Archive for the ‘Desserts’ Category

Summer Cherry Cake

Adapted, only slightly, from Martha Stewart



6 tablespoons (85 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus extra for pie plate
1 1/2 cups (188 grams) all-purpose flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1 cup (200 grams) plus 2 tablespoons (25 grams) granulated sugar
1 large egg
1/2 cup (118 ml) milk
1 teaspoon (5 ml) vanilla extract
1 pound (450 grams) cherries, pitted and halved (or any other not-too-juicy fruit)



Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Butter a 10-inch pie pan or springform pan.

Whisk flour or flours, baking powder and salt together in a small bowl. In a larger bowl, beat butter and 1 cup sugar until pale and fluffy with an electric mixer, about 3 minutes. Mix in egg, milk and vanilla until just combined. Add dry mixture gradually, mixing until just smooth.

Pour into prepared pie plate. Arrange strawberries, cut side down, on top of batter, as closely as possible in a single layer (though I had to overlap a few to get them all in). Sprinkle remaining 2 tablespoons sugar over berries.

Bake cake for 10 minutes then reduce oven temperature to 325°F and bake cake until golden brown and a tester comes out free of wet batter, about 50 minutes to 60 minutes. (Gooey strawberries on the tester are a given.) Let cool in pan on a rack. Cut into wedges. Serve with lightly whipped cream.

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Bing Cherry Cobbler



3lb sweet cherries, pitted

1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice, strained

3 Tbsp sugar, plus 1/3 C

2/3 C buttermilk

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

1 1/2 C all-purpose flour

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp kosher salt

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

6 Tbsp cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces

1 Tbsp sugar mixed with 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon


Preheat the oven to 375°F.  Have ready a deep 9” baking dish.

In a large bowl, stir together the cherries, lemon juice, and 3 Tbsp sugar until well mixed.  Pour the fruit into the dish and bake for 10 minutes.

While the fruit is baking, in a small bowl, stir together buttermilk and vanilla.  Sift the flour, the 1/3 cup sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon together in a large bowl.  Using a pastry blender or 2 kinves, cut the butter until the mixture forms large, coarse crumbs the size of small peas.  Pour in the buttermilk mixture and stir just until a soft, sticky, evenly moistened dough forms.

Drop the dough by heaping spoonfuls onto the hot fruit, spacing it evenly over the surface.  The topping will not cover the fruit but will spread during baking.  Sprinkle with the cinnamon-sugar mixture.  Bake until the fruit filling is bubbling, the topping is browned, and a toothpick inserted into the topping comes out clean, 30-35 minutes.  Let cool on a wire rack for about 15 mins before serving.

Recipe from Dessert of the Day by Kim Laidlaw

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  • 1¼ cups (170 g) pitted dark sweet cherries, frozen (pre-freeze your own!)
  • ½ packet stevia (about ¼ teaspoon powdered stevia; omit if your cherries are super sweet)
  • ¼ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • ⅛ teaspoon pure almond extract or 1/16 teaspoon ground mahlab
  • 1/16 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2-3 tablespoons ice-cold water
  • 1 tablespoon chopped good-quality dark chocolate (see Note)



  1. Add the cherries, stevia, vanilla extract, almond extract, and salt to a food processor and pulse until it looks crumbly.
  2. With the motor running, slowly add enough cold water (about 2 to 3 tablespoons) so it comes together into a smooth mixture.
  3. Add the chocolate chips and pulse one or two times.
  4. Serve immediately if you like it on the softer side, or transfer to the freezer to solidify a little before serving.



Chocolate: To keep this paleo and vegan, use dairy-free, stevia-sweetened dark chocolate.



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Apple Cranberry Tart


1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

6 Tbsp white cornmeal

1/2 cup plus 2 tsp sugar, plus more for dusting

1/2 tsp kosher salt

3/4 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces, plus 2 Tbsp, sliced thinly

6 Tbsp sour cream

1/2 cup ice water plus 1/2 cup water

3 Tbsp honey

3 Tbsp fresh lemon juice

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

8 large tart apples, peeled, cored and sliced

1 1/2 cups fresh cranberries


To make the pastry, combine the flour, cornmeal, 2 tsp sugar, and salt in a food processor.  Add the 3/4 cup butter and pulse until the butter pieces are the size of small peas.  In a bowl, whisk together the sour cream and 1/2 cup ice water.  Drizzle over the dough and pulse for a few seconds until the dough clings together.  Pat the dough into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 20 minutes.

In a large frying pan, warm the 1/2 cup sugar, 1/2 cup water, honey, lemon juice, and cinnamon over medium heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves.  Stir in the apple slices and simmer until tender-crisp, about 3 minutes.  Add the cranberries and simmer just until they start to pop, about 2 minutes.  Using a slotted spoon, transfer the fruit to a bow.  Boil the juices over medium-high heat until reduced slightly and spoon over the fruit.

Preheat the oven to 400°F.  On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the dough into a large rectangle about 1/4-inch thick.  Transfer to a rimmed baking sheet.  Mound the fruit filling onto the dough and spread an even layer, leaving a 2-inch border uncovered.  Bold the border over the fruit, pleating the edges to form a broad rim.  Lay the thin slices of butter over the exposed fruit, then sprinkle with sugar.

Bake until the pastry is golden brown and the fruit is bubbling and tender, about 40 minutes.  Let cool slightly, then serve.

From Williams-Sonoma’s Dessert of the Day: 365 Recipes for Every Day of the Year Cookbook, p281

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Fresh Pear Ginger Crisp


1 cup crushed gingersnap cookies (about 20 cookies)

1/2 cup old-fashioned oats

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

1/4 tsp ground ginger

1/4 tsp ground cloves

1/8 tsp salt

1/3 cup butter, softened

7 medium pears (about 2 1/2 pounds), peeled and thinly sliced

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

Vanilla ice cream, optional


In a small bowl, combine the first six ingredients.  With clean hands, work butter into oat mixture until well combined.  Refrigerate for 15 minutes.

Place pears in a small bowl; add flour and toss to coat.  Transfer to a greased 8-in square baking dish; sprinkle with oat mixture.

Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 35+-40 minutes or until topping is golden brown and fruit is tender.  Serve warm with ice cream if desired.

From Taste of Home’s 2013 Holiday Collection Book.

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Apple and Pear Crisp


3 to 5 medium apples, cored and cut into 1-inch pieces

3 medium Bosc pears, cored and cut into 2-inch pieces

1/4 cup sugar

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves


1/2 cup almond meal

3/4 cup rolled oats

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon salt

6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small pieces.


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

To prepare the fruit:  Add the apples and pears to a large mixing bowl.  Sprinkle with the sugar and cloves, and stir to combine.  Pour the fruit along with any juices into a deep 8” square baking pan and set aside.

To prepare the crisp: Using the same mixing bowl, add the almond meal, oats, sugar, spices, and salt; stir to combine.  Add the butter to the bowl.  Using your fingers, pinch the butter into the dry ingredients, blending well.  The topping will at first resemble coarse crumbs, but will soon come together in larger clumps.

Distribute the topping evenly over the fruit in the pan, breaking up larger clumps if needed.  Bake for 40-45 mins, until the fruit can be easily pierced with a fork and the crisp topping is brown.  Let cool 15 mins before serving.  Top with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.

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Apple Pot Pies with Maple Cream


Flaky Pie Dough for single crust

6 tart apples, peeled, cored and diced

1 Tbsp unsalted butter

1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar

1 Tbsp all-purpose flour

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

2Tbsp brandy

1 tsp finely grated lemon zest

2 large egg beaten with 1 tsp water

1 Tbsp granulated sugar

1 Cup heavy cream

2 Tbsp pure maple sugar


Prepare the dough and chill.  Butter 4 individual ramekins or baking dishes and place on a baking sheet.

Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface and divide into 4 equal pieces.  Roll each piece into a round about 1/8” thick and slightly larger than the mouth of each ramekin.  Place the rounds onto a baking sheet and refrigerate until ready to use.

Preheat the oven to 400°F.  In a saucepan, cook the apples, butter, brown sugar, flour and cinnamon over medium heat, stirring, just until the fruit starts to soften and the mixture thickens, about 7 minutes.  Remove from the heat and stir in the brandy and lemon zest.  Mix well and divide between the ramekins.

Top each ramekin with a round of dough, pressing it down to seal it around the mouth of the dish.  Brush the top of the dough with the egg wash and sprinkle with granulated sugar.  Bake until the dough is golden brown, the fruit is tender, and the juices are bubbling, about 30 minutes.  Remove from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes.

To make the maple cream, in a bowl, using an electric mixer, whip the cream until soft peaks form.  Gradually whip in the maple syrup, beating until medium peaks form.  Serve the pot pies with the maple cream.

From Dessert of the Day by Kim Laidlaw, p. 272

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