Italian Whole-Wheat Walnut-Raisin Bread


With the close of the California grape harvest comes the fresh crop of dried grapes.  Picked from the end of August until late September in Arizona and California, the fall crop of Thampson seedless and red Flame seedless are ready…

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Clafoutis Flan


One of the latest Four Seasons opened a few years ago in Carlsbad, California, just north of San Diego.  The executive chef of the Four Seasons Resort Aviara, Pascal Vignau, is a native of France.  His pastry department’s version of…

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A Peach of A Cobbler

Good summer desserts should be able to be made with little fuss: a pile of fragrant, ripe fresh fruit and a few staples from the everyday pantry. After eating your fill out of hand, a lightly sweetened stewed fruit filling can be topped with a roughly-shaped layer of biscuit dough and made into a homey cobbler.

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Three Babes Bakeshop Apple Crumble Mini Pies

Makes 6

INGREDIENTS

Pie Crust
¼ pound plus 1 tablespoon butter, plus about 2 tablespoons for greasing muffin tin
⅓ cup ice water
1½ teaspoons vinegar
1½ teaspoons granulated sugar
½ teaspoon fine salt
1½ cups all-purpose flour
Crumble Topping
1 cup rolled oats
½ cup all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons…

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Fresh Strawberry Pie


This is my baking mentor Barbara Hiken’s mother’s recipe for fresh strawberry pie. We used to make the pie at the restaurant and people loved its homey goodness. It is not too sweet, the berries carry the flavor, and it…

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Old-Fashioned Strawberry Shortcake



Don’t mess with my strawberry shortcake. I like it traditional. Genuine fruit shortcakes are an American summer passion.  It is the balance of sweet, juicy fruit, fluffy whipped creams, and crumby, rich biscuits that make them irresistible.  This version is…

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Culinary Traveler: Valley of Fruit

I’ve been feeling nostalgic lately, which happened in a flash last week when I drove south on El Camino Real, passing the land that used to be Olson’s cherry orchards. The aging cherry trees have been pulled out to make way for more shopping centers and apartments, which is also the fate for Brentwood, west of Stockton, where much of our California fruit has been coming from in the last decade.

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Luscious Fruit Curds

portrait of citrus courtesy of bon appetit
Lemon Curd is a thick, soft and velvety creamy custard made from fresh fruit juice that has a wonderful tart yet sweet citrus flavor and thick smooth texture. It is almost like the…

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Fruit Crisps A to Z (Apple to Zucchini)-Spring

A glass, porcelain, or ceramic baking dish will bake the best, slow and steady, and make a nice presentation at the table.  I stay away from metal pans for fruit desserts since the fruit is acid and they don’t look very…

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Microwave Fresh Strawberry Jam-Summer’s Treat

Strawberry jam is certainly one of the all-time favorite homemade jams. Exceptional, chunky, fresh-fruit jams are easily made within half an hour utilizing the microwave oven. Homemade jams are less sweet than commercial jams and much more exciting in flavor, texture, and color.

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