Recipe of the Month: Mother’s Day Cake

This cake is inspired by the Norwegian cake known as verdens beste, “the world’s best.” The story behind it is almost as good as the cake itself. In the 1930s, Hulda Ottestad, a café owner in Harstad, a town on Norway’s largest island, Hinnøya, bought two recipes from a Danish pastry chef. She transformed one of them into what’s known today as Kvæfjordkake. Over the years, the cake’s popularity surged, and in 2002, it was crowned Norway’s National Cake. I’d never baked a sponge cake and meringue in the same pan and was intrigued. I tried several variations, settling on the following recipe, which uses sweetened whipped cream in place of custard. The luscious combination of sponge cake, almond meringue, berries and cream comes together with surprising ease, making it a great addition to any Mother’s Day brunch!

Printable PDF

Makes 8 servings.

Cake Layer
8 Tbsp (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
2/3 cup granulated sugar 1
tsp lemon zest
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup King Arthur cake flour (or a gluten-free equivalent like Bob’s Red Mill GF One-to-One Baking Flour)
1 tsp baking powder
4 egg yolks (reserve egg whites for the meringue)
1/3 cup milk

Meringue Layer
4 egg whites
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
1 cup + 2 Tbsp granulated sugar
2/3 cup sliced raw almonds

Cream Filling
3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
2 Tbsp granulated sugar
1/2 cup fresh strawberries, 1/2-inch dice

2 Tbsp powdered sugar
12 whole strawberries

Cake Layer
Preheat the oven to 325°F. Prepare a 9-inch square baking pan by brushing it with neutral flavored oil and lining it with a 12-inch square piece of parchment paper.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar together for 3 to 5 minutes until light and fluffy. Add the lemon zest and vanilla extract, mixing well to combine.

Sift together the flour and baking powder. With the mixer running at low speed, gradually add the sifted ingredients to the butter mixture, mixing until you have a smooth paste.

In a separate bowl, whisk the egg yolks and milk together. With the mixer set to medium speed, gradually add the egg yolk mixture to the batter in three additions, mixing for 30 seconds after each addition. Use a spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl, ensuring all ingredients are well combined.

Pour the cake batter into the prepared baking pan.

Meringue Layer
Clean and dry the mixer bowl. Using the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites on medium-high speed. Sprinkle in the salt and cream of tartar. Once the egg whites become foamy, gradually add the sugar, and continue to whisk on high speed for 5 to 8 minutes, or until the meringue becomes shiny and holds firm peaks.

Scoop the meringue onto the top of the cake batter, smoothing it so it covers the cake. Sprinkle the sliced almonds evenly over the meringue.

Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until the meringue is dry to the touch and almonds are golden brown.

Let cool for 15 minutes. Run a paring knife around the edges of the pan to loosen the cake. Carefully lift the cake out of the pan using the overhanging parchment paper and place it on a wire rack to cool completely.

Cream Filling
Clean and dry the mixer bowl. Fit the stand mixer with the whisk attachment and whip the heavy cream on medium-high speed. Gradually add the sugar and continue to whip until the cream is firm but not curdled in texture.

Fold the diced strawberries gently into the whipped cream. Keep the mixture chilled until you’re ready to assemble the cake.

When the cake has completely cooled, remove the parchment liner and cut the cake in half, to make two 4½-inch x 9-inch pieces.

Place one piece of the cake, almond-side down, on your serving plate. Spread the strawberry whipped cream evenly over this layer. Top with the second cake half, almond-side up. Chill the assembled cake for 30 minutes to firm it up for slicing.

Using a serrated knife, gently cut the cake into 1½-inch slices, taking care not to squeeze out the filling. Before serving, dust the top of each slice with powdered sugar and garnish with fresh strawberries. Enjoy!


Coffee Cream Tartlets

Coffee sweetened with cream was the inspiration behind this tartlet that will appeal to fans of tiramisu. A rich pastry cream infused with espresso is cradled in tartlets made with our flaky pie crust over a chocolate base and topped with Bavarian cream. The flavors of the silky pastry cream and the buttery crust contrast nicely with the bittersweet flavors of the coffee and chocolate, a divine combination. Not only do they present elegantly, but they can be made ahead of time, and chilled until it’s time to serve them.

Printable PDF of this recipe here.
Makes 4 tartlets.

1 disk flaky pie dough
4 egg yolks
½ cup + 1 Tbsp sugar, divided
2 Tbsp + 1 tsp cornstarch
3 tsp vanilla, divided
1¼ cups milk
¼ cup espresso or very strong coffee
¾ cup heavy cream
½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
12 coffee beans

Roll out pie dough disk into a 16-inch x 20-inch rectangle about ¼-inch thick. Using a 6½-inch plastic lid as a guide, cut out 4 circles. Place each circle into a 4½-inch tart shell, folding any overhang onto the rim. Crimp the edge of each tartlet and chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line each tartlet with a 7-inch square of parchment paper, pressing it into the dough. Fill each with pie weights. Place the tartlet shells on a rimmed baking sheet and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the rim is golden brown and the base is dry when pie weights and parchment are removed. If the base still looks wet, return to the oven for a few more minutes. Let cool completely.

Pastry Cream
In a medium bowl, whisk together the yolks, ½ cup sugar, cornstarch and 1½ tsp vanilla until well combined. Set aside.

In a medium saucepan, heat the milk until it comes to a boil. Gradually ladle the hot milk into the egg mixture, whisking constantly to combine. Then, pour the mixture back into the saucepan.

Over low heat, cook the mixture until it thickens, being careful not to let it boil. Remove from heat.

Strain two-thirds of the mixture through a mesh strainer into one clean bowl, and the remainder into another.

Stir the brewed espresso (or strong coffee) into the larger amount of pastry cream. Cover both bowls with plastic wrap and chill for 20 minutes.

To make the Bavarian cream, whip the heavy cream with the remaining 1 Tbsp sugar and 1½ tsp vanilla to a medium firmness. Pour in the small bowl of chilled pastry cream and gently fold in to combine. Cover and chill for 20 minutes.

Set up a double boiler by adding 1-inch of water to a small saucepan and fitting a small stainless bowl on top. Melt the chocolate chips in the bowl, stirring with a spatula. Remove from the heat.

Brush the melted chocolate onto the interior base of the baked tartlet shells and refrigerate for 5 minutes to set. Reserve extra chocolate for garnishing.

Divide the coffee pastry cream evenly between the 4 tartlet shells and smooth the surface with a spatula. Top each tartlet with the Bavarian cream, creating a dome shape.

Garnish the tartlets with chocolate stripes by dipping a fork in the remaining melted chocolate and dripping it over the tartlets. (You could also use pastry bag with a fine tip to stripe the tartlets with chocolate.)

Top each tartlet with 3 coffee beans. Chill until ready to serve. The tartlets will keep for up to 4 days in the refrigerator.


Shrimp & Crab Salad Sliders for the Big Game

Macrina’s slider rolls, either brioche or potato, are the perfect bun for sliders. Of course, there are many great fillings. But for the big game, you want to bring your A-game. These Shrimp and Crab Salad Sliders are a guaranteed winner, especially with fresh Dungeness coming in from Washington’s Pacific coast. You can make the salad in advance and refrigerate it. Before serving, butter the insides of the rolls and sauté them to caramelize the bread and warm it through.

Makes 12 sliders

Shrimp & Crap Sliders for the Big Game

6 cups water
2 Tbsp kosher salt
1¼ tsp crushed red pepper flakes, divided
1 lb frozen shrimp, 16–20 size, (deveined, shell on)
8 oz fresh crab meat, cooked
2 ribs celery, medium dice
2 tsp capers, chopped
3 tsp fresh tarragon, finely chopped
3 tsp shallots, finely chopped
½ cup mayonnaise
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
12 Macrina Brioche Sliders or Rustic Potato Sliders
Butter, softened

In a medium saucepan, add the water, salt and 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes. Bring to a boil. Add the frozen shrimp and return to a boil, cooking for 3–4 minutes or until the shrimp are just cooked through.

Strain the shrimp and transfer to a bowl. Quickly cover with ice cubes to stop the cooking process. Toss and let cool for 10 minutes.

Peel the shrimp and coarsely chop them in ½-inch pieces

In a medium bowl, add the diced celery, capers, tarragon, shallots, remaining ¼ tsp crushed red pepper flakes, mayonnaise and lemon juice. Mix well. Add the crab and chopped shrimp. Stir to combine.

Cut the slider rolls in half horizontally and brush with butter. Pan sauté the interiors to caramelize the bread and warm it through. Divide the shrimp and crab salad between the slider roll bottoms and add a top each one. Serve with your favorite chips or green salad.



Recipe of the Month: Hazelnut Raspberry Linzer Cookies

This is our Valentine’s Day version of the beloved Linzer cookie, made with ground hazelnuts rather than almonds. These shortbread cookies are great just as they are — tender, delicately sweet, with a subtle, nutty flavor and a hint of cinnamon — but with the raspberry, they’re divine. We cut these into heart shapes and make them into beautiful window cookies. In addition to the raspberry hearts, you’ll also wind up with smaller, chocolate-rimmed hearts. We like heart-shaped cookies all year long but feel free to adapt the shapes to any occasion or even enjoy the hazelnut shortbread in its pure, unadorned form. At the Macrina cafés, we are selling a Hazelnut Shortbread Cookie Mix, which is very similar and will make it quick and easy for you to make this impressive cookie.

Printable PDF of this recipe here.
Makes nine 3 1/2 inch cookies + nine smaller cookies.

Hazelnut Raspberry Linzer Cookies

½ cup light brown sugar
¼ cornstarch
1¾ cup unbleached all-purpose flour (or substitute Bob’s Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour)
1 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp salt
½ cup hazelnuts, toasted and finely ground
8 oz (2 sticks) unsalted butter, chilled and cut into ¼-inch pieces
1½ tsp pure vanilla extract
½ cup raspberry jam
¼ cup powdered sugar
½ cup semisweet chocolate chips
½ cup red and white crystal sugar

Line 3 rimmed baking pans with parchment paper. Set aside.

In a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, combine brown sugar and cornstarch on low speed for about 1 minute to remove lumps. Add flour, cinnamon, salt, and ground hazelnuts. Mix until combined.

With the mixer running, gradually add cubed butter and blend until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add the vanilla extract and mix for another minute to allow the dough to come together.

On a lightly floured surface, press the dough into a 10-inch square. Divide in half and roll out each half to a 1/4-inch thickness, ensuring evenness. Cut out 9 large hearts from the first half for the bases and place them on one prepared baking pan.

From the second rolled-out half, cut out an equal number of large hearts. Then, using a smaller heart cutter, remove the centers to create heart frames. Place these frames on the second baking pan, and the small heart cutouts on the third pan.*

Chill the baking pans in the refrigerator for 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Bake cookies for 15 to 20 minutes until golden brown. Let cool to room temperature.

To assemble the cookies, spread raspberry jam on the heart bases. Lightly dust the heart frames with powdered sugar and place one on top of each jam-covered base.

Melt chocolate chips in a water bath, double boiler or microwave. Dip the edge of smaller heart cookies in the chocolate and then in the crystal sugar. Allow them to set up on parchment paper.

Enjoy making someone feel special with these delicious cookies for Valentine’s Day — or any day!

*Note: Any dough scraps can be brought together in a ball, re-chilled, and rolled out again for extra cookies! 


Recipe of the Month: Basque Cheesecake with Buckwheat Honey

The deep brown, almost burnt caramelized top of this Basque country cheesecake glows with goodness. The crustless, rustic dessert from northern Spain has a light, custardy interior that isn’t too sweet. As it bakes at relatively high heat, the interior rises and, as it cools, sinks slightly, making it perfect for a drizzle of buckwheat honey and seasonal fruit. It’s best served at room temperature, either once it has cooled after baking, or stored chilled and then allowed to come to room temperature. Before garnishing, it’ll hold in the refrigerator, well covered, for up to a week. I love the simple splendor of this cheesecake — a marvel, given how easy it is to make.

Printable PDF of this recipe here.
Makes one 10-inch cheesecake.

Basque Cheesecake with Buckwheat Honey

24 oz cream cheese, at room temperature (remove from refrigeration 1 hour prior to using)
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup sour cream
1 cup heavy cream
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour (or Bob’s gluten-free blend)
1/2 tsp kosher salt
4 large eggs
1/4 cup buckwheat or Manuka honey
1 cup seasonal fruit (such as orange segments or raspberries)

Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a 10-inch x 3-inch springform pan* using two pieces of parchment paper, leaving an overhang to form a collar. Press the parchment firmly against the pan’s base and sides and set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the room temperature cream cheese, granulated sugar, and brown sugar with a paddle attachment. Mix until smooth and lump-free, about 3 to 4 minutes.

Add the sour cream to the mixture and blend until incorporated. Follow with the heavy cream and vanilla extract, mixing until smooth. Scrape the sides of the bowl with a spatula to be sure everything is well combined.

In a small bowl, whisk the flour and salt together. Gradually add this to the cream cheese mixture with the mixer on low speed until it’s fully incorporated.

Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl to be sure the eggs are fully incorporated.

Pour the batter into the prepared springform pan and place on a rimmed sheet pan. Bake on the center rack of the oven for 45 minutes.

Lower the temperature to 375°F and bake for another 15 minutes, until the top is deep brown and the center is set.

Remove the cheesecake from the oven and let cool for 1 hour. Gently remove the cheesecake by lifting the edges of the parchment paper (remove

Allow the cheesecake to rest another 30 minutes. Carefully invert the cheesecake onto a flat plate, remove the parchment paper, and then place upright on a serving plate.

Drizzle the buckwheat or Manuka honey over the top and artfully arrange the fresh raspberries. Enjoy!

*This recipe can be achieved with a standard 10-inch x 3-inch cake pan with the parchment paper lining.

Product Feature: Cranberry Apricot Nut Loaf

This is one of our most flavorful breads, shining especially bright during the gray days of winter. Its mild sour flavor results from our natural starter and a long, slow rise. The locally grown and milled coarse whole-wheat flour from Fairhaven Mills contributes to its hearty texture and natural sweetness. Turkish apricots, cranberries, walnuts, and pecans add flavor and crunch. You’d be hard pressed to identify the faint hint of anise and cloves — that je ne sais quoi that sets it apart — if they weren’t listed among the ingredients. The net effect is a bread with surprising balance and delicious taste.
The festive flavors make this loaf a natural for the holidays. Serve warm slices at your holiday brunch with creamy cheeses like Brie or ricotta, maybe a drizzle of honey. Or keep it simple: toasted and buttered is one of our favorite ways to enjoy it. But perhaps its highest and best use during the holidays is for the Prized Leftover Ham or Turkey Sandwich.

Prize Leftover Ham or Turkey Sandwich

Serves 4

¼ cup mayonnaise
¼ cup leftover cranberry sauce
½ cup leftover gravy
2 cups mixed white and dark turkey meat, leftover
2 cups leftover stuffing
8 slices Macrina Cranberry Apricot Nut Loaf, cut on the bias
2 Tbsp butter

In a small bowl, mix together the mayonnaise and cranberry sauce. Set aside.
Pour the gravy into a saucepan and heat over medium heat. Once the gravy is warm, add the turkey meat and cook until just warmed through, about 4 minutes.

While the turkey is warming, heat the stuffing. You can do this in a microwave until it reaches about 165°F, or in another skillet if you prefer.

Heat a skillet over medium heat. Butter one side of each slice of the Cranberry Apricot Nut Loaf. Place the bread slices buttered side down in the skillet and toast until just crisped, about 2 minutes each.

Assemble the sandwiches: Spread the mayo-cranberry mixture evenly over the non-buttered sides of all 8 bread slices. On four of the slices, layer the warmed turkey and top each with a quarter of the warm stuffing. Place the remaining bread slices, mayo-cranberry side down, on top of the stuffing to close the sandwiches. Cut the sandwiches in half and serve immediately.

Recipe of the Month: Breakfast Bagel Tartines

Breakfast Bagel Tartine

There will always be a place in my repertoire of favorite brunch items for this quick, luxurious riff on a bistro classic. Tartines, warm open-faced sandwiches, are a staple in Parisian cafés and bistros — and the quality of the bread is paramount. Our MadRy Sourdough Bagels provide a sturdy base for the toppings, and their subtle sourdough taste complements the other flavors. Additionally, the bagel’s center hole is ideally suited for nestling the porchetta, creating a snug pocket to perfectly cradle an egg for baking. Our MadRy bagels come in plain, sesame, poppy, sea salt, everything, and cheese. Choose your favorite. They all work well in this recipe.

Printable PDF of this recipe here.
Makes 4 tartines.

Breakfast Bagel Tartines

1 pint cherry tomatoes
3 Tbsp olive oil
2 cup fresh chopped herbs (parsley, basil, or oregano work well), divided
¼ tsp kosher salt
2 Macrina MadRy Sourdough Bagels
2 Tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
½ cup (4 oz) spreadable cream cheese
4 slices porchetta
4 eggs
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat your oven to 350°F and line two rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a bowl, gently toss the cherry tomatoes with olive oil. Arrange the tomatoes on one of the prepared baking sheets. Sprinkle with half of the fresh herbs and the kosher salt. Roast for 10 minutes or until the tomatoes are just beginning to brown. Remove from the oven and set aside.

Slice the bagels horizontally to maintain their ring shape and arrange them, cut side up, on the second baking sheet. Butter the bagels and toast in the oven for 3 minutes.

Spread a quarter of the cream cheese on each bagel half. Add a slice of porchetta on top, nestling it into the bagel hole to create a pocket. Carefully crack an egg into each pocket and garnish each with a quarter of the roasted tomatoes and a Tbsp of Parmesan cheese.

Return to the oven and bake for 7 to 8 minutes, or until the eggs are just set.

Finish by sprinkling the remaining herbs over the tartines. Serve warm and enjoy!

Breakfast Bagel Tartine

Appetizers for Your Holiday Gatherings

Keeping a stash of Macrina’s flatbread and crostini on hand helps make holiday entertaining easy — with impressive results. This month, I’m showcasing two elegant appetizers that use our new holiday spreads, alongside two treasured standbys. In addition, I’m sharing my recipes for two great holiday appetizers: Potato Latkes with Spicy Shrimp & Sour Cream and Chinese Meatballs with Peanut Sauce. Some of these dishes take longer to prepare than others, but all are relatively quick and present well. Holiday entertaining can be stressful, but these crowdpleasers will lighten your load and bring joy and satisfied smiles to your festivities.

Printable PDF of this recipe here.
Each appetizer serves 8.

Macrina’s Rye Crostini with Our New Kale & Roasted Artichoke Spread and Buttered Dungeness Crab
In a small sauté pan, melt 4 Tbsp unsalted butter. Add 2 oz of fresh crabmeat and cook just long enough to warm it through (less than a minute). Turn off the heat. Season the crab with ⅛ tsp kosher salt and 1 tsp of fresh lemon juice. Arrange 8 crostini on a plate. Spread 2 tsp of Kale and Roasted Artichoke Spread onto each, then evenly top with the warm, buttery crab. Drizzle with any remaining warm butter from the pan. Garnish with finely chopped fresh chives or parsley.

Macrina’s Greek Olive Crostini with Softened Goat Cheese and Project Barnstorm Plum Conserve
Bring 4 oz of goat cheese to room temperature (about an hour). In a medium bowl, combine the goat cheese, ¼ cup whipping cream and ⅛ tsp kosher salt. Use a whisk or fork to blend the mixture until you have a spreadable consistency. Arrange 8 crostini on a plate. Spread 2 tsp of the mixture on the crostini and top with 1½ tsp of Plum Conserve.

Macrina’s Sardinian Flatbread with Holiday Smoked Salmon Spread* and Microgreens
Take two flatbread sheets and snap each of them into four pieces. With the curved side up, spread 2 tsp of the Smoked Salmon Spread on each piece. Top each with a pinch of microgreens and a dash of fresh lemon juice.
*Our Smoked Salmon Spread will be available in December. We recommend our Smoked Trout Spread for gatherings in November.

Macrina’s Cranberry Apricot Nut Crostini with Burrata, Coppa and Pomegranate Seeds
Cut the burrata ball in half. Then cut each half in 4 slices. Arrange 8 crostini on a plate and top each with a piece of coppa, a slice of burrata, and a sprinkle of pomegranate seeds. Garnish with finely chopped fresh rosemary, a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of kosher salt.

Potato Latkes with Spicy Shrimp & Sour Cream

1 large russet potato, peeled and cut into quarters
3 tsp kosher salt, divided
2 scallions, coarsely chopped
1 egg
2 Tbsp gluten-free flour mix (or unbleached all-purpose flour)
⅛ tsp black pepper
1½ tsp chimichurri seasoning
½ cup pure olive oil, divided
8 shelled raw shrimp (16–20 size)
2 Tbsp white wine
2 Tbsp butter
¼ cup sour cream

Place the potato in a saucepan, covered with water and 1 tsp of salt. Bring to a boil and simmer for 30 minutes or until the potato is tender when pierced with a fork. Remove from the water and let cool.

Using the medium holes of a box grater, shred the cooked potato. In a medium bowl, combine the shredded potato, scallions, egg, gluten-free flour mix, 1 tsp salt and the pepper. Mix well.

Season the shrimp with the chimichurri seasoning and the remaining 1 tsp salt.

Pour ¼ cup oil into a large cast iron or non-stick sauté pan and set it over medium-high heat. Once hot, add golf-ball-sized scoops of the potato latke batter. Flatten and fry until both sides are crisp and browned. Avoid overcrowding; you will likely need to sauté the latkes in two batches. Once cooked, set them aside to keep warm.

Clear away any stuck bits from the pan, then add the remaining ¼ cup olive oil and place over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add the shrimp and sauté for 1 to 2 minutes on each side. Just before the shrimp is finished, add the white wine and butter. Swirl the pan to create a simple sauce. (Note: if there is excess oil, pour it off before adding the wine.)

Top each latke with a shrimp, a spoonful of the pan sauce, and a dollop of sour cream. For a great presentation, garnish with chopped herbs.

Chinese Chicken Meatballs with Peanut Sauce

1 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp onion, finely diced
1½ tsp fresh ginger, finely chopped
1 tsp garlic, finely chopped
¼ cup breadcrumbs
2 Tbsp soy sauce
8 oz ground chicken meat
¼ cup scallions, finely diced
¼ cup cilantro, coarsely chopped
1 egg

½ tsp fresh ginger, finely chopped
½ tsp fresh garlic, finely chopped
¼ cup peanut butter
2 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
½ cup water
¾ tsp sriracha sauce

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a medium sauté pan, warm the olive oil over medium-high heat.

Add the onions and sauté for about 1 minute until they turn translucent. Stir in the ginger and garlic and cook for another minute. Transfer the mixture to a medium bowl and allow it to cool.

In a separate small bowl, combine the breadcrumbs and soy sauce. Mix well and let it sit for 5 minutes.

To the cooled onion mixture, add the ground chicken, scallions, cilantro, and breadcrumb mixture. Mix thoroughly. Then, incorporate the egg to bind the ingredients together.

Form the mixture into quarter-sized balls and place them on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until golden brown.

In a medium bowl, whisk together all the ingredients. If you prefer a thinner sauce, add more water or vinegar to your taste. The sauce will hold in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

Serve the warm meatballs on a pool of the peanut sauce, each skewered with a toothpick.

Classic Ricotta Tart

Having lived in the North End of Boston for three years, I had the pleasure of frequenting some of the best Italian bakeries — the inspiration behind this tart. This rendition is adapted from a beloved recipe in our first cookbook. The Italian pasta frolla dough is versatile and straightforward to make. You’ll find yourself dreaming up other rustic tarts that it would serve well. My favorite filling combines rich ricotta cheese, dried cranberries, hazelnuts and bittersweet chocolate chips. However, feel free to swap out the dried fruit and nuts as whimsy or inspiration strikes. Fresh berries and a glass of Vin Santo make the perfect accompaniments to this lovely Italian tart.
-Leslie Mackie

Printable PDF of this recipe here.
Makes one 7-inch tart; serves 6

2½ cup unbleached all-purpose flour
⅓ cup granulated sugar
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp ground anise
10 Tbsp (1¼ sticks) unsalted butter, chilled and cut into ½-inch cubes
1 egg
1 egg yolk
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 Tbsp heavy cream

⅓ cup dried cranberries
2 cups seasonal berries
3¾ cup whole milk ricotta
½ cup granulated sugar
1 Tbsp unbleached all-purposed flour
¼ tsp salt
1½ tsp vanilla extract
1 Tbsp orange zest
4 egg yolks
¼ cup hazelnuts, roasted and coarsely ground
½ cup bittersweet chocolate chips
1 Tbsp unbleached all-purposed flour
1 egg + 1 tsp watter for egg wash
2 Tbsp raw sugar (Turbinado)

In the bowl of a stand mixer, sift together the flour, sugar and salt. Add the ground anise and mix until well combined. Place bowl on mixer, and fit with the paddle attachment. On low speed, gradually add the butter cubes. Continue mixing until the texture resembles coarse crumbs.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg, egg yolk, vanilla extract and heavy cream. With the mixer on low speed, slowly pour the egg mixture into the flour mixture. Mix just until the dough comes together, about 30 seconds.

Transfer the dough onto a clean surface. Divide it into two portions: one larger and the other about a third of the size. Shape each portion into a flat disk. Wrap each disk in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

On a floured surface, roll out the larger dough disk into an 11-inch circle with a thickness of ⅛-inch. Carefully transfer it to a 7-inch x 1½-inch cake pan, pressing into the bottom and up the sides. Ensure there’s a ½-inch overhang around the top edges of the pan.

Roll out the smaller dough disk into a 7-inch circle, also with a thickness of ⅛-inch. Cut two 2-inch vents in this top layer of dough. Set the dough-lined cake pan aside as you make the filling.

Rinse the dried cranberries under water to rehydrate them. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine the ricotta, sugar, flour, salt, vanilla extract and orange zest. This can be mixed by hand or using a stand mixer until combined well.

Gradually add the egg yolks, ensuring each yolk is fully incorporated before adding the next. Gently fold in the rehydrated cranberries, ground hazelnuts, and chocolate chips, making sure they are evenly distributed throughout the mixture.

In a seperate small bowl, whisk together the egg and water to make the egg wash.

Transfer the filling into the dough-lined cake pan, smoothing the top to ensure it’s level. Top the filling with the 7-inch pasta frolla circle. Brush the perimeter of the top dough with egg wash. Fold the ½-inch overhang from the base dough over the top dough, pressing gently to seal the tart.

Brush the entire top of the tart with the remaining egg wash and sprinkle with raw sugar. If you have excess dough, you can roll it out and cut decorative roses or other designs and place them on top of tart.

Refrigerate the assembled tart for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 325°F.

Bake the tart for 50 to 55 minutes, or until the crust turns a golden brown and the filling is set.

Allow the tart to cool for at least 2 hours before serving. Enjoy with fresh berries and a glass of Vin Santo!

Avocado Toast with Egg & Fromage Blanc

Trends may come and go, but avocado toast is a welcome mainstay. In fact, popular recipes for it date back to the ’60s. Why even have a recipe for something as simple as mashed avocado on toast? Because elevating it from good to delightful is a matter of choosing a few complementary ingredients in balanced proportions. In our cafés, this recipe has earned such a following that we now offer it daily. We recommend our Pugliese for bread, however, any of our rustic loaves will do. Choose your favorite and enjoy this modern classic, a love letter to relaxed mornings and healthy, delicious food.



Printable PDF of this recipe here. 

Makes 6 large rolls

4 eggs
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil, divided
2 Tbsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp lemon zest
1/2 tsp kosher salt, divided
1/4 tsp black pepper
4 ripe avocados
1 loaf Macrina’s Pugliese (or favorite rustic bread)
1/2 cup Fromage Blanc (or another spreadable cheese such as Snofrisk, or goat cheese)
1 cup microgreens (radish or watercress)

Place the whole eggs in a small sauce pan and cover with water. Over medium heat, bring the water to a boil, then cover with a lid and turn off heat. After 11 minutes have elapsed, remove the lid and pour off the hot water. Run cold water over the eggs for 30 seconds, then peel them and set aside.

In a small bowl, combine 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, 1/4 tsp salt, and black pepper. Whisk to combine well. Set aside.

Place peeled and pitted avocados in a medium bowl. Smash them with a fork to make them spreadable.

Cut eight 1/2-inch slices of bread (if using a larger loaf, one slice per serving will do). Toast the bread to get a delicious char on them.

Place 2 toasted slices on each plate and drizzle the remaining 1/4 cup olive oil over the bread. Spread each with 1 Tbsp of cheese. Top each with an equal portion of the mashed avocado. Slice the eggs and divide among each slice. Drizzle with the lemon juice dressing and top with the microgreens. Enjoy!