Inspired by Mrs. Donna M. Hayes | North Alabama State Fair, Alabama
Originally held on Blakeley Island, the Alabama State Fair (Greater Gulf State Fair) began as a fundraiser for the Junior Chamber of Commerce. The inaugural year featured a young Elvis Presley as the first performer, and brought in 60,000 people to the fair.
The magical land of Bucovina, in northern Moldavia, is well known for its outstanding dairy farms and produce. Thick, unctuous smântână and brânză, crème fraîche and curd cheese are used generously in many recipes. This cake is a happy marriage between dairy and another staple ingredient in the region: cornmeal (polenta). It is traditionally made in two versions: one savoury and one sweet, and some recipes add various amounts of flour, oil and bicarbonate of soda (baking soda). While it is common in Moldavia to mix cornmeal with flour, I have deliberately returned to a basic, gluten-free recipe here.
The joy of a crumpet lies in the little holes that cover the surface which, when toasted, hold the melted butter that is slathered over. Crumpets are not always something we consider making from scratch, but they’re incredibly easy and, as with most things,
so much better when homemade.
Made with a gingerbread-spiced dough tucked around a bright, tart fresh cranberry filling, this galette is an unexpected way to bring classic holiday flavors to life, like a pie-shaped mash-up between gingerbread cookies and cranberry sauce, in the best possible way. Just be sure to serve the galette slightly warm, with big scoops of cool vanilla ice cream. If you can’t find fresh cranberries, fresh blueberries make a good substitute; just reduce the sugar in the filling by ½ cup.
Using a combination of butter and oil in this one-bowl cake adds wonderful flavor and makes the texture extra moist, and it has become a favorite of ours as a sweet end to dinner on Rosh Hashanah. Be sure to use firm apples that will hold their shape while baking, such as Gala, Cortland, or Braeburn.
Frangipane is something I have always enjoyed: the intense almond flavour and very delicate texture is simply delicious. In this recipe I have added another texture, encasing the frangipane with crispy filo pastry, while a nutty base gives it a lovely crunch.
This is my favorite cake of all time. I love it when we have to judge this round on The Great British Bake Off! The perfect lemon drizzle has a light and airy sponge and a sharp, zesty crunchy topping. My version has quite an intense lemony flavor, but other than that it’s a total classic and I don’t think you should mess with those classics. The only thing to remember is to pour over the drizzle while the cake is still warm.
When I hear people say they don’t like buckwheat, I inevitably think, “That’s because you’ve never had my buckwheat pancake.” At Friends & Family, our baked buckwheat pancake is a fan favorite. We warn customers that their order will take up to 20 minutes, but the prospect of waiting doesn’t deter them. Thicker and more filling than a regular flapjack, one buckwheat pancake is enough for me. You could make these entirely with buckwheat flour, but I use some all-purpose flour for a more balanced flavor profile. The pancake is finished in the oven, which imparts a dreamy fluffiness and a crispy exterior. Starting the pancake on the stove allows for an evenly brown, crispy layer, while finishing it in the oven promotes the batter in the center to rise and gel into a light and airy pancake. Once you get the hang of this technique, it’s possible you won’t make pancakes any other way.
This set-it-and-forget-it dessert is easy to make, and a perfect surprise for friends. We like to eat these frozen banana pops on ice pop sticks, but if you don’t have any, you can just use your hands—it’ll be messier, but every bit as tasty. After you’ve dipped the bananas in their chocolate shell, feel free to get creative with the toppings and decorations. We love the combination of crushed pistachios and chopped freeze-dried strawberries, but anything that adds crunch and color would be up for the task!
Extra-juicy, extra-jammy strawberry shortcakes all done up with a splash of bourbon and buttery rye biscuits: Can you think of a better way to celebrate summer? Truth is, I didn’t grow up eating shortcakes, but now that I’m an adult, they are one of my favorite sweets. They’re always easy to throw together, but these are special. Instead of using just any ol’ biscuit recipe, I worked in some rye flour. The brightness of strawberries works so well with the heartier rye, and while the biscuits are still buttery and flaky, they really hold up against the superjuicy berries. That splash of bourbon ties everything together in a beautiful, warming way, though you can easily leave it out if you prefer. If you have strawberries on hand and don’t know what to do with them, you NEED to make these shortcakes. You just do. You can also swap out the strawberries for any other berry you love, or use a mix of all your favorites!