I can already feel the comments flooding in, so let me just get this out of the way: I am very aware that, officially, we are still in the throes of a Midwestern summer (new band name; I call it!). But yesterday, I wore a sweater and immediately craved a nice, spicy chai, so here we are, talking about fall desserts.
I think fall desserts don’t get enough love. They get sandwiched between all of the jazzy, no-bake, booze forward desserts of a hot summer and the snazzy takes on traditional holiday desserts. And I, Laura Scherb, food blogger and eater of things, am standing up today and saying that’s not fair. It’s time to take back fall desserts (and no, we’re not talking about pumpkin pie here. We don’t believe in that.). Master these five desserts and impress your guests all month long.
1. Salted Caramel Sauce
There are few things more delicious than the classic caramel and apple pairing. There’s a reason someone thought “What if I dipped a whole apple into caramel?” That reason is a flavor combination made in heaven. The good news is that prime apple season is upon us. The better news is that you can make your own salted caramel sauce at home. There are plenty of recipes floating around online, but we recommend Samin Nosrat’s. Want to make your caramel sauce extra special? Add some artisanal salt made by The Chopping Block’s Owner/Chef Shelley Young!
Unless you’ve taken Pie and Tart Boot Camp, making a whole pie is an intimidating prospect. There are just too many variables there, from double crusts to soggy bottoms to runny fillings. Sadly, though, there’s no better vehicle for fall fruits than a nice crispy crust (salted caramel sauce optional). The solution here (until you get a chance to take that boot camp, that is) is beautifully illustrated by Bon Appétit’s Carla Lalli Music: galettes. Check out her comprehensive guide and get baking.
Pst! Don’t forget to grab the best fall fruit before the farmers’ markets close. You can always freeze some if you’re not baking right away.
3. Classic Cookie Bars
Everyone LOVES a cookie. But you know what everyone doesn’t love? Scooping cookie dough, chilling it until it’s the perfect shape, and tearing your hair out when your cookies aren’t perfectly shaped. You ready for me to rock your world? Cut down on oven and hands-on time by shoving that lovely mound of cookie dough into a 9x13” baking tin. Slice the cookies into bars (16 if you’re generous, 20 if you’re me), and whammo. Instant classic that’s as easy to transport as it is bake.
4. Fruit Crumbles
Remember that fall fruit we talked about? And that salted caramel sauce? There’s a third musketeer to that equation, and her name is make-your-own-crumble. Oatmeal, brown sugar, honey, and a little bit of vanilla tossed together with some melted butter will get you far in the crumble universe. You can toss that topping on the caramel sauce you drizzled on your fall fruit OR you can toss the fruit in a baking tin, top it with crumble, bake it off, and then drizzle caramel sauce on top. The possibilities are endless and endlessly delicious.
We here in the Midwest love our summers. We soak up the sun, take advantage of patios, and rosé it up because we know what’s coming. But am I the only one looking forward to sweater weather and all of the eating that comes with that? It’s hard to convince yourself a donut is no big deal in the summer, but in the fall? Totally different story. Sign up for Donut Boot Camp today so you can indulge all fall and get ready for winter. Or, grab the recipe for these pumpkin donuts here.