) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch (12-mm.) chunks

6 Tbs. (3 oz./90 g.) sour cream

1/2 cup (4 fl. oz./125 ml.) ice-cold water

 

For the filling:

1/2 cup (4 oz./125 g.) sugar

1/2 cup (4 fl. oz./125 ml.) water

3 Tbs. honey

3 Tbs. fresh lemon juice

1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

8 large Granny Smith apples, about 4 lb. (2 kg.) total, peeled, cored and sliced

1 1/2 cups (6 oz./185 g.) fresh cranberries

2 Tbs. unsalted butter, cut into thin slices

 

Sugar for dusting (optional)

Crème fraîche for serving (optional)

 

To make the pastry, in a food processor, combine the flour, cornmeal, sugar and salt. Scatter the chunks of butter over the top and pulse for a few seconds until the butter pieces are the size of small peas. In a small bowl, whisk together the sour cream and ice water. Drizzle the mixture over the dough and pulse until the dough is smooth and clings together. Pat the dough into a ball, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 20 minutes.

 

Meanwhile, to make the filling, in a large fry pan over medium heat, combine the sugar, water, honey, lemon juice and cinnamon and cook, stirring, until the sugar dissolves. Stir in the apple slices and simmer until the apples begin to soften, 5 to 7 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the apple slices to a bowl.

 

Add the cranberries to the liquid in the fry pan and simmer until they start to pop, about 2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the cranberries to the bowl with the apples. Increase the heat to medium-high and boil the liquid until reduced slightly, then spoon over the fruit.

 

Position 2 racks in the middle of an oven and preheat to 400°F (200°C).

 

Divide the dough in half. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out each half into a round about 12 inches (30 cm.) in diameter and transfer to separate baking sheets. Divide the fruit filling equally between the pastry rounds and spread it in an even layer, leaving a 1 1/2-inch (4-cm.) border uncovered. Fold the border over the fruit, pleating the edges to form a rim. Lay the butter slices over the exposed fruit. Dust the pastry rims with sugar.

 

Bake the galettes, rotating them 180 degrees at the midway point, until the pastry is golden brown and the apples are tender, 35 to 40 minutes. Transfer the pans to wire racks and let the galettes cool completely on the pans. Serve with crème fraîche. Makes two 9-inch galettes; serves 10 to 12.

Posted on

Citrus-Herb Cookies

citrus

This surprising combination of aromatic herbs, tart citrus and buttery, sweet dough satisfies even the fussiest cookie aficionado. The Kitchn‘s Sara Kate Gillingham-Ryan developed the recipe using orange zest and thyme leaves, but you can use the basic dough to experiment with other flavors to come up with your own signature cookies.

 

Citrus-Herb Cookies

 

1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature

2/3 cup granulated sugar

1/8 tsp. salt

1 large egg

2 Tbs. grated orange zest

2 tsp. very finely chopped fresh thyme leaves

6 to 8 fresh mint leaves, very finely sliced

2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

Raw or turbinado sugar for sprinkling

 

In a bowl, combine the butter, granulated sugar and salt. Using a wooden spoon or an electric mixer set on medium speed, beat until smooth. Add the egg, orange zest, thyme and mint and beat until well mixed. Reduce the speed to low and gradually add the flour in 3 batches, beating after each addition, until combined. Divide the dough in half and shape each portion into a log about 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Wrap the logs tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate until well chilled, at least 1 hour or up to overnight.

 

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and position the rack in the middle level. Line 2 large rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.

 

Remove the dough logs from the refrigerator. For round cookies, roll the plastic-wrapped logs on a work surface (like rolling a rolling pin) to smooth the sides, keeping the diameter uniform. For square cookies, using your hands, tap each wrapped log on 4 sides against the work surface to flatten the sides evenly. Unwrap the logs and, using a sharp knife, cut the logs crosswise into slices about 1/4 inch thick.

 

Arrange the cookies on the prepared baking sheets. Sprinkle each cookie with a pinch of raw sugar. Bake the cookies, rotating the sheets front to back after about 5 minutes, until light golden brown, about 10 minutes.

 

Let the cookies cool on the pans on wire racks for a few minutes, then use a metal spatula to transfer the cookies to wire racks and let cool completely. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days. Makes about 3 dozen cookies.