That’s the name of the new cookbook by Claire Saffitz, a New York-based pastry chef and former Bon Appetit test kitchen on-air personality.
It’s also how I would very much define myself.
Yes, I am one of those people, the kind who wholeheartedly doesn’t think a meal is complete without dessert — even if 20 savory courses preceded it. So, even after a mega feast like on Thanksgiving, I always look forward most to the sweet finale.
“Cranberry-Pomegranate Mousse Pie” is worth that wait, too.
As Saffitz acknowledges in her “Dessert Person: Recipes and Guidance for Baking with Confidence” (Clarkson Potter), of which I received a review copy, after a groaning holiday meal, you don’t necessarily want something especially heavy at the end. Nope, now that is not the time for bread pudding or cheesecake. What you want is something a little lighter, a little brighter, yet still pleasingly indulgent.
This pie is all that.
It’s one of the more than 100 exceptionally detailed recipes in the cookbook, which are imminently doable, and beyond tempting.
Given the trials and tribulations of this unprecedented year, who can be blamed for wanting plenty of snuggle time underneath layers of warmth and comfort?
That’s why when I received samples of juicy, red Pazazz apples, I figured they rightfully deserved their own cocooning time, too. Under fold upon fold of buttery, flaky, golden crust, that is.
The joyfully named “Williamsburg Wrapples” are an ideal treat for this time of year when apples are at their peak. They’re like hand pies, but sport three layers of apples and four of crust instead, because they are not filled and folded over once like a turnover, but multiple times like a jelly roll. That means you get even more buttery pastry in every bite. A win-win.
With their very crisp texture, Pazazz apples work great in this recipe because they hold their shape well and their sweet yet gentle tart flavor doesn’t get lost in all those layers of crust.
Pazazz were developed by Honeybear Brands of Minnesota, a leading grower and developer of apple varieties. Indeed, they’re the ones who brought you the ever-popular Honeycrisp.
If you’re blessed with your own backyard fig tree, you never have this problem.
But for those of us who are left with buying fresh figs at the market or through grocery delivery services these days, figs can be a bit confounding. You want them squishy-ripe so they’re at their sweetest — yet that’s also when they’re prone to go moldy in a flash. If you happen to find yourself with ones that are not soft at all, you wait with bated breath, checking them each day, in hopes that they will finally yield to the push of a fingertip.
But you realize soon enough that’s all in vain because figs actually don’t ripen much once they are picked. And if they are picked too early, forget about it.
However, less than ideal figs can be salvaged by baking or roasting them. Their natural sugars, no matter how modest, will exude and caramelize in the heat of an oven, rendering them enjoyable after all.
That’s what prompted me to bake a batch of “Ricotta and Olive Oil Muffins with Figs.”
2020 may very well be most remembered for the pandemic, but perhaps also for the Year of the Goat.
Maybe it was the early run on traditional baking and dairy supplies in March and April. Or maybe it’s the fact that with nowhere to go, people branched out in their tastes, longing for a taste of something new to combat the doldrums.
Whatever the case, the country’s two leading goat dairies are reporting a rise in sales. In fact, Meyenberg, the top producer of goat milk that sources from more than two dozen West Coast Dairies, saw its goat butter sales spike by 50 percent from last year. Its sales powdered goat milk also grew by 67 percent this year. Sonoma County’s Redwood Hill Farm also saw increases in sales of its goat yogurt and kefir.
I readily jumped on the goat milk bandwagon when Meyenberg and Redwood Hill Farms sent me some product samples to try.
A tangle of pasta. Dolloped with fresh corn kernels, basil leaves, and soft cheese. All lavished with a naturally sweet corn sauce that’s creamy yet not heavy in the least.
If that dish doesn’t say summer, what does?
And if that doesn’t get your mouth watering, what will?
When the folks behind the Bay Area’s Farm Box company delivered one of their stellar produce boxes over the weekend, it’s no surprise that’s the dish I was inspired to make first.
Farm Box is a weekly curated farmers market box that customers can get delivered to their door or pick up at the Ferry Plaza farmers market on Saturdays or the Menlo Park farmers market on Sundays. The company was co-founded by Andreas Winsberg, son of David Winsberg, who owns Happy Quail Farms in East Palo Alto, a premier grower of peppers, including the beloved pimentos de Padron.
Each week, Andreas and his team put together a different Farm Box, made up of peak-produce from small local farmers who sell regularly at the Ferry Building and Menlo Park farmers markets.