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Fresh Peach and Ginger-Cream Shortcakes

Fresh Peach and Ginger-Cream Shortcakes

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  • 13 tablespoons sugar, divided
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) chilled salted butter, diced
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped crystallized ginger, divided
  • 3 tablespoons plus 1 1/4 cups chilled heavy whipping cream, divided
  • 4 large peaches, halved, thinly sliced

Recipe Preparation

  • Preheat oven to 400°F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Whisk flour, 6 tablespoons sugar, and baking powder in large bowl. Add butter; rub in with fingertips until very coarse meal forms (oatmeal-size flakes). Mix in 1/4 cup chopped ginger. Add ginger ale and 2 tablespoons cream. Toss until moist clumps form. Gather dough into 7-inch log. Cut crosswise into 6 equal rounds. Place on sheet, spaced apart. Shape each into 2 1/2-inch-diameter round. Mix 1 tablespoon cream and 1 tablespoon sugar in small bowl; brush over top and sides of shortcakes.

  • Bake shortcakes until golden and tester inserted into center comes out clean, 20 to 22 minutes. Cool on sheet.

  • Meanwhile, toss peaches in large bowl with 4 tablespoons sugar and remaining 1/4 cup chopped ginger. Whisk remaining 1 1/4 cups cream and 2 tablespoons sugar in medium bowl to peaks.

  • Halve shortcakes horizontally. Place bottoms on plates. Top each with peaches, whipped cream, and shortcake top.

Recipe by Bon Appétit Test Kitchen,

Nutritional Content

6 servings One serving contains the following: Calories (kcal) 646.21 % Calories from Fat 50.2 Fat (g) 36.01 Saturated Fat (g) 22.49 Cholesterol (mg) 118.12 Carbohydrates (g) 77.78 Dietary Fiber (g) 2.63 Total Sugars (g) 42.06 Net Carbs (g) 75.15 Protein (g) 6.08Reviews Section

15 Great Recipes Starring Grapes

Grapes are a familiar, perfect, and portable snack. Because of the appealingly juicy sweetness we tend to think of these ubiquitous fruits as a standalone food, eaten straight from the bunch. But grapes are in fact highly versatile ingredients, with a surprisingly wide range of application. From rustic to sophisticated, simple to complex, grapes have a winning ability to adapt to dishes that are sweet or savory, smooth or crunchy, hot or cool. Raw or cooked, chopped or whole, puréed or frozen, grapes can inform and define a diverse menu, from drinks and snacks through salads, entrées, and desserts. We think they add interest and complexity to any stage of a meal.

Grapes can be the backbone of condiments, as well as the sought-after treasure inside a chewy focaccia. They are the delectable filling for buttery shortcakes as well as the cool refreshment in a no-churn sorbet.

Even crisp seedless grapes, which are available year round in the grocery store, can be transformed by slow-roasting and clever pairing: In a simple supper of roasted chicken they dissolve in a bed of stuffing, caramelizing as they cook. And their characterless candy-sweetness is improved in a quick and piquant pico de gallo.

In late summer and fall it is worthwhile to hunt down seasonal grapes and to remind ourselves that grapes have a harvest time and flavor all their own: Seek out flavorful Concords (and their cousins) or distinctive Muscats, then indulge in a festival of grape celebration using our gallery of recipes to guide you.

When shopping for these fruits look for grapes that are plump, with smooth unbroken skins they should also be firmly attached to the stems. The omnipresent green seedless ones are at their sweetest when they have a pale-yellow hue. Often, grapes are covered with a whitish "bloom," which is a natural protection against loss of moisture and spoilage.

When you get home, check over the grapes and discard any damaged ones, place bunch in a plastic bag, and refrigerate for up to three days. Rinse just before using.

Print Recipe The Rouxpour’s Bread Pudding with Whiskey Sauce This bread pudding is among one of the best! You can find it at The Rouxpour Restaurant & Bar in Sugar Land, outside of Houston, where it’s Mardi Gras all year long! Votes: 0 Rating: 0 You: Rate this recipe! Course Desserts Occasion Casual, Formal Servings [&hellip]

This recipe is from the owner of Cartwright’s Ranch in Denton. He made this based on this Grandma’s recipe .. and it just may remind you of the version your Grandma used to make!

When I was a young girl my mother used to can everything and I right by her side. There was a recipe in (I think) what may have been a Betty Crocker paperback small cookbook. There was a recipe for canned spiced green tomatoes, I can’t find the correct recipe and am reaching out to anyone who thinks they may have the one I’m looking for. I remember it started w 5lbs of green sliced tomatoes, sugar, allspice, cinnamon sticks and I don’t know, maybe vinegar. If anyone thinks they may be familiar with this please post it. There are many recipes but not one of them, so far, has been The recipe. Many thanks and I love this blog

Unfortunately I’m not familiar with this recipe, but if I ever see it I’ll let you know. Spiced Green Tomatoes sound like something that I’d like.

That probably came out of one of the Ball Blue Books. They would publish a new one every few years by the Ball canning jars. They still publish the little paper back but the recipes change over time. If they had a sweet and sour taste then there was apple cider vinegar in the recipe? If the tomatoes was used for green tomato pie then they would have been cold packed in just water with the spices then processed. If you remember the years that she made this? You might be able to find a old Ball Blue Book from that time frame on eBay. The little Ball Blue Books was the bible of canning and still is for most farm kitchens.

Sheryl, this new blogger I discovered, Susan asked me a question while we discussed scrapple that I can not answer: was the original scrapple made from the trimmings after butchering a pig at home? Here is her link –

Whew, this question takes me back to my childhood in Pennsylvania. My memory is that Scrapple is primarily the seasoned and thickened broth of pork trimmings with a little of the ground trimmings included in the broth. When we butchered we put the trimmings, including the liver and head meat, into a kettle and covered it with water and added salt and pepper. After it was well-cooked, the trimmings were ground. Most of the ground meat was eaten as “liverwurst”, but some was put in the broth which was then thickened with corn meal (and maybe flour).

I found a recipe for Scrapple in a cook book published in 1950 called the Mennonite Community Cookbook:

1 1/2 cups ground liver pudding [In the old cookbook, cooked pork trimmings are called “pudding”]
1 quart broth from cooked pudding
1 cup corn meal
3 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper

Bring to a boil broth in which pudding meat was cooked. Season with salt and pepper. Stir into the boiling broth the corn meal and flour. Add ground liver pudding. This should be the consistency of corn meal mush. Cook slowly in heavy pan or top of double boiler for approximately 30 minutes. Pour in dishes to mold. When cold, slice 1/4 inch thick and fry in hot fat until grown and crusty on both sides.

(I’m going to copy what I just wrote above, and put it on the site with the question.)

I can’t thank you enough for going to the trouble of getting this to me. I KNEW I came to the right person to ask!! My father loved having this for breakfast during the winter months.
Thanks again!

You’re very welcome. I had fun looking through my old cookbooks for a scrapple recipe. The question intrigued me – and I was annoyed that I couldn’t exactly remember how we made scrapple when I was a child.

I have an old recipe for cinnamon rolls that the dough rises in the refrigerator. A mixture of cream and brown sugar is put into the pan before placing the rolls to bake. But I was never given the amount of sugar and cream and maybe I put too much because it didn’t rise up while baking like it should from the friend that shared it. Alas, she’s no longer available.

An evocative, gorgeous four-season look at cooking in Maine, with 100 recipes

No one can bring small-town America to life better than a native. Erin French grew up in Freedom, Maine (population 719), helping her father at the griddle in his diner. An entirely self-taught cook who used cookbooks to form her culinary education, she now helms her restaurant, The Lost Kitchen, in a historic mill in the same town, creating meals that draw locals and visitors from around the world to a dining room that feels like an extension of her home kitchen. The food has been called “brilliant in its simplicity and honesty” by Food & Wine, and it is exactly this pure approach that makes Erin’s cooking so appealing—and so easy to embrace at home.

This stunning giftable package features a vellum jacket over a printed cover.

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Baking and Math

I was walking through Trader Joe’s the other week and saw a flat package wrapped in opaque wax paper labeled “Almond Kringle. From Wisconsin! Limited Quantities available!” You may know that I love almond everything. Side story: I love the almond soap they have on Amtrak trains. A lot. So much that I tweeted once about how much I love it and where could I find some? And Amtrak tweeted back to me, and I ended up getting a bottle of soap that doesn’t have a flat bottom (it screws in to the train) so I can’t use it unless I empty the soap into another container. And it was great.

YES! Thank you @amtrak! The man didn’t believe me when I said I LOVE THIS SOAP but he gave it to me anyway! Yay!

— Yen Duong (@yenergy) June 1, 2014

Also, I’m from Minnesota, so if I run into something in Texas that says “from the midwest!” I’ll buy it (also I am a sucker). And “Limited quantities available,” because I am a sucker, means that I’ll buy it. All the ingredients were in place for me to get this magical, amazing delicious experience (I’m not the only one who feels this way). After getting home and taking a bite of the oval shaped pastry that came out of the mystery bag, I laughed and couldn’t stop laughing for five minutes. My husband had a bite, and then we both texted all the people we knew from Wisconsin and told them that while we loved them, they are not the best thing to come from Wisconsin.

After we polished off our TJ’s Kringle in three days (it’s a bit over a pound, and contains at least one pound of butter), I decided to try to make my own. The official recipe will have you use just over a pound of butter and take three days to make all the layers. But there are plenty of homemade ones out there that do not take three days or tons of rolling, and that’s what I did. You can stuff kringles with anything, but the TJ’s one was filled with marzipan (yum) and I did a coconut and almond filling for mine. Many recipes were just butterscotch (butter + sugar).

I also was still in a bit of a funk when I decided to impulse make the kringle, so no ingredient photos. The dough and recipe is super simple, but this was my first time making a filled pastry so I did a bad job (who knew you have to actually close it all the way, or the filling all falls out?!)

Dough or dough not, there is no try

The dough was just cutting butter into flour, then adding in yogurt (the recipe called for sour cream, but I use yogurt as a substitute for most white goops like mayo, sour cream, and sometimes butter/margarine/shortening). The dough is VERY STICKY.

Though if you want a doughnut this is not the recipe for you

Wrap it up in plastic wrap and stick it in the fridge for a while (all day is great, or overnight). Meanwhile you can put together the filling, which is another cup of butter beaten with brown sugar and shredded coconut and almond pieces. I put my coconut in a dry pan on the stove for a few minutes, until lightly brown and toasty. I also used sweetened shredded coconut, unsweetened flaked would also be fine.

Happy MLK Day! You could also think of social justice once a week all day, perhaps AllMond ays?

Now you split the dough into two halves, and leave one in the fridge while you roll out the other on a very floured surface (remember, sticky) until very, very thin. Far thinner than expected for a person who’s never made a filled pastry before.

I had some friends over while I made this kringle and we were watching Clueless and at this point I kept saying I was ‘rollin with my homies.’ Actually this isn’t true because I don’t have friends to watch Clueless with while baking.

Filling goes in one long line down the middle. If you want to make two separate danishes, like lines, then stop before the ends so you can tuck down the top. I put my two halves together so spread the filling pretty far to the ends.

If baking was Hollywood we’d celebrate avant garde fil(ling)makers

The recipe called for some fancy cutting and braiding, but didn’t have pictures. I attempted this on the first half and then all the filling went out through the holes. So, good luck to you if you decide to go the braided danish route- check for seals in your dough! Instead, I recommend just folding the two sides over and making a less beautiful but more structurally sound tube of dough.

Kringles at TJ’s come from O&H bakery in Racine, Wisconsin. The other option besides the O is an H shape. This is not true.

See all the holes in my kringle above? Don’t do that. But do make two tubes and tuck them together to make the beautiful wreath shape of the kringle. Bake at 375 until golden brown and it smells SO GOOD and it’s SO GOOD. Even if it doesn’t turn out beautiful.

Easy coconut-almond kringle, adapted from Taste of Home

1 c full-fat plain yogurt (or sour cream)

2 c shredded coconut, toasted

Cut 1 c (2 sticks) butter into the flour, until you have pea-sized chunks or smaller of butter. Mix in the yogurt well, until you have very sticky dough. Cover in plastic wrap and refrigerate all day or overnight or at least a few hours.

Beat the brown sugar with the remaining cup of butter. Toast the almonds and coconut by putting each in a dry pan over medium heat for a few minutes, stirring lightly a few times, until they smell yummy and look lightly brown/toasty. Mix the almonds and coconut (or whatever filling of nuts/fruits you want here) in with the butter and brown sugar mix.

Split the chilled dough into two halves. Preheat oven to 375. Roll out dough very thin into a rough rectangle, then put one half of the filling in one straight line down the middle of the dough. Either cut and braid the outsides in, or fold them over. Do so with both halves, then push the halves together into an oval shape on a baking sheet.

5 Favorite Food Blogs of the Moment

Baked the blog is a collaborative site run by seven Canadian food bloggers that celebrates all things sweet. Posting about one recipe a week, each blogger takes a turn sharing one of their delicious creations accompanied by photography that’s sure to make you drool even more.

Brooklyn Supper is the lauded blog of Elizabeth Stark and Brian Campbell, a couple who focus on eating seasonally. The two share simple, straightforward recipes (with a fancy one thrown in here and there) for home cooks at all levels. Some of the best salads you will ever see are right here.

Cookie + Kate is a longtime favorite of mine with a focus on whole foods and vegetarian recipes. Kate’s hallmark is that she believes in recipes being flexible, and practices what she preaches. Several of her recipes are in constant rotation in my kitchen year-round.

Another longtime favorite, How Sweet It Is (aka How Sweet Eats), is the food blog baby of witty Jessica. Healthy recipes, comfort food, and indulgent desserts all have their place here, where Jessica’s banter and realness make you want to hang around and have a cocktail.

Billy Green is one hilarious mofo, and his site Wit & Vinegar is as funny as it is delicious. His graphic design background shines through with beautifully styled photos that will have you Risky Business-sliding into your kitchen ASAP.


This is a running archive of the classical works featured on this blog, and the recipes I paired with them accordingly. While I embrace the idea that music and food are practically inseparable, these specific pairings are not – what may have been the case in one meal may change entirely with the next.



BACH, Johann Sebastian

  • Corrente from Partita in A minor for Flute Solo : Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps and Spicy Asian Roasted Broccoli & Green Beans
  • Endlich wird mein Joch“ from Cantata BWV 56: Mint-Chocolate Birds’ Nests
  • Fugue in B minor on a theme by Tomaso Albinoni :Chocolate-Dipped Coconut Macaroons
  • Goldberg Variations, BWV 988:Maki Sushi
  • Preludio from Partita for Violin No. 3 in E major : Orange-Scented Loaf Cakes with Glaze

◊ BARBER, Samuel


BEETHOVEN, Ludwig van


BIZET, Georges


BRAHMS, Johannes

BRITTEN, Benjamin


CHOPIN, Frédéric


CORELLI, Arcangelo


DVORÁK, Antonín

DUFAY, Guillaume

ELGAR, Edward


◊ GLAZUNOV, Aleksandr

◊ GOLIJOV, Osvaldo

◊ GRIEG, Edvard

HAHN, Reynaldo


HARVEY, Jonathan


IBERT, Jacques

IVES, Charles



LISZT, Franz

MAHLER, Gustav





MOZART, Wolfgang Amadeus


NEWMAN, Thomas



POULENC, Francis


PUCCINI, Giacomo

RAVEL, Maurice

ROSSINI, Gioachino


  • Danse Bacchanale from Samson et Dalila : Cumin Seed Roasted Cauliflower with Yogurt and Pomegranate Seeds and Curried Butternut Squash Soup
  • Danse Macabre :Pumpkin Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
  • Finale from Le carnaval des animaux (The Carnival of the Animals) : Terrier Cupcakes and Kermit the Frog Cake (cake recipe here)


◊ SCHUMANN, Robert



◊ STRAUSS, Johann

◊ STRAUSS, Richard


Предварительный просмотр книги

Classic Home Desserts - Richard Sax


Mixed Fruit Cobbler [>]

Southern-Style Peach and Raspberry Cobbler with Pecan-Crunch Topping [>]

New Hampshire Plate Cake [>]

Virginia Blackberry Roll [>]

Pear or Apple Brown Betty with Cake Crumbs [>]

Cranberry Crumble with Fall Fruits [>]

Rhubarb-Strawberry Crisp with Cinnamon-Walnut Topping [>]

Swedish Apple Pie with Vanilla Sauce [>]

Danish Apple and Cookie Crumb Dessert [>]

Black and Blueberry Grunt (or Slump) [>]

Traditional Two-Berry Buckle [>]

Lightened Down-East Berry Buckle [>]

The Finamore Shortcake [>]

Berry Shortcakes with Buttermilk-Almond Biscuits [>]

Blueberry Shortcakes with Low-Fat Cornmeal-Yogurt Biscuits [>]

Fruit and dough—these are the essentials. Combine them in different ways (fruit on the bottom, fruit on top, fruit in between), vary the dough (biscuit dough, bread dough, pie crust, crumbs or crumbled streusel), and you’ve got the whole extended family that includes cobblers, crisps, brown Bettys, crumbles, pandowdies, even shortcakes.

The simplest of these sorts of desserts may be one put together by Appalachian housewives. Many people who grew up in the hills of Kentucky, Tennessee, the Carolinas and Georgia remember that when there wasn’t pie, their mothers made what Ruth Holcomb, a rural cook quoted in The Foxfire Book of Appalachian Cookery (1984), calls Applesauce Pie :

Slice your biscuits left over from breakfast or last night’s supper and lay them in the bottom of a baking dish.

Spread applesauce on top of them. You may stir cinnamon into the applesauce, if you wish. Make as many layers as you wish, ending with applesauce on top.

Sprinkle brown sugar on the top layer. Put into the oven and warm. The brown sugar will melt and make a crust on top of the applesauce.

All-American Fudge-Chunk Brownies and White Chocolate–Macadamia Blondies

Down-East Cranberry Apple Pie

Cranberry-Raspberry Tart Pastiche

Berry Shortcake with Buttermilk-Almond Biscuit

Greek Custard-Filled Phyllo Pastry

Split-Level Lime Chiffon Pie

Summer Pudding of Four Red Fruits

Edna Lewis’s Chocolate Soufflés

Austrian Walnut Torte with Coffee Whipped Cream

Poached Plum and Raspberry Compote in Late-Harvest Wine Syrup

Southern Coconut Layer Cake with Divinity Icing

There is something touching about this effort to put together—with what precious little is on hand—something beyond strict necessity.

Homemade desserts like crisps and brown Bettys show more effort than just setting out a bowl of fruit after supper, but not as much as baking a pie. They are simple, unfussy, plain and homespun—made just by cutting up a few apples and strewing them with buttered crumbs. And therein lies their innate appeal.

Yet despite the deep feelings they evoke, old recipes for homey fruit desserts aren’t all that easy to find. When you look back into old cookbooks, farm recipes and manuscript recipe notebooks handed down from mother to (usually) daughter, these perennials are often conspicuously absent.

Apple puddings are there, often with fruit incorporated into bread-and-custard puddings, but fruit topped with buttered crumbs or with a quilted biscuit blanket rarely appears. It seems that these fruit desserts are so simple that mothers assumed that recipes weren’t needed. Cobblers and crisps (and pandowdies and brown Bettys, too) were just something you did —without relying on written instructions. So recipes for many of these desserts were never written down, and as a result, were easily lost or forgotten.

Fruit desserts finally begin to turn up in print in the late 19th century. By the 1920s, they appear in profusion, when cookbooks by home economists and those mass-produced by Good Housekeeping and the like began to define American cooking for a generation that had seen the rise of industrialization and the move away from life on the farm. But it’s important to remember that, like pies, these desserts go back further than mere written records might suggest.

What’s a Cobbler? What’s a Crisp?

Much as we might like to be definitive, old-fashioned desserts are folk food —people’s food—cooked at home, made with slight variations from kitchen to kitchen, and like all folk culture, the recipes are passed orally from person to person, often never written down.

For this reason, definitions are hard to agree upon. I think of a real cobbler as made with biscuit dough, but pie-crust dough is often used. For me, it’s dough on top, fruit underneath. But plenty of Southern peach cobblers have bottom crusts or two crusts with fruit in between. Who is to say, in some attempt at academic codification, that these traditional Southern cobblers are not true cobblers?

Here, nevertheless, is the terminology, the distinctions sorted out as clearly as possible:

A cobbler is fruit baked with a crust. Most cobblers are made with a top crust of biscuit dough, which can be either a single solid layer or individual biscuits ( cobbles ). Pastry or bread dough is often substituted, and some cobblers are made with a bottom as well as a top crust.

A crisp refers to the most casual member of these fruit desserts (often made with apples or blueberries) in which the fruit is topped with a rubbed mixture of butter, sugar, flour and sometimes nuts. Buttered bread crumbs can be used, as can cookie crumbs, graham cracker crumbs, stale cake crumbs or even corn flakes. (When crumbs are layered in with the fruit instead of on top, it becomes a brown Betty.)

A crumble is an English cousin to our crisp. It has a crunchy shortbread-like topping of oats, butter, flour and brown sugar. Crumbles are often made with rhubarb, gooseberries or plums.

A pandowdy is made with sliced fruit (often apples), topped with a pastry crust that is cut up and pressed back into the fruit for the final few minutes of baking. Early versions of the pandowdy used bread dough as a crust, and some arranged the fruit on top and inverted the dessert before serving. The origin of this term is unknown, but a New England cookbook refers to dowdying as the process of breaking up the dough.

A buckle is generally made with berries, which are folded into (or scattered over) a tender yellow cake batter, usually topped with crumbs. The buckle is then baked and cut into squares.

A grunt or slump resembles a cobbler, but it is steamed on top of the stove (often in a cast-iron skillet) instead of being baked. The finished product resembles dumplings (also called drop biscuits ), rather than crisp browned biscuits. Grunt, they say, is the sound the fruit makes as it stews.

Mixed Fruit Cobbler

The cobbler prototype: light buttermilk biscuit topping, cobbled (cut in individual biscuit rounds) and placed over fruit. The juices are left runny. Serve this warm in bowls, not plates, with a pitcher of cream or a scoop of ice cream (or frozen or chilled vanilla or plain yogurt).

Make this cobbler with any soft fruit, using similar quantities and adjusting for sweetness. Add a touch of grated fresh or minced crystallized ginger, ground spices or a few berries to a pear cobbler add a sliced quince to an apple cobbler add a handful of dried cherries, blueberries or cranberries to a peach cobbler.

Serves 4 to 6


Light Biscuit Dough

FRUIT: Peel the nectarines and the peaches by immersing them in a large pot of boiling water for about 30 seconds rinse under cold water in a colander. The skins should slip off easily. Halve the fruit, remove the stones and cut into thick wedges, letting them fall into a mixing bowl and tossing them with the lemon juice to prevent discoloration. Pour off any excess liquid, leaving the fruit somewhat moist. Add the plums, berries and ginger toss.

In a small bowl, stir together the brown and white sugars, the cornstarch and the cinnamon with a fork or small whisk until free of lumps. Sprinkle this mixture over the fruit and toss gently with your fingers or 2 large spoons until thoroughly mixed. Transfer the mixture to an 8-inch square baking pan, oval gratin dish or other shallow baking dish with a capacity of about 2 quarts.

LIGHT BISCUIT DOUGH: In a food processor, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt, pulsing once or twice. Add the butter and process, pulsing, until the mixture is crumbly. Add the vanilla and dribble most, but not all, of the buttermilk or yogurt mixture over the dry mixture pulse to combine. If necessary, add the remaining buttermilk the dough should hold together and should be moist, but not sticky. Gather the dough onto a floured sheet of plastic wrap or wax paper, patting it together to form a cohesive disk. (The dough can be made several hours in advance wrap and refrigerate until needed.)

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Pat out the dough on a lightly floured sheet of wax paper to about ¾ inch thick. Cut with a biscuit cutter or glass dipped in flour reroll and cut the scraps. Brush the biscuit rounds with milk then arrange them over the fruit. Lightly sprinkle the biscuits with sugar.

Place the cobbler in the oven with a sheet of foil underneath to catch any drips. Bake the cobbler until the biscuits are golden and the fruit is bubbly, 30 to 35 minutes. Cool briefly on a wire rack. Serve warm, with ice cream, frozen yogurt or cream.


sweet and sour cherries/nectarines

Kitchen Hints for Cobblers and Crisps

A word about thickening. Too many cobbler and other fruit dessert recipes overthicken the fruit. And in doing so, they miss the point of capturing all the glorious juice that flows together with cream or ice cream, just waiting to be sopped up with a bite of biscuit. I like a very slight thickening, though—rather than none—so the cobbler isn’t awash in runaway juices.

Vary the amount of sugar in all of these fruit mixtures to taste, based on the fruit you buy. In many heirloom recipes, you can reduce sugar by up to half.

For light-textured biscuits for cobblers, make the dough slightly wetter than for baking biscuits, but not sticky. They’ll come up tender and light when baked. Don’t overknead or overhandle the dough at any stage of preparation.

If you don’t have buttermilk on hand, substitute plain (or vanilla) yogurt thinned with low-fat milk or cold water.

Raylene’s Blackberry Cobbler

Raylene had brought some of her home-canned blackberries with her. She and Reese made a skillet cobbler the way Raylene said she had learned when she was with the carnival. She dropped lots of little butter slices on the bottom of the skillet, sprinkled brown sugar over that, then poured her blackberries, more butter, and a handful of white sugar over everything. Unsweetened biscuit dough made the top crust, and the cobbler was ready to eat in half an hour. It wasn’t as good as Aunt Fay’s pies, but Reese gorged on it, eating almost half the pan by herself. Afterwards, she leaned forward lazily on the table, almost asleep, her blue-stained lips slightly parted.


Southern-Style Peach and Raspberry Cobbler with Pecan-Crunch Topping

Peach cobbler is both a home and restaurant mainstay down South, where the sweet tooth has been refined into a regional cultural institution.

When you can’t find good peaches, whether for cobbler, shortcake or pie, try using nectarines.

Serves about 6



Light Biscuit Dough

Pecan-Crunch Topping

FRUIT: Peel the peaches by immersing them in a large pot of boiling water for about 30 seconds rinse under cold water in a colander. The skins should slip off easily. Halve the fruit, remove the stones and cut the fruit into wedges, letting the slices fall into a mixing bowl and tossing them with the lemon juice to prevent discoloration. Pour off any excess liquid, leaving the fruit somewhat moist. Add the raspberries toss to combine.

SYRUP: In a small bowl, stir together the sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Add the optional liqueur and stir with a fork or small whisk until free of lumps. Drizzle this mixture over the fruit and toss gently with your fingers or 2 large spoons until thoroughly mixed. Transfer the mixture to an 8-inch square baking pan, oval gratin dish or other shallow baking dish with a capacity of about 2 quarts.

LIGHT BISCUIT DOUGH: In a food processor, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt, pulsing once or twice. Add the butter and process, pulsing, until the mixture is crumbly. Dribble most, but not all, of the buttermilk over the dry mixture pulse to combine. If necessary, add the remaining buttermilk the dough should hold together and should be moist, but not sticky. Gather the dough onto a floured sheet of plastic wrap or wax paper, patting it together to form a cohesive disk. (The dough can be made several hours in advance wrap and refrigerate until needed.)

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Pat out the dough on the lightly floured sheet of plastic wrap or wax paper to a little more than ¼ inch thick. With a star-shaped cutter or a fluted round cutter, cut out the biscuits. Reroll and cut the scraps. Gently place the biscuits over the fruit, arranging them fairly close together, or overlapping them slightly. Brush the biscuits with milk.

PECAN-CRUNCH TOPPING: In a small mixing bowl, stir together the pecans or almonds, brown sugar and cinnamon. Scatter the topping over the dough.

Place the cobbler in the oven with a sheet of foil underneath to catch any drips. Bake the cobbler until the biscuits are golden and the fruit is bubbly, usually about 35 minutes. (If the biscuits begin to brown before the fruit is bubbly, lay a sheet of foil loosely over the dough and continue to bake until done.) Cool the cobbler briefly on a wire rack. Serve warm, with ice cream, frozen yogurt or cream.

A Peach Pot-Pie

A peach pot-pie, or cobler, as it is often termed, should be made of clingstone peaches, that are very ripe, and then pared and sliced from the stones. Prepare a pot or oven with paste, as directed for the apple pot-pie, put in the prepared peaches, sprinkle on a large handful of brown sugar, pour in plenty of water to cook the peaches without burning them, though there should be but very little liquor or syrup when the pie is done. Put a paste over the top, and bake it with moderate heat, raising the lid occasionally, to see how it is baking. When the crust is brown, and the peaches very soft, invert the crust on a large dish, put the peaches evenly on, and grate loaf sugar thickly over it. Eat it warm or cold. Although it is not a fashionable pie for company, it is very excellent for family use, with cold sweet milk.


Summer Riches

(Cherry and Nectarine Cobbler with Rich Pastry Dough)

Capture the momentary height of summer in this deep ruby-colored dessert, bursting with cherries and nectarines. This is basically a cobbler, but topped with a lid of pastry dough instead of biscuits, and baked in a deep casserole instead of a shallow dish.

You can use either sweet cherries or sour ones here. The deep red cherries you find in the supermarket are sweet cherries, usually Bing cherries. Other sweet varieties, not as commonly grown, are Rainiers (golden with a pink blush) or dark Lamberts. Queen Annes are also golden, but the crop is used almost exclusively to manufacture maraschino cherries. Sour cherries such as Montmorency are often found at farmers’ markets they work beautifully in cobblers and pies, as long as you sweeten them accordingly. (See also Spiced Sour Cherry Compote for Ice Cream on [>].)

Serves about 6

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. In a large bowl, combine the cherries, nectarine slices, lemon juice and optional amaretto or Grand Marnier. Add the brown sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon and salt and toss until well blended. Pile the fruit mixture in a deep 1½- to 2-quart casserole. Dot the fruit with the butter.

Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface about ⅛ inch thick. Gently transfer the pastry to the dish, so that it covers the surface with a ¾-inch overhang on all sides. Tuck the edges under and flute them, if desired. Brush the dough with cream or milk sprinkle with sugar. Cut 4 or 5 slashes in the crust for steam vents.

Bake until the pastry is golden and the filling is bubbly, 40 to 45 minutes. Cool briefly. Serve warm, topped with ice cream, frozen yogurt or cream, if you like.

Make-Ahead Strategy for Fruit Desserts

Like shortcakes, cobblers should be served warm from the oven, preferably shortly after they’re baked. (Baking too far ahead guarantees sludge.)

But you can make it easy for yourself. Here’s how:

Put the biscuit dough together ahead of time.

Press it out on a sheet of lightly floured wax paper, and fold the paper over the dough or cover with a second sheet. If you like, the dough can be cut into rounds ahead of time, too.

Refrigerate for up to several hours until needed.

Streusel and crumb mixtures can also be made ahead and refrigerated or frozen in a sealed plastic bag. In summer, make a double or triple batch of streusel keep it on hand in the freezer, and scatter as much as you need over fruit desserts and pies.

Fruit fillings can be readied in advance, too cover the filling with plastic wrap, right in its baking dish.

When ready to bake, just preheat the oven, arrange the dough over the fruit and you’re there.

To Pit a Cherry

Tucking into a cherry dessert, a friend suddenly looked up and asked, How do you get the pits out of the cherries?

With a cherry pitter, I answered. He had never heard of such a thing. (It’s like a big pair of tweezers, with a pin to push the pit clean through.)

Devices like these were once standard in every home kitchen. Even with all the high-tech gadgetry now available, there’s still nothing better for getting cherry pits out quickly, without mangling the cherries. (If you don’t own one, use a chopstick to push the pits straight through.)

New Hampshire Plate Cake

This is something unusual—the cobbler components are first baked, and then turned upside-down. Based on a New Hampshire recipe from early in the 20th century, this dessert tops fruit (in summer, berries or peaches in winter, pears or apples with a splash of cider added) with a disk of biscuit dough. When it’s inverted after baking, the fruit drips its juices down over the biscuit plate.

I’ve added a little cornmeal to the dough for crunch, plus a little spice, including pepper, an old touch. Try this with Rhode Island white jonnycake meal for a subtle but fragrant corn flavor (see [>] for mail-order information). Bake this shortly before serving.

Spiced Biscuit Dough


SPICED BISCUIT DOUGH: In a food processor, combine the flour, jonnycake meal or cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, spices, salt and pepper, pulsing once or twice. Add the butter and process, pulsing, until the mixture is crumbly. Dribble most, butnot all, of the milk over the mixture pulse to combine. If necessary, add the remaining milk the mixture should hold together and should be moist, but not sticky. Gather the dough onto a floured sheet of plastic wrap or wax paper, patting it together to form a cohesive disk. (The dough can be made several hours in advance wrap and refrigerate until needed.)

FRUIT: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Generously butter just the sides of a 9- or 9½-inch pie pan. Combine all of the berries. Place ½ of the berries and the optional plums in the pan sprinkle with ½ of the sugar. Repeat with the remaining fruit and sugar set aside.

On the floured sheet of plastic wrap or wax paper, gently pat or roll out the biscuit dough to the same size as the pie pan. The edges can be rough that’s fine. With both hands, place the round of dough over the berries. Cut a few slits in the dough with a small knife.

Bake until the dough is golden and fruit is bubbly, about 30 minutes. Let the pan stand on a wire rack for about 5 minutes. Run the tip of a knife around the edge of the dough and quickly invert the pan onto a serving platter, so the fruit is on top, with the juices dripping down the sides. Serve immediately, cutting the plate cake into wedges. Top with ice cream or frozen yogurt, if you like.

Virginia Blackberry Roll

Here the cobbler components are rearranged—instead of biscuit dough topping the fruit, it’s rolled out and used to line a Pyrex loaf pan. Ripe summer blackberries are piled inside, and the dough is gathered up and over the top and decorated with leaf cutouts made with scraps of the dough. This delightful variation on the berries-and-biscuit theme is a family heirloom recipe from Eileen Proctor Rowe, who enjoyed this as a child in Goochland County, Virginia.


Buttermilk Biscuit Dough

BERRIES: Stir together the sugar, tapioca and salt in a mixing bowl. Add the berries and lemon juice and toss to combine. Set aside.

BUTTERMILK BISCUIT DOUGH: Place the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt into a food processor and pulse briefly to blend. Add the butter and pulse briefly, just until crumbly. With the machine running, add the buttermilk, just until the dough almost comes together. The dough should be quite soft if it is still dry, add another tablespoon or two of buttermilk.

Transfer the dough to a large sheet of floured wax paper and gently knead once or twice to blend the ingredients. Gently pat or roll out the dough into a rectangle about 11 × 14 inches. Neatly trim set aside the trimmings.

Generously butter a loaf pan, preferably a Pyrex loaf pan about 9½ × 2½ inches. Very gently invert the sheet of wax paper over the pan, flipping the dough into the pan without stretching it. The dough should cover the bottom and 2 long sides of the pan with a slight overhang and come to the top of the short sides. Cut off and set aside any excess dough repair any tears in the dough by gently pressing together.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F, with a rack in the center and a sheet of foil underneath to catch any running juices.

Pour the berry mixture into the dough-lined pan. Carefully fold one long side of the dough over the fruit. Lightly beat the egg together with the milk or cream and gently brush some of the glaze over the folded surface of the dough. Gently fold in the other long side of the dough and press lightly to seal. Tuck in the dough at the short ends of the pan. Brush the dough again with the glaze. Cut attractive shapes from the reserved dough (flowers, leaves and a stem fruit shapes, diamonds or other shapes) and lay them on the surface. Brush the pastry cutouts with the glaze.

Bake until the roll is nearly golden, 50 to 60 minutes. Sprinkle the top with sugar and bake for 10 minutes longer, until golden. Cool briefly on a rack. Serve warm directly from the pan, cutting the roll into slices and spooning up the berries. Top each serving with vanilla ice cream.

About Pandowdy

Pandowdy is American, not English—no-frills Yankee fare. It consists of a dish of fruit (usually apples), sweetened with molasses or maple syrup, topped with a pastry crust (or bread dough) and baked until the dough starts to brown. The pastry is then cut up into squares ( dowdied ) and pressed back down into the fruit. The dish is returned to the oven, and everything finishes baking together, the fruit juices thoroughly saturating the dough.

Like so many other key old-fashioned desserts, pandowdy recipes are conspicuously absent from old cookbooks. The word, says the Oxford English Dictionary, is of obscure origin, though there is a Somerset word pandoulde, meaning custard, now lost.

But while there are few references to pandowdy in 19th-century cookbooks, the dessert does date back at least that far. In The Blithedale Romance (1852), New Englander Nathaniel Hawthorne writes: Hollingsworth [would] fill my plate from the great dish of pandowdy. Later in that century, author Charles Leland refers to pan-dowdy, a kind of coarse and broken-up apple pie.

One of the first published recipes for pandowdy, featuring a cut-up crust—to me, the dish’s distinctive mark—appeared in about 1880. The apple dessert was baked overnight in the waning embers of a wood fire. Like pie, pandowdy was often served for breakfast: In the morning cut the hard crust into the apple, this recipe concluded. Eat with yellow cream or plain.

While pandowdy had clearly been around earlier, published recipes begin to show up in the early 20th century, and they veer all over. Many don’t mention cutting up the crust at all. A Maine apple pandowdy simmers the fruit in a kettle with salt pork and molasses. Imogene Wolcott, whose 1938 Yankee Cook Book is one of the best regional American cookbooks, says that apple brown Betty is made according to the modern recipe for pandowdy, with bread crumbs standing in for the crust.

Going a-Blackberrying

I have also seen this made in a square pan, or in little packets but these are not official ‘rolls.’ My mother always made hers in the ‘roll’ style. We only had this old-fashioned dessert a few times each summer, so they were special. People who knew we loved blackberries would bring us some, or tell us where the good picking was.

Now, I am fortunate to have a good supply in a vacant lot next to a shopping mall nearby. My 6-year-old daughter and I go early in the morning or at dusk to pick berries, wearing our bandannas and long sleeves so as to avoid ticks and chiggers."

Rye ’n Injun

Cover [sweetened] apples with this [dough of rye flour and cornmeal, an early American combination called rye ’n Injun ], bake slowly for five hours, then break the crust down into the apples, cover and bake for two hours longer. Serve with sugar and cream. Half a cupful of molasses can be used instead of the sugar.


Pear Pandowdy

This pandowdy is kept simple I like it made with pie crust instead of biscuit dough, which bakes up crisper once it’s soaked with the fruit juices. The pears add a more intense fruit presence than most apples.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Butter a 9- or 9½-inch pie pan or other shallow baking dish.

Toss the sliced pears with the lemon juice in a mixing bowl to prevent discoloration. Add the maple syrup, cloves and nutmeg toss to combine. Place the pears in the pie pan dot with the butter.

Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface to an even thickness of about ⅛ inch lay it gently over the pears. Trim it flush with the edges of the dish. Brush the pastry with the cream or milk sprinkle it with sugar. Cut several steam vents in the pastry.

Bake until the pastry is lightly golden, about 30 minutes. Lower the oven temperature to 350 degrees. Remove the pandowdy from the oven and cut the pastry into 1-inch squares. Use a spatula to press the squares into the pear filling (this is called dowdying ).

Return the pandowdy to the oven and bake until golden brown, about 30 minutes longer. Serve warm, in bowls, with ice cream, heavy cream or whipped cream.

APPLE PANDOWDY: Substitute sliced apples for the pears, adding ½ cup cider or water to the fruit in step 2. Then proceed as directed.

Shoo-fly pie and Apple Pan-Dowdy, Makes your eyes light up and your stomach say howdy.

Pear or Apple Brown Betty with Cake Crumbs

Say the words warm fruit dessert, and this brown Betty is what comes to mind—ripe seasonal fruit, baked with spices, butter and a few crumbs to soak up juices and crisp the surface. You usually find this made with apples pears are, to my taste, even more interesting.

This is a basic formula quantities are given for both moist pears (Anjou or Bartlett), or drier pears (Bosc) or apples. This should come to the table in its baking dish, topped with a thick blanket of buttery crumbs. Stale cake crumbs instead of bread crumbs make brown Betty even better.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Butter a shallow baking dish, such as a 9-×-6-inch rectangular baking dish (or other baking dish with 3½-to-4-cup capacity) set aside.

In a small bowl, combine the crumbs, brown and white sugars and spices. Prepare the pears or apples, dropping the slices into a second bowl and tossing with a little lemon juice.

Scatter 1 to 2 tablespoons of the crumb mixture into the bottom of the baking dish. Top with ½ of the fruit. Pour the cider or water over, and scatter slightly less than ½ of the crumbs on top. Dot with about ½ of the butter. Top with the remaining fruit, the remaining crumbs and the remaining butter.

Bake until the crumbs are nicely browned and fruit is bubbly and tender, about 35 minutes. Cool briefly on a wire rack. Serve warm, with ice cream or cream. This dessert can be rewarmed at 300 degrees.

Popular Betty

As with cobblers, recipes for brown Bettys don’t show up often in American cookbooks before this century. British crisps and crumbles are clearly related, but the brown Betty seems to be American and rises in popularity at about the same time as the cobbler, in the late 1800s.

There is no brown Betty recipe in Fannie Farmer’s 1896 Boston Cooking-School Cook Book, but she does include a recipe for Scalloped Apples baked with bread crumbs that’s virtually identical. By the 1930 revision, the same recipe is called Brown Betty (Scalloped Apples).

Brown Betty has appeared in an even more upscale way: as a stuffing for roast pheasant, at Guy Abelson’s Café in the Barn in Seekonk, Massachusetts, now closed.

Ulysses saw in the glorious garden of Alcinous pears and pomegranates, and apple-trees bearing beautiful fruit.


Cranberry Crumble with Fall Fruits

If you were to ask me which one recipe to try from this book, this might be it. I’ve baked it every year for Thanksgiving it goes great with pumpkin pie, as well as with the next day’s leftover turkey.

A variation on a crisp, with a nubbly golden topping made with oats, this is a family recipe from England, where it is made with plums, gooseberries and other berries.

After gradually evolving the recipe through several versions, I’ve eliminated the fruit thickening entirely. (The topping absorbs some of the excess juices.) The result is whole cranberries, glistening in clean, clear juices, their tartness offset by sweet pears and apples—a song to autumn. Instead of the Ginger Cream topping, you may serve this crumble with vanilla ice cream.

Oat Crunch Topping

Ginger Cream (Optional)

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F, with a rack in the center and a large sheet of foil on the rack. Butter a large, shallow baking dish, such as a 12-inch oval gratin dish set aside.

In a large, heavy saucepan or casserole, bring about ½ of the cranberries and all of the sugar to a boil the berries will pop and the sugar will melt. Remove from the heat and stir in the remaining cranberries, orange zest and juice, apples and pears. Spoon the fruit mixture into the baking dish and set aside.

OAT CRUNCH TOPPING: In a food processor, combine the oats, flour, brown sugar and butter. Pulse until the mixture is crumbled to the size of peas do not overprocess. (You can also cut the mixture together with 2 knives or with your fingers.) Scatter the topping mixture evenly over the fruit.

Bake until the fruit is bubbly and the topping is nicely browned, 50 to 60 minutes. If you’d like to brown the top further, very briefly run it under the broiler. Cool the baking dish on a wire rack until warm.

GINGER CREAM (optional): Whip the cream until not quite stiff. Gently fold in crystallized ginger to taste transfer to a glass serving bowl.

Serve the crumble warm, spooning some of the fruit and topping into each bowl. Top each portion with a spoonful of Ginger Cream, and pass the remaining cream separately.

For a quince version, use ¾ pound cranberries, 4 to 5 apples and 2 quinces.

Native Sweets

One of only three fruits native to North America (the others are blueberries and concord grapes), the cranberry was called Sasemin by the Wampanoag ( People of the Dawn ) Indians in New England. They used it not only as food but as a curative for scrapes, cuts or even arrow wounds, says ocean spray.

Paula Marcoux, former Foodways Manager at plimoth plantation, points out that cranberries and other berries were incorporated into many savory dishes to add a sharp edge of flavor. There was no way to sweeten dishes in pre-colonial days, since honeybees were not native to North America and cane sugar production came later.

For natural sweetening, the native cranberries and blueberries, and also others such as bearberries and chokecherries—whether fresh or dried on mats in the summer sun—were indispensable. Blueberries and other berries were added to boiled breads, mixtures that resembled dumplings. To make them, fine cornmeal was mixed with boiling water to form a sticky paste, rolled into balls, dropped into boiling water and simmered. Dried berries, pulverized fruits, crushed nutmeats or sunflower seeds were all optional additions.

In 1677, when King Charles II was annoyed with the Massachusetts Bay Colony for minting its own coins, the colonists hastily offered him a mollifying gift of their three most important crops: codfish, corn, and tenn barrells of cranburyes.

Rhubarb-Strawberry Crisp with Cinnamon-Walnut Topping

For the first 200 years in America, rhubarb pies were almost as popular as apple or mince. In fact, so strong was the connection that for years people called rhubarb pie plant. Technically a vegetable, rhubarb makes as good a crisp as it does a pie. Not only does the old rhubarb-and-strawberries combination play sour against sweet, but the two arrive in the garden at the same time in spring.

Serves about 6


Cinnamon-Walnut Topping

FRUIT: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Butter an 8-inch pie pan or other shallow baking dish. In a mixing bowl, combine the rhubarb, strawberries, white and brown sugars, lemon juice and water. Transfer the mixture to the buttered pan.

CINNAMON-WALNUT TOPPING: In a small bowl, combine the butter, flour, brown and white sugars and cinnamon. Cut together until the mixture forms large crumbs. Crumble in the walnuts. Scatter the topping over the fruit, pressing it in lightly.

Bake until the topping is golden brown, about 35 minutes.Cool briefly. Serve warm, topped with ice cream or frozen yogurt, if you like.

WARM PLUM CRISP: Plums work well in warm desserts. I often slice a couple of plums into berry and nectarine desserts, just to deepen the flavor. Substitute about 1¾ pounds plums for the rhubarb and strawberries, add 3 tablespoons of flour and a little cinnamon to the fruit, and eliminate the water. Proceed as directed.

Apple Mush

These homespun desserts were often named by kids, and the family names stuck. This one features apples piled high in a pie plate, topped with a cake-like batter that bakes up crunchy and irresistible, trapping all the fragrant apple juices inside. It is an old family recipe from Pamela Cohen, a producer at ABC Television. It’s also one of the best in this collection.

Serves about 6



TOPPING: In a bowl, combine the flour, sugar and baking powder. Stir in the egg until the mixture forms a smooth dough (the mixture will be quite stiff). Set aside for about 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Lightly butter a 9-inch pie pan set aside.

FRUIT: Toss the apples with the lemon juice. Combine the sugar, brown sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Place about ⅓ of the apples in the pan. Sprinkle with ⅓ of the cinnamon mixture, and dot with ⅓ of the butter. Make 2 more layers in the same way, mounding the apples quite high in the center of the pan. With your fingers, break off tablespoon-size dabs of the topping mixture and scatter them over the apples.

Place the pie pan on a baking sheet or a sheet of foil and bake for 10 minutes. Lower the oven heat to 350 degrees and continue to bake until the topping is nicely browned and the apples are soft, about 45 minutes longer. Cool on a wire rack. Serve warm, topped with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream, if you like.

Swedish Apple Pie with Vanilla Sauce

This old Swedish dessert from the province of Scania is called a pie, but with the apples baked with butter and crumbs until they meld together, it belongs with crisps and brown Bettys. The apple flavor permeates the buttery crumbs. This recipe was shared by Barry Judd, owner of Min Lilla Tradgard, a restaurant in Stockholm.

Serves 6 to 8

Swedish Vanilla Sauce

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 10-to-12-inch oval gratin dish or other shallow baking pan set aside.

Cover the bottom of the baking dish with a layer of the apple slices. Sprinkle with some of the bread crumbs and sugar dot with some of the butter. Continue layering until all of the ingredients are used, finishing with a layer of crumbs, sugar and butter.

Bake for 1 to 1¼ hours, or until the apples are very soft and about to disintegrate.

SWEDISH VANILLA SAUCE: Scald ⅓ cup of the cream in a small, heavy saucepan. In a small bowl, beat the egg yolks, sugar and vanilla until well combined. Gradually add the hot cream to the egg yolk mixture, mixing constantly. Return the mixture to the saucepan and reduce the heat to very low. Cook, stirring constantly, just until the custard thickens slightly, usually 2 or 3 minutes. Do not allow to boil. Remove from the heat and transfer the custard to a bowl place a sheet of wax paper or plastic wrap directly on the surface and chill thoroughly. Whip the remaining ⅔ cup cream until it forms soft peaks fold into the egg yolk mixture. Add the orange, tangerine or lemon juice to taste. Cover and refrigerate until serving time.

Cool the pie to lukewarm or room temperature. Turn the pie out onto a serving platter, or serve directly from the dish (I like it best this way). Serve with the Vanilla Sauce.

Danish Apple and Cookie Crumb Dessert

( Peasant Girl with Veil )

In this Danish dessert, apples are layered with cookie crumbs and baked until they meld together, with a crisped top layer (the veil ).

This is actually an amalgamation of two similar apple-and-crumb recipes from unrelated sources: a Danish dessert made with rye bread crumbs and Vincent La Chapelle’s 1744 dessert, made with a spiced apple marmalade and crumbled biskets.

This is one of the simplest and best of the crisp/brown Betty genre.

Serves 6 to 8

Cook the apples with the sugar and cinnamon over low heat in a covered heavy saucepan, stirring and mashing them occasionally as they cook, until they are reduced to a coarse, chunky puree, usually about 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and cool slightly.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Butter an 8-inch round cake pan or other shallow baking dish. Melt the butter in a saucepan, and stir in the cookie crumbs and salt until combined. Layer the crumbs and apple mixture alternately in the baking pan, beginning and ending with the crumbs. Sprinkle the top layer of crumbs with a spoonful of sugar.

Bake until golden brown, 35 to 40 minutes. Cool briefly on a wire rack. Serve warm with ice cream, frozen yogurt or cream. This can be reheated gently at 300 degrees.

Black and Blueberry Grunt (or Slump)

Similar to cobblers in that they combine fruit with nubs of biscuit dough, both slumps and grunts are simmered on top of the stove rather than baked. Do the berries actually grunt as they simmer? That’s what some say. Do the biscuit dumplings slump down into the fruit as they bubble away? Maybe.

The biscuit dough is made slightly softer than for a cobbler, then spooned over the fruit—these are actually drop biscuits or dumplings. When simmered, tightly covered—you’re actually steaming them—the dumplings set but don’t color.

The terms slump and grunt are thrown around as carelessly as crisp and cobbler. Some say that grunts are steamed (usually with apples), while slumps are baked (usually with berries). Others contend that grunt is the name of the dumpling on top, or the satisfied sound you make when you eat one.

Yankee magazine, which has been chronicling these things since 1935, concludes, The Brown Betty Rule of slumps and grunts is: There Is No Rule!

Serves about 6


Dumpling (Drop Biscuit) Dough

BERRIES: The grunt can be simmered in a well-seasoned 8-inch cast-iron skillet or a shallow heatproof casserole (such as Le Creuset enameled cast-iron) of similar size. Place the berries in the skillet or casserole add the sugar, water, lemon juice and optional spices and toss gently to combine. Set aside.

DUMPLING (DROP BISCUIT) DOUGH: In a mixing bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Stir in the melted butter. Add enough of the buttermilk to form a soft, sticky dough that is slightly wetter than a biscuit dough.

Cover the skillet with the berries in it and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to a steady simmer, uncover, and spoon the dough over the fruit, forming small dumplings with a soup spoon. Sprinkle the dumplings lightly with the cinnamon sugar. Tightly cover the skillet with the lid or a sheet of foil and steam the mixture over medium-low heat, without opening the lid, until the dumplings set and the surface is dry when touched with a fingertip, usually about 15 minutes.

Spoon the grunt into serving bowls, with some of the berries and dumplings in each portion. Pass the heavy cream separately, or top each portion with vanilla ice cream.

Apple Slump was what Louisa May Alcott named her home in Concord, Massachusetts.

Traditional Two-Berry Buckle

This is the traditional, crumb-topped coffee-cake-style buckle you can make it with any type of berries in season. The berries, not the cake, are its essence, for a buckle is almost a berry batter pudding. It’s said to buckle as it bakes, but I’ve never seen that happen.

This recipe was adapted from a dessert from the former Joe’s Bar and Grill in Greenwich Village. At Joe’s, the buckle would be cut out into neat rounds with a cocktail glass and precisely arranged over a pool of custard. You can cut it into squares and serve right from its dish.

Serve this warm New Englanders like buckle with a warm lemon sauce.

Serves about 8

Cake Batter

Crumb Topping

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Butter an 8-inch square baking dish or a 10- or 11-inch gratin dish set the dish aside.

CAKE BATTER: Cream the butter, sugar and vanilla with an electric mixer at medium-high speed until light. Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat until incorporated. Meanwhile, stir together the flour, baking powder and salt in a small bowl add to the creamed mixture and mix just until blended, no longer. Gently fold in the berries until well coated with the batter. Scrape the batter into the baking dish.

CRUMB TOPPING: In a food processor or with 2 knives, cut together the butter, sugar, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg and lemon zest until the mixture is coarsely crumbled. Scatter the mixture evenly over the cake batter.

Bake the buckle until the topping is lightly golden brown and the cake has set, usually 45 to 50 minutes. Cool on a wire rack. Cut into large squares and serve lukewarm or at room temperature, topped with a sauce or ice cream.

Lightened Down-East Berry Buckle

This new two-berry buckle is less substantial than traditional versions. It’s a deep panful of raspberries and blackberries, topped with a layer of the lightest butter cake, studded with sliced almonds. The cake batter is spooned over the fruit, with the center left uncovered, so that the berries gleam through.

Serve this buckle warm, and try it with different berry combinations. Top it with ice cream or yogurt, and let it run down into the crimson berry juices. This is high summer pleasure.


Almond Cake Topping

BERRIES: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Place the blackberries and raspberries in a 9½- or 10-inch deep-dish pie pan or baking dish. Sprinkle with the sugar and pour in the water, combining gently and turning the berries over with your fingers.

ALMOND CAKE TOPPING: Beat the butter with an electric mixer at medium speed until very soft. Add the sugar and lemon zest and continue beating until very light. Meanwhile, stir together the flour, baking powder and salt. Add the egg or eggs and both extracts to the butter mixture, beating until smooth. Add the flour mixture alternately with the milk, beginning and ending with the flour. Do not overmix.

Drop the cake batter in large spoonfuls about 1 inch from the edge of the pan, leaving the berries uncovered in the center. Sprinkle the batter with the almonds, then lightly with cinnamon, if you like.

Bake until the cake is golden and a toothpick emerges clean, 35 to 40 minutes. Cool briefly on a wire rack. Serve warm, with vanilla frozen yogurt, ice cream or cream, if you like.

About Shortcake

Shortcake! What better celebration of summer? Strawberry shortcake took the country by storm during the Strawberry Fever of the 1850s and soon rose to its eminent position in the American dessert pantheon. Historians look to its New England origins wild strawberries were available and preferred there.

A somewhat rough version of strawberry shortcake was described in 1636 by Roger Williams, who founded Rhode Island: The Indians bruise [wild strawberries] in a morter and mix them with meal and make strawberry bread.

Settlers here found strawberries growing wild among a profusion of other berries: blackberries, whortleberries, elderberries, mulberries and the native blueberries and cranberries. Captain John Smith found fine and beautifull Strawberries, foure times bigger and better than ours in England.

Made with buttered split biscuits, shortcake continued to be popular in the decade after the Civil War. By the 1870s and 1880s, when a tidal wave of American cookbooks was published, recipes for strawberry and peach shortcakes with biscuits were standard and were frequently included with breakfast and tea items.

Real shortcake is made with biscuit dough. It can be made as one large round of biscuit-like cake or in individual biscuits. There are, of course, other ways to make shortcake if your mother made hers with spongecake or pie crust, chances are that that’s what real shortcake is for you.

You can layer ripe strawberries with tender spongecake and real whipped cream New Yorkers have fond memories of Lindy’s mountainous layer-cake version with giant berries. Others remember their mothers tucking lots of berries between two rounds of pastry dough. But to purists, neither is the real thing.

Contemporary restaurant pastry chefs cradle fruit between layers of puff pastry, phyllo dough and meringue.

All of these are good eating. But for a real American strawberry shortcake, biscuit it should be.

Bringing Out the Flavor of Ripe Berries

Get the most flavor out of ripe berries with a natural light sugar syrup, whether you plan to serve them on their own, over ice cream or with shortcake. Here’s how:

Toss hulled fresh strawberries or other berries, whole, sliced or quartered, in a small amount of sugar, preferably superfine.

Let the berries stand at room temperature for 30 to 60 minutes, tossing them from time to time. The sugar will help draw out some of the berry juices, forming a light syrup and concentrating the berry flavor.

Strawberries! Strawberries! Fine, ripe, and red!


The World’s Best Lemon Tart

Southern-Style Peach and Raspberry Cobbler with Pecan-Crunch Topping

Cranberry Upside-Down Cake

Double Chocolate Pudding, Butterscotch Pudding, Coffee Cup Crème Caramel

Coiled Yeast Coffee Bread with Nut Filling

Chef Andrea’s Breakfast Polenta Cake

Sephardic Walnut Cake with Honey-Lemon Syrup

Great St. Louis Orange Ring Cake with Orange Syrup

Warm Baked Apples with Macaroon Soufflé and Cool Custard

Carême’s Hazelnut Pithiviers with Orange

Crinkly Baked Pears, Trattoria-Style

The Finamore Shortcake

This is a tender round of not-too-sweet biscuit cake, with a buttery flavor and clean crumb. It’s named for my friend, cookbook editor Roy Finamore, who adapted this from a recipe of cooking teacher Helen Worth.

Serve this shortcake still warm from the oven (I prefer a single layer to the original double). Slather it with ripe berries or peaches and a little cream or vanilla ice cream, and let the flavors take you away.

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