½ cup butter ¼ cup sugar plus 3 tablespoons for sprinkling 1 egg 1 cup flour ½ teaspoon salt ½ teaspoon baking powder 1 teaspoon vanilla fresh fruit, like plums, peaches, nectarines, sliced, or any kind of berry—go wild
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Sift together flour, salt, and baking powder in a bowl. Set aside. In another bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg. Stir in the flour mixture. Add the vanilla and mix well. Pat the dough onto the bottom of a p-inch layer cake pan. Arrange the fruit atop the dough, sprinkle with 3 tablespoons sugar and a teaspoon of cinnamon (optional). Bake for 1 ¼ hours, but check at one hour because mine came out with slightly crunchy, dark brown crusts.
Optional: spread the top with ½ cup of beaten apricot jam while the cake is still hot for a nice glaze.
3 cups water 1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter 3 cups all-purpose flour 1/2 teaspoon salt 12 large eggs
Bring water and butter to boil in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add flour and salt all at once and stir until mixture pulls away from sides forming mass, about 2 minutes. Transfer mixture to heavy duty mixer fitted with wire beater. With mixer running at medium speed, beat in eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat until smooth. Cover loosely with plastic and let stand until cool. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Spoon half of dough into large pastry bag fitted with plain 1/2-inch round tip. Pipe 3/4 to 1-inch mounds onto baking sheets, spacing apart. Press peaks down onto mounds using moistened fingertip. Bake until golden and puffed, about 20 minutes. Turn off oven. Pierce side of each puff with small sharp knife or a toothpick to allow steam to escape. Return puff to oven for 10 minutes to dry interior. Repeat with remaining pastry. (Puffs can be prepared ahead. Store in freezer bags at room temperature up to 2 days or freeze up to 2 weeks. If frozen, thaw carefully in single layer on paper towel lined baking sheets to avoid any moist spots.)
Bring cream, milk and vanilla bean to boil in heavy large saucepan. Whisk egg yolks, sugar, flour and salt to blend in large bowl. Gradually beat in hot cream mixture. Return mixture to saucepan and whisk over medium heat until mixture becomes very thick and boils. Transfer to bowl and remove vanilla bean. Cool completely, stirring occasionally. Cover with plastic and refrigerate until well chilled. (Can be made up to 4 days ahead.) Spoon some of pastry cream into pastry bag fitted with plain 1/4-inch tip. Insert tip into score on each puff and fill with cream. Repeat until all puffs are filled.
4 to 5 cups sugar 1 to 1 1/4 cups corn syrup 1 to 1 1/4 cups water
carmelized sugar and assembly
Select a croquembouche pastry cone available at pastry supply stores (see picture below) for assembly of cream-puff balls into a croquembouche pyramid. Combine 1 cup sugar, 1/4 cup corn syrup and 1/4 cup water in heavy medium saucepan. Boil without stirring until mixture turns amber in color, brushing down any crystals that form on sides of pan with moist pastry brush, about 8 minutes. Remove from heat and place on cold surface to stop cooking. Using tongs, carefully dip cream puff into caramel and place around base of cone. Repeat dipping and placing puffs on cone's surface fitting puffs evenly onto sides. forming concentric circles until caramel is used. If caramel begins to harden, reheat briefly over medium heat to liquefy. Croquembouche will hold up several hours at room temperature. Serve by cracking caramel with back of sharp knife and removing individual cream puffs.
Makes about 16 filled macaroons 1 1/4 cups plus 1 teaspoon confectioners’ sugar 1 cup (4 ounces) finely ground sliced, blanched almonds 6 tablespoons fresh egg whites (from about 3 extra-large eggs) Pinch of salt 1/4 cup granulated sugar Macaroon Filling
1. To make the macaroons: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, whisk together confectioners' sugar and ground almonds. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip egg whites with salt on medium speed until foamy. Increase speed to high and gradually add granulated sugar. Continue to whip until stiff glossy peaks form. With a rubber spatula, gently fold in the confectioners' sugar mixture until completely incorporated.
2. Line baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside. Fit a pastry bag with a 3/8-inch #4 round tip, and fill with batter. Pipe 1-inch disks onto prepared baking sheets, leaving 2 inches between cookies. The batter will spread a little. Let stand at room temperature until dry, and a soft skin forms on the tops of the macaroons and the shiny surface turns dull, about 15 minutes.
3. Bake, with the door of the oven slightly ajar, until the surface of the macaroons is completely dry, about 15 minutes. Remove baking sheet to a wire rack and let the macaroons cool completely on the baking sheet. Gently peel off the parchment. Their tops are easily crushed, so take care when removing the macaroons from the parchment. Use immediately or store in an airtight container, refrigerated for up to 2 days or frozen for up to 1 month.
4. To fill the macaroons: Fill a pastry bag with the filling. Turn macaroons so their flat bottoms face up. On half of them, pipe about 1 teaspoon filling. Sandwich these with the remaining macaroons, flat-side down, pressing slightly to spread the filling to the edges. Refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour.
Variations: To make coffee-flavored macaroons: In step 1, add 2 drops brown food coloring to the egg whites after they are whipped. In step 4, blend 1/2 cup macaroon filling with 1 1/2 teaspoons espresso powder dissolved in 1/2 teaspoon warm water for the filling. To make cassis-flavored macaroons: In step 1, add 2 drops purple food coloring to the egg whites after they are whipped. In step 4, use 1/3 cup good-quality cassis jam for the filling. To make pistachio-flavored macaroons: In step 1, add 2 drops green food coloring to the egg whites after they are whipped. In step 4, combine 1/2 cup macaroon filling with 1 tablespoon pistachio paste for the filling.
2 ripe mangoes (canned will be OK if necessary) 3 large ripe tomatoes, preferrably yellow 1 medium red onion 1 small clove garlic 1/2 poblano pepper 1/2 bunch fresh cilantro (about 1/3 cup loosely packed) 1 tablespoon raspberry or apple cider vinegar 1/4 teaspoon salt
All ingredients to be chopped should be as fine and small as possible.
1. Peel mangoes and carefully remove flesh from stone with a sharp knife. Chop fine, reserving all juice.
2. Core and chop tomatoes fine and place in a strainer for 5-10 minutes to drain.
3. Crush and chop garlic very fine.
4. Peel and chop onion. Rinse under running water and shake dry in a colander.
5. Stem and seed pepper by cutting a ring through the flesh at the edge of the crown, around the stem. Gently pull stem and seed cone together, and rinse pepper to remove any additional seeds. Slice pepper down the center and chop one half into fine cubes.
6. Rinse cilantro and snip leaves from stems. Chop.
7. Mix all ingredients together and refrigerate at least 1 hour before serving.