New Classic Brownies

8 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2/3 cup lightly toasted walnuts or pecans (optional)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line an 8-inch-square metal baking pan with foil. In top of a double boiler set over barely simmering water, or on low power in a microwave, melt butter and chocolate together. Stir often, and remove from heat when a few lumps remain. Stir until smooth.

Stir in sugar, vanilla and salt. Stir in eggs one at a time, followed by flour. Stir until very smooth, about 1 minute, until mixture pulls away from sides of bowl. Add nuts, if using. Scrape batter into prepared pan and bake 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare a water bath: Pour ice water into a large roasting pan or kitchen sink to a depth of about 1 inch. Remove pan from oven and place in water bath, being careful not to splash water on brownies. Let cool completely, then lift out and cut into 1-inch squares or wrap in foil.

A few reader tips:

Substituting 1/4-1/2 cup of the sugar with brown sugar adds extra flavor, and I second sprinkling sea salt on top. A tablesspoon or so of bourbon or espresso is also great to add. Finally, the quality of the chocolate used makes a big difference!

I further intensified the flavor with a teaspoon of ground espresso and a cup of bittersweet chocolate chips.

Cut sugar to 1 cup.

Increase walnuts to 1 cup.

Use one of those aluminum “to go” pans as an insert and remove it and put it in the ice bath.

No-Bake Cheesecake With Caramelized Pineapple and Coconut

FOR THE CARAMELIZED PINEAPPLE:
1 cup/200 grams granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups/225 grams fresh pineapple, peeled, cored and cut into 1-inch cubes (from about 1/2 small pineapple)

FOR THE CRUST:
6 tablespoons/85 grams unsalted butter (3/4 stick), melted, plus more for greasing the pan
7 ounces/200 grams gingersnaps, from about 28 (2-inch) cookies
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt

FOR THE FILLING:
1 (13-ounce/400-milliliter) can full-fat coconut milk
1 1/2 teaspoons powdered gelatin
16 ounces/450 grams cream cheese, cut into 1-inch pieces
1/2 cup/100 grams granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 tablespoon lime zest plus 2 tablespoons juice (from 2 limes)
Toasted coconut flakes (optional), for topping

Make the caramelized pineapple: Heat a medium saucepan over medium until a drop of water sizzles on the surface. Reduce heat to medium-low and make a dry caramel by adding the sugar in an even layer. The sugar should begin melting into a clear syrup once it hits the pan. If it browns immediately, your pan is too hot and the heat should be turned down. Allow the sugar to melt, stirring with a heat-safe spatula to cover any dry spots, about 3 minutes. As the crystals melt, the syrup will change color from light to golden brown, about 5 minutes. Once melted, continue to stir and cook the syrup until it is a deep amber color, 2 to 4 minutes.

Reduce heat to medium-low, and very carefully, to avoid splatter, add the pineapple all at once. Immediately cover with a lid to prevent the hot liquid from bubbling over. Once the bubbling slows after 1 to 2 minutes, stir the mixture to melt any hard chunks of caramel that have formed, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat and allow the pineapple pieces to steep in the caramel syrup until they are infused, at least 30 minutes (or up to overnight in the refrigerator). The pineapple will turn a deeper yellow as it steeps, and will develop a more pronounced caramel taste.
(Caramelized pineapple can be made up to 1 week ahead, refrigerated and stored in the syrup.)

Using a fork, remove the pineapple pieces from the syrup, transfer them to a food processor to purée, or finely chop. Reserve and refrigerate the leftover caramel syrup for another use.

Make the crust: Lightly grease and line an 8-inch square pan with parchment paper, leaving about a 2-inch overhang on two sides. In a food processor, pulse the gingersnaps until they form coarse crumbs. (Alternatively, place gingersnaps in a resealable bag and crush with a wine bottle or rolling pin.) You should have about 1 1/2 cups crumbs.

Transfer crumbs to a medium bowl; stir in the melted butter, sugar and salt. The crumbs should look slightly wet and clump up when pressed together in your palm. Pour the mixture into prepared pan and spread to completely cover the bottom. Use the flat side of a measuring cup to compress, push and flatten the crumbs to cover the base and about 3/4-inch up the sides. Refrigerate while you make the filling. (Crust can be wrapped in plastic and refrigerated up to 1 day ahead.)

Make the filling: In a small saucepan off the heat, combine 1/2 cup/120 milliliters coconut milk with the gelatin and allow to bloom, about 5 minutes. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine the cream cheese, sugar, salt, lime zest and juice on the lowest setting until smooth. Heat the coconut milk-gelatin mixture on low to melt, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the rest of the coconut milk to cool down the mixture. Scrape down the bowl and switch to the whisk attachment. Slowly pour in the coconut milk mixture with the mixer on the lowest setting. Stop to scrape down the sides as needed. As the coconut milk incorporates, the mixer speed can gradually be increased to medium to make sure the mixture is smooth throughout.

Pour the mixture into the prepared crust and dot the top with teaspoonfuls of the pineapple purée. Some spoonfuls will sink in to create lovely pockets of pineapple within the cream filling, which is fine! Chill at least 8 hours and up to overnight.
To unmold, run a knife or an offset spatula along the sides of the pan to loosen the crust. Lift both sides of the parchment and move cake to a board. Slice into 9 to 12 squares with a clean, warm knife, top each square with toasted coconut if using.

No-Bake Melon Cheesecake Bars

FOR THE CRUST:
9 1/2 ounces/269 grams graham crackers (about 18 whole crackers)
1/2 cup/115 grams unsalted butter, melted
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt (Diamond Crystal)

FOR THE FILLING:
2 (1/4-ounce/7-gram) packets powdered gelatin (about 5 teaspoons)
1 1/4 pounds/566 grams peeled cantaloupe, diced (about 3 cups)
1 (8-ounce/226-gram) package cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 cup/100 grams granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt (Diamond Crystal)
1/2 cup/120 milliliters heavy whipping cream
Honey, for drizzling (optional)

Prepare the crust: Place the graham crackers in a resealable plastic bag. Close the bag and, using a rolling pin, heavy can or other blunt object, crush the graham crackers into a coarse rubble. To the bag, add the melted butter, sugar and salt, and mix thoroughly.

Transfer the crumbs to an 8- or 9-inch square baking pan and press into the bottom of the pan with your hands, forming a thick, sturdy base. Place in the freezer to set while you make the filling.

Make the filling: In a small bowl or measuring cup, stir together 1/4 cup cold tap water and the gelatin. Let sit to bloom. Meanwhile, use a blender to purée the cantaloupe, cream cheese, sugar and salt until smooth.

Heat the cream in a small saucepan on the stovetop over medium until simmering at the edges or in a small bowl in the microwave until hot to the touch, 45 to 60 seconds on high. Add the bloomed gelatin to the hot cream and stir vigorously until smooth. Transfer the cream to the blender and blend with the cantaloupe until smooth.

Take the pan out of the freezer and pour the filling over the graham cracker crust. Cover and refrigerate until set, at least 6 hours or up to overnight. Cut into bars and serve, drizzled with honey, if you like.

Pressure Cooker Sweet Coconut Rice (Narali Bhath)

1 cup basmati rice
1 teaspoon saffron
1 tablespoon warm milk
2 tablespoons ghee divided
20 whole cashews
2 whole green cardamom pods
6 cloves
1 1/2 cups water
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup fresh coconut grated (frozen works well)
3/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons raisins
1 teaspoon cardamom powder

Wash, rinse, and soak rice in water for 20 minutes. Drain the rice and keep it aside. Soak saffron in milk and set aside for garnishing.

Turn Instant Pot to Saute(more) mode. Add half of the ghee and cashews. Cook the cashews for a minute or until they turn golden brown, stirring constantly. Take the cashews out and keep them aside for garnishing in the end.

Add remaining ghee to the pot. Add cardamom pods and cloves. Cook for 10-15 seconds as they release the aromas. Add drained rice and toast gently for a minute stirring constantly.

Add water and salt. Mix well. Make sure all the rice is submerged underwater. Close Instant Pot with the pressure valve to sealing. Pressure Cook for 6 minutes followed by 5-minute Natural Pressure Release.

Open Instant pot. Add coconut, sugar, raisins, and cardamom powder. Mix well.

Set Instant Pot to Saute(less) mode. Cook with a glass lid on for 5 minutes. Garnish with fried cashews and saffron. Enjoy!

Notes:

Soak rice for at least 20 minutes so the rice looks fluffy and light. If you do not have time to soak the rice, add 1.5 cups of water for 1 cup of rice and cook it on low-pressure mode for 5 minutes followed by a quick release.

Once the rice is cooked, fluff it gently with a fork or silicone spatula. This will prevent the grains from breaking.
For nut allergies, skip cashews.

To make a vegan variation of sweet coconut rice, use neutral cooking oil or coconut oil for the ghee and soak the saffron in warm water instead of milk.

Although, I like to use basmati rice for this recipe other short-grain white rice such as Jasmine, Ambe Mor, Surati Kolam, etc can be substituted. Just note that the final dish may have a bit sticky texture but will still have the same delicious taste and delicate aromatic flavors.

Jaggery can be substituted for sugar in this recipe, although the color of the final dish will be different.

Buttermilk Sheet Cake With Peaches and Blueberries

16 tablespoons (226 grams; 2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus more for greasing the pan
3 cups (360 grams) flour
1/2 teaspoon (3 grams) baking soda
1/2 teaspoon (3 grams) kosher salt or fine sea salt
2 cups (400 grams) sugar
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup well shaken buttermilk, preferably full-fat
3 peeled, pitted peaches, sliced 1/2-inch thick (about 2 cups; see NOTE; can use frozen)
1 cup (150 grams) fresh or frozen blueberries

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9-by-13-inch baking pan with parchment paper so the 2 shorter sides overhang a bit (for lifting the cake out of the pan.) Grease the paper with a little butter.

Whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt in a medium mixing bowl.

Combine the 16 tablespoons of butter and the sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer; beat on medium speed, 3 to 4 minutes, until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Scrape down the bowl from time to time.

Add the vanilla extract to the buttermilk and stir to combine. On low speed, alternately add the flour mixture and the buttermilk mixture in two or three additions, ending with the flour, mixing until just barely incorporated. Use a flexible spatula to gently fold the batter a bit more by hand, making sure to scrape the bottom of the bowl to work in any residual dry ingredients. Once the batter looks combined with no white streaks, scrape it into the prepared pan. Smooth the top with an offset spatula.

Arrange peach slices on the top and scatter the blueberries evenly over the peaches. Bake (middle rack) for about 1 hour (start checking after 50 to 55 minutes), until the cake is golden brown on the edges and begins to pull away from the sides. During the baking, the batter will puff up over the fruit; once the cake cools, it will deflate a bit.

Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely (in the pan). Lift the cake using the parchment paper ends, then discard the paper and cut into 15 to 20 squares.

NOTE: To peel peaches, plunge them it into boiling water for 30 to 45 seconds, then use a slotted spoon to transfer them to a bowl of ice water. As soon as they are cool enough to handle, slip off the skins. The riper the peach, the less time it needs in the boiling water.

Peach and Berry Skillet Cobbler

7–8 fresh peaches – 2 lbs, peeled (optional) sliced into chunks or slices ( about 3 cups total ) or sub plums or nectarines. ( see notes)
1 cup fresh berries (optional – sub blackberries, blueberries)
1/4 cup organic sugar
1/8 cup brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamon
1 tablespoon fresh lime or lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla
pinch salt
2 teaspoons cornstarch

Cobbler topping:

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour ( or use a GF flour blend) or half whole wheat
1/3 cup sugar ( or sugar substitute like coconut sugar)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 sticks butter (12 tablespoons, or 3/4 cup ) melted, and then cooled slightly (or use coconut oil)

FOR SPRINKLING:

turbanado sugar ( optional)

Preheat oven to 350°

In a large bowl, combine peaches, sugar ( see notes) spices, salt, lemon juice, vanilla and cornstarch. Toss to coat evenly, and gently fold in berries. Taste and adjust sugar, adding more, if berries are particularly tart.

Place the fruit only, in a greased 10 inch cast iron skillet, and heat over the stove over medium heat, until just bubbling and hot in the center about 8-9 minutes. If this looks overly “juicy” feel free to spoon out some of the liquid ( this mostly happens with over ripe fruit and plums).

While this is heating, make the topping. Combine flour, sugar and salt in a mixing bowl.

Mix the melted butter into the flour and sugar and combine to form a crumbly dough.

Pat handfuls of dough into 2 inch-wide disks, 1/2-inch thick. They dont have to look perfect.

Add disks to the top, overlapping a little bit if you like, sprinkle crumbles of the remaining dough, into all the nooks and crannies, and place in the hot oven and bake until bubbly, golden and crispy, about 45 -55. minutes – checking at 20-30 minutes to see if it’s getting too dark and if so, rotate or lightly cover with foil for a bit.

Let cool 15 minutes before serving.

Notes:

Blueberries will most likely need less sugar, start conservatively. Huckleberries are pretty tart and may need more.

To get the biscuit topping crispy, golden and cooked all the through, make sure to add it after the fruit is heated and bubbly ( either stovetop or in the oven.) Bigger dollops of topping may require you to cook longer and cover the cobbler with foil for part of the baking time, to prevent them from getting too dark.

Farm-Style Peach Galette

Pie Crust:

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar
10 tablespoons cold butter – cut into 10 pieces
1/4 – 1/3 cup cold water
Filling

8–9 medium peaches, perfectly ripe – sliced into ½-¾ inch slices (about 6–7 cups)
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 – 1/2cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar ( more to taste)
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
—–
1 tablespoon butter- optional
1 beaten egg
sugar for sprinkling
fresh thyme or garnish
serve with vanilla ice-cream (optional)

Make the pie crust: Place flour, sugar and salt in a food processor and pulse to mix. Add butter, then pulse repeatedly (15-20 times) until it resembles course sand with some larger pea sized clumps of butter. Turn processor on and gradually add water,just until dough clumps together and forms a shaggy ball. You may need to add a little more or little less. Just until it clumps together.

Gather up and place on a well-floured piece of parchment, flouring the top as well. Form into a round ball, then flatten into a neat and tidy 1-inch thick disk about 7 inches wide. Wrap in parchment and refrigerate 40 minutes.

Preheat oven to 4ooF

Gently rub peach fuzz off the peaches with a terry cloth towel or rub it off under cold running water. Pat dry. Leaving the clean, defuzed skins on, slice peaches into 1/4 – 1/2 inch thick wedges. Place in a large bowl. Sprinkle with lemon juice, flour, sugar salt and spices, mix very gently, to combine. If you like a juicier pie, only add ¼ cup flour. Or, for a thicker consistency, add up to ¼ cup more flour. Taste for sweetness. The sweeter and riper the peaches the less sugar you will need- but note you do need at least ½ cup sugar to get the right consistency when baking. Add more sugar to taste. Set aside. The lemon juice is not just for flavor, it adds vibrancy to the color of the cooked peaches and helps the consistency- so don’t leave this out.

Roll out the dough: Neaten the edges, flip and begin rolling it out on the floured parchement, from the center out to the edges- while keeping the underneath surface well-floured to prevent sticking. Roll out to about 1/4 inch thick or roughly 14 inches in diameter. Carefully lift pie dough and place in a 10 1/2-inch wide cast iron skillet, gently pressing it into corners and sides. Sprinkle the bottom with a tablespoon of flour, this helps the crust to not get soggy.

Spoon in the pie filling, and arrange peaches nicely just in the top middle area where they will show. Dot with a little butter if you like.

Fold the raggedy edges of the crust over itself about 1/4 inch or so, just to clean up the edges.

Then carefully draw the crust up over the filling, folding and overlapping in the same direction, every 2 inches or so. It need not be perfect.

Brush the top of the crust with egg wash and sprinkle with sugar.

Place on the middle rack of a 400 F oven for 15 minutes.

Turn heat down to 375F and continue baking until deeply golden and bubbly, about 35-40 minutes.

If crust starts to get too brown, lover heat to 350, or cover the edges with foil – this doesn’t usually happen, but every oven is different!

When done, let rest 20 minutes before cutting into it. Serve with vanilla ice-cream and enjoy!!

Notes:
You can also just bake this on the parchment-lined sheet pan. Bake at 375 the whole time- 40-45 minutes.

Extra Crunchy Fruit Crisp

FOR THE TOPPING:
1 1/2 cups/190 grams all-purpose flour
1/2 cup/50 grams rolled oats
1/3 cup/75 grams light or dark brown sugar
1/3 cup/65 grams granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom, ginger or allspice, or use lemon zest
1/2 cup/115 grams unsalted butter (1 stick), melted and cooled

FOR THE FILLING:
2 to 5 tablespoon light brown sugar (or granulated sugar), depending on the sweetness of the fruit
2 tablespoons cornstarch
8 cups mixed berries (fresh or frozen), or cubed peaches, plums, nectarines, apricots, or pitted sweet cherries (or a combination)

Ice cream or whipped cream, for serving

Heat oven to 350 degrees.

Make the topping: In a large bowl, whisk together flour, oats, sugars, salt and spices. Stir in butter. Using your hands, squish mixture until coarse crumbs form. Some should be about 1/2-inch in size, some smaller.

Spread topping in one layer onto a rimmed baking sheet. (You don’t have to grease it first.) Bake until crumbs are solid when you gently poke them, and are fragrant, about 15 minutes. They won’t change appearance very much. Transfer baking sheet to a wire rack to cool while you make the filling. (Crumbs can be baked up to 2 days ahead and stored in an airtight container at room temperature.)

Prepare the filling: In a large bowl, whisk together sugar and cornstarch until well combined. Add fruit and gently toss to coat with the sugar mixture. Pour filling into an ungreased 2-quart gratin dish or 10-inch cake pan, mounding the fruit in the center.

Spoon crumbs over filling and place the crumble dish on a rimmed baking sheet to catch any overflowing juices. (You can use the same baking sheet you cooked the crumbs on.) Bake until filling bubbles energetically around the edges, about 55 to 65 minutes. Let cool slightly. Serve warm or at room temperature with ice cream or whipped cream, if you like. Crumble can be made up to 8 hours ahead and kept at room temperature, or warmed up briefly in a 350-degree oven.

Note: one reader suggested reversing the first two ingredients: 1 1/2 cups of oats to 1/2 cup of flour. More crunch and healthier. Another added toasted pecans.

Easiest Lemon Curd (with Variations)

1/2 cup/113 grams unsalted butter (1 stick)
2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
1 cup/240 milliliters freshly squeezed lemon juice (from 4 to 6 lemons)
3/4 cup to 1 cup/150 grams to 200 grams granulated sugar
3 large eggs
1 egg yolk
Pinch of salt

Put the butter in a large (at least 6 cup) microwave-safe glass bowl or measuring cup. Set your microwave on 50 percent power and melt the butter, about 1 to 1 1/2 minutes.

Pour butter into a blender and add lemon zest, juice, sugar, eggs, egg yolk and salt. Blend until smooth. Pour mixture into the same glass bowl you melted the butter in. (You don’t need to wash it.)

Microwave the curd mixture, on full power, in 1-minute intervals for 5 minutes. Whisk furiously between intervals, especially around the edges of the bowl. It should start to thicken. (If it looks like it’s starting to thicken before 5 minutes, stop and continue to the next step; microwaves can vary.)

Reduce power to 70 percent and continue to microwave for another 1 to 2 minutes, whisking every 30 seconds, until the curd thickens enough to coat a spoon, and looks slightly puffed and spongy. (It will continue to thicken as it chills.) An instant-read thermometer should register 180 degrees.

Whisk well and inspect the curd. If you think there are any coagulated bits of egg, strain curd through a fine-mesh sieve into a clean bowl. Or if it looks smooth, you can leave it in its current bowl. Press a piece of plastic wrap against the surface to create an airtight seal and let the curd cool to room temperature. Refrigerate until cold, at least 3 hours.

Grapefruit-Campari Curd: Reduce the lemon juice to 2/3 cup, the lemon zest to 1 teaspoon and the sugar to 3/4 cup. Add 3 tablespoons each freshly squeezed grapefruit juice and Campari, and 1 teaspoon finely grated grapefruit zest.

Makrut Lime Curd: Substitute lime juice and zest for lemon juice and zest. Once the ingredients are blended in Step 2, add 1/3 cup finely slivered makrut lime leaves to the glass bowl, along with the blended mixture. (Don’t blend the lime leaves.) Strain the lime leaves out in Step 5.

Ritz Carlton Blueberry Muffins

3 1/2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons baking powder
3/4 cup sugar
Pinch salt, optional
5 eggs, slightly beaten
1/2 cup milk
5 ounces unsalted butter, melted and cooled
4 or 5 cups blueberries, fresh or frozen
Additional sugar for topping

Heat oven to 425 degrees.

Mix all dry ingredients together. Stir in eggs, milk and butter; do not overmix. Carefully stir in berries.

Grease the top of large muffin tins. Insert paper cups and spoon batter to the top of the paper cups. Sprinkle generously with sugar.

Reduce heat to 400 degrees, place muffin tins on middle shelf of oven. Bake about 25 minutes, until muffins are golden brown. Remove from muffin tins and cool.

Coconut Pound Cake

6 tablespoons/85 grams unsalted butter (3/4 stick), at room temperature, plus more for greasing the pan
2 cups/256 grams all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting the pan
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup/200 grams granulated sugar
6 tablespoons/85 grams softened coconut oil
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup/240 milliliters canned coconut milk
1 packed cup/85 grams plus 2 tablespoons sweetened shredded coconut

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour an 8 1/2-by-4 1/2-inch loaf pan, making sure to shake out any excess flour.

In a medium bowl, whisk the 2 cups flour with the baking powder and salt.

In a large bowl and using an electric mixer on medium-high, beat together the butter and sugar until fluffy, about 2 minutes. With the machine running, beat in the coconut oil, scraping down the bowl often, until combined. Beat in eggs one at a time, beating to blend between additions.

Add half the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Add the coconut milk and beat to combine. Add the remaining dry ingredients and 1 cup of the toasted shredded coconut, and beat just until combined. Do not overmix.

Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and smooth the top. Sprinkle the remaining 2 tablespoons shredded coconut evenly over the top.

Bake until puffed and golden and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 60 to 70 minutes.

Transfer to rack to cool for 20 minutes, then tip the loaf out onto the rack to cool completely. Store leftovers well wrapped at room temperature for up to 3 days, or in the freezer for up to a month.

Tip
To toast your shredded coconut, spread it out on a baking sheet in an even layer and bake at 350 degrees, stirring halfway through, until toasted and golden, about 7 minutes. Let cool.

One-Bowl Skyr Cheesecake

8 ounces (227 grams) cream cheese, softened
2/3 cup (133 grams) plus 1 teaspoon granulated sugar, divided
2 cups (16 ounces/453 grams) plain low-fat skyr (Icelandic yogurt), at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 pound fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced
1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 325 degrees. Wrap the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan with foil and place it on a large, rimmed baking sheet.

In a large bowl, using a handheld electric mixer (or in a bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment), beat the cream cheese on medium speed until very smooth, about 1 minute. Stop the mixer, add 2/3 cup of the sugar and beat, starting on medium-low speed and increasing to medium-high until incorporated. Stop the mixer and scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl, then add the skyr, vanilla and lemon zest and beat on medium until combined. Add the eggs, one at a time, scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl between additions, and beat until well combined.

Pour the mixture into the pan and bake for 15 minutes, then, keeping the cake in the oven, reduce the oven temperature to 250 degrees and bake for 55 minutes to 1 hour 5 minutes, or until the cake is just set but still jiggles a little in the middle. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool for 1 hour. Then, keeping the cake in the pan, cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to 3 days.

When ready to serve, in a medium bowl, toss the strawberries with the remaining 1 teaspoon of sugar and the lemon juice. Run a butter knife around the edge of the pan before unmolding. Serve each slice of cheesecake topped with a mound of the strawberries.

Almond Cake With Cardamom and Pistachio

1/2 cup vegetable oil, plus additional for pan
7 large eggs, separated
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon almond extract
4 1/2 cups plus 1 tablespoon/420 grams almond flour (see tip)
2 teaspoons ground cardamom
1 to 2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar, for dusting
3 to 4 tablespoons finely chopped pistachio nuts, for garnish

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Oil a 9-inch round or square pan and set aside. Using a stand mixer, whisk egg whites until stiff but not dry, and set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine egg yolks and sugar, and whisk to blend. Whisk in almond extract and oil. Add almond flour and cardamom. Gently stir a third of the whites into the batter, then gently fold in the rest until just incorporated.

Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 50 minutes. Allow to cool for 10 minutes, then remove from pan and finish cooling on a rack.

To decorate, dust with confectioners’ sugar and chopped pistachios.

Tip
If you want to grind your own almond flour, start with 3 cups nuts. Using a large food processor, pulse almonds until very finely ground, stirring once or twice to prevent them from turning into a paste.

Yogurt Parfait with Warmed Strawberries

2 cups strawberries, quartered 2 Tbsp turbinado sugar
2 cups Greek yogurt
2 Tbsp honey
Granola, as much as you desire
Whip cream, as much as you desire

Slice the strawberries into quarters.

Line the air fryer basket with perforated parchment paper (optional) and place the strawberries in the air fryer. Sprinkle the sugar on the strawberries and air fry at 400°F for 8 minutes.

In a medium mixing bowl, add in the yogurt, honey, mixing to combine.

Place the yogurt and honey mixture in small glasses, filling the glass 1?4 of the way full. Add the same amount of strawberries and granola on top. Repeat those steps until the glasses are full.

Place whip cream at the very top.

Pumpkin Sticky Toffee Puddings for Two

FOR THE PUDDINGS:
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes, plus more for greasing
1/4 cup/55 grams pitted, chopped dates
3/4 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 tablespoons boiling water
1/2 cup pumpkin purée (not pumpkin pie filling)
1/4 cup/55 grams dark brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom or ginger
Pinch of ground cloves
1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/2 cup/65 grams all-purpose flour
Flaky sea salt, for serving
Crème fraîche, sour cream or plain yogurt, for serving

FOR THE SAUCE:
1/4 cups/55 grams dark brown sugar
3 tablespoons pumpkin purée (not pumpkin pie filling)
2 tablespoons heavy cream
Large pinch of fine sea salt
1/4 cup/55 grams unsalted butter (1/2 stick), cubed
1 tablespoon bourbon or brandy (Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 2 (8-ounce) ramekins or a small, shallow gratin dish with a 2- to 3-cup capacity (see Note).

Prepare the puddings: In a large, heatproof bowl, combine the dates, butter, lemon zest and baking soda. Stir in the boiling water. Let sit for 10 minutes or until cool.

Whisk in pumpkin purée, brown sugar, cinnamon, cardamon, cloves and fine sea salt until well combined, then whisk in the flour.

Scrape batter into the prepared ramekins and bake until just firm when pressed in the center, 28 to 35 minutes. Transfer to a rack until ready to serve. (Pudding can be baked up to 8 hours ahead.)
Prepare the sauce: In a medium pot over medium heat, combine the sugar, pumpkin puree, heavy cream and salt. Bring to a simmer, then remove from the heat. Whisk in the butter, and bourbon (if using). If the sauce separates, use an immersion or regular blender to blend it together.

Just before serving, heat the broiler. Pour a little of the sauce over each pudding. Broil until the puddings bubble, 1 to 2 minutes. Sprinkle tops with flaky sea salt, and serve at once, with more sauce and crème fraîche dolloped on top.

Tip:
If your ramekins hold less than 1 cup (8 ounces) each, you can divide the batter among 3 or 4 of them and reduce the baking time. This recipe makes two very substantial servings, with leftovers. You can also double or triple the recipe. If doubling, bake in an 8-inch pan; if tripling, use a 9-inch pan. If you make any of these adjustments, start checking for doneness after 20 minutes.

Crispy Coconut Dessert Topping

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons sugar
4 tablespoons butter
2 cups coconut panko

Mix cinnamon and sugar and set aside.

Melt butter in saute pan over medium low heat.

After butter is melted, place coconut panko in pan. Toss continually to keep from burning. Remove from heat when panko turns golden.

Mix in cinnamon-sugar mixture.

Sprinkle on top of pie filling, cheesecake, ice cream, yogurt, or fruit.

Streusel Topping

250 grams (2 cups) all-purpose flour
250 grams (2 1/2 cups) hazelnut flour
250 grams (1 1/4 cups) granulated sugar
6 grams (1 1/2 teaspoons) fleur de sel
250 grams (2 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature

Preheat the oven: Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.
Make the streusel dough: In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or in a large bowl using a spatula), combine the all-purpose flour, hazelnut flour, sugar, and fleur de sel. Add the butter and mix to combine. Using your fingers, break up the streusel dough into pieces about the size of marbles. (Alternatively, push the dough through the holes of a wire rack to get pieces of a more uniform size.)

Bake the streusel: Spread the streusel over the prepared pan and bake until golden, 10 to 12 minutes. The edges should be crunchy and the inside still soft. Let cool completely.

If you can’t find hazelnut flour, pulse 250 grams (3 cups) whole hazelnuts in a food processor or blender until finely ground. You can also substitute almond, pistachio, or walnut flour.

Pressure Cooker Zarda (Pakistani Sweet Rice)

Saffron Mixture:
2-3 threads Saffron Strands
2 teaspoons (2 teaspoons) Sugar Or Other Sweetener Equivalent
1/4 cup (61 g) Whole Milk

For the Rice:
2 tablespoons (2 tablespoons) Ghee, divided
2 tablespoons (2 tablespoons) Sliced Pistachios
2 tablespoons (2 tablespoons) Sliced Almonds
1/4 cup (36.25 g) Raisins
1 cup (185 g) Basmati Rice
1.5 cup (375 g) Water
3/4 cups (150 g) Sugar Or Other Sweetener Equivalent
1 teaspoon (1 teaspoon) Ground Cardamom
1/2 teaspoon (0.5 teaspoon) Cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon (0.13 teaspoon) Ground Cloves

Make the Saffron Mixture: In a mortar and pestle, grind together the 1 teaspoon sugar and saffron strands. You’re doing this so that the saffron mixes well with the rice later.

Mix the saffron with 1/4 cup warm milk (15 seconds in microwave) and set aside.

You can also just soak the saffron threads with 1/4 cup warm milk (15 seconds in microwave) and set aside, but grinding the saffron first releases more aroma and color into the rice.

Turn your instant pot on sauté High and when it is hot, add 1 tablespoon ghee. When the ghee is hot add the nuts and raisins and cook until they are lightly browned and the raisins are puffy, about 2-3 minutes.

Remove nuts and raisins leaving behind as much of the ghee as possible.

Add another tablespoon of ghee and all remaining ingredients including rice, water, sugar, saffron milk (saffron and milk together), ground cardamom, ground cinnamon, and ground cloves.

Cook at high pressure for 6 mins HP and allow it to release all pressure naturally.
Add reserved nuts and raisins, mix with a gentle hand so as to not break the rice, and serve.

Pressure Cooker Coconut Rice (Sweet Narali Bhat)

1/2 cup (40 g) dried unsweetened coconut shreds
1/2 cup (125 g) hot water

1 cup (185 g) Jasmine Rice, rinsed and drained
1.25 cups Water
1/2 cup (100 g) Sugar Or Other Sweetener Equivalent, or preferred sweetener
1 ounce (28.35 g) Raisins
2 teaspoons (2 teaspoons) Ghee
Pinch Saffron Strands
4 (4 ) Whole Cloves
3-4 sticks (3 sticks) Cinnamon
4 (4 ) Cardamom Pods

1/2 teaspoon (0.5 teaspoon) Ground Cardamom

Soak the dried coconut shreds in the 1/2 cup of hot water while you gather all the other ingredients together.

Pour rice, water, sugar, raisins, ghee, saffron strands, cloves, cinnamon stick, and cardamom pods into the inner liner of your Instant Pot or pressure cooker.

Drain the coconut of excess water and add the rice.

Close the Instant Pot lid. Set the Instant Pot at High pressure for 4 minutes. When cook time is complete, let pot release pressure naturally for 10 minutes, and then release all remaining pressure.
Serve as a sweet side or as a dessert.

Varitions:

Use freshly grated coconut rather than dried. You can often find this in the frozen section of an Indian grocery store.

Use Jaggery or Piloncillo for your sweetener.

Sprinkle with ground cardamom before serving.

Omit saffron in this Coconut Jasmine rice if you don’t have it.

Pan fry some cashews and raisins in ghee, and garnish.

Use coconut milk rather than water to cook coconut milk rice. If you want to do this however, cook it in a rice cooker.

Cooking Rice on the stovetop is another method, as coconut milk tends to separate under pressure.

Extra Crunchy Fruit Crumble

FOR THE TOPPING:
1 1/2 cups/190 grams all-purpose flour
1/2 cup/50 grams rolled oats
1/3 cup/75 grams light or dark brown sugar
1/3 cup/65 grams granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom, ginger or allspice, or use lemon zest
1/2 cup/115 grams unsalted butter (1 stick), melted and cooled

FOR THE FILLING:
2 to 5 tablespoon light brown sugar (or granulated sugar), depending on the sweetness of the fruit
2 tablespoons cornstarch
8 cups mixed berries (fresh or frozen), or cubed peaches, plums, nectarines, apricots, or pitted sweet cherries (or a combination)
Ice cream or whipped cream, for serving

Heat oven to 350 degrees.

Make the topping: In a large bowl, whisk together flour, oats, sugars, salt and spices. Stir in butter. Using your hands, squish mixture until coarse crumbs form. Some should be about 1/2-inch in size, some smaller.

Spread topping in one layer onto a rimmed baking sheet. (You don’t have to grease it first.) Bake until crumbs are solid when you gently poke them, and are fragrant, about 15 minutes. They won’t change appearance very much. Transfer baking sheet to a wire rack to cool while you make the filling. (Crumbs can be baked up to 2 days ahead and stored in an airtight container at room temperature.)
Prepare the filling: In a large bowl, whisk together sugar and cornstarch until well combined. Add fruit and gently toss to coat with the sugar mixture. Pour filling into an ungreased 2-quart gratin dish or 10-inch cake pan, mounding the fruit in the center.

Spoon crumbs over filling and place the crumble dish on a rimmed baking sheet to catch any overflowing juices. (You can use the same baking sheet you cooked the crumbs on.) Bake until filling bubbles energetically around the edges, about 55 to 65 minutes. Let cool slightly. Serve warm or at room temperature with ice cream or whipped cream, if you like. Crumble can be made up to 8 hours ahead and kept at room temperature, or warmed up briefly in a 350-degree oven.