Archive for the ‘Desserts’ Category

This is another recipe from our Sur La Table cooking class. It is delicious.

Crust Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup yellow cornmeal (not stone-ground)
  • 1 Tbsp. sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) COLD unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh rosemary
  • 4-5 Tbsp. ice water

Filling Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup mascarpone cheese (8 oz)
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp. finely grated lemon zest
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 3 Tbsp. honey
  • 1 1/2 lb. fresh figs

Crust Directions:

  1. Pulse together flour, cornmeal, sugar, and salt in a food processor. Add butter and rosemary and pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal with some small (pea-size) butter lumps. Drizzle evenly with ice water and pulse until just incorporated. Gently squeeze a small handful. If it doesn’t hold together, add more water, 1/2 tsp. at a time, pulsing after each addition and continue to test.
  2. Press dough evenly onto the bottom and up the sides of a tart pan with floured fingers. Roll a rolling pin gently over the top of the pan to get dough flush with the rim. Chill crust in the fridgerator until firm, about 30 minutes.
  3. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Bake crust in middle of oven until center and edges are golden, 25 to 30 minutes (don’t worry if the bottom of the crust cracks), then cool in pan on a rack. While cooling, prepare the filling…

Prepare Filling:

  1. Whisk together sour cream, mascarpone, sugar, zest, and salt in a bowl.
  2. Heat honey in a small saucepan over moderately low heat, whisking until melted, then cool slightly.
  3. Remove tart crust from the pan (if possible) and spread the cream mixture inside. Cut figs lengthwise into 1/4-inch thick slices and arrange decoratively over cream. Drizzle figs with honey glaze.


  • Crust can be made 1 day ahead and kept, uncovered, at room temperature.
  • Mascarpone mixture can be made 1 day ahead and chilled, covered.
  • Tart can be assembled 1 hour ahead and kept, loosely covered, at room temperature.

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I made these individual sized crumbles the other night for a dinner party and they were a huge hit. If possible, use fresh, organic, in-season berries. I topped mine with little scoops of vanilla ice cream. Yum!

Filling Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs. fresh, ripe strawberries
  • 2 tsp. grated lemon zest
  • 2 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour (*For Gluten-Free: Substitute Arrowroot Flour)
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries (1/2 pint)

Crumble Topping Ingredients:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour (*For Gluten-Free: Substitute Brown Rice Flour)
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 lb. (1 pound) cold unsalted butter, diced


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Rinse strawberries, remove stems, and cut into big chunks (1 large strawberry = 3 chunks) and place in a large bowl. Add the lemon zest, lemon juice, granulated sugar and flour. Toss well. Gently mix in the blueberries. Let the mixture sit for about 5 minutes.
  3. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or tin foil. Place the ramekin or custard cups on top.
  4. Spoon fruit mixture into cups, leaving a small space on top for the topping.
  5. To make the topping, combine all topping ingredients into an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Mix on low speed until it looks light & crumbly. Rub & press together the mixture with your fingers until it forms bigger crumbles. Sprinkly evenly over the fruit-filled cups.
  6. Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until the tops are browned and crisp and the juices are bubbly. Server warm or at room temperature.

* Tip – You can make these ahead of time, storing the unbaked crumbles in your refrigerator until just before you sit down to eat dinner!

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Apple Crisp

apple crispFall is here and apples are in season. What better use than a fresh apple crisp?


5 Macintosh apples, peeled and sliced
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp water
1 tsp lemon juice

1 cup rolled oats
3/4 cup all purpose flour
3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened


  1. Preheat oven to 375.
  2. Place the apples in an ungreased 8-inch square baking dish.
  3. Mix together with cinnamon, water, and lemon juice.
  4. In a large bowl, combine all the topping ingredients; mix until crumbly.
  5. Sprinkle the crumb mixture evenly over the apples.
  6. Bake for 25 to 35 minutes or until the fruit is tender and the topping is golden brown. Serve with vanilla ice cream!

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Vanilla Pudding with Banana

This might be my favorite recipe from Cooking Light. It takes a little while to make, but it is worth it. I make mine with real vanilla bean because it gives the pudding a wonderful flavor. If you chose not to use a real vanilla bean, you can substitute 1/2 Tbs. of vanilla extract. Eat it cool or warm. This recipe makes a lot of pudding, so be sure and invite your friends over for a taste!

Yield: 16 servings (1 serving = 3/4 cup)


  • 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 4 cups 2% reduced-fat milk
  • 1 (4-inch) vanilla bean, split lengthwise
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 4 large egg whites
  • 6 tbsp. sugar
  • 1 box vanilla wafers (about 80 wafers)
  • 5 cups sliced banana (about 6 bananas)
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees
  2. Lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup, level with a knife. Combine flour, 1 1/4 cups sugar and salt in a large saucepan, stirring with a whisk. Gradually add milk, stirring until smooth. Scrape seeds from the vanilla bean, and add seands and bean to milk mixture.
  3. Cook over medium heat 12 minutes or until thick and bubbly, stirring constantly.
  4. Place eggs in a large bowl, gradually add hot milk mixtures, stirring constantly. Place mixture in pan; cook over medium heat 2 minutes or until thick and bubby, stirring constantly. Discard vanilla bean.
  5. Place egg whites in a clean, large bowl, and beat with a mixer at high speed until egg whites are foamy. Add 6 tbsp. sugar, 1 tbsp. at a time, beating until stiff peaks form.
  6. Arrange 1/3 of your vanilla wafers in the bottom of a 3-quart round baking dish. Arrange half of banana slices over wafers. Pour half of custard over banana. Repeat layers with the next 1/3 of vanila wafers, second half of banana slices, and second half of custard. Top with meringue, spreading evenly to the edges of your dish. Arrange remaining vanilla wafers around the edge of the meringue.
  7. Bake at 325 degrees for 20 minutes or until lightly browned. Serve pudding warm or chilled.

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