Asparagus Fontina Tart calls for 2 cups of Fontina or
spring. We’re so glad you’re here.
a season that means big changes for cooks. Our thoughts turn
to lighter fare and dishes that remind us of warmer weather
and fresh-from-the-garden ingredients. You’ve also become
the season of brunch, whether it’s brunch in a restaurant
or one prepared at home.
breakfast and part lunch, brunch is one terrific meal. It
allows us to combine eggs and other breakfast fare with
quite a mix of sweet and savory dishes and ingredients.
Brunch can be casual or gussied up for special occasions. At
this time of year, asparagus and fresh greens help make it
cheerful and colorful.
our brunch issue this year, we’re offering a selection of
our latest favorite recipes as well as some past favorites.
Dreamy Lemon Cheesecake screams spring. It’s lemony flavor
is in every part of the cheesecake: the crust, the batter
and the lemon curd topping.
is mainstay on brunch menus, and the recipe for Sea Salt
Caramel Bacon Bread Pudding is an amazing treat you can
prepare in advance.
is a spring must-have, and the Asparagus Fontina Tart is a
longtime favorite. You can serve it hot or at room
temperature. It, too, can be made in advance because it
are a few things to remember when planning a brunch:
menu plan and do as much as you can in advance. Many egg,
potato and casserole-type of dishes reheat well. Menu items
like bacon can be prepared in advance.
you be serving a complete meal or will you have small plates
or appetizer-like dishes? Set everything out in advance.
stock of your glassware, dishes or china, linens and
of flowers and fresh small plants or herbs make inexpensive
centerpieces and add color to your brunch table.
forget cocktails. You can serve spicy Bloody Marys or
mimosas made with a variety of juices.
12 / Prep time: 1 hour / Total time: 3 hours (plus cooling
and overnight chilling time)
the cheesecake in a water bath helps prevent the top from
cracking. And if it does crack, no worries. The top is
covered with a layer of lemon curd. You can use lemon curd
from the store or make your own. Before making this
cheesecake, make sure all the ingredients are at room
cups crushed cream-filled lemon sandwich cookies (such as
Lemon Oreo Sandwich Cookies) (about 25 cookies)
tablespoons salted butter, melted
packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
cups granulated sugar
tablespoons all-purpose flour
large egg yolks
tablespoon lemon zest plus 5 tablespoons fresh juice (about
2 large lemons)
tablespoons heavy whipping cream
food coloring gel paste
lemon curd (recipe follows or use store-bought)
oven to 350 degrees. Wrap the outside of a lightly greased
9-inch shiny springform pan in a double layer of heavy-duty
together crushed cookies and melted butter in a bowl. Press
onto bottom of prepared pan.
until lightly browned, 7 to 8 minutes. Cool on a wire rack
until ready to use. Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees.
mixer bowl, beat cream cheese on medium speed until creamy,
about 5 minutes. Gradually add the sugar and flour, beating
until smooth. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating just until
yellow disappears after each addition. Add egg yolks, 1 at a
time, beating just until yellow disappears after each
addition. Stir in lemon zest, lemon juice and heavy cream.
3 cups of the batter in a medium bowl. Using a wooden pick,
add a small amount of food coloring gel paste to the 3 cups
of batter. Stir until batter is pale yellow, adding more gel
paste if necessary.
half of untinted batter into prepared crust. Dollop half of
pale yellow-tinted batter on top of untinted batter dollops.
Swirl together, using a small knife, to create a marbled
look. Repeat procedure with remaining halves of untinted and
pale yellow-tinted batters. Place springform pan in a
roasting pan. Add boiling water to reach about halfway up
sides of springform pan.
until center is almost set but still slightly wobbly, 1 hour
and 10 minutes to 1 hour and 20 minutes. Turn off oven and
let cheesecake stand in oven with door partially open for 1
cheesecake from roasting pan and water bath, and place on
wire rack. Cool completely, about 2 hours. Cover with
plastic wrap, using wooden picks to prevent plastic wrap
from touching top of cheesecake. Chill 8 to 24 hours.
run a knife around outer edge of cheesecake to loosen from
sides of pan. Remove sides of pan. Spread top with 1 cup
from Southern Living magazine, February 2017 issue.
by Susan Selasky for the Free Press Test Kitchen.
about 3 cups / Prep time: 30 minutes / Total time: 45
minutes (plus chilling time)
lemon curd will keep up to two weeks in the refrigerator
cup salted butter, softened
large egg yolks
tablespoon lemon zest, plus 1 cup fresh juice (about 4 large
butter and sugar with an electric mixer on medium speed
until blended, about 45 seconds. Add eggs and egg yolks, 1
at a time, beating just until blended after each addition.
Gradually add lemon juice to butter mixture, beating at low
speed just until blended. Stir in zest. (Mixture will look
mixture to a heavy 4-quart saucepan and cook, whisking
constantly, over medium-low until mixture thickens and coats
the back of a spoon, 14 to 16 minutes.
curd to a bowl and place plastic wrap directly on warm curd
(to prevent a film from forming). Chill until firm, about 4
CARAMEL BACON BREAD PUDDING
8 / Prep time: 30 minutes / Total time: 2 hours (not all
yourself. This is the ultimate bread pudding. It’s sweet,
salty and savory all in one bite. You’ll get at least 8
servings out of the recipe, and you can easily cut the
pieces into appetizer-size portions. Be sure to use bread
that’s several days old so it’s dry. You can also dry
bread in the oven at 300 degrees for 20-30 minutes.
cane or granulated sugar
tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into chunks
heavy whipping cream
teaspoon sea salt
packed light brown sugar
heavy whipping cream
teaspoon vanilla extract
12 brioche rolls (dinner roll size), 2 days old, cut into
2-inch cubes (or use other favorite rolls)
cup finely chopped cooked bacon, plus 4 to 6 strips cooked
thick-cut bacon for garnish
salt to taste
make caramel sauce: In a heavy-bottomed saucepan with a lid,
combine the sugar and 1/4 cup water. Stir gently until
mixture is consistency of wet sand. Cover and cook over
medium heat for 10 minutes. Uncover, reduce heat to low and
cook until sugar begins to caramelize and take on color of
from heat and stir in butter with a long-handled whisk. When
the butter is fully melted, stir in 1 cup cream and finish
with 1/2 teaspoon sea salt. Let sauce cool for 20 minutes
before tasting or using. The sauce will keep in an airtight
container in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.
make bread pudding: In large bowl, whisk eggs, brown sugar,
whipping cream and vanilla until completely combined. Add
bread cubes and chopped bacon and toss to let bread soak up
egg mixture. Lightly press bread mixture into the bowl.
Cover surface of bread mixture with plastic and set it aside
to rest for 30 minutes.
oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9- by 13-inch baking pan
(metal preferred). Spread 1/4 cup caramel sauce on bottom of
pan, followed by half the bread mixture, then 1/4 cup
caramel sauce, a pinch of sea salt, then the rest of the
bread mixture, and another pinch of sea salt. Drizzle 1/4
cup caramel sauce on top. Serve any extra caramel sauce on
from "Egg Shop, the Cookbook," by Nick Korbee
(William Morrow, $35.)
by Susan Selasky for the Free Press Test Kitchen.
6 / Prep time: 15 minutes / Total time: 45 minutes
can also cut this tart into smaller squares and serve it as
for work surface
sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed
ounces (2 cups) Fontina or Gruyere cheese, shredded
pounds medium asparagus
tablespoon olive oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper
oven to 400 degrees. On a floured surface, roll the puff
pastry into a 16-inch-by-10-inch rectangle. Trim uneven
edges. Place pastry on a baking sheet lined with parchment
paper. With a sharp knife, lightly score pastry dough 1 inch
in from the edges to mark a rectangle. Using a fork, pierce
dough inside the markings at 1/2-inch intervals.
until golden, about 15 minutes. Remove pastry shell from
oven and sprinkle with the cheese. Trim the bottoms of the
asparagus spears to fit crosswise inside the tart shell;
arrange in a single layer over Gruyere, alternating ends and
tips. Brush with oil, and season with salt and pepper.
until spears are tender, 20 to 25 minutes.
by Susan M. Selasky in the Free Press Test Kitchen.
12 / Prep time: 20 minutes / Total time: 30 minutes
hard-cooked eggs, peeled
tablespoons chopped shallots or green onions
tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon
cup fat-free or light mayonnaise
cup fat-free or light sour cream
1 to 2
tablespoons Dijon mustard
teaspoon garlic powder
of hot red pepper sauce, optional
and black pepper to taste
the eggs in half lengthwise. Remove the cooked yolks to a
medium bowl and mash them with a fork. Set aside the egg
the shallots and tarragon to the egg yolks and mix together.
Add the mayonnaise, sour cream, mustard, garlic powder, hot
red pepper sauce, salt and black pepper. Mix until slightly
the egg whites with the yolk mixture. If desired, sprinkle
the tops with paprika.
note: If the mixture is not creamy enough for your taste,
add more mayonnaise as desired. Adjust the seasonings as
necessary to your own taste.
and tested by Susan Selasky for the Free Press Test Kitchen.
calories (50 percent from fat), 2 g fat (1 g saturated fat),
2 g carbohydrate, 3 g protein, 84 mg sodium, 93 mg
cholesterol, 20 mg calcium, 0 g fiber.
LEEK AND MUSHROOM QUICHE
6 / Preparation time: 20 minutes / Total time: 1 hour 20
pastry crust for a 9-inch deep-dish pie pan
sliced leeks (about 2 leeks, white and light-green parts
only, washed well)
cup diced red bell pepper
sliced cremini mushrooms
cups fat-free or regular half-and-half
tablespoon Dijon mustard
teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
cups favorite shredded cheese, divided
green onions, washed, thinly sliced
oven to 375 degrees, with rack in lowest position. Fit the
pie crust into a 9-inch pie plate and flute a high edge.
Brush the bottom of the crust with egg white. Fit another
pie pan into the crust to hold it in so it doesn’t shrink.
Bake for 8-10 minutes.
in a large skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Add the
leeks, ham and red pepper and sauté about 3 minutes. Add
the mushrooms and sauté until they release their liquid and
the liquid evaporates, about 3-5 minutes. Remove from the
heat and let cool.
large bowl, whisk together the eggs, half-and-half, Dijon,
cornstarch, pepper and salt.
the pie crust from the oven. Sprinkle 1 cup of the cheese on
the bottom of the crust and top with the ham mixture. Pour
egg mixture on top. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese and
until center of quiche is just set, about 45 to 50 minutes.
If the edges start to get too brown, cover them with pieces
from oven and let stand 15 minutes before slicing and
and tested by Susan M. Selasky for the Free Press Test
calories (54 percent from fat), 26 g fat (11 g saturated
fat), 22 g carbohydrates, 26 g protein, 344 mg sodium, 208
mg cholesterol, 1 g fiber.