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The Greatest Pie Mashup: Apple-Pecan Bourbon-Caramel Pie

Apple pie and pecan pie: two world-famous classics. But let's be honest, one's a little wholesome and the other's a little too sweet. You know which is which. But what if we combine them into a single pie with an apple filling and a pecan bourbon-caramel top "crust"? And what if we told you it's easier to make and assemble than either of the originals? This may be the greatest pie mashup ever. More

How to Make Queso Fresco, the World's Easiest Cheese

Let's face it; there are some skills that are just cool to have. Being able to weld things, very cool. Ability to moonwalk? Always cool. And being able to turn everyday milk into wicked good cheese definitely belongs on that list. What if you showed up at your next holiday party with a wedge of queso fresco that—no big deal—you whipped up that morning? Pretty cool. More

15 Lesser-Known Berries You Should Try

I moved around quite a bit when I was little, from upstate New York, where I remember picking wild blueberries, to Germany, where we gathered gooseberries, to the central coast of California, where blackberry vines grow in the mountains and suburban lots and our neighbors took great pride in their olallieberry jams and pies. For every spot on earth, it seems, there's a berry to be picked. More

Jam-Making 101: How to Select the Best Fruit

The first step in making good jam is knowing how to select the best fruit. In the case of jam, though, that doesn't necessarily mean the ripest fruit. In the first part in this jam-making series, we look at how to buy the best possible fruit for jam, with a recipe for summertime blueberry jam as a delicious example. More

How to Make Queso Fresco, the World's Easiest Cheese

As for salt- salt should be added once the curds have drained. It's true that adding the salt earlier will change the moisture content and texture of the cheese. It will also drain out with the whey if added earlier, changing the saltiness and flavor of both the curds (less salty) and they whey (more salty.) Adding salt after draining make easier to control saltiness.

How to Make Queso Fresco, the World's Easiest Cheese

Quick cheese like this is sometimes called mistakenly ricotta- true ricotta (meaning re-cooked, in Italian) is actually made from the whey from the first round of cheese-making, re-heated and with more acid added, to precipitate any remaining curds from the whey. It's not a big deal to call this quick cheese ricotta- lots of people do- I just like using the term queso fresco for clarity.

Light-and-Tender Honey-Almond Cake (Or, How to Beat Perfect Egg Whites)

A bit about the egg whites being free of yolks- back in my early pastry assistant days I tried to whip some whites that had a dribble of yolk in them. I whisked them forever without getting a good foam, and then they went straight to grainy. My chef immediately asked if they were perfectly clean (how did she know?!) and I had to own up. It's absolutely conceivable that I had done something else wrong, but ever since that incident I've adhered to the rule of only using clean whites.

Jam-Making 101: How to Select the Best Fruit

Thanks, lemonfair!

The same concept holds true for all fruit; the most important thing is to choose fruit that is *just ripe*, and if one or two of those peaches are a little extra firm it will only help the flavor and texture of the jam.

Best of luck!