Tag Archives: easy recipes

Blueberry Torte

Blueberry TorteI love an everyday cake, although I guess that’s technically a misnomer here. This blueberry beauty is a torte, which essentially means that it’s a cake made with little (or sometimes no) flour.Blueberry TorteSo…I guess it is a cake? Not all cakes are tortes, but all tortes are cakes. So yes, Blueberry Torte is a cake. Glad we got that sorted.

(Sorry.)Blueberry TorteAnyway…this Blueberry Torte is easy peasy and so good, you’re going to want to make it all summer long. And you absolutely should! It’s got a soft center, slightly chewy edges, and is literally bursting with fresh blueberries—what’s not to love?!Blueberry TorteThis is a spin on one of my favorite holiday desserts, Pear & Cranberry Torte. It’s so super delicious that I wanted to make a spring/summer appropriate version and, well, here we are.Blueberry TorteThe recipe begins with a simple cake batter. You’ll find many of the usual suspects here (softened butter, flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, eggs), plus light brown sugar and the tiniest bit of lemon zest.Blueberry TorteBlueberry TorteBlueberry TorteOne ingredient you won’t find? Milk. There’s none in this recipe, so the batter is pretty thick for a cake…er, torte. This lack of liquid is also what gives us the almost cookie-like edges. Yesssss. If you’re worrying about this leading to a dry product, never fear—this torte stays plenty moist thanks to the butter and eggs, small amount of flour, and two full cups (12 ounces!) of blueberries that are pressed into the top before baking. They soften and sink into the batter while the torte bakes and become jammy and fragrant and it is stupid good and why aren’t you actively walking to the kitchen right now???

(Sorry again.)Blueberry TorteBlueberry TorteBlueberry Torte doesn’t require any frosting or other flourishes and can be served up while it’s still warm. If, however, you want to jazz it up for a dinner party or you’re feeling fancy, you can give it a dusting of confectioner’s sugar, a dollop of whipped cream or a smattering of fresh blueberries. If you’re anything like me, you’ll need all three.Blueberry TorteSorry, not sorry.Blueberry Torte

Blueberry Torte
one 9-inch cake, about 8 servings

2 teaspoons fresh lemon zest (about 1 medium lemon)
1/2 cup granulated sugar + 1 tablespoon, for sprinkling
1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
2 large eggs, room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
12 ounces (about 2 cups) fresh blueberries

For serving (optional):
confectioners sugar
whipped cream
fresh blueberries

Preheat oven to 350F. Grease a 9-inch springform pan. Set aside.

Combine lemon zest, 1/2 cup granulated sugar, and light brown sugar in a small bowl. Use your fingertips to rub the zest into the sugar to release the oils. Set aside.

In a small-medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, use an electric mixer to cream butter until very light and fluffy (about 2 minutes). Beat in sugar mixture. Mix in eggs one at a time, followed by vanilla. With the mixer on low, mix in dry ingredients. Batter will be thick.

Spread batter into the prepared pan. Scatter blueberries over the top and lightly press them into the batter. Sprinkle the additional tablespoon of granulated sugar over the top. Bake 50-55 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out with only a few moist crumbs. Let cake cool in the pan on a rack for 15 minutes before running a small, thin knife around the edge and releasing the springform.

Serve warm or room temperature with a dusting of confectioner’s sugar, whipped cream and/or fresh blueberries, if desired. Leftovers will keep covered in the refrigerator for a few days.Blueberry TorteBlueberry Torte

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Fresh Strawberry Malts

Fresh Strawberry MaltsHave you noticed that I live for berry season? Is it obvious I start thinking about it the minute I’m done with holiday baking? Because I do.Fresh Strawberry MaltsAnd in case you‘ve missed it, I have a bit of a “thing” for malted milk powder, especially in classic Chocolate Malts.Fresh Strawberry MaltsFresh Strawberry MaltsFresh Strawberry MaltsTo those points, did you know that if you combine fresh strawberries, a hefty dose of malted milk powder and a pint of vanilla ice cream in a blender and let it whirl, you’ll wind up with something creamy, thick, and bursting with malty strawberry flavor?Fresh Strawberry MaltsBecause you will. And it will be such a stunning shade of light pink that it won’t need any sort of accoutrements.Fresh Strawberry MaltsFresh Strawberry MaltsFresh Strawberry MaltsBut, I mean, a little whipped cream and a festive paper straw never hurt anything.Fresh Strawberry Malts

Fresh Strawberry Malts
makes 2 medium or 3-4 small malts

12 ounces fresh strawberries (about a 1 pound box, trimmed and hulled)
1/2 cup malted milk powder
1 pint (2 cups) vanilla ice cream

For serving (optional):
whipped cream

Combine strawberries, malted milk powder, and vanilla ice cream in a high-powered blender. Pulse a few times to break up the strawberries and then blend until smooth. Pour into glasses, top with whipped cream (if desired), and serve immediately.Fresh Strawberry MaltsFresh Strawberry MaltsFresh Strawberry Malts

Caramel Pretzel Pie

Caramel Pretzel PieHave you ever seen the movie Waitress? It’s one of my very favorites—it’s about a small town pie waitress who is saddled with the worst sort of husband and a lifestyle of which she doesn’t see a clear way out. Her passion is pie, and throughout the film she thinks in pie recipes with very specific names: Marshmallow Mermaid Pie, Bad Baby Pie, Lonely Chicago Pie…you get the idea. I won’t ruin it further. You can and should stream it on Prime for $4.Caramel Pretzel PieAlternatively, you can come to NYC and see Waitress the musical, which has been running on Broadway for three years and is every bit as good as the film that inspired it! I nabbed tickets when my dear friend, Tad, was here a few weeks ago and I already want to see it again.Caramel Pretzel PieWhen we left the theater and headed for the subway, I knew two things:

  1. I wanted to download the soundtrack immediately.
  2. I needed to make pie.

Caramel Pretzel PieCaramel Pretzel PieDone and DONE. Caramel Pretzel Pie, y’all. It’s sweet, salty, and full of creamy caramel flavor!Caramel Pretzel PieCaramel Pretzel PieCaramel Pretzel PieOne great thing about Caramel Pretzel Pie? It’s almost-no-bake. I had originally intended for this beauty to be oven-free, but the idea of a slightly-toasty pretzel crust won out. I think you’ll agree that the ten minutes of oven time required to set the crust are absolutely worth it.Caramel Pretzel PieCaramel Pretzel PieAnother great thing? This pie is very quick and simple to make, especially if you make your caramel sauce ahead. You could swap in a store-bought caramel sauce if that’s more your speed (I hear Trader Joe’s has a good one), but homemade is super easy to make and is far better than anything I’ve ever found in a grocery store.Caramel Pretzel PieCaramel Pretzel PieThe creamy, cloud-like caramel filling comes together in minutes and has a nice tang from a hit of cream cheese.Caramel Pretzel PieCaramel Pretzel PieCaramel Pretzel PieAfter a few hours chilling in the fridge, the pie is finished off with whipped cream, a drizzle of caramel sauce, and a few broken pretzels.Caramel Pretzel PieIt’s so delicious, it’s ridiculous. I always love a salty-sweet dessert, but the toasty pretzel crust, creamy filling, and the teetering-on-the-brink-of-burnt (-but-in-a-good-way) flavor of the caramel really make this pie something special.Caramel Pretzel PieAll it’s missing is a very specific name. Somehow Feminist Movie/Musical Inspo Pie doesn’t sound quite right 😂 Maybe you can come up with something when you make this for every cookout this summer. Believe me–this one is a guaranteed hit.Caramel Pretzel Pie

Caramel Pretzel Pie
makes one 9-inch pie

Pretzel Crust:
1 1/3 cup finely-crushed salted pretzels (I used 63 thin pretzels)
2 tablespoons light or dark brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted

Filling:

3/4 cup heavy cream, very cold
8 ounces (1 brick) full-fat brick-style cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup confectioner’s sugar
pinch of Kosher or sea salt
3/4 cup caramel sauce (recipe below), room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Topping:
3/4 cup heavy cream, very cold
2-3 tablespoons confectioner’s sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
caramel sauce (recipe below)
broken salted pretzels

Preheat oven to 350F.

In a medium mixing bowl, stir together finely-crushed salted pretzels, brown sugar, and melted butter until combined. Transfer mixture into the bottom and up the sides of a pie plate. Bake 10 minutes to set. Let cool completely in the pan on a rack.

Make the filling. In a large mixing bowl, use an electric mixer to whip heavy cream until stiff peaks form. Do not overwhip. Set aside.

In a separate large mixing bowl, use an electric mixer to beat cream cheese, confectioner’s sugar and salt until fluffy. Add caramel sauce and vanilla and mix until combined. Use a silicone spatula or wooden spoon to stir in 1/3 of the whipped cream. Working in 2 installments, carefully fold in remaining whipped cream until combined. Transfer to chilled pie crust. Chill for 3 hours or overnight.

Make topping. In a medium-large mixing bowl, combine heavy cream, confectioner’s sugar, and vanilla. Use an electric mixer to whip cream until stiff peaks form. Top pie with whipped cream. Drizzle with caramel sauce and scatter broken pretzel pieces over the top, if desired.

Slice and serve. Leftover pie will keep covered in the refrigerator for a few days. Broken pretzel topping will soften over time.

Caramel Sauce
makes about 1 1/4 cups

1 cup granulated sugar
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt

Place sugar in a 2-3 quart saucepan over medium-high heat. Whisk sugar until the sugar melts and turns a deep copper color. Whisk in butter until completely incorporated. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in heavy cream. Caramel will bubble violently, but will quickly relax into a smooth sauce. Whisk in vanilla and salt. Transfer sauce to a jar and let cool to room temperature.

Leftover caramel sauce should be kept in the refrigerator. Microwave in 15 second bursts, stirring in between, to reheat.Caramel Pretzel PieCaramel Pretzel PieCaramel Pretzel Pie

Raspberry Rhubarb Crisp

Raspberry Rhubarb CrispI love making crisps. They’re every bit as good as pie, but easier and much (!) quicker to make, and can be served warm with vanilla ice cream, so the time between the moment the craving strikes and the moment you dive in spoon-first is mercifully brief.Raspberry Rhubarb CrispWhat I’m trying to say is that you need more crisps in your life. *I* need more crisps in *my* life. There’s only one in my archives—a pear, ginger & chocolate concoction that you should absolutely make in the fall—and that is atrocious. Just awful. Especially considering there are so many delicious berries and rhubarb (!!!) available right this second.Raspberry Rhubarb CrispRaspberry Rhubarb CrispRaspberry Rhubarb CrispRaspberry Rhubarb CrispBerries and rhubarb that can only be improved with hints of ginger and orange and clusters of buttery, brown sugary oat & walnut dough scattered over the top and baked until…well…crisp.Raspberry Rhubarb CrispSweet, tart, jammy, gorgeous, and seriously simple, this seasonal dessert can only be improved with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. The way it melts into the spaces between the fruit and the crisp topping is just…Raspberry Rhubarb Crisp…well, I guess you’ll have to make the recipe and see for yourself.Raspberry Rhubarb Crisp

Raspberry Rhubarb Crisp
makes one 8-inch dish, about 6 servings

Filling:
2 cups diced fresh rhubarb (1/2-inch dice, about 4 stalks)
2 cups fresh raspberries (about 1.5 6-ounce containers)
1 tablespoon fresh orange zest
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
pinch of Kosher or sea salt

Topping:
1/3 cup old-fashioned oats
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
1/3 cup chopped raw walnuts (optional)
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

For Serving:
vanilla ice cream, optional

Preheat oven to 350F. Grease an 8-inch casserole dish with butter. Set aside.

In a medium-large mixing bowl, combine rhubarb and raspberries. Add orange zest, sugar, cornstarch, ground ginger, and salt, and stir to combine. Transfer to prepared baking dish.

Make the topping. In a medium mixing bowl, combine oats, flour, light brown sugar, ground ginger, salt, and chopped raw walnuts. Stir together with a fork. Add melted butter and stir until everything is saturated and clumps form. Scatter topping onto raspberry-rhubarb filling.

Bake 28-30 minutes, until topping is golden brown and filling is bubbly. Let cool 10 minutes before serving in bowls with vanilla ice cream, if desired.

Cover and refrigerate any leftovers for up to three days. Reheat before serving.Raspberry Rhubarb CrispRaspberry Rhubarb CrispRaspberry Rhubarb Crisp

Mini Mason Jar Cheesecakes

Mini Mason Jar CheesecakesThree years ago, I went home to Texas for three weeks over Christmas. I was there for the holidays and a family wedding a week into the new year, and I had determined that it was easier to spend an extended period in my home state than it was to fly back and forth. My little sister was home for her winter break too, so we had an odd period of time where our childhood living arrangements were real again, except that everyone had a driver’s license and their own bathroom this time.

Our parents were happy to have us home, even though three weeks is a long time to have company. They made sure we were fed and had transport and as much access to their miniature schnauzer as we wanted (which was all of the access), and requested little in return. In fact, the only thing that was asked of me was to teach my mom to make a cheesecake. Her mom, my grandmother, made wonderful cheesecakes, so I liked the idea that my mom would know how to make one too.Mini Mason Jar Cheesecakes

Of course, there was one problem: I had never made a traditional cheesecake. I still haven’t. Sure, I have baked layers and swirls of it into other things and I have even made a couple of vegan cheesecakes, but I have never done the full springform in a water bath thing. I know it’s not technically difficult, but I live in fear that water will seep into my cake no matter how tightly-wrapped it is and that the work and necessary 24-hour chill will be for nothing. Other people are afraid of pie crust. I am afraid of cheesecake.Mini Mason Jar CheesecakesBut! But. I was going to make a cheesecake with my mom, even going so far as to have my older sister give her a Fat Daddio cheesecake pan for Christmas. I was going to do this thing. And then…I didn’t because we found 43 other ways to fill our time and there was the wedding and then it was time to go back to NYC.Mini Mason Jar CheesecakesNow it’s Mother’s Day weekend three years later and I still owe my mom a cheesecake. I remain reticent about attempting a big one (yes, I know it’s silly) and I don’t know when I’ll be with her long enough to carve out the time, so I have made it easy on both of us and made miniature versions that don’t involve a foil-wrapped pan. Happy Mother’s Day, Mom! I made you six cheesecakes.Mini Mason Jar CheesecakesMini Mason Jar CheesecakesThis small-batch recipe makes just enough to fill six 4-ounce mason jars, but you can easily scale it up depending on your needs. The cheesecake itself is remarkably easy to make—it has a total of nine ingredients and two major steps (both of which are easy), and most of the time commitment is spent waiting for things to cool.Mini Mason Jar CheesecakesMini Mason Jar CheesecakesAs for the water bath (“bain-marie”) step that I fear so much, it’s a breeze. Mason jars are water-tight, so my fear of soggy cheesecake foiled-by-foil doesn’t apply here. These mini desserts bake up evenly and beautifully every time!Mini Mason Jar CheesecakesThey are delicious, too: rich, creamy and tangy with a brown sugary graham cracker crust. You can top them with anything you like: strawberry-rhubarb compote, cherry pie filling, whipped cream, peanut butter caramel…anything! I kept it simple by piling on fresh berries. Why create more work for myself when the perfect topping is sitting in the produce department, you know?!Mini Mason Jar CheesecakesAside from being cute, delicious, and portion-controlled, I love that these cheesecakes are portable. Just press a little plastic wrap to their surfaces after chilling, screw on the mason jar lids, and pack them into a cooler for premium picnicking. Pack the topping(s) separately and let everyone customize their own!Mini Mason Jar CheesecakesSo, after 3.5 years of blogging, there is my first “traditional” cheesecake! Maybe I’ll be brave enough for the real deal before Labor Day. Got any leak-proofing tips for me? Leave them in the comments!Mini Mason Jar CheesecakesHappy Mother’s Day to all those celebrating, especially my cute mom ❤Mini Mason Jar Cheesecakes

Mini Mason Jar Cheesecakes
makes 6 small cheesecakes

Crust:
9 graham crackers
1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
pinch of Kosher or sea salt
6 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted

Cheesecake Filling:
1 8-ounce brick full-fat cream cheese, room temperature
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg, room temperature
1/4 cup full-fat sour cream, room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

For Garnish:
seasonal berries
strawberry-rhubarb compote
whipped cream
peanut butter caramel sauce

Preheat oven to 325F. Grease 6 4-ounce mason jars.

Make the crust. Place graham crackers in the bowl of a food processor and process until no large pieces remain. Add light brown sugar, melted butter, and salt. Process until the mixture resembles wet sand, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary.

Place 3 tablespoons of the crust mixture into eat prepared mason jar. Press down to form a crust. Place mason jar crusts in a high-rimmed dish. Bake crust for 10 minutes. Cool on a rack while you prepare the filling.

Make cheesecake. In a medium mixing bowl, use an electric mixer to beat cream cheese until fluffy. Mix in sugar, followed by egg, sour cream, and vanilla, until mixture is smooth.

Place 3 tablespoons of the cheesecake mixture in each mason jar. Use the back of a spoon to lightly smooth out the tops, then tap each one on the counter a few times to release any air bubbles. Return jars to the high-rimmed pan, and place the pan on a counter near the oven.

Bring a small pot of water to a boil. Remove from heat. Carefully pour water into the baking pan until it is halfway up the sides of the cheesecakes. Do not get water in the mason jars. Carefully move pan into the oven. Bake 30 minutes until puffed and ever-so-slightly golden.

Carefully remove pan from oven. Use tongs to remove mason jar cheesecakes to a rack. Do not get water in the mason jars.

Let cheesecakes cool completely on a rack. Transfer to the refrigerator for at least 3 hours, or until thoroughly chilled. If not serving immediately, press plastic wrap to the surface. Garnish with berries or other desired topping before serving.

Store leftover cheesecakes in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. To freeze, press plastic wrap to the surfaces of the cheesecakes and screw on mason jar lids. Freeze for up to one month. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight or in a dish of lukewarm water at room temperature for 90 minutes.Mini Mason Jar CheesecakesMini Mason Jar CheesecakesMini Mason Jar Cheesecakes