Is there anything better than a hand-written recipe?
When my mom got married, her father’s co-workers gave her a bunch of handwritten recipes that she still has. And here on Eliza Island, where we’re on our last full day of summer vacation (which we’re lucky to have, considering what’s going on in the world), it’s not just the crab cake recipes that are handwritten. The dessert recipes are handwritten too.
Wow, that’s a mouthful, but you have to admit it sounds good. I got the idea from the New York Times Cooking newsletter; Kim Severson was guest writing it for the day and she mentioned a trick she learned from our mutual friend Bill Addison who learned it from Nancy Silverton (how’s that for a game of telephone?). The trick is this: when making a cobbler or a crisp, brown some butter, scrape in the seeds from a vanilla bean and then stir the whole mixture in with the fruit. As far as ideas go, this is right up there with E = mc2. (How do you get the 2 up there? Where’s Einstein when you need him?)
Here in L.A. it’s harder to get in touch with my old New York self, the self who used to make an afternoon snacking cake. If you say the words “afternoon snacking cake” here in L.A. you will be shot by the body police, buried in a mountain of silicone, and never heard from again.
So I made sure to close all the blinds when I set out to make this cake from the most recent Food & Wine; a cake perfect for nibbling in the late afternoon or for breakfast or with tea in the morning.