Blog Break

by Anh-Minh on October 30, 2015

buitoni1With the final issue of Anthology done—and shipped to subscribers and most stockists—Meg and I thought this would be a good time to take a brief break. Which means the blog will be a bit quiet over the next couple of weeks. It remains to be seen if we’ll really be able to stay away from this spot! (And we’ll probably still be sharing things on Twitter and Instagram.)

Since I’ll be hosting Thanksgiving for the first time this year, no doubt part of my break will be spent looking for recipes to try out with/for our house guests. I was browsing through Issue No. 11/Spring 2013 of Anthology—the theme of which was “Eat, Drink & Be Merry”—and thought I’d share one of my favorite spreads in the issue: A feature on Michele Platt and Francesco Buitoni’s upstate New York home and restaurant. (That fresh ricotta and chestnut honey bruschetta sounds so good!)

buitoni2 buitoni3 buitoni4 buitoni5 buitoni6 { Photographs by Susie Cushner | Styling by Raina Kattelson }


Recipe Roundup: Figs

by Kate on October 29, 2015

anthologymag-blog-food-reciperoundup-figs-1The weather has turned, the leaves are falling, the nights are getting longer. It’s definitely starting to feel very autumnal in our neck of the woods. Usually I’m so busy this time of year, I never take a moment to stop and look around and before I know it, fall is gone and so is the end of the year. I really want to make a concerted effort to slow down this fall, and savor the season, and I can’t think of a better way to bring me into the present than the sensory delights of fall foods.

These fig recipes are all so inventive; I wouldn’t think to pair figs with goat cheese and caramel, or as a topping for blackberry and pear cake, and I can’t wait to try both. I was struck by the beautiful presentation of these dishes, all piled high with fresh cut figs. It’s an added bonus that figs are extremely nutritious, and I wanted to highlight a few dairy-free and raw recipes as well for those looking to indulge in some healthy sweets. Enjoy, and happy fall!

{Image above: Fig Olive Oil Cake from The Jewels of New York}

anthologymag-blog-food-reciperoundup-figs-2{Blackberry Pear & Walnut Cake with Fig & Lemon Verbena Jam from Twigg Studios}

anthologymag-blog-food-reciperoundup-figs-3{Dairy-Free Salted Honey & Fig ‘Cheesecake’ from A House in the Hills}

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA{Raw Coconut Fig Slices from Secret Squirrel Food}

anthologymag-blog-food-reciperoundup-figs-5{Fig, Caramel, Goat Cheese & Walnut Tart from Tart Time}

anthologymag-blog-food-reciperoundup-figs-6{Little Honey Mascarpone Cakes With Figs & Pistachios from Twigg Studios}


Amazing Apple Pie

by Anh-Minh on October 23, 2015


Nine out of ten times, if there’s an apple pie on a restaurant’s dessert menu, I’m ordering it. I’m more of a pie than a cake person. And I have a feeling that I’m going to be giving Melina Hammer‘s latest recipe a try very soon—so I can practice and perfect this pie in time for the holidays. – Anh-Minh

It’s fall. My favorite time of year. I find it easy to fall in love with the nostalgia of time passing, and fall does it so well. The intensity of the season’s colors doesn’t hurt either.

I’m not sure about you, but there is much going on right now in my corner of the world. After almost three years in the deep south, I’m moving back north, next week. I’m also producing my first cookbook (stay tuned!). The gorgeous apples from this story were stowaways in my suitcase, from a backyard tree in Maine while I was on a lobster tour a few weeks ago. Worth it.

Reflecting on the passage of time, it’s been two whole years of me here, writing delicious recipes for you. Some favorites which come to mind … the bourbon mocha cake that was way over the top (and so perfect), done for Valentine’s Day a couple years ago. Then there was the amazing olive oil cake I did for last Valentine’s Day,  served with a blood orange and kumquat compote. Yes, this summer’s cold noodle salad was a huge hit—and for good reason. And winter’s Tuscan bean stew and quick cheesy breads have made themselves all-time winners.

Obviously I’m biased, but there has been a wealth of good eating these past two years together. And now I have an amazing apple pie to share. The shingled crust is a dazzling presentation, but you could make lattice or a regular double crust pie and it would be equally delightful. Either way, relish the cooler air and crisp apples gone all herb-spice brown-buttery in this preparation—an overall fantastic pie to sink your teeth into.

Rosemary-Brown Butter-Shingled Crust Apple Pie

for the filling

  • 3 lbs tart apples
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp lemon zest; choose organic, since you’ll eat the skin
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 scant tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup organic cane sugar
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp freshly grated cinnamon
  • 2 tsp minced fresh rosemary
  • 1/2 stick butter
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten, for brushing
  • demerara sugar, to sprinkle

for the dough

{ Adapted from Melissa and Emily Elsen of Four & Twenty Blackbirds }

  • 3 3/4 cups organic all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2  tsp kosher salt
  • 1 1/2  tsp organic cane sugar
  • 12 oz freezer-cold cubed butter
  • 3/4 cup cider vinegar
  • 3/4 cup ice water

I used to process my flour and butter in a food processor for ease. Feel free to do it that way if you are tight on time. Now, I make the extra time to cut the butter into the flour by hand. It’s not much longer really, and for the result, it’s totally worth it. Plus, I feel like I get to build my desire for the pie more while I work to incorporate the dough.

Make the dough: Stir dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Add butter and cut in using a pastry blender, scraping its edge with a knife occasionally to free any clumps that form. Keep at it until you are left with pea-sized bits of butter in the mix. Be careful not to overwork the dough. A few larger butter clumps are okay.

Pour water and vinegar together and add an ice cube or two. Drizzle a little at a time over the flour mixture and cut in. It will appear shaggy as it becomes more moist, and as you keep cutting it together, the dough will form. Pinch the dough with your thumb and index finger to see if it holds together. If it’s crumbly, it isn’t ready. Drizzle another tablespoon or so of the cider liquid and cut in again. Once the dough has formed, empty out into three equal portions on three pieces of cellophane.

Press opposing ends of the cellophane together to form the dough into a ball. Wrap securely and flatten dough into a disk. Repeat with remaining two dough piles, then refrigerate for at least 20 minutes to let them mellow.

Make the filling: Peel, core, and cut apples into wedges. Squeeze lemon juice to coat in a large bowl, mixing the juice and apple slices together to prevent from browning. Add zest, flour, salt, sugars, nutmeg, cinnamon, and rosemary, and stir to combine. Set aside while you make the brown butter.

In a light-colored sauté pan—so you can monitor the change in color as it browns—melt butter over medium heat. Let it foam and give it a swirl every so often to ensure it is cooking evenly. The process should take about 7 minutes; pay attention to the milk solids which settle at the base of the pan as you don’t want them to get burnt. Once you smell the nutty aroma and the butter has turned caramel-ly, remove pan from heat. Pour brown butter and solids over the apple mixture and stir together to combine. If the milk solids are burnt, you may choose not to add them. Once cool enough to taste, try a little bit and see if you like the flavor, and then decide. Refrigerate at least 4 hours, up to overnight.

Roll the dough: For the bottom crust, roll out one disk of dough to about 1/8-inch thick, between pieces of lightly floured parchment. Peel away one sheet of parchment, drape dough into an 8-inch diameter pie plate using the second sheet of parchment to transfer the dough, then peel it away. Trim edge flush with pie plate, save scraps to re-roll, and chill. You can do this a day in advance.

Roll out the other two disks to 1/8-inch thick using the same method with parchment. Transfer dough on parchment to baking sheets and chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes (or freezer for 10).

Working with one segment of dough at a time, use a flour-dusted cookie cutter to cut shapes. Gather scraps to re-roll as needed, and refrigerate cutouts on a baking sheet as you go. If at any time the shapes start to stretch or you don’t get a clean cutout, refrigerate the dough.

You’ll need at least 32 cutouts—depending on the size of your cookie cutter—for the shingled crust. Keep cutouts refrigerated until time to use. This can also be done a day in advance.

Drain sugar-butter mixture from apples into a saucepan and reduce by half. Add reduced syrup back to the apple mixture and stir to combine. Reducing the liquid will create a sumptuous pie, rather than a watery one.

Preheat oven to 400°F. Fill pie shell with syrup-spice-apple mixture, slightly mounding the fruit at the center. Lightly brush pie edge with water. Lightly brush water on back of shapes, as you go. Start at outside edge, layering dough shapes like shingles, lightly brushing their reverse sides and pressing gently to seal them together.

Once you have made one ring of shingles, layer a second ring in the same fashion. Continue until only a small opening remains at the top.  Brush beaten egg over the surface of the dough and scatter demerara sugar to coat. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, up to 3 hours. The colder your pastry, the more assurance you have that it will stay put once met with the heat of the oven!

Bake on a parchment-lined baking sheet for 15 minutes at 400°F, just so crust begins to brown. Lower heat to 350°F and continue baking until crust is golden all over and juices bubble, about 55 minutes more.

Cool completely on a wire rack and serve with crème fraîche or ice cream. Pie will keep for 2 days unrefrigerated, wrapped in foil, and up to 1 1/2 weeks in the refrigerator in a container with a tight-fitting lid.

applepie01 applepie02 applepie03 applepie04 applepie05 applepie06 applepie07 applepie08 applepie09 applepie10 applepie11 applepie12

{ Recipe and Photography by Melina Hammer for Anthology Magazine }


S’mores Custard Cake

by Kate on October 15, 2015

anthologymag-blog-food-smores-custard-cake-1When fall arrives, I immediately turn to cozy food and drinks; it’s a reflex. Ciders, s’mores, hot cocoa … these are the sweets that sing of autumn to me. I spotted this S’mores Custard Cake recipe from Hint of Vanilla the other day, and thought it was an elegant, clever twist on an old classic.

What I love most about this elegant s’mores spin-off, besides its beautiful presentation, is that you still get plenty of pillowy, toasted marshmallow on top. Seeing that yesterday was National Dessert Day (not to mention National Cake Day, which is coming up on November 26th), it seemed only fitting to share a delectable dessert worthy of the changing season. Click here to view the full recipe.

anthologymag-blog-food-smores-custard-cake-2anthologymag-blog-food-smores-custard-cake-3anthologymag-blog-food-smores-custard-cake-4{ Images and recipe via Hint of Vanilla }



by Kate on October 2, 2015

anthologymag-blog-food-croquembouche-1Even though I like to treat cooking and baking as a labor of love as often as I can, rarely do I make fancy dishes or even consider the presentation of the meal. There was something about this croquembouche, beautifully displayed and adorned with flowers, that stopped me in my tracks. It has since inspired me to put in the time to make a special, celebratory dish from time to time—for no reason in particular except to enjoy the process.

Croquembouche is a traditional French treat made of puff pastry balls and a coating of spun sugar or caramel, and is usually served at weddings and other special ceremonies. This recipe is much more practical for everyday consumption; each of the three ball recipes can be made vegan and are chock full of healthy ingredients: cashews, strawberries, sweet potato, honey, and shredded coconut, to name a few. I hope you’ll join me in trying out this fun take on the fancy French delicacy. To check out the full recipe, click here.

anthologymag-blog-food-croquembouche-2anthologymag-blog-food-croquembouche-3anthologymag-blog-food-croquembouche-4anthologymag-blog-food-croquembouche-5{ All images an recipe from Not Quite Nigella }