Five-Ingredient Lemon Croissant Bread Pudding

lemon croissant bread pudding

Five-ingredient recipes can be a lifesaver when you want a simple treat. When you keep the shopping list this short, each ingredient really has to hold its own. We used flaky pastry as the base of this croissant bread pudding to create an impressive dessert (or breakfast) that will make it seem like you spent hours in the kitchen.

The key to good bread pudding is starting with stale bread (or croissants). The slightly dry pastry does a better job of absorbing flavor and moisture from the custard. This croissant bread pudding is a great way to use up day-old pastry leftover from breakfast.

preparing croissants

To start, all you do is cut your croissants into pieces like the ones you see above. You can also just pull them apart if you don’t want to deal with a cutting board.

In order to give your bread pudding a little bit of a twist, add some lemon juice and lemon zest to the custard mixture of eggs, cream, and brown sugar.

preparing croissant bread pudding

Pour that over your baking dish full of croissant pieces, let the custard mixture sink into the croissants for half an hour, and put the whole thing into the oven. The croissants will puff up and brown on top.

Lemon Croissant Bread Pudding

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups half-and-half
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 4 croissants (stale if possible – stale bread always works better for bread pudding)
  • 1 lemon

Preheat the oven to 325°F.

Cut or break the croissants into medium-sized pieces and place into an approximately 10-by-7-inch baking dish.

Using a peeler, take the skin off the lemon and mince the zest. Cut the lemon into quarters.

Whisk the eggs, half-and-half, light brown sugar, lemon zest and the juice from 2 lemon wedges (or all 4, if you’d like it to be more lemony), until thoroughly combined.

Add the egg mixture to the baking dish. Let this mixture soak for at least 10 minutes or up to 30 minutes.

finished croissant bread pudding

Bake the pudding for 1 hour or until the middle is set. Remove and let cool and completely set for about 20 minutes. Serve your croissant bread pudding plain, with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, or with a dollop of whipped cream.

For more five-ingredient recipe ideas, try these easy brownies.

Five-Ingredient Chocolate Truffles

5 ingredient chocolate truffles

Looking for a simple dessert that’s also decadent and fancy? Try our five-ingredient chocolate truffles.

We love brownies, but when you’re looking for an elevated dessert, chocolate truffles are the perfect treat. They’re rich, bite-sized, and easy to make. Their rich chocolate flavor is an ideal way to cap off a delicious meal. Best of all? You only need 5 ingredients to make them at home.

Truffles | Blue Apron

The core of a good truffle is just chocolate and cream. Because so few ingredients are needed, you should make sure that the ones you have are really good. Pick up the hunk of gourmet chocolate you usually bypass at the store. This is the moment for it.

Truffles | Blue Apron
shaping chocolate truffles

This recipe specifies grabbing two different kinds of cocoa powder. If you can’t find ones that are explicitly labeled “dark,” then just look for two different brands. The idea here is to create a little bit of variety in tone.

Truffles | Blue Apron

By the time you’ve finished rolling each ball of chocolate in cocoa powder—of whatever shade—your hands will be covered in chocolate, but you’ll also have a plate of wildly delicious chocolate truffles.

five-ingredient chocolate truffles

Serve these five-ingredient chocolate truffles at a holiday party, or pack them up in individual cellophane bags for gifting.

Read on for the full recipe!

Continue reading “Five-Ingredient Chocolate Truffles”

Make Marshmallow Popcorn Balls

marshmallow popcorn balls

This Halloween, try a handheld dessert that’s perfect for kids and adults. We’re stocking our Halloween parties with homemade marshmallow popcorn balls. Think them as a more sophisticated way to do candy corn. We dressed our treats up with a chocolate drizzle, but feel free to experiment. Dip them in sprinkles or throw a few candy corn in while the mixture is cooling. 

shape marshmallow popcorn balls

Get the whole family in on the fun of shaping the marshmallow popcorn mixture into balls. Be sure to grease your hands with vegetable oil or butter first. If you don’t, things could get a little sticky!

Marshmallow Popcorn Ball Recipe 

Cook Time: 15 to 25 minutes

Makes 12 to 15 popcorn balls

  • 12 cups popped popcorn* 
  • 3 Tbsp butter
  • 2 Tbsps honey
  • 1 10-oz bag mini marshmallows
  • ½ teaspoon salt (optional, see tip below)**
  • Chocolate drizzle (optional, see subrecipe)

Pop the popcorn:

Pop the popcorn according to package directions. Transfer the popped popcorn to a large bowl, sifting through to remove any unpopped kernels. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper and set aside. 

Melt the marshmallows:

In a medium pot, heat the butter on medium until melted. Add the honey and marshmallows and, if using, salt. Cook, stirring constantly, 3 to 5 minutes, or until the marshmallows have all melted and thoroughly combined. 

Form the popcorn balls & serve your dish:

Pour the melted marshmallows over the popcorn and stir gently to coat without crushing the popcorn. Let cool slightly*** and grease your hands. Working quickly, use your hands to shape the coated popcorn into 2- to 3-inch balls. Place on the parchment-lined sheet pan. Let stand until cool. If desired, once all of the balls have been formed, drizzle with chocolate. Let stand until set. Serve immediately or store in an airtight container for up to 2 days. Enjoy!

Chocolate Drizzle: Place about ⅓ of a cup of chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl. Add 1 tablespoon of water. Working in 30 second increments, microwave on high, stirring in between, until melted and smooth. Use a spoon to drizzle the melted chocolate over the formed popcorn balls. 


*Chef Tip: You can pop the popcorn on the stovetop or you can use a microwave bag of popcorn. 12 cups is about 1 bag of microwave popcorn. If you get microwave popcorn, avoid flavored popcorn and keep it simple with plain or lightly salted. 

**Chef Tip: I used lightly salted popcorn to get the salty-sweet flavor. If your popcorn is already salted, you do not need the additional salt. If you’re using plain popcorn, add this salt. 

***Chef Tip: The marshmallow mixture will start to set quickly, so as soon as the popcorn is cool enough to handle, quickly form the popcorn balls.

Can’t get enough dessert? Try making a candy cake with your leftover Halloween goodies.

An Easy (and Spooky!) Halloween Dessert

This recipe by Claire King was the winner of our ~spooky~ Halloween dessert contest on Instagram

Cook time: 30 minutes to prepare, decorating can take as long as you like! 

Serves 10-12

We’re a huge fan of easy dessertsbrownies and blondies alike. There’s no shortage of sweets around Halloween, but if you’re looking for something shareable (not just individually wrapped mini candy bars) it’s best to start baking. Chef Claire King has the easy Halloween dessert idea you’re looking for.  Save time by using brownie mix, and put your energy into the spooky decorations instead.

Easy Graveyard Cake Recipe

  • 2 boxes brownie mix
  • 2 cans chocolate frosting
  • 1 squeeze bottle green frosting
  • 1 sleeve chocolate wafer cookies (crushed)
  • 2 chocolate graham crackers
  • Candy! (Candy pumpkins, candy bones, gummy worms, Halloween sprinkles, peanut butter ghosts)
  1. Bake the brownies in 2 9×9 pans according to the package directions. Let cool completely. 
  2. Place the first layer on a serving plate and top with chocolate frosting. Top with gummy worms, bones, and crushed wafer cookies. Top with the second layer of brownies and frost the top. 
  3. Decorate with candy to mimic a graveyard. This is the fun part, so get creative! You can cut graham crackers with a bread knife to make tombstones. Use the crushed chocolate wafers for dirt. Use the green frosting to draw vines, leaves and grass. Use a toothpick to prop up peanut butter ghosts. Mound frosting in front of tombstones to mimic a freshly dug grave. Spooky!

Butternut Squash Ice Cream with Curry Candied Pecans

butternut squash ice cream

Butternut squash has a natural sweetness that works just as well in dessert as it does in dinner. Sometimes we even swap it for pumpkin in our Thanksgiving pies. This year we’re serving up our new favorite squash dessert: butternut squash ice cream with curry candied pecans. Enjoy this as a seasonal fall treat. If you’re feeling crazy, serve it with pumpkin pie for a double squash dessert. 

Butternut Squash Ice Cream Recipe

butternut squash ice cream ingredients

Ice Cream Base

  • 1 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1 13.5 oz can full-fat coconut milk
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 2 lb peeled butternut squash, medium diced
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract

Candied Nuts

  • 2 cups raw, unsalted pecan halves
  • 1 tbsp curry powder
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 3 tbsp honey

Fill a medium pot ¾ of the way up with water; heat to boiling on high. Once boiling, add the diced squash and cook 11 to 13 minutes, or until tender when pierced with a fork. Drain thoroughly and let cool slightly. Transfer to a blender or food processor and puree until smooth. Measure out 2 cups of pureed squash and set aside to cool (you may have extra).

In the same pot, combine the heavy cream, coconut milk, and a pinch of salt. Cook on medium-high, stirring occasionally, 5 to 6 minutes, or until just beginning to simmer. 

mixing squash ice cream

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk together the eggs and sugar. Slowly add the heated cream mixture to the beaten eggs and sugar, whisking constantly. Once fully combined, transfer back to the pot and whisk in the cinnamon. Cook on medium, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, 3 to 4 minutes, or until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of the spoon. Transfer to a clean bowl and whisk in the cooled squash puree and vanilla extract. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 1 hour, or until chilled (up to overnight). 

Meanwhile, roughly chop the pecans. Heat a large pan (nonstick, if you have one) on medium-high until hot. Add the chopped pecans. Cook, stirring frequently, 4 to 5 minutes, or until lightly toasted and fragrant. Add the curry powder and cook, stirring constantly, 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until fragrant and the pecans are coated. Add the butter and honey. Cook, stirring constantly, 1 to 2 minutes, or until the mixture is thickened and the pecans are coated. Transfer to a piece of parchment paper (or lightly greased plate) and immediately season with a pinch of salt. Set aside to cool completely. 
Transfer the ice cream base to your ice cream maker and churn according to the machine’s instructions. During the last 10 seconds, add the candied pecans and churn until thoroughly combined. Transfer to a freezer-safe container and freeze until firm. Enjoy!

Types of Sugar for Baking and Cooking 

types of sugar
Assorted types of sugar

If you were to send an extra-terrestrial to the grocery store and tell them to bring back sugar, it might not be enough instruction. When you think of sugar you most likely imagine white granulated sugar, but there are a several types of sugar available in most grocery stores. These sugars vary in texture, flavor, and color. Depending on what you’re making, choosing the right sugar can be mission-critical. 

Types of sugar 

Granulated sugar

granulated sugar
Granulated sugar

If you only have one type of sugar in your home, it’s probably white granulated sugar. Granulated sugar can be made from sugar beets or sugar cane. During processing, the natural molasses is refined out of the sugar, leaving a clean sweet flavor. White sugar is often used for baking and sweetening beverages. It adds sweetness without introducing new flavors. 

Brown sugar

Light brown sugar
Light brown sugar

Brown sugar is essentially white sugar with the addition of cane molasses. Compared to white sugar, brown sugar is moister and has a richer flavor. The moisture makes brown sugar prone to caking, drying out, and forming clumps—to avoid this, it’s best to store it in an airtight container. Brown sugar is an excellent addition to rich baked goods with deep flavor, like banana bread. 

What’s the difference between light brown sugar and dark brown sugar?

The terms “light” and “dark” refer to the molasses content of brown sugar. Dark brown sugar has more molasses and will have an even more intense flavor. 

Turbinado sugar

Turbinado sugar
Turbinado sugar

Turbinado is a coarse sugar with large crystals. It’s partially refined and retains some natural molasses, which gives it a light brown color. If you’ve ever used a package of Sugar in the Raw at a coffee shop, that’s turbinado sugar. Turbinado can be used to sweeten drinks, or as a crunchy topping on baked goods. Turbinado can also be used as a substitute for white or brown sugar in baking.

Demerara sugar

Similar to turbinado, demerara is a coarse, partially refined sugar. It retains some natural molasses, which gives it a light brown color and rich flavor. Compared to Turbinado, demerara crystals are slightly smaller, but demerara works in many of the same recipes. This coarse, crunchy sugar is an excellent topping for baked goods.

Powdered sugar

powdered sugar
Powdered sugar

Powdered sugar, also known as confectioners’ sugar, is chemically the same as granulated sugar, but the crystals have been pulverized into a fine, fluffy powder. This fine texture makes it a good choice for creating smooth, silky frosting or for dusting over cakes and doughnuts. Roll cookie dough in powdered sugar to create a crinkle cookie with its own icing baked right on. 

Superfine sugar

Superfine sugar, or caster sugar, is chemically the same as granulated sugar, but the grains are much smaller. If a recipe calls for superfine sugar, you can replicate the effect by whipping granulated sugar in a blender. The crystal size is important for baking, small particles of superfine sugar dissolve quickly in recipes.

Muscovado sugar

Muscovado sugar

Muscovado sugar is a very lightly refined sugar. It may look like brown sugar, but its brown color is natural. Instead of molasses being added back in, muscovado retains its natural molasses.

Now that you’re stocked up on sugar, it’s time to get cooking. Try our recipe for chewy ginger cookies.

Leftover Halloween Candy Cake

Final Halloween Candy Cake

Sometimes you overestimate the number of trick-or-treaters that will pay you a visit, sometimes you underestimate the size of your own candy haul, and sometimes you just get a little carried away in the Halloween aisle. Whatever the reason, the holiday is over and you still have a big pile of leftover candy lying around.

Extra candy is never a problem. You can stash it under your bed and have a piece every night for months, or you can get a little creative and turn everything into a brand new dessert. This leftover candy concoction is a baked good that defies all classification, but for simplicity, we’ll just call it cake.

This “cake” has a sugar cookie base, a leftover Halloween candy center, and a Five-Ingredient Brownie top. When baking, the chocolate of the chopped candy bars melts into the surrounding layers of cookie and brownie, forming a gooey, rich layer in the center.

halloween candy cake

Leftover Halloween Candy Cake

INGREDIENTS

Cookie Dough Layer:
2/3 Cup Salted Butter
1 1/3 Cup Sugar
2 Cups All-Purpose Flours
2 Teaspoons Vanilla Extract
2 Eggs
1 Cup Mix-Ins (We used Crispy M&M’s™)

Candy Bar Layer:
About 2 Cups Crushed Candy Bars (This recipe works best with chocolate-based candies but marshmallows and candy corn are fun too. We used a mix of Snickers™, Butterfingers,™ Crunch Bars™ & Mr. Goodbars™)

Brownie Layer:
½ Cup All-Purpose Flour
1 Cup Sugar
½ Cup Salted Butter, Melted
2 Eggs
1/3 Cup Cocoa Powder
1/2 Cup Mix-Ins (We used candy corn, cut up marshmallows Peeps™ and 1 Hershey’s Candy Corn Chocolate Bar™)

COOKING INSTRUCTIONS

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Generously grease the bottom and sides of a 9-inch by 9-inch pan with a little butter or oil; line the pan with parchment paper, leaving a 1-inch overhang on two opposite sides.

To prepare the sugar cookie layer, in a standing mixer, cream the butter and sugar together until fluffy and pale. Stir in the vanilla. Working one at a time, add the eggs, beating thoroughly after each addition. Using a spatula or spoon, gently fold in the flour and mix-ins until well combined.

Transfer the finished batter to the prepared pan. Evenly sprinkle the crushed candy bars over the top.

To prepare the brownie layer, in a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar and cocoa powder. In a separate bowl, whisk together the melted butter and eggs. Pour the butter mixture over the flour mixture; stir to combine. Using a spoon or spatula, fold in the mix-ins.

Pour the brownie batter over the candy bar layer; carefully spread the batter to the edges without disturbing the candy bar layer.

Halloween Candy Loaf Slice

Bake 60 to 70 minutes, or until the top is crackly and set, and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out mostly clean (you may pick up some melted chocolate from the candy along the way!) Remove from the oven. Let cool at room temperature for 15 minutes, then refrigerate for 1 hour to set the fudge in the brownie. Once completely cool and set, using the edges of the parchment paper, remove the loaf from the pan. Transfer to a serving dish and decorate, if desired. Enjoy!

New to the Menu: Vanilla Powder

vanilla powder

Vanilla is the subtle note that makes ice cream, cookies, and cakes sing. Even though the term “vanilla” is often associated with being plain, true vanilla flavor is anything but. Vanilla products are packed with unique flavors that adds complexity and delicacy to everything they touch. Vanilla powder also plays nicely with other flavors—it’s often even the secret ingredient in chocolate, coffee, or caramel desserts. 

In 2021, Add-ons brought desserts and appetizers to the Blue Apron menu. Now we’re unlocking even more dessert potential by adding powdered vanilla to the Blue Apron pantry. Vanilla products can be expensive. Now infrequent bakers don’t have to invest in an entire bottle of vanilla extract or powder. Blue Apron will send everything you need to bake flavorful desserts at home

What is vanilla powder? 

Vanilla powder is a fine powder made from dried, ground, and processed vanilla beans. Some products may also contain dextrose or cornstarch to keep the powder from clumping. Vanilla powder is a great alternative to vanilla extract if you’re looking for a dry or alcohol-free ingredient. 

vanilla powder vs. vanilla extract

What is a vanilla extract? 

Vanilla extract is the most common source of vanilla flavor in the U.S. It’s available at your local supermarket, and it may even be in your cabinet right now. Vanilla extract is made by soaking whole cured vanilla beans in a solution to extract their flavors. Most vanilla extract contains alcohol, but the alcohol remaining in a finished product after cooking or baking will be negligible. You can make your own vanilla extract at home by soaking whole vanilla beans and vodka in a sealed jar for around 8 weeks.  

Can you substitute vanilla powder for vanilla extract?

Yes! You can substitute vanilla powder for vanilla extract (or vice versa) in any recipe. Use a 1:1 ratio when making this substitution. If a recipe calls for one teaspoon of vanilla extract, just use one teaspoon of powder. Easy!

Ready to start baking? Try these pumpkin spice snickerdoodles.

No-Bake Banana Cream Tiramisu Recipe

banana tiramisu

Tiramisu is an all-star dessert. This creamy spiked treat rose to popularity in the U.S. in the 80s, but a classic never gets old—we’re still enjoying its creamy coffee-soaked layers in our favorite Italian restaurants today. To celebrate our love, we’ve created a spin that combines the flavors of two beloved desserts: banana cream pie and tiramisu.

Grab a bunch of ripe bananas, brew a little espresso, layer and chill. This no-bake dessert is a perfect treat when it’s too hot to bake, or when all of your oven space is claimed by the main course.

banana tiramisu ingredients
Banana tiramisu ingredients

Banana cream tiramisu recipe

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • ¼ cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 8 oz mascarpone cheese, softened at room temperature
  • 8 oz chilled coffee or espresso
  • 4 medium bananas, thinly sliced
  • 1 box vanilla wafer cookies
  • Cinnamon, for serving

Place the softened mascarpone in a large bowl. In a separate large bowl (or bowl of a stand mixer), combine the heavy cream, sugar, and vanilla. Beat on medium-high 2 to 4 minutes, or until stiff peaks form. Transfer half the whipped cream to the bowl of softened mascarpone and mix to loosen and combine. Transfer the remaining whipped cream to the bowl and gently fold until just combined. 

Line the bottom of an 8 by 8-inch square baking dish with an even layer of vanilla wafer cookies; leave as little empty space as possible (some overlapping cookies are okay). Evenly top the cookies with half the iced coffee or espresso, then top with an even layer of sliced bananas.

Gently dollop half the whipped mascarpone cream on top of the bananas and spread in an even layer. Repeat with another layer of wafer cookies and the remaining coffee, bananas, and whipped mascarpone. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 3 hours, or up to overnight. Just before serving, dust the top of the finished tiramisu with cinnamon (and espresso powder, if desired). Enjoy!

decorate banana tiramisu
Dust with cocoa powder for an easy, beautiful finish

Still have a sweet tooth? Find some of our other favorite dessert recipes here.

Vegan Tahini Ice Cream Recipe 

vegan ice cream with tahini

Make vegan ice cream at home without an ice cream maker. This no-churn dairy-free ice cream gets its creamy texture from one of our favorite ingredients: tahini. 

Soom was founded by three sisters with the mission to share the childhood flavors that they loved with the world. As they grew up, they realized the tahini available in American grocery stores paled in comparison to the selection abroad. They decided to take matters into their own hands, and Soom was born. Today, Soom supplies all of the tahini for Blue Apron meal kids. 

Tahini is made from ground sesame seeds. Sesame seeds are filled with protein and have a naturally rich flavor. A tablespoon of Soom tahini has 6 grams of protein, all from plants. 

Creamy, luscious sesame seed tahini makes a perfect base for vegan ice cream. This recipe combines tahini with coconut milk for body and swirls of sweet date syrup. It tastes a bit like traditional butter pecan ice cream, but it’s 100% vegan. Top off your bowl with pecans or chocolate chips (or both!) for an added crunch. 

No-churn vegan ice cream with tahini and date syrup 

Ingredients

  • 2 14 oz. cans coconut cream (if you can’t find it, you can sub full-fat coconut milk for a less creamy result)
  • ⅔ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup Soom Premium Tahini
  • 4 Tbsp Soom Silan Date Syrup, divided
  • 1 Tbsp tapioca flour (can sub cornstarch)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ¾ tsp salt
  • Chopped toasted pecans and/or chocolate chips for serving, optional

Directions

  1. In a medium saucepan, combine the coconut cream, sugar, tahini, 2 tablespoons of the silan date syrup, tapioca flour, vanilla, and salt. Whisk to combine. Bring mixture to a gentle boil, whisking frequently as the mixture comes together. Once boiling, reduce heat slightly and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes, until it thickens slightly. Remove from heat and let cool completely.
  2. Line a loaf pan with parchment paper, and pour in the cooled ice cream mixture. Press a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface. Freeze for 3-4 hours, or until the ice cream is semi-frozen, enough to still be able to stir it around to swirl in the remaining silan date syrup. Remove from the freezer and drizzle the remaining 2 tablespoons silan date syrup over the ice cream. Using a knife, swirl the silan date syrup into the ice cream.
  3. Press the piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface and let freeze for an additional 4-6 hours, or overnight. Once ready to eat, remove from the freezer 30 minutes or so before you want to consume, so that it’s easier to scoop. Garnish with chopped pecans and chocolate chips, if desired. Serve.

Find more dessert inspiration here.

How to Roast and Blanch Almonds

This guide to almonds was contributed by Nikki Miller-Ka. Nikki is a culinary expert and social media influencer based in North Carolina. A former associate editor at Food And Wine, her favorite things to cook are tacos and biscuits. 

Depending on how they’re prepared, almonds can be slightly sweet, rich and toasty, or mild and buttery. This versatile ingredient can be the golden brown star of a dish, or it can subtly enhance a recipe as a garnish. Almonds have a high oil content, giving them a long shelf life when handled and stored properly. Whole, sliced, diced, slivered, ground, chopped, or blanched—almonds add flavor and texture to just about any savory or sweet recipe.

All almonds taste nuttier and richer when they’re roasted. Roasting almonds brings their natural oils to the surface, and also crisps up the bronze, papery skins. Roasting nuts deepens their flavor, rendering them richer, nuttier, and more complex. It also gives them a crispier texture that shines in many recipes. There are two ways to roast almonds: in the oven or in a frying pan. Read on for instructions for both methods.

How to roast almonds

Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil.

Place almonds in a single layer on the sheet. To enhance browning, it’s optional to use a neutral oil and drizzle a small amount (1-2 teaspoons total) over the nuts and toss to coat evenly. Roast whole almonds in the preheated oven for 10-12 minutes, sliced almonds for 5-7 minutes, and slivered almonds for 6-8 minutes. Place in the oven and check every 5 minutes. 

Stir and shake the pan so that the nuts are redistributed to roast evenly. When the nuts are browned and smell nutty, remove them from the oven and immediately transfer to a work surface or an unheated baking sheet to cool. The nuts will continue to cook and potentially burn if not removed to a cool surface. 

To toast a small number of almonds, use a frying pan. Place the nuts in a single layer in a small dry skillet. Cook over medium heat, stirring often, for 3 to 5 minutes until they start to smell nutty and they look golden. Pay attention to the pan closely as pan-roasted almonds burn easily on the spots in contact with the pan.

romesco sauce ingredients with roasted almonds

Try this romesco sauce recipe using roasted whole almonds. Store it in a jar in the refrigerator for up to one week.

What are blanched almonds?

Blanched almonds are almonds with the skin removed. Blanching refers to briefly submerging the almonds in boiling water to loosen and remove the skins. Without skins, almonds have a shorter shelf-life but can still be roasted or processed to make almond meal, milk, or flour.

How to blanch almonds

There are two common methods for blanching almonds: an overnight soak or a 5-minute boil. Be sure to dry the almonds thoroughly after blanching in a single layer on paper towels or on dish towels. Store in an airtight container, in a cool, dark place. 

Overnight Soaking Method

Place almonds in a bowl. Fill it with cold water just until they are fully submerged. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, a paper towel, or a loose-fitting lid, and let it sit under refrigeration overnight. Drain the water from the bowl. Gently squeeze the almonds to loosen their skins—they should slip off easily. Compost the discarded skins.

Boiling Method

Fill a small saucepan with 2 cups of water and bring it to a boil. Once it boils, add the almonds to the saucepan. Turn off the heat, cover the pan and let them rest for 2 minutes. Drain the water from the pan into a colander as soon as the skins become wrinkled. Rinse the almonds under cold water and gently squeeze the almonds to loosen their skins immediately. Start peeling the skins while the almonds are still warm—as they cool down it will become more difficult to remove the skins. 

Try this Tangy Sweet Meyer Lemon Almond Tart recipe with blanched almonds. The crust will become brown, nutty and pair perfectly with the bright, fresh meyer lemon filling.

A Sweet Way to Say Happy Father’s Day

easy strawberry crostata

This year, show your love with a dessert that’s simple and sweet. Our strawberry crostata recipe is easy to make and shape. It’s the perfect no-fuss dessert for the whole family.

The difference between crostata and galette

Simply put: Crostata is an Italian word and galette is French. Both terms describe rustic, freeform pies made from crust and a sweet or savory filling. These words can be used interchangeably.

How to fold a crostata

If you’re having trouble folding the dough over the fruit filling, use the parchment paper to help you. Just lift and folding the edge of the paper with the dough as you work your way around.

Strawberry crostata recipe

Ingredients

  • All-purpose flour, for dusting 
  • 1 pie crust, store bought or homemade
  • 1 pound strawberries, hulled and cut into ¼-inch-thick slices
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
  • ⅛ teaspoon kosher salt
  • Pinch of freshly ground black pepper 
  • 1 large egg 
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 2 teaspoons turbinado sugar

Instructions

  1. Roll out the crust. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and let stand for 15 minutes to soften slightly. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper. Generously dust a clean dry work surface and rolling pin with flour. Unwrap the dough and place it on the work surface. Use the rolling pin to evenly roll the dough from the center to the edgers into a 12-inch circle. Carefully wrap the dough around the rolling pin and transfer to the sheet pan. Transfer to the refrigerator to chill for 10to 15 minutes. While the rust is chilling, preheat the oven to 425ºF.
  1. Make the filling. In a large bowl, combine the strawberries, granulated sugar, cornstarch, lemon zest, salt, and pepper. Toss to thoroughly coat the berries. 
  1. Form the crostata. Remove the crust from the refrigerator. Drain the filling through a fine-mesh strainer; discard the juices. Mount the filling slightly in the center of the crust, leaving a 1 ½ to 2-inch border. Working your way around the edge, fold the crust up and slightly over the filling, gently pleating as you go. 
  1. Bake the crostata. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg and water until smooth. Use a pastry brush to lightly brush the crust with the egg wash. Sprinkle the turbinado sugar all over the crust. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until the crust is golden brown and cooked through, let cool on the pan for 15 to 20 minutes before serving. 

Extra berries? Try these sweet and savory strawberry brie grilled cheese sandwiches.