Courtesy of Chef Kjartan Skjelde
Courtesy of Mary Sommers
This will make one 10″ Tart. You will need a 10″ removable bottom tart pan.
Peel, cut in half and core 3 pears. Poach them until soft in the following liquid.
After pears are softened by poaching, cool them and slice them very thin from the stem end through the blossom end. Place them on paper towels to drain while you make the crust and the filling.
Courtesy of Dona Judith Galicia
This recipe comes from Papantla, Veracruz, the center of the Mexican vanilla growing industry. Although apples are certainly not a fruit we associate with the tropics, the apples come from the Sierra Madre Oriental, the mountain range that is only a few hours away.
This is a slight adaptation of a recipe from Vera Cruz. While Vera Cruz is largely a tropical state, there are mountainous areas with more temperate climates within the state as well as in the adjoining states of Hidalgo and Puebla where stone fruits thrive.
Courtesy of Chef Bev Shaffer
While I was writing VANILLA, I discovered that before Thomas Jefferson brought vanilla beans to the United States, the ice cream flavor of the moment was lemon. The idea of lemon ice cream sounded intriguing, but when I looked for recipes, all I could find were lemon sorbet and sherbet. I experimented and came up with a real winner. This recipe is ideal as a light dessert and “palate cleanser.” As it’s also lower in calories than regular ice cream, it avoids the category of “guilty pleasure.”
Courtesy of Gina Tassone, Vanilla Contessa
Almost everyone has experienced the frustration of bananas that have gone from perfect to mush, seemingly overnight. Summer is especially cruel to the sweet and perishable fruit. The Queen’s right-hand woman, Gina, a.k.a. the Contessa, has thoughtfully shared with us a great recipe for utilizing those overripe bananas. You will undoubtedly want to use this recipe often, as it’s quite good.
Courtesy of Beth Hensperger
Most coffee cake recipes, especially ones for winter, call for canned pineapple, but here the glistening fresh fruit layer is made from scratch and accented with pure vanilla, a most complementary culinary pairing. To choose a ripe pineapple, look for a strong sweet fragrance and yellow-brown skin that is not too green; the leafy crown will be a bright green and an inner leaf will detach easily when plucked from the center. Adapted from an old recipe clipped from Bon Appétit magazine decades ago, it is quite perfect in flavor and texture, and easily serves a large crowd. This is simply one of the best homemade coffeecakes.
Courtesy of Rose Levy Beranbaum
This cake was inspired by the height of the apple season, fall of 1991. It is reminiscent of Tart Tatin with cake instead of pastry (one could call it Gâteau Tatin!). The caramelized apples and walnuts, topping a velvety tender butter cake is a fabulous combination. I brought it, hot from the oven, to my cousin Marion’s house in Westchester for dinner, along with a special treat: Glensfoot cream, which is high in butterfat and not ultra pasteurized. She whipped it in a copper bowl, right at the table, perfuming it with Jack Daniel’s bourbon, and spooned a little onto the top of each portion of cake. It was perfect to temper the sweetness of the cake. We all loved it. This is truly a dessert made in heaven.
Courtesy of Pat Sinclair
As soon as I see fresh cranberries in the fall I’m deciding what I want to bake. Cranberry Walnut Tarts are always on top of the list. Because the crust is made in the food processor these tarts are very easy. Do not trim the pastry against the edges of the pans. Allow it to extend slightly above the edge. This will make it easier to remove the tarts if the filling overflows. Be sure to try it with crème fraiche- the flavor combination is incredible.