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Friday, July 8, 2016

Popsicles!

Happy Friday! What a delightfully HOT day in the northeast. There's one great way to beat the heat and that's eating something cold and messy! Here are a few ideas to keep you and the kids happy and cool this weekend.

Childhood memories...
Strawberry Shortcake Ice Cream Bars
Erica Clark

Ingredients
  • 1 pint very soft (almost melted) strawberry ice cream
  • 4 (3-inch) sugar cookies
  • 1 tablespoon crushed freeze-dried strawberries
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
Special equipment:
  • 6 (3-ounce) ice-pop molds and sticks
Directions
  1. Divide ice cream among ice-pop molds, insert sticks, and freeze until firm, at least 4 hours.
  2. Meanwhile, pulse cookies in a food processor until fine crumbs form. Transfer half of crumbs to a plate. Add strawberries to remaining crumbs in food processor and drizzle with butter. Pulse a few times to create strawberry crumbs. Stir strawberry crumbs into plain crumbs on plate.
  3. Line a large plate or rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Dip molds briefly into hot water. Working one at a time, remove ice pop from mold and thaw 1 minute. Dip in crumbs, turning to coat and pressing to adhere. Transfer pops to prepared plate and freeze again at least 15 minutes before serving.
Do Ahead: Ice pops can be made 7 days ahead; freeze in an airtight container.


Adults only...
Vanilla, Apricot, Bourbon Pops
Real Simple, Lindsay Hunt

Ingredients
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 1/2 cups apricot nectar (100 percent apricot juice)
  • 1/2 cup bourbon
  • pinch fine salt
Directions
  1. Split the vanilla bean lengthwise using a sharp paring knife. Run the dull side of the knife down the length of each half, scraping up the seeds.
  2. Combine the seeds and sugar in a large bowl. Add the apricot nectar, bourbon, and salt and whisk until smooth.
  3. Pour the mixture into 10 3-ounce or 8 4-ounce ice-pop molds, dividing evenly. Insert ice-pop sticks and freeze until firm, at least 4 hours and up to 4 days.


Gourmet...
Minted Watermelon Popsicles
Joy Manning

Ingredients
  • 1 1/2 pounds seedless watermelon without the rind, cut into 1-inch dice (about 4 cups)
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 cup mint leaves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
  • Pinch of salt
Directions
  1. In a blender, puree the watermelon with the sugar until smooth. Stir in the mint, lemon zest and salt. Pour the puree into 8 popsicle molds or 2 standard ice cube trays (insert popsicle sticks halfway through freezing) and freeze until hard, about 3 hours.
MAKE AHEAD: The watermelon popsicles can be frozen for up to 1 week.

Happy freezing!

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Ice Cream Cake!

Happy Tuesday everyone! I treated my husband to a very intense Father's Day cake this year: an ice cream cake made for small, rich bites! I chose a recipe that reminded me of my childhood favorite, Carvel ice cream cakes (Fudgie the whale anyone?) but turned up the intensity with extra cake layers! Check me out:

From bottom: Devil's food cake, fresh hot fudge, chocolate crunchies, salted caramel gelato, vanilla cake, hot fudge, crunchies, and homemade whipped cream.



How do you make a great ice cream cake at home? Choose your fave cake recipe, add layers of softened ice cream between layers. Your best bet to keep it clean and contained is to create the layers inside a springform pan, wrapped with parchment paper for easy removal and freezing between layers so it stays firm as you build up. The best part about an ice cream cake is that there really is no right or wrong! You just add cake and ice cream as you choose, top with some whipped cream or chocolate ganache and freeze until ready to serve!

Have fun and happy baking!

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Father's Day!

Happy Tuesday! The sun is shining unexpectedly, the polls are open in CA and NJ, and Father's Day is just around the corner (my husband's first!). I've been brainstorming the perfect cake and while I'm not quite there, I came across a few fabulous ideas to help you get started as well! What kinds of flavors does husband/dad/son/whomever like? Here are lots of options.

This screams SUMMER!
Key Lime Pie
Alison Roman

Ingredients
Crust
  • 14 graham crackers (about 1½ sleeves)
  • 4 tablespoons (½ stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • 4 tablespoons virgin coconut oil, melted
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
Filling And Assembly
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 teaspoons finely grated lime zest, plus more for garnish
  • ¾ cup fresh key lime (or regular lime) juice
  • Pinch of kosher salt
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • ¼ cup powdered sugar
  • 1 cup full-fat Greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon dark rum (optional)
Directions
Crust
  1. Preheat oven to 325°. Using your hands, crush graham crackers in a large bowl until coarsely ground (you could do this in a food processor if you’d like, just be sure not to process too finely; you want some texture in the larger pieces). Add butter, coconut oil, sugar, and salt and mix until well blended (mixture will resemble wet sand). Transfer to a 9" pie dish. Using your fingers and the underside of a flat measuring cup, press mixture evenly into bottom and up sides of dish. Bake crust, rotating once halfway through, until golden brown on top and crumbs are set, 12–15 minutes. Let cool.
Filling And Assembly
  1. Using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat egg yolks and condensed milk in a large bowl until paler and almost doubled in volume, about 5 minutes. Whisk in 2 tsp. lime zest, lime juice, and salt. Pour into cooled crust. Bake pie until filling no longer jiggles and is starting to slightly puff around the edges, 15–20 minutes. Let cool completely.
  2. Whip cream and powdered sugar in a large bowl until stiff peaks form. Gently whisk in yogurt and rum, if using. Dollop onto cooled pie, creating dramatic peaks and valleys with an offset spatula or the back of a spoon. Garnish with lime zest.
Do Ahead: Crust can be baked 2 days ahead; pie without whipped topping can be made 2 days ahead; pie can be assembled (with topping) 4 hours ahead.


Can't go wrong with chocolate.
Warm Chocolate Cakes with Mascarpone Cream
Hosea Rosenberg

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped, plus shavings for garnish (optional)
  • 1 1/2 sticks (6 ounces) unsalted butter
  • 3 large eggs, plus 3 large egg yolks, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup cake flour
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped
  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 1 cup mascarpone (8 ounces)
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • About 1/2 cup brandied cherries or kirsch-soaked sour cherries
Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°. Coat six 6-ounce ramekins with butter, and dust lightly with flour. Set the ramekins on a sturdy baking sheet. In a microwave-safe bowl, melt the chocolate with the butter; let cool.
  2. In the bowl of a standing electric mixer fitted with the whisk, beat the eggs, yolks and sugar on high speed until pale and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold in the chocolate, then fold in the cake flour just until no streaks remain.
  3. Spoon the batter into the prepared ramekins and bake for 15 minutes, until the cakes have risen, the tops are dry and the centers are slightly jiggly. Let stand for 5 minutes.
  4. In a bowl, beat the cream with the vanilla seeds, brown sugar and lemon zest until soft peaks form. Add the mascarpone and lemon juice and beat until blended.
  5. Run the tip of a small knife around each cake to loosen it, then unmold onto plates. Spoon the mascarpone cream onto the cakes and garnish with the brandied cherries and chocolate shavings.

A little of everything.
Crispy Peanut Butter Snack Cake
Katherine Sacks

Ingredients
  • Nonstick vegetable oil spray
  • 1 1/2 cups creamy, no-stir peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons warmed virgin coconut oil, divided
  • 5 cups crispy rice cereal
  • 2 cups Chex cereal
  • 1 1/2 cups salted mini pretzels, lightly crushed
  • 1 cup potato chips, lightly crushed
  • 1 cup roasted, salted peanuts
  • 6 ounces dark chocolate
Special Equipment
  • An 8-cup Bundt pan
Directions
  1. Line Bundt pan with plastic wrap, leaving a few inches of overhang; coat with nonstick spray.
  2. Whisk peanut butter, honey, vanilla, and 1/2 cup coconut oil in a large bowl until combined. Using a spatula, gently fold in cereals, pretzels, potato chips, and peanuts. Transfer mixture to prepared pan, spreading evenly and pressing firmly into pan. Chill until cake is set, at least 1 hour.
  3. When ready to serve, melt chocolate and remaining 2 Tbsp. coconut oil in a medium heatproof bowl set over a medium pot of barely simmering water, stirring occasionally, or melt in a microwave in short bursts, stirring between bursts, until chocolate is smooth.
  4. Using plastic overhang, lift cake from pan, then invert onto a platter. Drizzle cooled cake with melted chocolate, then chill to set before serving, about 10 minutes.
Do Ahead: Cake can be made 3 days ahead. Wrap in plastic and chill.


Happy baking!

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Just in Time for Memorial Day Weekend!

Happy Thursday! Perhaps you're busy shopping for the holiday weekend (or maybe not...the stores were empty this morning!). If you haven't decided what you're bringing to the festivities/sharing with your family, I've got a few recipes from the papers to help you choose!

NYT:
Simplest Strawberry Tart
Emily Weinstein

Ingredients

Rye Crust: 
  • ⅔ cup/85 grams all-purpose flour
  • ⅔ cup/85 grams rye flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 ½ teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • 9 tablespoons/127 grams very cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten, for egg wash
Tart: 


  • 1 cup/225 grams mascarpone, at room temperature
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 pound/450 grams small, sweet strawberries
  • 3 tablespoons high-quality strawberry jam

Directions

  1. Prepare the crust: Whisk the flours and salt together in a large bowl. Combine apple cider vinegar with 5 tablespoons ice water.
  2. Working quickly, add butter to the flour mixture and toss to coat. Use your fingers or the palms of your hands to press each cube of butter into the flour, ensuring that each butter piece gets coated, until the mixture resembles coarse meal with some pea-size lumps. If at any time the butter seems warm or soft, briefly refrigerate the bowl. Alternatively, you can pulse the butter and flour together in a food processor.
  3. Sprinkle 3 tablespoons of the cold vinegar-water mixture over the flour mixture. Use a gentle hand or wooden spoon to stir the water into the flour until just combined. If using a food processor, pulse a few more times, or until the dough begins to come together. If the dough seems dry, add more of the cold vinegar-water mixture, a couple of teaspoons at a time. You have added enough water when you can pick up a handful of the dough and easily squeeze it together without it falling apart.
  4. Form the dough into a disk and wrap in plastic wrap. Chill for at least 2 hours, but preferably overnight. (Dough keeps for up to 3 months in the freezer wrapped in a double layer of plastic wrap and a layer of foil. Thaw in refrigerator before using.)
  5. Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat to 400 degrees.
  6. On a lightly floured piece of parchment paper, roll out the pie crust into an oval about 15 x 6 inches and just under 1/4-inch thick. Use a paring knife or pastry cutter to trim any rough edges and move the parchment paper and crust to a baking sheet, preferably rimless. Dock the crust with a fork to prevent it from puffing up too much in the oven. Brush the surface of the crust from edge to edge with the egg wash.
  7. Bake until crust is deep golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes. Check on the crust halfway through baking; if any bubbles have appeared, use a spatula to press them flat. Cool the crust completely on the pan.
  8. Prepare the tart: While the crust is cooling, combine mascarpone and 2 tablespoons sugar. Hull the strawberries and cut them into 1/4-inch slices.
  9. Carefully slide the cooled crust off the baking sheet onto a serving platter or board. Spread mascarpone over the top in an even layer, dot with jam, then arrange sliced strawberries in a single, slightly overlapping layer in a decorative pattern. Sprinkle the tart with the remaining tablespoon of sugar. (Omit this final sprinkling if your strawberries are particularly sweet.) Slice and serve immediately.


Washington Post:
Blueberry and Lemon-Cream Icebox Cake:
Tony Rosenfeld

Ingredients
  • 2 pints fresh blueberries, stemmed and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup Lyle's Golden Syrup (available at larger grocery stores, on the baking aisle)
  • Finely grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 12 ounces mascarpone cheese
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 cups chilled heavy cream
  • 8 ounces graham crackers, or more as needed
  • Confectioners' sugar, for serving
Directions
  1. Puree the blueberries in a food processor until smooth. Use a flexible spatula to push the puree through a fine-mesh strainer, pressing to extract as much as possible from the solids (discard them). There should be about 2 cups of strained puree. Return it to the food processor, along with the syrup and and 2 tablespoons of the lemon juice, and blend until well incorporated. Reserve 1 cup as a sauce for serving; cover and refrigerate it.
  2. Add the mascarpone to the remaining blueberry mixture (in the food processor) and blend until the mixture becomes uniform and smooth.
  3. Combine the lemon zest, granulated sugar and heavy cream in the bowl of a stand mixer or hand-held electric mixer. Beat on low speed for about 1 minute, then on medium-high speed for about 2 minutes or until stiff peaks form.
  4. Use parchment paper to line the bottom and sides of the loaf pan (an initial light coating of cooking oil spray may help). Use an offset spatula to spread half of the blueberry-mascarpone mixture evenly in the bottom. Cover completely with the graham crackers, making a single layer that uses about one-quarter of the crackers; breaking them as needed.
  5. Next, use the spatula to spread half of the lemon whipped cream evenly over the graham cracker layer, then repeat with another graham cracker layer, the remaining blueberry mascarpone mixture, a graham cracker layer, the remaining lemon whipped cream and a final graham cracker layer. Compress very gently; the assembled cake should come to the top of the pan. Wrap in plastic wrap and weight with a heavy plate or pan. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours and up to a day in advance.
  6. To serve, remove the weight and plastic wrap. Place a platter over the pan, then use both hands to invert the cake so it lands on the platter. Gently peel away the parchment paper and discard it.
  7. Whisk the reserved cup of blueberry puree so it becomes smooth and pourable. Drizzle some over each slice of cake, then sprinkle with confectioners' sugar. Serve right away.


LA Times
Lemon Blueberry Buckle
Adapted from "Rustic Fruit Desserts" by Cory Schreiber and Julie Richardson.Crumb Topping:
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 1/4 cup ( 1/2 stick) butter, cubed, at room temperature
  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, salt and lemon zest. Add the butter, using a fork or your fingers to cut in the butter until it is reduced to the size of peas. Loosely cover the bowl, and place it in the freezer while you mix the cake batter.

  • Cake:6 tablespoons butter, at room temperature, plus extra for greasing the pan
  • 1 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 3/4 cup plus 1/3 cup sugar, divided
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 2 cups blueberries, fresh or frozen, divided
  • Crumb topping, chilled
  • Juice of 2 lemons (about 6 tablespoons)

  1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 9-inch square baking pan.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and nutmeg.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, or in a large bowl with a hand mixer, cream together the butter, three-fourths cup sugar and lemon zest until light and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl after each addition.
  4. Stir the flour mixture into the bowl, a third at a time, alternating with the buttermilk, until both the flour mixture and buttermilk are evenly incorporated into the batter. Gently fold 1 cup of the blueberries into the batter.
  5. Spread the batter into the prepared pan and distribute the remaining blueberries evenly over the top of the batter. Remove the crumb topping from the freezer and sprinkle it over the berries.
  6. Bake the cake until it is lightly golden and firm on top, and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 45 to 50 minutes. Rotate the pan halfway through for even baking.
  7. While the cake is baking, make a lemon syrup: In a small saucepan, combine the remaining one-third cup sugar with the lemon juice and whisk until blended. Heat the pan over medium-low heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until the liquid thickens to a syrupy consistency, 6 to 8 minutes. (The glaze will bubble while cooking and may need to be removed from the heat to check that it is the proper consistency.) Remove from heat and set aside in a warm place.
  8. Remove the cake from the oven and drizzle the warm glaze over. Cool to room temperature. The cake will keep at room temperature for 2 to 3 days, covered in plastic wrap.

Happy baking!

Monday, May 16, 2016

What to do with Leftover Easter Bunnies

Happy Monday everyone! After stuffing our faces with delicious greasy pizza last night, my husband and I have agreed to pull back on the heavy foods this week. So obviously I'm thinking about chocolate. Milk chocolate, to be specific. I don't keep many temptations in the house, but as a pastry chef, I always have chocolate chips, and as it turns out this month, leftover Easter bunny. So you know what I love to do with too much chocolate? Turn it into a different delicious dessert! Here are a few recipes for those leftover bunnies hidden in the back of your pantry!

Milk Chocolate-Banana Pudding
Melissa Clark, NYT

Ingredients
  • 5 ounces milk chocolate, finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • Pinch salt
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 ½ cups whole milk
  • ½ cup heavy cream, plus 1 cup whipped
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large bananas, thinly sliced
  • 14 whole chocolate wafer cookies, plus 4 crushed, for garnish (see note)
Directions
  1. Place chocolate in a bowl. In a separate large bowl, sift together sugar, cocoa, cornstarch and salt; whisk in egg yolks and 1/2 cup milk until smooth.
  2. In a large saucepan over high heat, bring remaining 1 cup milk and 1/2 cup cream to a simmer. Pour over chopped chocolate and whisk until smooth. Whisking constantly, slowly pour hot chocolate mixture into egg mixture until completely incorporated and cocoa is dissolved.
  3. Return custard to saucepan. Cook, stirring constantly, over medium heat, until thickened, about 10 minutes. Do not let mixture reach a simmer. If custard begins to steam heavily, stir it, off the heat, a moment before returning it to stove top. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve. Stir in vanilla.
  4. Spread several tablespoons pudding evenly into an 8-inch square pan (or a glass bowl). Top with an even layer of bananas; arrange whole cookies on top of bananas. Cover with remaining pudding. Top with whipped cream and sprinkle with crushed cookies. Chill at least 3 hours or overnight before serving.
Tip: Nabisco Famous Chocolate Wafers work perfectly. If you can’t find them or want to paint the lily, try using chocolate sandwich cookies like Newman-O’s.



Milk Chocolate Brownies
Gourmet, February 2007

Ingredients
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
  • 8 ounces fine-quality milk chocolate, chopped
  • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
Directions
  1. Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 350°F. Butter and flour a 9-inch square baking pan.
  2. Melt butter and half of chocolate in a 1 1/2-quart heavy saucepan over low heat, stirring, until smooth. Remove from heat and cool to lukewarm. Stir in brown sugar and vanilla. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition, until mixture is glossy and smooth.
  3. Whisk together remaining ingredients, then stir into chocolate mixture. Stir in remaining chocolate.
  4. Spread batter in pan and bake until a wooden pick or skewer comes out with a few moist crumbs adhering, 25 to 30 minutes.


Silky Chocolate Mousse with Peanut Butter Crunch
Rachel Lansang-Hidalgo, Food & Wine, February 2009

Ingredients
Peanut-Cream:
  • 3/4 teaspoon unflavored gelatin
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 1/3 cups heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup salted roasted peanuts, chopped
  • 3 ounces white chocolate, chopped
Mousse:
  • 2 3/4 cups heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 pounds milk chocolate, chopped
  • 3 1/2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 9 large egg yolks
Crunch:
  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 2 ounces milk chocolate, chopped
  • 2 1/2 cups cornflakes, lightly crushed
  • 1/4 cup salted roasted peanuts, chopped
Directions
  1. In a small bowl, sprinkle the gelatin over the water and let stand until softened, about 5 minutes. In a small saucepan, bring the heavy cream to a simmer with the chopped peanuts. Let the peanut cream stand off the heat for 15 minutes. Strain the peanut cream into a medium bowl; discard the chopped peanuts. Wipe out the saucepan, add back the cream and bring to a simmer. Off the heat, whisk in the gelatin and chopped white chocolate until melted. Transfer to a bowl and refrigerate the peanut cream until it is set, about 2 hours.
  2. In a small saucepan, heat the cream until steaming. Put the milk chocolate and unsweetened chocolate in a medium bowl and add the hot cream. Let stand until melted, then whisk until smooth; let cool. In another small saucepan, combine the sugar and water and bring to a boil, stirring until the sugar is dissolved.
  3. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the egg yolks at high speed until smooth. Slowly pour in the hot sugar syrup while beating at high speed; be careful not to pour the syrup directly onto the beaters. Beat until the mixture is cool, pale and thick, about 5 minutes. Using a rubber spatula, fold in the chocolate mixture until no streaks remain. Cover the mousse with plastic wrap and refrigerate until chilled, about 1 1/2 hours.
  4. Line a medium baking sheet with wax paper. In a medium, microwave-safe bowl, melt the peanut butter and chocolate at high power at 30-second intervals, stirring until smooth. Stir in the cornflakes and peanuts and spread the crunch on the baking sheet in a 1/2-inch layer. Freeze until firm, about 1 1/2 hours. Chop into small pieces.
  5. Spoon the mousse into 8 glasses or bowls and top each with a scoop of the peanut cream. Sprinkle with the peanut crunch and serve.
MAKE AHEAD: The chocolate mousse and peanut cream can be refrigerated for up to 2 days. The peanut crunch can be frozen for up to 5 days.


Happy baking!

Monday, May 9, 2016

What's Under That Fondant?

Happy Monday! It was a busy week for me; this weekend's bridal shower cake order was a tiered, casino and purple-themed, elegant cake. Tall order! Check it out below:



One of the tricky things about fondant is figuring out how to keep it on a cake. The best (and tastiest glue) is using a thin layer of buttercream beneath the fondant. Too thick and it makes the fondant bubble on top, too thin, and it doesn't stick. I like to do a crumb coat on the cake, and then a very thin layer on top. Not only a great adhesive, but for those cake eaters who ignore the fondant, they get an extra little layer of frosting!

Happy baking!

Friday, April 29, 2016

Sweet or Savory, a Crust is a Crust

Wow, we made it to Friday! Recently I used leftover chicken from my Granny's matzah ball soup recipe to make a chicken pot pie (single crust)! But a pie crust is a pie crust is a pie crust, and while each can be made differently and used for different types of desserts, the delicacy of the crust is important in every situation. How much you handle the crust and knead the dough is key - and it's as little as possible. While it's easy to make a crust in a food processor, using a pastry blender is easy and leads to a better result! Check out the steps to making an herb crust below (but choose your favorite recipe to bake it into a crust!):

Herb Crust
Bon Appetit, Oct 1999
Makes single crust
Ingredients
  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour (**I sub in 1 cup of whole wheat flour**)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup chilled solid vegetable shortening, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 6 1/2 tablespoons (about) ice water
Directions

  1. Blend first 5 ingredients in processor until herbs are very finely chopped. Add butter and shortening. Blend until mixture resembles coarse meal. 
  2. Transfer mixture to large bowl. Using fork, mix enough ice water into flour mixture to form moist clumps. 
  3. Gather dough into ball; flatten into rectangle. Cover and chill 30 minutes. (Can be made 2 days ahead. Keep chilled. Let dough soften slightly before rolling out.)


Dry ingredients and herbs

Mix with a pastry blender
and then a fork for the ice water

Mix until combined, but that's it!

Roll out at least 30 min later