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Maida Heatter and the Half-Blood Prince

In the sixth Harry Potter book, the boy wizard uses a notebook in his potions class inscribed as being the property of someone called the half-blood prince. The formula instructions have been altered with hand-written notes, and Harry decides to follow them instead of the printed word. Harry succeeds and his classmates fail. What are [...]

I love the character a small amount of lusty, robust, black walnuts gives to these cupcakes. Black walnuts grow in the eastern United States and as far west as the eastern sections of Texas, Oklahoma, and South Dakota. The nuts have a very tough shell that's hard to crack, and unless you live near where [...]

Best Rhubarb Pie

We have two huge rhubarb plants in our garden, and in mid-late May when the bright red stalks are at their tenderest, I make this pie. Rhubarb pie fillings are often soft and runny. The rhubarb contains so much water, you either have to add too much thickener or coax the rhubarb to release its [...]

Rhubarb Walnut Muffins

These Rhubarb-Walnut Muffins are light-textured and easy to make. Fold together the liquid and dry ingredients, divide into standard-sized muffin cups, sprinkle with brown sugar, and bake about 18 minutes. The muffins dome up beautifully.

Fresh Pineapple Macadamia Crumb Cake

Quick! When you hear the word, “Hawaii,” what fruit pops into your mind instantly? Pineapple, right? For more than 100 years, pineapple was a major export of the Hawaiian Islands, but times have changed. To be sure, pineapple is still grown in the islands commercially, but on a much smaller, virtually local scale. When I’m [...]

Passion Fruit (Lilikoi) Chiffon Pie

I think I fell in love with passion fruit before I even tasted it. I say this because when I did finally eat some, mingled with papaya, I felt as if I were reliving a forgotten moment from the past: the tang, the seeds, the color, the absolutely unique flavor and aroma, all seemed like [...]

Chocolate Mousse Tart

Every so often I get a certain dessert idea into my head and start scribbling down possibilities on a piece of paper. No, I don’t run to my computer to type. I find that writing things down on paper takes longer and gives me enough of a window that specifics start to gel allowing the [...]

Double Boiler aka Bain Marie

Have you ever been confused by the term double boiler? Or its French equivalent, Bain-marie? According to cited references in Wikipedia, Bains-marie were originally used in alchemy as a way to heat substances slowly and gently. The name derives from medieval Latin balneum Mariae, literally Mary’s bath. And what’s its purpose in cooking and baking? [...]

Apple Pie with Kate McDermott

Duncan, Kate, and Robin. Duncan McDermott Graham (Kate’s son), Kate McDermott, and Robin Jacobs, the three musketeers of The Art of the Pie workshop. It’s rare that I get to take classes from a professional baker because I’m the one who usually gives the classes. All that changed recently when my wife, Dorothy, and I, [...]

Cornish Spamwich

Two stories today. One about the power of yeast and the other about a gift of food during World War II. Both come together in a sandwich. But first, something pretty to look at. When I first wrote about Cornish Splitters in 2011, I found them to be a quick and tasty yeast bread anyone [...]