Category Archives: How-To’s and Tips

What are the Best Apples for Caramel Apples?

Delicious caramel apple

Caramel apples have always been a fall classic, combining the crisp and juicy texture of apples with sticky, sweet caramel for a wonderful treat. As a kid, I could always count on a neighbor or two to have some caramel apples available at Halloween (usually to give to the families they knew, reserving wrapped candies for other trick-or-treaters). These days, I either have to make ... Read More »

How to patch pie dough

Unbaked pie crust

The dough for pie crusts isn’t difficult to make, but it can be tricky to perfect. The idea crust will come from a dough that has visible chunks of butter (or of shortening) still in it after cutting in the fat. These fat deposits are what make pie dough extra tender (from shortening) or flaky (from butter) during baking. When the dough is rolled out ... Read More »

How to pour honey and other sticky things

Pouring honey

Honey, molasses, maple syrup, agave syrup and other similarly thick, sticky and sweet liquids can be great to bake with. They all add moisture and lots of subtle flavors to a baked good, moreso than you can get with sugar alone. Unfortunately, they’re not all that easy to work with because it’s hard to measure them – or more accurately, it’s hard to get the ... Read More »

How to peel fruit

peeling an apple

There are many types of fruit and sometimes it seems like there are almost as many ways to peel them. Bananas, oranges and grapefruits, for instance, are all very self-explanatory fruits that require little more than a tug at the skin to remove it. Other fruits pose more of a challenge. If you’re just going to eat a piece of fruit, the skin might not ... Read More »

What is cream of tartar?

cream of tartar

Cream of tartar, more technically known as potassium hydrogen tartrate, is a fine white powder with many culinary applications. It is a byproduct of the winemaking process as the powder forms inside wine barrels during fermentation. It comes from tartaric acid, a naturally occurring substance in grapes and some other tart fruits that in the principle acid in winemaking. It helps to help control the ... Read More »

How to line a springform pan

a springform pan

Springform pans are a unique type of bakeware. Round and high-sided, the pans do not have fixed sides. Instead, they have an adjustable ring that forms the sides of a cake or torte and fits onto a bottom plate with the aid of a spring or clamp. The advantage of this type of pan is that a delicate baked good can be removed from the ... Read More »

How to make an ice cream cake

Ice cream cake, freshly sliced

Ice cream cakes, like graham crackers and puff pastry, are not something that most people thing about making. They’re something that most people think about buying, and when they do run down to the local ice cream shop (whether it’s a chain, a grocery store or a familly-owned place), they’re buying the cakes for the look of the overall dessert and the taste of the ... Read More »

What is browned butter?

melting butter

Browned butter is pretty much what it sounds like: butter that has been cooked until it is brown. The slightly more formal name for this is “beurre noisette,” or hazelnut butter – a double reference to the light brown color of the cooked butter and the lovely nutty flavor that it acquires during the cooking process. If you’ve ever cooked with butter, using it to ... Read More »

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