In this takeoff on the campfire classic, Grace Parisi replaces crunchy graham crackers with buttery store-bought pound cake, sandwiched with marshmallow fluff and peanut butter and served alongside a cup of warm melted chocolate for dipping.
Southern red velvet cake is usually a tall layer cake, slathered with cream cheese icing and studded with pecans. In this deconstructed version, the cake is low (like a torte), the pecans are coated in caramel to make pecan praline and the cream cheese icing is transformed into cream cheese-flavored ice cream.
This extraordinarily rich and sweet dessert was the winner at the 1996 State Fair of Texas State pie competition, which Dean Fearing helped judge. "Out of 140 pies, this one was it," he says. "Her name was Bobby Lee; she never told me her last name."
With its delightful contrasts of warm spicy pudding and cold vanilla ice cream, this version of an American classic is the ultimate comfort dessert. Homey as it is, though, it looks elegant when served in stemmed bowls. While Indian pudding is frequently stodgy, our version is soft and light and altogether tempting.
Kristin Donnelly is devoted to her mother's one-bowl Bundt cake because of its clove and cinnamon spices and its simplicity. As an exchange student in France, she even paid top dollar for chocolate chips and applesauce at an American market to make it for her host family. Today she adds a kick of black pepper to the batter and serves each slice with a cool-sour dollop of crème fraîche.
When you slice into this delicious pie, don't be surprised by the gap between the filling and the top crust. This happens when a pie is baked at high heat because the crust sets before the fruit in the filling has cooked down.
Using a slightly tart apple, like a Granny Smith or Pink Lady, is key to this frozen-yogurt sundae; sautéing brings out the fruit's sweetness. The crispy, salty cheddar crisps that accompany the sundaes are as good with cocktails as they are with desserts.
Pastry Chef Sherry Yard loved strawberry shortcake as a kid, even though her mother made it with "plain old pound cake," she says. Since then, Yard has improved the recipe with a (formerly) secret trio of ingredients—high-quality white chocolate in the batter, crème fraîche and heavy cream in the icing—which make this all-American dessert especially rich and moist.