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Banana Pudding Paletas
For this dreamy treat, pastry chef Paola Valez takes all the components you love about classic banana pudding—complete with vanilla wafers—and turns them into creamy paletas. With nutty browned butter, bits of banana, and crushed vanilla wafers held together by pudding, this refreshing dessert will keep you coming back for more. If you don't have ice pop molds, freeze the banana mixture in a pint container and scoop it into bowls just as you would ice cream. For a grown-up version, add a splash of bourbon.
Raspberry-Hibiscus Sorbet
The two main ingredients in sorbet are fruit and sugar—there's no dairy in sight. (In fact, the thing that differentiates a sorbet from a sherbet is that sherbet contains milk or cream.) This sorbet by chef and ice cream maker Fany Gerson has a creamy texture thanks to the addition of corn syrup or honey, which increases the sugar content and helps make the final product richer, less icy, and more scoopable. Bright and airy, with the perfect balance of creamy and tart from the raspberries, this sorbet makes for a great palate cleanser. With just the right amount of a floral hit from the hibiscus, this is a super-refreshing summertime treat.
Peach Ice Cream with Caramel-Bourbon Swirl
Tart, buttery, and sweet, the caramel-bourbon swirl here comes through in the best of ways, balancing the rich notes of the crème fraîche in this silky, swirled ice cream. Fresh, ripe peaches add a great bit of texture in every bite. American-style ice creams are eggless (unlike French-style ice creams, which contain eggs yolks) and usually made with a combination of milk and cream, sometimes containing cornstarch as a thickener. For this recipe, chef and ice cream maker Fany Gerson's version uses cream (no milk) and crème fraîche or sour cream to balance out the flavors and add creaminess to the fluffy texture.
Roasted Strawberry-Vanilla Ice Cream
This sweet, tart, and creamy confection is a beautiful homage to strawberries and cream. It's a French-style ice cream, adding egg yolks to cream and milk to form a custard base, giving rise to a thick, silky ice cream. According to chef and ice cream maker Fany Gerson, the key to French-style ice cream is making a base so good you could eat it without freezing it. In this recipe, Gerson wanted to celebrate the flavors she grew up eating. "My mom would take strawberries and put a little Mexican crema and sugar on top, and that became dessert," she recalls. "For this ice cream, roasting the strawberries gives a new dimension to the fruit."
Pistachio Stracciatella Gelato
Gelato is denser than ice cream, thanks in part to the larger amount of milk versus cream and the slower rate at which it's typically churned. The slower churning pace incorporates less air, yielding a texture that's less fluffy, and the lower percentage of fat makes the flavors taste more intense. "Stracciatella was always my go-to flavor," says chef and ice cream maker Fany Gerson. "In this recipe, I love putting that classic Italian flavor with another traditional Italian ingredient: pistachio. It just works." When the melted chocolate is added at the end of churning, it hardens right away, creating crunchy bits throughout the mixture for a fun take on two classic Italian flavors.
Vegan Chocolate-Chipotle Ice Cream
This recipe is 100% vegan, but you would never know it: It's rich and decadent, like frozen ganache, with a bit of smoky tang from the chipotles. Nondairy ice cream is typically made with alternative milks or nondairy yogurt to achieve the creaminess of regular ice cream. Chef and ice cream maker Fany Gerson opts for a combination of both, calling for unsweetened oat milk or rice milk as well as coconut yogurt. "I don't love chocolate ice cream, but it's my husband's favorite, though he would never order a sorbet," she says. "So the challenge here was to make a chocolaty vegan ice cream that isn't a sorbet, has the creaminess of ice cream, and would appeal to both of us. The finished product is as creamy as it gets for being made without dairy, and the flavor combination of chocolate and chipotle, which is smoky and a bit hot, adds personality."
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Guava and Cheese Pasteles
Pastry chef Paola Velez uses homemade puff pastry to make these sweet, tangy pastries—which you may also find called pastelitos, pastelillos, or turnovers—stuffed with cream cheese and guava paste, a classic flavor pairing. Making the pastry does take some time but it's a straightforward process and well-worth it (and you can use store-bought puff pastry instead if you'd like). The resulting pasteles are creamy and crispy, buttery, and perfectly delicious.
Ham and Cheese Danish

This buttery ham and cheese pastry was inspired by one of the most popular offerings at Chicago's Kasama, Genie Kwon and Tim Flores' bakery by day and fine dining restaurant at night. The flaky pastry balances sweet and savory flavors from the nutty Gruyère cheese sauce, salty ham, and crunchy turbinado sugar. It's lovely as a brunch offering, or serve it with Champagne for a party. At Kasama, they finish it off with a drizzle of black pepper caramel, but to make this at home, warm honey seasoned with black pepper creates a similar effect.