I’ve had an earworm for the last few weeks. Ever since finding a record called “Apples, Peaches, Pumpkin Pie” by Jay & the Techniques, the title track has been playing in my head nearly constantly. It’s a great song—have a listen. This pie is not what the song is actually about, but I just couldn’t shake the idea of making it. In an uncanny confluence of new seasonal fruits and old musical discoveries, apples, peaches and pumpkins all happen to be in … Read More
Blooming heads of brassica make such a large, lovely impression that I’m not sure why they’re not kept intact when serving more often. They do take a while to cook—especially in the case of dense, crunchy cauliflower. It’s like a small planet of fiber. You can save an hour by cutting pieces down to equal size before roasting (and that is the preferred thing to do with cauliflower, to bring out its natural sugars and crisp its peaks with texture). But, … Read More
The taste and scent of celery root offends some, and this I had not known before. To me, the cleaned bare root looks, smells and tastes fairly innocent at first, then slowly creeps more complexity. The herbal, vegetal nuances are beguiling, surprising and intriguing to me. And combined with the sweetness of apple and the dairy richness of butter, it’s pure harmony.
Zucchini and other summer squashes are truly versatile veggies. But I rarely think of baking them—perhaps due to the scorching heat when they’re in season locally. While some baked goods seem invented to hide the stuff rather than celebrate it (zucchini “bread”?) you can really get your fill on its flavor by slicing into layers upon layers of zucchini inside this savory tart’s shell. Its texture becomes something almost like custard inside, and a crust of cheese to top it all off can’t hurt … Read More
Yeah, you heard right. We’re throwing out the pastry books and heading to the bodega—why? Because it was my friend Karol’s birthday last weekend. And—still—why? Because she requested specific foods for her potluck party menu, and one of them happened to be a mushroom tart. Another one was Cool Ranch Doritos.
Easy as tart, the saying would be better put. The elegant, refined-looking, open-faced pie — tart — is a holiday crowd-pleaser that requires about half the work. This recipe will also yield a treat that’s about half the height of an average fruit pie with a top crust, but top it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, and I don’t think you’ll hear any complaints. With juicy pears now in season, I’ve added just a touch of sugar to … Read More
I can never really get bored with cooking zucchini and other summer squash when they’re fresh, firm and in season. I generally grab a couple bright, cheerful varieties any given time I’m at the farmers’ market all summer, but this often leaves me with a surplus of squashes that aren’t so terribly awesome-looking later in the week. But a few age spots on the outsides doesn’t mean they’re any more austere; I went ahead and baked these ones, in a … Read More
It’s a simple conceit: peanut butter and jelly, America’s favorite sandwich combination, in America’s favorite dessert, pie. You could approach this in many ways, and one other person at the pie contest that I baked this for actually did, layering a peanut butter mousse with concord grape mousse in a thin crust. But the way I went about it was more in keeping with pie tradition than pb&j: I made a fresh fruit filling, and instead of just butter in … Read More
I subscribe to the theory of “when life gives you lemons, make lemonade”; that is, cook your way through your problems. I’m faced with a terrible predicament at home: one of my best friends is moving away from our neighborhood halfway across the world, to Australia. I’ve known this for a few months, but it’s finally begun to sink in. So for her going-away party, I thought I’d try my hand at miniature-sized, vegetarian-friendly versions of the savory treat to … Read More