Makes 24-26 doughnuts (I used a 2¼” round cutter)
1 1/4 cups buttermilk
1 cup mashed, oven roasted sweet potato, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 cups self-rising soft-wheat flour (I used King Arthur unbleached Self-Rising Flour)
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks), cut into 1/2-inch cubes and chilled
In a medium bowl, stir together the buttermilk, mashed sweet potato, and vanilla. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. Cut butter into flour mixture with a pastry blender until it is crumbly and resembles small peas. (Alternatively, place the dry ingredients in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the blade attachment. Add the butter cubes and pulse until mixture is crumbly. Transfer the butter/flour mixture to a large bowl.) Add the buttermilk/sweet potatoes to the butter/flour mixture, folding the mixture together using a rubber spatula, just until the dry ingredients are moistened and the mixture comes together. Turn the mixture out onto a lightly floured surface. Use your hands to pat the dough into a rough square, about ½” thick. Fold the dough in half, then fold in half twice more. Pat the dough into a ¾” thickness. Cut circles using a flour dusted biscuit cutter, cutting straight down through the dough, without twisting the cutter. Place the biscuits on a parchment lined baking sheet. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
In a medium bowl, whisk together ½ cup granulated sugar and ½ teaspoon cinnamon.
When ready to fry the doughnuts, fill a heavy bottomed pot with 2 inches of vegetable oil. Heat until the temperature reaches 360 degrees F on a candy thermometer. Place 4-5 doughnuts at a time into the hot oil, being careful to maintain the temperature. Fry for 3-4 minutes per side, until the doughnuts are deeply golden. (It’s a good idea to carefully remove one of the doughnuts with a slotted spoon and slice it open to make sure the center is well fried and not doughy.)
Drain on paper towels, blotting off excess oil, and toss in cinnamon sugar. Using a pastry bag or a squeeze bottle, fill each doughnut with blueberry filling.
makes one 8” or 9” tart (use a fluted tart pan with a removable bottom)
For the crust-
1¼ cups white whole wheat flour
½ teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon cloves
¼ teaspoon salt
grated zest of 1 lemon
1 cup almonds, toasted, cooled, pulsed in food processor until fine
8 oz. unsalted butter (2 sticks)
1 cup sugar
2 eggs, room temperature
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, spices, salt, lemon zest, and almonds.
In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the butter and sugar, beating on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, beating to combine, scraping down the bottom and sides of the bowl. With the mixer on low, add the flour/spice mixture, mixing just to combine. Divide the dough into two portions, one twice as large as the other (the larger portion will be the bottom, the smaller portion will be cut into lattice strips.) Shape each portion of dough into a disc, flatten them, and wrap each in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least one hour before rolling out. Remove the larger portion of dough from the refrigerator, unwrap it and place it on a lightly floured sheet of parchment paper. Roll the disc into a circle about 12” inches in diameter; flip the parchment over the tart pan, remove the parchment paper and smooth the dough along the bottom and up the sides of the pan. Trim the edges to remove the excess. Refrigerate the tart pan. Retrieve the top portion of dough, roll it out on a lightly floured sheet of parchment to match the diameter of the tart pan. Cut the dough into ½” strips. Refrigerate.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Fill the tart pan with 1½ cups of good quality jam or homemade blueberry filling.
Retrieve the lattice strips from the refrigerator; lay half of the strips parallel to one another across the tart, spacing them about ½ inch apart. Lay the remaining strips slightly perpendicular to the first strips, gently weaving them over and under the first strips. If the dough breaks, press the broken edges back together. Press the ends of each strip onto the edge of the bottom crust. Refrigerate the tart for 15 minutes before baking to help the lattice stay in place.
Place the tart on a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake on the bottom rack of the oven for 25 minutes, then move the baking sheet to the middle rack and continue baking for an additional 20 minutes, or just until the pastry is golden and the jam is bubbling through the lattice. Let cool completely on a rack, then remove the sides of the tart pan. Dust the edges of the tart with powdered sugar just before serving.
Blueberries are available year round, in many locales. While it is best to use fresh berries in the filling, you can use frozen berries or a combination of the two. Frozen berries will yield a syrupy, sauce-like compote that you will need to strain through a fine mesh strainer, then add back just enough liquid to create a jammy filling. There are any number of high-quality jams available that are perfectly agreeable in tarts, cookies, or as a topping on blintzes. The best scenario, however, is to receive a gorgeous jar of blueberry jam from a friend. Thank you, Frances.
Blueberry filling/topping: Makes 2 cups
3 cups blueberries (preferably fresh; if using frozen, thaw briefly on paper towels to remove excess ice)
½ cup granulated sugar (if they are terribly tart, add an additional tablespoon or two of sugar)
1 teaspoon lemon juice
2 teaspoons lemon zest
2 teaspoons cornstarch
½ teaspoon vanilla extract (I use Jones and Company)
Place 2 cups of blueberries in a heavy bottomed, medium saucepan. Add sugar, lemon juice, lemon zest, and cornstarch, tossing with a rubber spatula to coat the berries. Simmer the mixture over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the liquid thickens and the berries begin to burst, about 10-15 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the remaining 1 cup of blueberries. Cook an additional 5 minutes, until the liquid reduces. (The filling should register 228 degrees F on a candy thermometer.) Strain excess liquid. The mixture will thicken as it cools. (Save the excess liquid in case you want to thin down the berry mixture a bit.) Add vanilla extract to the berries. Cool completely before using. If not using right away, cool, place in a clean glass jar, cover and refrigerate. The filling (and extra syrup that you poured off) will keep refrigerated for up to one week.
Hazelnut Crumb Crust
(feel free to substitute walnuts or pecans for the hazelnuts, graham crackers for the vanilla cookie crumbs)
makes a 9" crust (use a standard size, not deep dish pie plate)
1⅓ cups vanilla wafer crumbs
⅔ cup hazelnuts, toasted and skins removed, coarsely chopped
4 teaspoons sugar
generous pinch of salt
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon cardamom
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
In the bowl of a food processor fitted with a blade attachment, process the cookies, hazelnuts, sugar, salt, spices and melted butter until you have medium crumbs; do not over process. You can always give it an extra pulse or two if you want a finer crumb. Lightly butter your pie plate and then use your fingers to press the mixture into the bottom of the pie plate and up the sides. I like to use a small ¼ cup measuring cup to smooth and distribute the crumbs evenly. Chill the crust for 15 minutes before baking. Bake in a pre-heated 350 degree oven for 8 minutes, just until set. Cool completely before filling.
Cornflake/Peanut Butter Crust
3 cups cornflakes, processed in food processor until consistency of medium-fine crumbs
2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
¼ cup creamy peanut butter, room temperature
Lightly butter a 9” pie plate. In a large bowl, combine cornflake crumbs, brown sugar, salt, butter and peanut butter. Mix thoroughly; if it doesn’t hold together when you pinch a bit between your fingers, add an additional tablespoon or two of cornflake crumbs. If it feels too dry, add the slightest bit of additional melted butter. Press the crumb mixture along the bottom and up the sides of a 9” pie plate. Chill for 15 minutes. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Bake the pie crust for 8 minutes. Remove to a rack to cool
No-Bake Sweet and Salty Crust
1 cup salted pretzels
1 cup walnuts
½ cup dark brown sugar
¼ teaspoon salt (I used Stumptown Coffee Flake Salt)
2-3 oz. butter, melted
In the bowl of a food processor fitted with the blade attachment, pulse the pretzels until finely crumbled. Add the walnuts, brown sugar and salt. Pulse a few times until combined. Add between 2 and 3 oz. of butter until the mixture holds together. Transfer the mixture to a lightly buttered 9” pie plate. Use your fingers to press the crust evenly in the bottom and up the sides of the pie plate. Place in the freezer for 15 minutes.
Whiskey Fudge Sauce- (from Maida Heatter)
(This is excellent served with ripe pears)
½ cup heavy cream
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
⅓ cup granulated sugar
⅓ cup dark brown sugar
generous pinch of salt
½ cup Dutch-process cocoa powder, put through a fine mesh strainer
2-3 tablespoons whiskey or bourbon
Place the heavy cream and butter in a heavy bottomed saucepan. Cook over medium heat until the cream just begins to boil. Reduce the heat to low, add the sugars and the salt, stirring to dissolve, then add the cocoa. Whisk until smooth then remove from the heat.
Pumpkin Caramel Sauce with Cognac
(Crystallized candied ginger is the perfect garnish to this sauce)
1 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup heavy cream or half and half
4 tablespoons butter, room temperature
2 tablespoons canned pumpkin (save the rest in a plastic container, refrigerated)
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons cognac
Place the brown sugar, heavy cream, butter, pumpkin, and spices in a heavy bottomed saucepan. Cook over medium heat until the sugar dissolves, then reduce heat to low and cook an additional 7 minutes; the sauce should thicken slightly. Remove from the heat, stir in the cognac . Cool the sauce then transfer to a glass jar. Refrigerate any leftovers.
makes one 9” pie
For the crust-
1 cup white-whole wheat flour (I use King Arthur)
¾ cup old-fashioned oats
2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
½ cup (4 oz.) cold, unsalted butter cut into cubes
2 tablespoons cold apple cider
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, oats, brown sugar, salt, cinnamon, and cardamom. Use your fingertips to incorporate the butter cubes with the dry ingredients making sure it is well combined but there are still some larger pieces of butter in the mix. Drizzle in the cold apple cider and use a fork or your fingers to incorporate it into the crust. Loosely gather the mixture together (without packing it tightly) and cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Refrigerate the crust mixture for 15 minutes. Lightly butter a 9” glass Pyrex pie plate. Retrieve the crust mixture from the fridge and sprinkle it evenly over the bottom of the pie plate (it should be about ¼” thick) and then use your fingers to evenly pat the remaining crust mixture up the sides of the plate. Refrigerate the pie crust for 10 minutes. Place the pie plate on a baking sheet and bake on the middle shelf of the preheated 375 degree F oven for 8 minutes. Carefully remove the baking sheet from the oven and set it down on a heatproof surface. Use a ¼-cup measuring cup to gently press the crust down. Return the baking sheet with the pie plate to the oven and bake an additional 6-8 minutes, just until golden. Set aside to cool on a rack while you prepare the topping and the filling.
For the crumb topping-
¼ cup dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
¾ cup old-fashioned oats
⅓ cup white/whole wheat flour
½ teaspoon kosher salt
⅛ teaspoon cinnamon
⅛ teaspoon cardamom
¼ cup (2 oz.) cold, unsalted butter, cut into ½ “ pieces
¼ cup walnuts, almonds, or pecans, coarsely chopped
In a large bowl, stir together the brown and granulated sugar, the oats, flour, salt, cinnamon, and cardamom. Add the butter pieces, tossing them to coat with the crumb mixture until the butter is incorporated with small pieces of butter still visible. Stir in the nut pieces. Place the topping mixture in the refrigerator for 15 minutes.
For the filling-
2-3 baking apples (about one pound) peeled, cored, sliced thin (choose apples that are flavorful and hold their shape; I used Macoun and Honeycrisp)
2-3 firm but ripe pears, peeled, cored, sliced thin (I used Bosc and Anjou)
1 cup assorted fresh or frozen berries (raspberries, strawberries and/or blueberries)
(Note: You should have 5 cups of fruit, total)
zest and 1 tablespoon of juice from one small lemon ¼ cup dark brown sugar
1-2 tablespoons good quality maple syrup (depending on sweetness of fruit)
½ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon cardamom
2 tablespoons cornstarch
Place the fruit in a large bowl and toss with the zest and lemon juice. In a medium bowl, whisk together the sugar, maple syrup, cinnamon, cardamom, and cornstarch. Add the sugar/spice mixture to the fruit, turning to combine with a rubber spatula.
Scrape the mixture into the cooled pie shell. Retrieve the crumb topping from the fridge and sprinkle it evenly over the fruit. Place the pie on a baking sheet and bake on the middle rack of the 375 degree F oven for 30 minutes. Cover the top of the pie with parchment paper (to prevent over browning) and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes. The fruit should bubble around the edges and the crumb topping should be golden. Set aside to cool before slicing. Serve with plain, unsweetened yogurt and a drizzle of maple syrup, if you wish.