Get Excited for Fall with This Apple Pie Bar Recipe

Apple Pie Bar Recipe

Time: 1 hr 25 mins

Yields 24 bars

cut apple pie bar

This apple pie bar recipe is truly the best of both worlds. These treats have all the fall flavor of apple pie, with the ease and snack-ability of a bar. 

We’re using a mix of Granny Smith and Fuji apples because they keep their shape well while baking and add tart punch of flavor into the mix. If you can’t locate Granny Smiths apples, you can swap in another type of apple tart apple. When shopping, just look for a firm fruit, and avoid any extremely sweet varieties (leave the red delicious on the shelf).

For the crust & topping:

  • 1 Cup sugar
  • 3 Cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1½ cups unsalted butter, cubed & chilled
  • ¾ cup pecan halves, toasted & chopped
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ⅛ tsp ground cardamom
  • ⅛ tsp ground cloves

For the filling:

  • 3 large Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and cut into ⅛” slices
  • 3 large Fuji apples, peeled, cored and cut into ⅛” slices
  • 2TB lemon juice
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter (½ stick)
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp ground cardamom
  • ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
  • ⅔ cup sugar

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a 9×13 baking dish with parchment paper, letting the excess hang over the sides. Lightly coat with cooking spray.

2. In a food processor, combine the sugar, flour, and salt; pulse to combine. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Place 1½ cups into a bowl and add the pecans, cinnamon, cardamom, and cloves. Using your hands, form the mixture into a solid mass. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

3. Transfer the remaining mixture to the prepared dish and spread in an even layer, pressing ½” up the sides of the dish. Bake until golden brown, 20-25 minutes. Let cool while you prepare the filling.

4. Increase the oven temperature to 375°F. In a large bowl, combine the apples and lemon juice. In a large pan, add the butter and heat on medium-high until melted. Add the cinnamon, cardamom, and nutmeg and cook, stirring constantly, 15-30 seconds. Add the apples and cook, stirring frequently, 4 to 5 minutes, or until beginning to soften. Add the sugar and stir to combine. Cook, stirring frequently, 12 to 15 minutes, or until the liquid evaporates and the mixture looks dry. Remove from the heat and let cool slightly.

5. Place the cooked apples on the cooled crust and press to form a solid layer. Remove the reserved pecan mixture from the refrigerator and crumble into bite-sized pieces. Scatter evenly over the top. Bake for 45 minutes, or until the top is golden brown. Let cool completely on a wire rack. Cut the bars into your desired shape and serve (preferably with vanilla ice cream!).

A Peachy Pimm’s Cup for Easy Summer Drinking

This seasonal twist on a Pimm’s Cup is what chef Lili Dagan likes to call a  ”slow sipper;” a low-alcohol drink that can be enjoyed in abundance without overdoing it. 

A summery Pimm's cup

Have you ever tried to spend a day drinking in New Orleans? It is not an easy feat. This is probably why Big Easyans have invented so many creative cocktails that are perfect to enjoy out of a to-go cup as a parade marches on, basking in the buzz of the city’s famously relaxed drinking laws. Too tired to keep on? Have a frozen Irish coffee drink! Need to commit to an all-day affair but don’t have the tolerance required? The low-alcohol and delightfully refreshing classic Pimm’s Cup is your pal.

Popularized in the states by the Napolean House, a beloved New Orleans establishment, the classic Pimm’s Cup is Pimm’s No1, lemonade, and 7-up with a cucumber garnish. When I visited a few winters ago, a seasonally appropriate satsuma mandarin Pimm’s was on the specials menu. A seasonal Pimm’s Cup! What a thought! 

When I stopped by the farmers market this week, both peaches and cucumbers were bountiful. The heat was suffocating, and I was craving something refreshing to drink whilst watering my plants. Pimm’s is already a low-alcohol spirit, and after mixing it with sparkling sodas, the Pimm’s Cup transforms into a smooth-jazz kind of drinking experience. Why, it’s even possible to enjoy three while tending to the stoop plants. In that spirit, please enjoy this peachy cucumber Pimm’s Cup responsibly, and laissez les bons temps roule!

Pimm's Cup with an umbrella
Works well as a grab-and-go cocktail

Le Bon Tom Roulle Peach Pimm’s Cup

Makes 2 Tall Drinks

  • 1 Peach
  • 1 Cucumber
  • Mint 
  • Ginger
  • 4 Oz Pimm’s No1. 
  • 2 Oz lemon soda **We recommend Fentiman’s Lemonade as the botanical flavors complement this drink wonderfully.
  • 2 Oz ginger beer
  1. In a cocktail shaker, muddle ½ the peach, 2 slices of cucumber (about ¼ inch thick), two springs of mint, and a coin of ginger. 
  2. Fill the shaker with ice and add 4 oz Pimm’s. Shake vigorously for about 30 seconds.
  3. Fill a tall glass with ice cubes. Strain the shaker contents into the glass. Top with 2 oz lemon soda and 2 oz ginger beer and stir to combine.
  4. Top off with equal amounts of lemon soda and ginger beer as the remaining space in your glass allows.Garnish your cocktail with mint, peach slices, and cucumber slices. Add a fun umbrella if you have one leftover from your piña colada.

Italy Meets Ohio in This Blackberry “Cassata” Cake Trifle

Lauren Katz is a trained pastry chef who never skips dessert. Here’s her recipe for a no-fuss twist on a cassata cake. 

Cassata cake trifle with blackberries

Traditional Italian Cassata cake is a super light cake layered with fruit syrup, dried fruit and ricotta whipped cream. I grew up in Cleveland, where we had our own (now famous) version of Cassata cake, that replaces the dried fruit with fresh strawberries and the ricotta cream with custard.

To create my ideal summer dessert I took elements of both recipes, and turned them into a deconstructed (read: low-maintenance) trifle. While strawberries are traditional in Northeast Ohio, any berry would be just wonderful. I used fresh blackberries, but feel free to swap in your favorite summer fruit. 

For the cake

  • 1 Cup cake flour (or 1 cup minus 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour + 2 Tbsp cornstarch)
  • ¾ tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp kosher salt
  • 6 Eggs, divided
  • 1 Cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ Cup vegetable oil

Macerated Fruit

  • 1 ½ Lbs fresh fruit (blackberries, diced strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, pitted cherries or diced peaches)
  • 3 Tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice

Ricotta Whipped Cream

  • 1 Cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 Cups ricotta cheese
  • 1 Cup confectioner’s sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ¼ tsp kosher salt
  • 2-3 tsp lemon zest

Prepare the cake

  1. Place an oven rack in the center of the oven, then preheat to 375°F. Grease a 9×13-inch baking dish with nonstick spray or softened butter.
  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the cake flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  1. Place the egg whites in a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment (or use a large bowl and a hand mixer). Beat on high for 4 to 6 minutes, or until stiff peaks form. Transfer to a separate bowl and set aside. 
  1. Place the egg yolks, sugar, vanilla, vegetable oil, and lemon zest in the stand mixer bowl (no need to wipe it out). Whisk on medium for 1 to 2 minutes, or until thoroughly combined and the sugar has dissolved. Reduce the speed to low and slowly incorporate the dry ingredients until no dry streaks remain. 
  1. Remove the bowl from the mixer. Using a spatula, fold in half the beaten egg whites until combined. Add the remaining beaten egg whites and gently fold them into the batter just until the mixture is uniform. 
  1. Transfer the batter to the prepared baking dish. Bake, rotating the baking dish halfway through, 18 to 22 minutes, or until browned and a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Transfer to a cooling rack and let cool completely.

The cake can be made 1 day in advance and stored at room temperature.

Prepare the macerated fruit

  1. About 20 minutes before assembling combine the fruit, sugar, and lemon juice in a bowl. Set aside to macerate, stirring occasionally. 

Prepare the ricotta whipped cream 

  1. Place the ricotta, whipping cream, sugar, vanilla, and salt in a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. 
  1. Whisk on medium-low, 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until thoroughly combined. 
  1. Increase the speed to medium-high and continue to whisk for 3 to 4 minutes, or until light and fluffy. At the last minute, add the lemon zest and whisk until thoroughly combined.


  1. Tear the cake into large chunks. In a trifle dish, baking dish, or large bowl, add enough of the cake chunks to cover the bottom. Add a layer of macerated berries, then a layer of ricotta whipped cream. Repeat layering until you reach the top (or run out of ingredients), ending with whipped cream. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 4 hours and up to 1 day before serving. Enjoy!

For more of Lauren’s creations, check out this icebox cake.

Cool Down with a Frozen Daiquiri on a Stick

Chef Lili Dagan might not have air conditioning, but luckily she found a more delicious way to cool down. Here’s her recipe for a frozen daiquiri popsicle.  

frozen daiquiri popsicle
Cool and boozy

There is a particular joy found in a surprise beach snack. Stealthily packed beach juice, Nutcrackers (sold by the hardest working cooler toters on NYC’s beaches), and jello shots are all delightful, but undeniably, the best surprise is the mango. Cut like a beautiful piece of origami and served on a stick, these flowery treats are sold all over the streets of NYC, and customized to your liking with hot sauce, lime juice, spicy salt, or a combination of all of the above. 

Enter, the Snaiquiri. Part street mango, part frozen daiquiri, part “idk my face is melting off” — these boozy treats on a stick would fetch at least $10 on an NYC beach, but are free if you are a guest on my stoop, aptly named by my coworkers Lili’s Tiki Pops & Audubon Club (yes, when not making cocktails, I enjoy birdwatching.)

To make these, you’ll need popsicle molds and sticks of your choice. I used a 10 pop silicone mold with wooden sticks.

Note: This recipe doesn’t call for sugar! I used very ripe fruit, which was plenty sweet on its own. If you prefer your drinks sweeter, add sugar or simple syrup as desired.

Frozen Daiquiri Popsicles

For the mango layer:

  • 2 Cup frozen cubed mango
  • 2 oz rum
  • 1 oz water, plus more as needed (if the mixture needs more liquid to blend, add a Tbsp at a time until smoothie consistency)
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • ¼ Cup mint, thinly sliced

For the strawberry layer:

  • 2 cups frozen strawberries
  • 1 lime, zested and juiced
  • 2 oz rum
  • 1 oz water, plus more as needed (if the mixture needs more liquid to blend, add a Tbsp at a time until smoothie consistency)

1. Combine all mango layer ingredients except mint in the blender and blend until just combined. When you’ve reached your desired texture (small pieces of fruit are optional), add the mint and blend lightly so that the mixture is thoroughly mixed but whole ribbons of mint remain.

2. Divide evenly amongst the popsicle molds (about 2 Tbsp per mold) and place in the freezer to firm up while you make the strawberry layer.

3. Blend all strawberry layer ingredients until combined.

4. Divide evenly into the molds on top of the mango layer. Add sticks and freeze at least 6 hours, ideally 24. 

5. Enjoy on their own or with Tajin, Chamoy, and lime juice in any combination desired. 

If you love this, try Chef Lili’s recipe for a melon margarita.

This Piña Colada is Like a Drinkable Vacation

Chef Lili Dagan knows her way around a tropical drink. Here’s her tried and true recipe for making a delicious piña colada.

Pina colada recipe

I was working on an urban farm down in Red Hook the year that a leak at the maraschino factory turned all the local beehives honey red. The story only got more bizarre after that, but that summer I decided to avoid those electric red maraschino cherries until they got that under control. 

Fast forward a few years. Brooklyn bartenders are now mixologists, and the cherry garnish of choice becomes the undeniably fancier Luxardo cherry. A luxury garnish since 1821 (!!!), these sour cherries are candied and steeped in syrup made of cherry juice and sugar. Besides being 100% delicious as a garnish, their syrup makes for great use in cocktails. 

Before you get started, put your glass in the freezer for the frosty effect. 

If using fresh pineapple, cube and freeze, reserving a few wedges for garnish. 

Makes 2 Large Piña Coladas

  • 4 cups frozen pineapple
  • 4 oz  light rum
  • .5 oz Luxardo cherry syrup 
  • 4 oz full-fat coconut milk
  • 2 oz coconut water
  • 1 oz maraschino liqueur 
  1. Place all ingredients in a blender and blend on medium speed until combined and frothy. 
  1. Pour into your frosty glass. Garnish with lime zest, a few maraschino cherries, a wedge of pineapple and a fun umbrella. 
frozen pina colada recipe

How to Make a Pie for Any Size Party

Mixed berry pie
Plenty of pie to go around

Pies are a perfect party dessert. Unfortunately, the classic 9-inch pie tin isn’t one size fits all. For small households, there’s a serious risk leftover pie could languish in the fridge—a true tragedy. For large celebrations, one pie just isn’t going to cut it. From parties for one to full-sized crowds; here’s how to make a pie to suit any size gathering. 

How to make a pie for 1-2 people 

strawberry hand pies
Pie for one, please

For a small crowd, hand pies are the way to go. No special equipment is required, and they’re fun to shape. Think of a hand pie like a more sophisticated Pop-Tart, customizable with the filling of your choosing. 

The difference between a hand pie and a traditional pie comes down to shape. Hand pies use classic pie dough and filling, just formed into individually portioned pockets. They’re not difficult to make, but they do require a bit more handwork than a classic pie. To make this process as smooth as possible, it’s best to work quickly. The pie dough is made with butter, and handling it too much will warm it up excessively. If the dough gets too warm, the butter will melt, and the dough can become a sticky mess. By working quickly, you can keep the dough as cold as possible.

As will all stuffed foods, there’s a very fine line between too much and not enough filling. Aim for about a 1/2-inch border around the filling for a pie that’s full of fruit, but not boiling over.

unbaked strawberry hand pie
Ready to fold

Chef Lauren Katz created this strawberry balsamic hand pie recipe with small gatherings in mind. One batch makes two hand pies, the perfect amount of dessert to follow a dinner date. 

How to make a pie for 2-4 people

To make a pie for a slightly bigger group. Chef Lisa Appleton recommends starting with a classic recipe, and cutting it in half, like she did with these miniature key lime pies.

So cute, right?

Chef Lisa used four miniature pie tins to make her family-sized dessert. If you don’t have mini pie tins on hand, you could also use small ramekins, or cupcake tins. Whatever you choose to use, be sure to grease the sides of the pan very well to prevent the filling or crust from sticking.

All dressed up

These miniature Key lime pies with a coconut graham cracker crust serve four. If you want to adapt a different recipe to work in miniature, try halving the recipe and dividing into four equal portions. 

How to make a pie for 4-8 people

For 4-8 people, you’re looking at a classic 9-inch pie pan. Try out one of our favorite crust recipes for extra flaky crust, and go crazy with the fillings. Anything from chocolate pudding to rhubarb will work well in this format. 

9-inch pie
A little fruit overflow won’t ruin the party

No matter what type of pie you choose, there are a few tricks for extracting clean, beautiful slices from a pie tin. First, make sure that your bottom crust is completely baked. That way it will be able to support the weight of the slice. If you’re using a glass bottom pie tin, you can check out the bottom of your crust just by looking. It should be a beautiful golden brown. Second, make sure your pie has thoroughly cooled before slicing. Cooling gives cream and fruit pies time to set, making sure that the filling won’t run out of the pie and all over your plate. 

How to make a pie for 8-12 people

Plenty for everyone

For a crowd of 8-12 people, you’re going to need a lot of pie. Luckily, Chef Claire King is used to cooking for a crowd. For her crew of kids and extended family, she has perfected two different methods of large format pies. 

The first is a slab pie. This rectangular pie is assembled in a baking dish or on a sheet tray.  It can be fruit, pudding, or custard filled. All of the components can be made a day ahead, that way you can really focus on assembly when the time comes. The trick here is making sure you bake the crust thoroughly. It takes a very crispy crust to hold up all that topping. 

One trick for forming the crust? Instead of trying to roll out and transfer a huge rectangle of dough, form two smaller rectangles. Just overlap them and press to seal the bottom of the pie.

slab pie crust
Press down to seal the two halves

Chef Claire’s flag pie is filled with vanilla bourbon pudding, and decorated with strawberries and blueberries. 

The second method is making a deep dish pie. These slices pack a powerful punch. A deep dish pie is made in a springform pan instead of a pie tin. The resulting pie has super tall sides and tons of filling. 

deep dish pie
A true masterpiece

For this one, you’ll need to roll out an extra large disc of dough. If you’re nervous about transferring it, Chef Claire recommends rolling the dough out between two sheets of parchment paper. Once again, it’s essential to make sure the pie is cooked through. A pie this size can take up to an hour in the oven. 

For an extra treat, Chef Claire layered the bottom of her gigantic pie with frangipane, a sweet French almond paste. 

deep dish cherry pie
So many mixed berries

Try your hand at a deep dish cherry pie with this recipe.

Recipe: Strawberry Balsamic Hand Pies

Lauren Katz is a trained pastry chef. These strawberry hand pies honor her childhood tradition of strawberry picking every summer in Ohio. 

strawberry hand pies with cream
What could be better than grab and go pie?

These strawberry hand pies are cute, sophisticated, and easy to eat. They’re the perfect way to make use of beautiful summer produce. The simple filling shows off the flavor of the strawberries, and the balsamic vinegar adds a touch of complexity. 

Strawberry Balsamic Hand Pies 

Pie Dough

  • ¾ Cup AP flour
  • 1 tsp granulated sugar
  • ¼ tsp kosher salt
  • 4 Tbsps cold, unsalted butter, small diced
  • Ice water

Pie Filling

  • 4 oz fresh strawberries, small diced
  • 1 tsp cornstarch
  • 2-3 tsp granulated sugar, depending on the sweetness of your berries
  • 2 tsp  balsamic vinegar
  • 4 grinds fresh black pepper, optional
  • A pinch of salt


  • AP flour, for dusting
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • Turbinado sugar, optional

1. Make the dough. Bowl method: In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, and salt. Add the diced butter. Using your fingers, gently work the butter into the dry ingredients until coarse crumbs form. Working 1 tablespoon at a time, add the ice water and mix until a shaggy dough forms (it should take anywhere between 1 and 3 tablespoons).

Food processor method: Place the flour, sugar and salt in a food processor and pulse until combined. Add the diced butter. Pulse a few times, until coarse crumbs form. Working 1 tablespoon at a time, add the ice water and mix until a shaggy dough forms (it should take anywhere between 1 and 3 tablespoons). 

2. Transfer the dough to a large piece of plastic wrap form into a ball. Cover and refrigerate until chilled, about 1 hour. *The dough can be made up to 3 days in advance. 

3. Place an oven rack in the center of the oven, then preheat to 375°F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper. Combine all the filling ingredients in a bowl. Gently mix to combine.

4. Form the hand pies. Lightly flour a work surface. Divide the dough in half and roll each half into a circle, about 7 inches in diameter (it does not need to be perfectly round, a rustic circle will work just fine). If using a cookie cutter, stamp in the middle of one side of each dough round. Transfer to the prepared sheet pan.

shaping strawberry hand pies
Ready to fold

5. Divide the filling between the rounds and arrange in the middle of the unstamped side, leaving 1/2-inch border. Lightly coat the circumference of each round with water, then fold the stamped (or empty) side on top of the filling. Using a fork or your fingers, press the top layer of dough into the bottom layer to completely seal. If not using a cookie cutter, use a sharp knife to make 2-3 slits in the top of the dough.

6. Evenly coat the top of the hand pies with the beaten egg, then the turbinado sugar, if using. 

7. Bake, rotating the sheet pan halfway through, for 25 to 35 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown and the filling is bubbly. Remove from the oven and let stand at least 10 minutes before serving. Top with a scoop of your favorite ice cream or a dollop of whipped cream, if desired. Enjoy!

Recipe: Tim Hollingsworth’s Grilled Peach Cobbler

Grilled peach cobbler
Sweet, smoky, and just peachy

Chef Tim Hollingsworth’s love for the grill extends far beyond burgers. This grilled peach cobbler recipe was inspired by one of the Chef’s favorite childhood desserts. Here, he gives it a grown-up twist with some complexity from bourbon-spiked batter and smoke from the grill. 

This recipe was designed to work with a Traeger pellet grill. If you don’t have one, just follow the instructions for baking in the oven. For extra credit, serve with vanilla ice cream. 

Smoky Peach Cobbler

For the macerated peaches 
  • 10 Peaches 
  • 2 Tbsps brown sugar 
  • 1 tsp cinnamon 
  • 1 tsp maple syrup
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice 
For the batter 
  • 3 Tbsps butter
  • 1 ½ tsp baking powder
  • 1 C sugar
  • 1 C milk
  • 1 C flour
  • 1 tsp vanilla 
  • 2 Tbsps bourbon 
For dusting 
  • 1 tsp cinnamon 
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 Tbsp brown sugar 

1. Blanch the peaches by submerging them in boiling water for 2-3 minutes. Work in batches of 3-4 peaches. Allow to cool. 

2. After peaches have cooled, peel and slice into wedges. 

3. In a large bowl, combine the sliced peaches, brown sugar, cinnamon, maple syrup and lemon juice. Macerate for 30 minutes. 

4. While the peaches are sitting, place a 10.5” x 7” baking pan in the oven or grill and preheat to 350°F. 

5. Melt the 3 Tbsps butter in the baking dish while the oven preheats. Swirl the butter around to coat the pan, and then pour it out into a large bowl. Add the remaining batter ingredients, and mix to form a thin consistency. 

6. Add the batter to the bottom of the baking dish. If necessary, use spatula to spread it into an even layer. Top with the macerated peaches. 

7. Whisk to combine the cinnamon, sugar, and brown sugar in a small bowl. Dust this over the top of the peaches. 

8. Smoke in a pellet grill or bake in the oven for 45 minutes. 

Want more recipes from Tim Hollingsworth? Order a box from Blue Apron x Tim Hollingsworth today.

How to Grill All of Your Fruits and Vegetables

Fruits and vegetables have just as much of a place on the grill as a steak or a hamburger. In fact, grilling fruits and veggies can actually make preparing a meal easier. Not only will you end up with a delicious dinner, you won’t have to juggle cooking anything else inside on the stove or in the oven. Plus, the grill is versatile. You can vary your method for grilling fruits and vegetables based on your comfort level and personal taste preferences. For grilling times, check out the chart below, and read on to learn more about the best methods for grilling fruits and vegetables. 

grilling temperature chart

Cooking directly on the grill grates

For the most grill flavor, your best bet is to cook straight on the grate. This method requires keeping the pieces of food large, so they don’t fall through the grates as you’re cooking. You can keep some things whole, like ears of corn. For veggies like zucchini, try cutting into long planks instead of small rounds. Season lightly with salt and pepper, or with a rub or marinade of your choosing. No matter what, this method is bound to get you some nice char marks and smoky grilled flavor. The main thing to remember is that the density of the item will impact the cook time. For example, potatoes will take longer to cook than sweet peppers. Keep the items in separate rows or sections on the grill while cooking, so you can easily pull off like items when they’re done. Once the produce has been grilled, you can chop it into smaller bite-sized pieces and combine.

grilled vegetables
Zucchini on the grill

How to grill in a foil packet

With this method, you’ll chop the food down into bite-sized pieces from the start. To make a packet, tear a large piece of aluminum foil from the container and group the food in the center of one side. This is your opportunity to season your vegetables. Fold the other side of the aluminum foil over like you’re closing a book. Crimp the 3 open edges together to seal. The foil packet can then go directly on the grates without the worry of food sticking to the grates or falling through. This method traps the heat in, and steams whatever is inside. You won’t get the same char or smoky flavor, but you will end up with a delicious meal or side dish.  

How to grill in a pan 

With the right cookware, you can place a pan on the grill and use it like a stove. Cast iron is going to give you the best results here. Avoid pans with an enamel coating, plastic handles, or a nonstick surface like teflon. The high heat of the grill can ruin those surfaces. Since this method is similar to cooking on a stovetop, you can sauté, blister, or even caramelize onions. Preheat the grill and the pan with some oil, and then cook away. You might get some smoky essence here, but you’ll likely have to keep the grill lid open for this type of cooking, so it won’t pick up nearly as much flavor as direct grilling. 

How to use a grill basket

Working with a grill basket is similar to using a pan on the grill, but grill baskets usually have small perforated holes. These openings are small enough to allow some smoky flavor through without letting food fall out. To use a basket, preheat the grill and the basket and lightly oil the food. Add things with similar cook times and toss or stir occasionally to make sure the heat is distributed evenly. The food will brown a bit as it cooks, but you won’t get the nice char marks you do with direct grilling.

How to grill with skewers

When it comes to grilling with skewers, the most important thing is to keep foods with similar cooking times together; you don’t want to end up with a stick of burnt peppers and raw potatoes. With this method, you’re able to grill bite-sized pieces directly on the grates without worrying about food falling through the grill. Skewers are available in both wood and metal varieties. The main difference is that you need to soak wood skewers in water for at least 30 minutes to help avoid burning. If you find the food is turning or moving too much on a single skewer, simply use a second skewer to secure it. Placing the skewers perpendicular to the grates will make this method even easier. Skewers give you the benefit of the chargrilled flavor, smokiness of the grill, and easy to eat bite-sized pieces.

grilled corn and grilled onions
Grilled vegetables

Once you’ve chosen your technique, try it out on some of the produce below. For all of the items below, first preheat the grill to a temperature of 450-500°F and oil the grill grates. 

How to grill pineapple 

Peel the pineapple and cut into quarters lengthwise. Remove the core from each quarter, and place directly on the grill. If you prefer rounds, peel the pineapple and slice into 1/2-inch slices. Grill for 6-8 minutes per side. Once your pineapple is nicely caramelized, remove it from the grill, allow to cool, and slice into wedges. These slices will provide a lovely acidic zing in a chicken sandwich, or, if you’re feeling ambitious, use grilled pineapple to add an additional layer of flavor to pineapple upside down cake. 

How to grill pineapple
Grilled fruits with ice cream

How to grill green cabbage 

Cut the cabbage into quarters, keeping the root intact. Drizzle 1 Tbsp of oil on the cut cabbage and toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper. Place the seasoned cabbage wedges cut side down on the hot grill. Cook for 6 to 7 minutes, turning occasionally until lightly charred. 

How to grill corn

Remove the husk and silk from the corn. Lightly oil the corn cobs and place them directly on the grill. Cook for 18 to 20 minutes, turning the cobs occasionally until the corn is charred and cooked through. Once the corn is cooled, enjoy it as is, or cut it off the cob and mix it into a summer salad

How long to grill asparagus

Asparagus can vary a lot in size. When it comes to the grill, the bigger the stalk the better.  Larger stalks will be easier to maneuver, and will stand up to the heat of the grill better. To make this even easier, consider threading the asparagus stalks onto a skewer. Lightly oil the asparagus and place on a hot grill. Cook 3 to 4 minutes per side, or until softened and charred. Once they’re cooked, toss in a light dressing, add to a salad, or just cool and eat. 

How to grill scallions

Lightly oil the scallions and place on the grill, making sure to keep them perpendicular to the grill grate. Cook 2 to 3 minutes per side, or until softened and charred. 

How to grill onions

Peel and cut the onion into 1/2-inch thick rings. Lightly oil the cut onion and place the slices directly on the grill. Cook 8 to 10 minutes per side, or until charred and tender. Once done, these are delicious on top of a burger or steak. 

How long to grill zucchini

Halve the zucchini lengthwise. Using the tip of your knife, score the cut sides of the zucchini diagonally to form a cross-hatch pattern, about 1/4-inch deep. Season the cut sides with a big pinch of salt, then place on a paper towel-lined plate, cut side down. Set aside to release the excess liquid, at least 10 minutes. Pat the zucchini dry with paper towels to remove any excess moisture. Lightly oil the slices and place them on the grill cut side down. Cook 3 to 5 minutes per side or until lightly charred and softened. Remove the zucchini from the grill, serve as is, toss in a light dressing, or tuck into zucchini tacos

Grilling tips

  • Make sure your grill is cleaned, preheated, and oiled before adding anything. This will ensure that your vegetables won’t stick to the grill.
  • Lightly brush or toss your vegetables in oil before placing on the grill to get better color. 
  • Keep the grill lid down while you cook to keep the temperature high and prevent flare ups. 
  • Season your vegetables with salt and lemon off the grill while they are still hot. 
  • Use sheet trays to organize your vegetables before grilling as an easy way to transfer them to and from the grill.

Find even more grilling tips in the Blue Apron guide to grilling 

One Easy Rhubarb Recipe, 3 Ways to Eat it

rhubarb recipe used in blondies
Blondies with flaky sea salt

This simple rhubarb recipe is just four ingredients: sugar, vanilla extract, rhubarb, and water. Honestly, water barely counts as an ingredient, so it’s closer to three. Thanks to rhubarb’s characteristically tart and punchy flavor, this simple slow-cooked compote has a surprising amount of complexity. Here, the natural tartness is tamed by the addition of sugar and gentle heat, leaving you with an ever so slightly zingy jam. 

Yogurt with compote and granola
Yogurt with compote and granola

Once you’ve made the compote, the possibilities are basically limitless. Of course, it’s delicious on its own, but why stop there? Spread it over peanut butter on a thick slice of toast, mix it into plain yogurt, swirl it into blondie batter, or spoon it over a scoop of ice cream for a wonderful spring dessert. 

Just remember to act fast, rhubarb season lasts from spring to early summer. 

rhubarb compote over ice cream
Rhubarb compote over ice cream

Slow-Cooked Rhubarb Compote Recipe 

Recipe from from Dappled: Baking Recipes for Fruit Lovers: A Cookbook

  • 1/2 Cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ Cup water 
  • 1/2 Tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 Pound rhubarb, cut into 1″ chunks
  1. In a large saucepan, combine the sugar, water, and vanilla extract. Heat over medium heat until the sugar has dissolved. Stir occasionally. 
  2. Add the rhubarb and stir. Reduce the heat and cook over low until the rhubarb is soft and sticky. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until the mixture has reached your desired consistency. 
  3. Store in an airtight container. This compote will keep in the fridge for up to two weeks. 

Homemade Almond Butter and Jam with a Healthy Twist

What’s the best thing to put on morning toast? This week Chefs Lili Dagan and Sarah Entwistle both found themselves looking for a way to give their breakfast a boost, and ended up turning to seeds. Chef Lili created a homemade almond butter, and Chef Sarah whipped up a quick and easy jam. 

toast with almond butter
Breakfast time

Pick a team: jam and jelly, or nut butters. Don’t want to choose? I suppose you can make both. The Blue Apron test kitchen put a few healthful tweaks on each of these familiar ingredients. Enjoy them on their own, or make both to create a hearty twist on a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. 

Raspberry and Chia Seed Jam

raspberry jam
Raspberry jam on homemade crumb cake


  • 1 cup fresh raspberries (or your favorite berry)
  • 1/2 cup sugar (most recipes call for more sugar— we like to use less because berries are naturally sweet)
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tablespoon chia seeds [optional]
  • 2 lemon wedges, deseeded [optional]


1. Wash your berries. 

2. Place the berries in a medium pot with the sugar and water; stir to combine. Heat to boiling on medium-high heat. Once boiling, reduce the heat to low and stir in the chia seeds (if using). Simmer, stirring occasionally for 20-30 minutes, or until the water has evaporated and the jam has thickened (you should be able to see the bottom of the pot when you run a spatula through the jam). 

3. Turn off the heat. Squeeze in the juice of your lemon wedges and let cool for at least 10 minutes (jam will continue to thicken as it cools). Store in your refrigerator in an air-tight container for up to one month. Enjoy it on toast, in your yogurt bowl, on a PB&J, or even drizzle some over your favorite pastry.

Please note: the chia seeds absorb liquid and help thicken the jam. If you are not using chia seeds, you may have to cook down the jam a bit longer. 

Almond Butter with Coconut and Seeds

almond butter
Ready to be blitzed


  • 4 cups raw almonds
  • 4 tablespoons virgin coconut oil
  • 6 tablespoons seeds (We used chia, hemp, and flax. Anything you’d sprinkle on oatmeal or a smoothie bowl would work)
  • Pinch of salt


1. Toast your almonds for 7-10 minutes in a 350°F oven. This will release their natural oils, and help them blend easily. Be sure to cool them completely before blending.

2. Place the cooled nuts and 1 tablespoon coconut oil in a food processor. (Note: I have used a vitamix to make this before, and while it’s faster, a food processor is easier to clean). Blitz, alternating between the chop and grind function, until the nuts have started to break down, periodically scraping the sides down. Add 1 tablespoon of coconut oil at a time, ensuring that it incorporates fully, until your desired consistency is reached. Usually, this takes anywhere from 5-10 minutes. Add your seeds and nuts and a pinch of salt, and blitz just a couple of times to just incorporate. 

3. Enjoy with toast or fruit. 

Looking or a more indulgent twist on peanut butter and jelly? Try these sweet and salty  peanut butter and jelly bars.

This Rum-Soaked Pineapple Cocktail is an Elegant Alternative to the Vodka Melon

Chef Lili Dagan is officially giving you permission to get a little crazy with your fruit bowl, and she’s giving you the pineapple cocktail recipe to help you do it.

This is a pineapple cocktail
It’s stronger than it looks

What might happen if that pineapple in your fruit bowl got bored? Would it get up in the middle of the night to have a drink? Would it make friends with a coconut? Would it cozy up to the rum, or is tequila more it’s speed? Would they all overindulge and fall asleep in a big puddle? These are the questions I ask myself awake at night, mulling over my next whole fruit cocktail.

I’m calling this pineapple cocktail the Pina Borracho. Think of it as an elevated alternative to the tried and true college method of draining an entire bottle of vodka into a watermelon. It’s just as fun, but slightly more refined. 

Pina Borracho, or “The Drunken Pineapple

Serves: I won’t lie, I ate the whole thing myself. I’d suggest sharing with a friend for good measure. 

Share with a friend


  • 1 whole pineapple
  • Juice of one lime
  • 5 oz rum
  • 1 Tb Turbinado sugar
  • 1 5.4 oz can coconut cream

For garnish:

  • 1 bunch fresh mint
  • Handful of coconut Chips
  • Zest of one lime

1. In a large bowl, mix together the coconut cream, lime juice, rum, and turbinado sugar. 

2. Trim 3-4 inches off of the fronds of your pineapple. Quarter the pineapple lengthwise, and carve around the skin to release the inner fruit in each section. Wrap the pineapple skin boats and refrigerate them. You’ll use these tomorrow. 

pineapples ready for cocktail
Cored and prepped

3. Core your pineapple and cut the flesh into ¼ inch triangles and place in the coconut rum mixture. Stir gently to ensure even coverage. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. 

4. After 24 hours, remove the pineapple from the marinade. Assemble the pineapple triangles in the pineapple boats. Garnish with fresh mint leaves, coconut chips, and lime zest. Spoon any extra coconut marinade over the pineapple. Enjoy responsibly. It’s stronger than you think!

Want to try another whole fruit cocktail? Check out Chef Lili’s melon margarita.