Archive | Desserts


Makes 4 servings

4 apples, preferably Fuji, Gala or Honeycrisp
Prosciutto chips (see recipe at right)
8–10 large pitted dates
½ cup pistachio nuts, roasted and salted
1 teaspoon finely grated fresh ginger
1 tablespoon honey

To core apple: Use an apple core tool to cut the apple down the middle, from the stem end, being careful not to press through the whole apple.

Use a melon baller to remove the top ¾ of the core, leaving the bottom of the apple’s core intact. Be sure to remove the tough fibers and seeds.

To make the filling: Use a knife to mince the prosciutto chips, pistachio nuts and dates, and toss with the grated ginger and honey. This will form a sticky compote.

Fill the cored apples with the minced mixture using 2 spoons—1 to hold the filling and the other to scrape it into the apple.

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This recipe comes courtesy of The Wellness Kitchen: Fresh, Flavorful Recipes for a Healthier You (Adams Media, 2014) by Paulette Lambert, RD, CDE.

At the Wellness Kitchen, they also make the frosting with Kahlúa, notes Lambert. The frosting is equally good with either tequila or Kahlúa, so the choice is yours.

Serves  16

1¾ cups flour

1 cup white sugar

¾ cup cocoa powder

1½ teaspoon baking soda

¾ teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1¼ cups low-fat buttermilk

1 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed

2 eggs, lightly beaten

¼ cup canola oil

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 cup black coffee, cooled


¼ cup reduced-fat cream cheese

1 cup confectioner’s sugar

½ teaspoon vanilla

2 tablespoons tequila

Preheat oven to 350°. Line cupcake pan with paper liners.

In large bowl, thoroughly whisk together flour, white sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

In another medium-size mixing bowl, add buttermilk, brown sugar, eggs, oil and vanilla. Mix well to combine. Whisk in coffee until incorporated.

Pour wet ingredients into dry, mix until incorporated, do not over beat.

Pour batter into cupcake liners until ⅔ full and bake 20-25 minutes. Cool in the pan for 10 … Read More

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2 cups half and half
¾ cup pumpkin purée (recipe below)
½ cup sugar
3 large eggs, slightly beaten
¼ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground ginger
⅛ teaspoon ground allspice
½ teaspoon nutmeg
Pinch of ground cloves
4 cups cubed (1-inch) day-old baguette or
crusty bread
½ cup golden raisins or dried cranberries (optional)
¼ cup unsalted butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350°.

Place the wire rack in the middle of oven. Coat a 1½-quart casserole dish with cooking oil spray. Whisk together the half and half, pumpkin, sugar, eggs, salt and spices in a bowl.

Toss bread cubes and raisins with the melted butter in another bowl; add pumpkin mixture.

Toss to coat. Transfer to greased casserole baking dish and bake until custard is set, about 25 to 30 minutes. Serve with Butterscotch Caramel Sauce (recipe below).

The best types of pumpkin to use in desserts are
Sugar, Sweetie Pie or Sugar Sweet.
Makes about 3¾ cups
2 pounds fresh pumpkin, cut into roughly
4- by 5-inch wedges
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted

Preheat oven to 400°.

Brush cut flesh sides of pumpkin wedges with butter. Arrange, flesh-side-down, in a large roasting pan … Read More

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This recipe comes courtesy of Katherine Glassman, who likes to purchase the citrus and eggs for this recipe from the local farmers’ market, and spices from Spice-Topia in Ventura. She recommends using a Bundt pan with rounded flutes for this recipe.

Editor’s note: The cake has a mild spice flavor. For more pronounced spice notes, increase the amount of spices called for in the recipe.


Streusel topping:
⅔ cup chopped nuts, pecans or
walnuts (toasted)
2½ tablespoons brown sugar
2–3 teaspoons cinnamon
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 cups sugar, organic raw, if possible
Zest of ½ orange or lemon
2 eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups gluten-free flour
1½ teaspoons xanthan gum
1½ teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon cardamom
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
½ teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup sour cream
Powdered sugar, for dusting

In a small bowl, combine the nuts, brown sugar and cinnamon; set aside.

Preheat oven to 350°.

In a standing mixer fitted with a paddle, cream butter, sugar and zest until light and fluffy. (Alternatively, place ingredients in a large bowl and use a hand mixer.)

Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after … Read More

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Bubenik Special Oil Pastry

This recipe was referenced in the Fall 2014 issue’s Editor’s Letter, and comes from Mrs. Bubenik’s Basic Cooking class at Mango Junior High, circa 1976.

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 ½ teaspoons salt

½ cup salad oil

¼ cup milk (add 1 tablespoon more if dough is too dry)

Sift together flour and salt. Pour salad oil and cold milk into measuring cup (do not stir).

Add all at once to the flour mixture. Stir lightly with a fork. Form into 2 balls; flatten dough slightly. **

Roll each between two 12-inch squares of waxed paper. (First, dampen the table slightly so paper won’t slip.) When dough is rolled in circle to edges of paper, it will be right thickness for crust.

Peel off top sheet of waxed paper and fit dough, paper side up, into pie plate. Remove paper. Finish pie shell following directions for single- or double-crust pies.

Makes enough pastry for one 8- or 9-inch double-crust pie.

**Be careful not to play with the dough too much. The result could be tough dough.

To flatten the dough, press dough with edge of hand 3 times across in both directions. Then roll from the center with the rolling … Read More

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Liliko’i Cream Pie

Serves 8
This recipe comes courtesy of Gail Hercher, who wrote the Little Hawaiian Liliko’i Cookbook (Mutual Publishers, 2012). Now living in Ojai, Hercher started growing passion fruit while living in Hawaii. Hercher notes that it takes about 6 ripe passion fruit to make about ½ cup juice by putting pulp through strainer.

9 graham crackers
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 tablespoons sugar
2 large eggs
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened, condensed milk
½ cup liliko’i juice
1 teaspoon lemon juice
¼ teaspoon salt

Heat oven to 350°.

In food processor, grind graham crackers into fine crumbs. Mix crumbs with butter and sugar. Press firmly onto bottom and sides of 9-inch pie plate. Bake 10 minutes. Cool.

In medium bowl, mix eggs, condensed milk, liliko’i juice, lemon juice and salt. Pour mixture into crust and bake 20 minutes, or until firm in center. Refrigerate several hours.

To serve, garnish with chopped fresh strawberries and dollop of whipped cream.

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Chocolate Hazelnut Pumpkin Pie

This recipe comes courtesy of Naomi Henry, who notes that this pie has a strong pumpkin flavor—which will delight pumpkin pie traditionalists—and a gourmet twist with the addition of hazelnut and chocolate. The pie is baked on the lowest rack of the oven to make sure the bottom is crisp rather than soggy. Beginning with a hot crust and hot pumpkin filling also allows less time for the pumpkin mixture to seep into the crust before it starts to cook and set. Prepare for ooo-ing and ah-ing as guests take their first bite.

Serves 8
2 cups canned pumpkin
¾ cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
½ teaspoon ginger
½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
½ teaspoon salt
¾ cup sour cream
¼ cup heavy cream
½ cup milk
1 egg
4 egg yolks
1 cup chocolate chips
All-Butter, Really Flaky Pie Dough (recipe on the next page)

Chocolate drizzle (optional)
Candied Hazelnuts (recipe below) or chopped, toasted hazelnuts
Frangelico Whipped Cream (recipe below) or lightly sweetened whipped cream

Prepare pie dough using the recipe below. As soon as the crust goes into the oven, gather the first 6 ingredients for the pumpkin custard: pumpkin, brown sugar, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg … Read More

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Serves 6

½ package phyllo dough, defrosted
1 cup unsalted butter, melted
½ cup sugar
1 recipe pastry cream (recipe follows)
3 cups strawberries
Powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350°.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Scrape off the foam from the melted butter and pour the clear liquid into a small bowl, leaving the milk solids behind. Lay a piece of phyllo on the baking sheet, lightly brush with butter, top with a second sheet, brush with butter and sprinkle with sugar. Lay a third sheet on top, brush with butter and sprinkle with sugar. Cut phyllo layers, crosswise, into three equal rectangles. Top with a parchment sheet and cookie sheet. Bake 10–15 minutes, or until golden brown. Cool.

Hull the strawberries and slice lengthwise. Spread pastry cream on a piece of the baked phyllo. Top with about 1¼ cup strawberries.

Repeat with a second piece of phyllo and place on top of the first piece. Now add the remaining piece on top of the other two and dust with powdered sugar.

To serve, cut napoleon into 6 equal slices using a bread knife with a sawing motion. Place napoleons on serving plates and decorate with the remaining … Read More

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Many recipes from the Great Depression used vegetable oil, which I assume was less expensive than butter. Replacing the vegetable oil with olive oil is a healthy alternative that also gives added flavor to the crust. My grandmother didn’t use a food processor for this recipe but I find that it does a better job of incorporating the dry and wet ingredients than doing it by hand. As with any crust, be careful not to overwork the dough or it will be harder to roll and have a tougher texture.

Makes 8 servings

2 cups all-purpose flour
1½ teaspoons baking powder
¾ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
½ cup mild extra-virgin olive oil
⅓ cup ice water
1 egg, for brushing the pie

3 Gala apples, peeled and cored
(approximately 2½–3 cups)
2 tablespoons sugar
1½ teaspoons cinnamon

Preheat oven to 400°.

In the bowl of a food processor mix the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar until combined. In a measuring cup place the olive oil and the ice water—do not stir. Pour all at once over the dry ingredients. Pulse quickly just 2 or 3 times, until dough begins to gather into large pieces but hasn’t … Read More

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Makes 8 shortcakes

Macerated Fruit
1½ cups sliced strawberries
¾ cup raspberries
¾ cup blueberries
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons limoncello liqueur
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
⅔ cup sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons lemon zest
½ cup mild extra-virgin olive oil
⅔ cup buttermilk
1 egg
1 tablespoon honey
For egg wash:
1 egg
1 teaspoon water
Turbinado sugar
Sweetened whipped cream

To macerate the berries, combine fruit in a bowl with sugar, limoncello, lemon zest and olive oil.

Cover and refrigerate for at least a couple of hours.

Preheat oven to 400°.

In a food processor, add flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and lemon zest. Pulse to combine. Using the feeding tube, pour the extravirgin olive in all at once. Pulse 3–4
times, until small clumps begin to form. In a measuring cup mix the buttermilk, egg and honey, then pour over the flour–olive oil mixture. Pulse again until the dough begins to come together. The dough will be soft. If it’s sticky, add another tablespoon of flour being careful not to overwork the dough.

With a spatula, scrape dough onto a floured surface. Flatten to 1-inch … Read More

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