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Posts Tagged ‘dessert recipes’

Thomcord_Grapes_DSC_6605

Grocery shopping the other day at Trader Joes – one of my favorite stops – I saw a young woman handing out tastes of something called a Thomcord grape with a small piece of Manchego cheese.  Although I usually don’t bother to snack on samples when I shop I was intrigued by the grape so I popped one into my mouth.  It was so delicious – a little sweet, a little tart with a snappy skin – small as a plain old grape jelly Concord grape and about the same color, but no seeds and no bitter skin.  So, of course, I bought some.  They are absolutely terrific with almost any cheese – we served them with a cheese selection and a glass of Cava after a light dinner.  A wonderful ending!

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PIE©StephenKolyer

 

I have been writing cookbooks for 45 years and I rarely hear from anyone who has cooked from any one of the many, many books I have written, co-authored, or ghosted.  However, the other day I got the following note posted on Facebook from a very nice lady named Elaine Grahame-Dunn.  I wanted to share it as just simple graciousness doesn’t come my way very often.  The book about which she is commenting was published in 1992 in the States and in England and Australia somewhat later.  How nice that it is still being used.

 

June 16th, 6:19am

Just wanted to say how much I use your wonderful book ‘The Great American Pie Book’. I am a British woman living near Seville in Spain and own a bed and breakfast establishment. It is a great book to go to for inspiration when I feel a little jaded with my menu choices. Thank you. It isn’t said enough in this World nowadays. X

 

And after my response to her I received the following:

Just wanted to make contact and I think it’s important to let people know when they do a good job. Some recipe books are nice you look at but not practical. Few and far between are those that make life easier as a cook! Thanks again for a job well done. You are welcome here any time. X

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Krumville

 

I happened on the Facebook page of my young friend Antonella who was doing a pop-up for her gluten-free bakery, Krumville Bake Shop (www.krumvillebakeshop.com), at a Soho (a trendy Manhattan neighborhood) store. For the occasion, Anto had done a trial strawberry cake which she had featured on her page. It was so invitingly beautiful that I jokingly posted “can you bring me a slice?” And, sure enough at the end of the day our doorbell rang and there was Antonella cake slice in hand. I will tell you that the cake was even more delicious than it looked….and absolutely impossible to identify as being “gluten-free.” She ships all over so should you need or know someone who needs spectacular gluten-free treats, Krumville is the go-to bakery. And, even if you aren’t gluten-free, I still recommend Antonella’s products – they are all delicious.

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pumpkin cheescake

 

Rather than pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving (which nobody in my family likes except me) I try to come up with a new pumpkin or squash dessert each year.  And, sometimes I just go back to an old favorite, pumpkin cheesecake, which I would make many years ago at MOM, our bakery, to offset the tedium of making the 100s of pies that were ordered.  Sometimes I make a graham cracker crust, sometimes a chocolate cookie crust, and sometimes and gingersnap crust.  Sometimes I marble it with chocolate and sometimes I just make it plain with no crust at all.  I hope this recipe will become a long-standing holiday favorite in your house, too.

 

For the crust:

1½ cups gingersnap (or other cracker or cookie) crumbs

¼ cup melted unsalted butter

For the cake:

2 pounds cream cheese, at room temperature

1 cup light brown sugar

½ cup granulated sugar

1 cup well-drained pumpkin puree

1 ½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1 teaspoon fresh ginger juice

1 teaspoon ground ginger

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

¼ teaspoon ground cloves

4 large eggs, at room temperature

Preheat the oven to 325°F.

 

Combine the crumbs with the butter and, using your fingertips, press the mixture together.  When well-blended, pour into the bottom of a lightly buttered 9-inch round springform pan and gently pat the crumbs into the pan to make an even layer.

Place in the preheated oven and bake for about 10 minutes or until just set.  Remove from the oven and set aside.

Place the cream cheese in the bowl of a standing electric mixer fitted with the paddle.  Beat on low to blend.  Add the 2 sugars and beat until very well incorporated.  Add the pumpkin, vanilla, and ginger juice and continue to beat to blend completely.  Add the spices and beat until blended.

Add the eggs, one at a time, beating to incorporate completely.  Do not over-beat or you will incorporate too much air which allows bubbles to form in the batter.  The batter should be smooth and creamy so that you cake will be also.

Pour the batter into the springform pan and, using an offset spatula, smooth the top.

Transfer to the preheated oven, turn the oven to 300°F, and bake for about 1 hour or until set.  The center may be a little wobbly, but it will continue to cook as the cake cools.  Turn off the oven and allow the cheesecake to sit, undisturbed for another hour.

Remove from the oven and set on a wire rack to cool for at least 2 hours before removing the rim of the pan.

 

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I love what I call “nursery desserts” – custards, puddings, floating island, tapioca – but not jello – on a cool winter’s day I recently made this dense, pudding-like baked dessert that took me right back to an 19th century English nursery.

Baked Fruit Pudding

Serves 6 to 8

About 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, at room temperature for greasing pan

4 large eggs, at room temperature, separated

½ cup granulated sugar

5 tablespoons all-purpose flour, sifted

½ cup heavy cream

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1½ cups fresh strawberries, quartered or whole raspberries, blueberries, or blackberries, 

plus more for serving, optional

Preheat the oven to 400ºF.

Generously coat the interior of an 8-inch square baking pan with butter.  Set aside.

Place the egg whites in a small mixing bowl and, using a hand-held electric mixer, beat

for about 3 minutes or until stiff peaks form.  Set aside.

Combine the egg yolks with 3 tablespoons of the sugar in a medium mixing bowl.  Using a hand-held electric mixer (you don’t have to wash the beaters), beat for about 3 minutes or until quite thick.

Add the flour, cream, and vanilla and continue beating until very smooth.  Using a rubber spatula, blend about a quarter of the beaten egg whites into the batter to thoroughly incorporate.  Then, carefully fold in the remaining egg whites to create a light, fluffy mix.

Pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish.  If using, sprinkle the berries over the top noting that they will sink.

Place in the preheated oven and bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown and puffed up.

Place the confectioners’ sugar in a fine mesh sieve.  Set aside.

Remove from the heat and quickly sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar by gently tapping on the side of the sieve as you hold it over the hot soufflé.

Serve immediately with additional berries, if desired.

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