Dessert

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No machines here — this dessert only requires only occasional trips to the freezer

Overhead view of a small bowl of granita with a slice of lemon and a spoon on a background of pastel plaid fabric.
Overhead view of a small bowl of granita with a slice of lemon and a spoon on a background of pastel plaid fabric.
Photo: Jessica Shaver Photography/Moment/Getty Images

Granitas are among the easier and readily customizable frozen desserts — you don’t need a machine or any drawer-cluttering equipment to make them, you can use literally any flavored liquid you like, and no special technique is involved.

Intensely flavored, with a crunchy, slushy, largely unrefined texture, they’re never more appealing than in the dead of summer. Making them is a lazy affair: You freeze a liquid and return to stir and scrape it periodically as it freezes until the whole thing resembles a snow cone.

Fruit Granita

Makes: About 3 cups
Time: About 2 hours

  • 2 cups ripe fruit, chopped
  • ¼…


Find out from the baker who perfected the technique in her new book, ‘100 Cookies’

The cover of “100 Cookies: The Baking Book for Every Kitchen,” which is covered with different kinds of cookies.
The cover of “100 Cookies: The Baking Book for Every Kitchen,” which is covered with different kinds of cookies.
Photos courtesy of Sarah Keiffer

Beloved baker Sarah Kieffer (The Vanilla Bean Blog) produced universal shock and awe in the cooking and baking community with her “pan banging” technique, in which she taps her cookie sheet in the oven every few minutes during the baking process, causing the cookies to fall and creating two textures: a crisp outer edge and a soft, gooey center (i.e., nirvana).

This month, Kieffer’s bible of cookies is being released to the world. The book, 100 Cookies, is an excellent staple, comprising classics, tons of different kinds of brownies and blondies, and multiple pan-bangers, plus more time-consuming treats for the…


But don’t turn on the oven yet. Celebrate with a fritter.

Red apples in small wooden baskets for sale at a farmers market.
Red apples in small wooden baskets for sale at a farmers market.
Photo: Michelle Shinners/Moment/Getty Images

It’s that glorious time of summer when apples and peaches overlap at the farmers market. I’m sure some of you are dying to make an apple pie, but I’d argue it’s early yet for that.

Instead, opt for a fritter. The batter here is very similar to that of a cake doughnut, but where a doughnut is characterized by dough, fritters are all about the filling; the batter is just there to hold it all together. …


These might be better than the childhood classic

A white platter piled high with ice cream sandwiches made with ginger cookies.
A white platter piled high with ice cream sandwiches made with ginger cookies.
Photo: Debby Waldman

I started making ice cream about eight years ago after friends brought me to a brewpub in Brooklyn where the menu consisted of cheese, meat, and ice cream sandwiches. The beer was OK and the meat and cheese were forgettable, but the ice cream sandwiches were a revelation.

Unlike the sandwiches of my youth — vanilla ice cream between a cakey chocolate substance that stuck to the wrapper and my fingers — the brewpub sandwiches were constructed from actual cookies.

The beer was OK and the meat and cheese were forgettable, but the ice cream sandwiches were a revelation.

The…


The joys of semifreddo

Overhead view of a rectangular ceramic dish with white ice cream with a red swirl & garnished with blueberries + mint leaves.
Overhead view of a rectangular ceramic dish with white ice cream with a red swirl & garnished with blueberries + mint leaves.
Photo: KarpenkovDenis/iStock/Getty Images Plus

You know what’s not a particularly creative or original food writing topic for the middle of summer? Making the case for frozen desserts. You know who’s going to do it anyway? Me. For two reasons: 1) The heat zaps your brain a little bit, and sometimes groundbreaking material just isn’t in the cards. 2) The particular frozen dessert I want to talk about is so underappreciated that I basically have no choice.

Semifreddo — “half-cold” in Italian — is basically whipped cream mixed with beaten egg yolks and beaten egg whites and then frozen in a loaf pan. …


A state-fair classic is easy to make at home

A plate of a powdered sugar-dusted funnel cake, on a red-and-white gingham cloth.
A plate of a powdered sugar-dusted funnel cake, on a red-and-white gingham cloth.
Photo: BHOFack2/iStock/Getty Images Plus

This state-fair classic has to be one of the more joyful desserts out there, both in the cooking — you get to wildly swirl the batter into hot oil through a funnel — and in the eating — if you don’t wind up with powdered sugar all over your face, you’ve done something terribly wrong.

It’s also synonymous with summer, requires no hard-to-find or expensive ingredients, and is a spectacularly effective and easy way to entertain bored children for a few minutes. …


Here are two easy ways to make it yourself

Photo: Elena Pejchinova/Moment/Getty Images

Few things are more comforting than sweet and velvet-smooth pudding: Especially in the summertime, pudding pairs perfectly with whatever fresh fruit you can get your hands on.

Slice a strawberry over a ramekin of vanilla pudding, or layer in some vanilla wafer cookies for a parfait. Here are two ways to make a classic vanilla pudding — one egg-thickened, one starch-thickened. They’re nearly as easy as instant pudding, but with infinitely more flavor.

Pudding with a cooked egg-and-cream base is a custard. Gently cooked eggs lend a silken texture and rich, gentle flavor unmatched by anything else. There’s no real…


It’s berry season

Photo: Asab974/iStock/Getty Images Plus

You have a choice here: To make this treat, you can use packaged, unsweetened frozen fruit — or you can seek out Tristar strawberries, blueberries, melons, and other fruits that are showing up at farmers markets. If you’re buying fresh, consider picking up extra and freezing it for when you’re missing summer’s bounty later in the year. Either molds or paper cups and wooden sticks will work — anything in that 4- to 6-ounce range.

A few other notes: Based on the variations below the original recipe, I hope it’s obvious you can use any fruit you like here. …


His tour de force ‘Classic Home Desserts’ is as great as ever

Richard Sax. Photo courtesy of Joel Kanoff

A few summers ago in downtown Manhattan, I climbed several flights of stairs to the apartment of the pastry chef Meredith Kurtzman. She was selling off part of her vast cookbook collection and I wanted first pick; Kurtzman has good taste, and she is a fantastic cook. Her living room was lined with shelves groaning with cookbooks, from the celebrated to the obscure. I asked her, “If you could recommend just one, which would it be?”

She squinted at the titles and decisively reached for a thick tome with the authoritative name, Classic Home Desserts, by an author I had…


There’s a good chance your kids will like them, too

Photo: Aya Brackett

If you’ve got kids at home, you’re likely juggling between helping them with schoolwork and staying focused on your own responsibilities. So this may not be the time for bigger-than-bread projects, like dialing in your laminated dough skills or teaching yourself to make canelés.

These desserts are light lifts: They don’t take much time or concentration — and if your child wants to help, all the better. There’s the nostalgia factor, too, since many of them could fall under an unofficial Kid Canon of Desserts.

Did we miss one of your childhood favorites? …

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Food from every angle: From Medium x Mark Bittman

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