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Archive for 'baking'

HOT BISCUITS & BLACKBERRY BUTTER

Compound butters—butter creamed with different flavorings—may be old-fashioned, but they are versatile as all get out—think of them as instant sauces that add finesse and another layer of flavor to very simple food. A classic French maître d’hôtel butter (softened butter mashed with chopped parsley and a little lemon juice and zest) ennobles just about anything, especially a […]

JUMBLEBERRY PIE: A MARKET STORY

“A trip to the farmers market can be as inspiring and as uplifting as a trip to Yosemite,” Marion Cunningham once wrote, and that is especially true in August—it is such an opulent month. In Manhattan, the Union Square market is brimming with tomatoes and corn, peaches and melons, eggplants and peppers, yellow crookneck squash […]

PIE CHERRIES

You can never go overboard when buying sour cherries—what my grandmothers would have called pie cherries. Their season is ephemeral, and when they’re gone, they’re gone. So this July, I’ve been buying quarts and quarts. (Quick market tip: Cherries are always sold ripe; green, pliable stems signify freshness.) We’ve enjoyed some of my haul in […]

DESTINATION: BISCUITVILLE

A biscuit is one of the world’s great road-trip foods. It’s fast to make and eat, portable, good hot or cold, and can swing savory or sweet. You can use it for a sandwich or to round out a bowl of chili or piece of chicken. Which is why it’s so difficult to understand why […]

CHEESE BISCUITS SAY HAPPY HOLS AND MORE

I would rather labor over cassoulet for 12 than bake Christmas cookies. The very idea makes me want to run screaming out into the street. Don’t get me wrong: I greatly admire the people who carry on this tradition, willingly or under duress. I’m just not one of them. Cheese biscuits, however, are a different […]

PEARS: SHOPPING, COOKING, & EATING GUIDE

Pears are full of intrigue. Because they are usually rock-hard when you buy them, it’s difficult to gauge when they’ll be ready to eat and whether they’ll ultimately reward you with sweet, meltingly tender flesh. It’s no wonder that many shoppers pass them over for apples, which are immediately gratifying. But some things, as we well […]

APPLES: SHOPPING, COOKING, & EATING GUIDE

A visit to any farmers market this time of year will tell you that there are more apple varieties to choose from than ever before. You’ll find crates of rough-skinned heirloom russets plunked down next to more conventionally handsome Gala, Fuji, and Honeycrisp. Which are best for eating out of hand? For baking or applesauce? […]

THANKSGIVING MUST-HAVE: NEW-CROP PECANS

The pecans above may look small and pale, almost drab. But I’d give anything if I could offer you some to taste. A plump, deeply grooved variety called Elliott, they are rich and buttery. Sweet. They have finesse. Most importantly, they are new-crop pecans—that is, just harvested—and their fresh, pure flavor is a world apart […]

THE ONCE AND FUTURE KING CAKE

You see them, boxed and piled high at New Orleans supermarkets, bakeries, corner stores, and filling stations: Your typical king cake—a ring of brioche dough splotched with extraordinarily lurid icing, the kind that parks you on a jagged sugar high for days. But in some households, you’ll see something far less common, a galette des […]