Sylvia’s Irish Cream Cheesecake with a Cookie Crust

People love pie, but they adore cheesecake, at least most of us. The cheesecake on a dessert buffet is often the first attacked, and I think a lot of people are drawn to this creamy delight because it is not as sweet as some desserts. Also, the toppings on a cheesecake look really inviting! There’s…

Imposter Pumpkin Pie

We’re all thinking about our Thanksgiving menus this week, including the important pies and desserts to please everyone around the table. I have rarely made a pumpkin pie from scratch, and when I have (once) it did not turn out as good as my mother’s. Couple that with the fact I’m not a pumpkin pie lover, there has been little…

Apple Galette

A sheet of pastry, some apples, and a few other ingredients, and you have a really quick and delicious dessert! A fruit galette bakes up faster than a two-crust pie, and comes together faster as well. Apple is perfect in a galette, and can be enhanced with the addition of other fruits: fresh cranberries, raspberries,…

Autumn Raspberry, Pear, and Ginger Tart

Lovely flavors of the season combine to make a memorable tart. Autumn raspberries are sweeter than those in summer, or at least it seems that way. Perhaps I just think that because they are a treasure at that time of year, a summer throwback, a tease because it could snow any day! This year’s autumn…

French Apple Cake

The apple is the star of this dish, or rather, the “apples” of different varieties! I’ve made apple cakes for years, and they are always a hit. When we head out to the orchard to pick, I know there will be a special dessert sometime in the near future, most likely served after Sunday dinner….

Grandmother Alice’s Gingerbread

This is a traditional gingerbread, baked in a traditional square pan, but with a few little flavor twists along the way to move it into this century. I lived across the road from my Aunt Mary, my father’s sister, most of my growing up years. She was a cook who fussed little and rarely used recipes. She…

Pears Roasted with Blue Cheese & Pecans

This roasted pear dish is sweet, salty, savory, and seasonal! A dessert that is equally at home as a starter to a special meal. This is a simple dish to make, using one of my favorite flavor combinations: pears, blue cheese, and nuts, especially butternuts or pecans. I think it is a combination made in…

Catherine’s Chocolate Zucchini Cake

It’s a stealth cake! No one will guess there is an entire quart of shredded zucchini in this moist, deep chocolate dessert. This is the time of year when you can find some remarkable bargains at the farm stands and markets. Zucchini now appears only as very small fruit, or a baseball-bat sized overgrown creature…

One-Ingredient Melon Granita

They are sweet. They are enormous. Muskmelons are in-season right now at the farm stands. Freezing these bargains can preserve this summer treasure for at least a little while longer. At the farm stand this week, I found a beautiful muskmelon that was bigger than my head with an enticing aroma that begged me to…

Summer Strawberry & Red Wine Soup

This is vibrant, simple, delicious, and make ahead. Who could ask for more? My friend Ray gave me this recipe many years ago, and it always makes an appearance along with the local strawberries. We often served this soup at high summer for a brunch starter at the inn, but it serves nicely as dessert…

Blueberry Tart with No-Roll Butter Crust

This is an easy tart to make, and the brown butter crust makes it just a little different, easy because the crust is press-in, no rolling! One of my fondest memories growing up in rural New England was the annual trek with my mother and grandmother to an old abandoned farm a few roads away…

Mariah’s Non-Dairy Wedding Cake?

It took a few attempts, but I finally landed on just the right texture and flavor for a beautiful “naked” wedding cake, one with no dairy. My wedding present to an incredible young woman I’ve known since she was an adolescent was to make her wedding cake. It is a great honor to be asked…

Strawberry & Rose Fool

Strawberries are best served up without a lot of fuss, but a little rosewater doesn’t hurt! Strawberry season in New England marks the true beginning of the summer. We look forward to the beautiful sweet treats we can now enjoy by the pound and not by just the ounce. Only when they are in season…

Grandmother Neill’s Rhubarb Coffee Cake

This recipe is from the grandmother of a friend of a friend! My friend Carolyn and I have worked a local music festival for many years, and catering the green room for the artists has been one of our pleasures. Since the festival is in early June, Carolyn often brought this cake made from fresh…

Spiced Arborio Rice Pudding

This is Comfort Food with a subtle fragrance of spices! Most of us have memories of rice pudding. If the memory involves something wonderful your mother made, it’s a good one. But if your only memory is that of school cafeteria pudding, well, you might not think as kindly upon this dish. I have only…

Family Favorite Carrot Cake

An old family recipe, traditional at Spring, topped with less-sugar cream cheese frosting, and made with a twist or two! As we think ahead to planning Easter and Spring gatherings, carrot cake comes to mind as a perfect dessert. The flavors and textures of this cake appeal to many, so it is often requested at…

Sweet or Savory Buckwheat Crêpes

Naturally gluten-free, these lacy traditional crêpes are perfect for either sweet or savory dishes. Buckwheat crêpes are one of my favorites from the family recipe box. My own family loves them as well. I might make them for a Sunday breakfast, brunch with guests, dessert, or as a well-loved after-school snack for my grandchildren.  Everything…

Pots de Crème

Transform dark (or white) chocolate, heavy cream, and a handful of other ingredients into a memorable dessert in no time at all! Pots de Crème are rich little pudding/custard desserts, and if made with dark chocolate, one of the nicest way to end a special meal, especially around Valentine’s Day.  It’s rich, so you will…

No-Apologies Christmas Fruitcake

Some of these cakes are doused in brandy for months before they are ready, and can last years! I don’t require mine to last years, or even months; it’s not a souvenir, it’s a holiday treat and I want people to eat it now! My Aunt Elda had a lovely fruitcake recipe handed down in the…

Sylvia’s Floating Islands with Hot Buttered Rum Sauce

And a few simpler techniques for a festive holiday dessert in no time For a treat on cold winter days, our mother would often make us floating islands of luscious meringue in soft, spiced custard; we all thought it was good, and the little islands were fun to play with. My own children loved this…

Pear & Cranberry Tart

It’s Time to Think about Holiday Baking and the Flavors of Autumn and Thanksgiving! Everyone in my family has their favorite pie, and we try to accommodate everything from pumpkin to strawberry rhubarb at the Holidays. I have all the ingredients for the latter from the local farm tucked away in the freezer! But we…

Seafood Crêpes with Sherry Mushroom Sauce

   While the humble crêpe has fallen in and out of fashion, what I have observed is that eyes light up whenever they are served.                    Be it a simple supper, or elaborate dessert, there is always room for crêpes.          When the kids…

Apple Cake with Whiskey Custard (or Whiskey Cream)

An Upside-Down Cake with Autumn Personality                         I used to make this in our cabin in the woods when I cooked a meal on the wood stove. Once the main dish was about to be served, I’d have this ready and would stick in the oven to bake with the left-over heat…

Nana’s Flakey Lemon Braid

  Pre-made Puff Pastry Makes Easy Work of this Dessert If I am going to use a pre-made product, it better not just be easy, it needs to taste good too. Pre-made puff pastry saves tons of times, and has countless sweet and savory uses. Look for one made with real butter; it is harder…

Poached Pears with Homemade Crème Fraîche

A special dessert to enjoy when the pears are as beautiful as they are right now! What a good year for pears! Our Vermont pears have been sweet and juicy, with tons of flavor, and I’ve had plenty straight up with no adornment whatsoever. Most mornings, they appear in my breakfast fruit salad, and I…