Outstanding Pastry Recipes

Six delicious recipes from this year's James Beard Foundation's Outstanding Pastry Chef award nominees. Stay tuned to find out who wins; winners will be announced on May 4 and May 7

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Popcorn and Peanut Bark

Recipe by Hedy Goldsmith of Michael's Genuine Food & Drink in Miami


Makes 1 pound


12 ounces bittersweet chocolate, (preferably Valrhona Caraibe 66%), chopped
3 cups freshly popped popcorn
½ cup salted peanuts (preferably Virginia)
Pinch of kosher salt


Line a baking sheet with a nonstick liner.


Melt the chocolate in a large heatproof bowl set over simmering water, stirring until the chocolate is melted and smooth, about 4 minutes. Remove the bowl from the heat and add the popcorn, peanuts, and salt. Fold the mixture until the popcorn and peanuts are evenly coated with the chocolate.


Scrape the mixture onto the prepared baking sheet and spread into a thin layer.


Refrigerate for about 30 minutes, or until cold and firm. Break into small clusters and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Lemon Verbena Turkish Rice Pudding

Recipe by Ghaya Oliveria of Boulud Sud in New York City


Makes 4-6 portions

Rice Pudding
4 Tablespoons Arborio rice
1 cup water
2 cups milk
1/4 cup + 3 Tablespoons heavy cream
2 teaspoons (or 1 teabag) verbena tea
1/2 cup + 2 Tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 Tablespoons cornstarch


Poached Rhubarb
3 stalks rhubarb, cut into 4-inch lengths
½ cup sugar
3 Tablespoons Grenadine syrup


Almond Tuile
3/4 cup + 1 Tablespoon sugar
1 1/2 ounces whole egg, beaten, room temperature
2 1/2 ounces egg whites, beaten, room temperature
5 Tablespoons flour
1 cup + 1 Tablespoon skinless blanched, sliced almonds
1/2 vanilla bean, seeds scraped, or 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract


To Finish
1 pint lemon sorbet

For the Turkish Rice Pudding
Place rice in a bowl, rinse with water, strain and repeat 2 more times. Transfer to a small saucepan and add 1 cup of water. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook until rice is tender and the water is absorbed, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes; set aside. In a small saucepan, combine milk and cream and bring to a simmer. Remove from the heat, add the verbena tea, cover and infuse for 30 minutes. Strain off and discard the tea. In a small bowl, combine sugar and cornstarch and gradually whisk in half of the milk mixture. Return the saucepan remaining half of the milk mixture to medium heat, and whisk in the sweetened milk mix. Cook, while continuing to whisk, about 3 minutes, until thickened. Add the rice, and cook, stirring with a spoon for 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and transfer to a heat proof container, press a sheet of plastic wrap on top of the rice to prevent forming a film, and chill in the refrigerator.


See next slide for Poached Rhubarb, Almond Tuile and finishing directions

Lemon Verbena Turkish Rice Pudding (continued)

For the Poached Rhubarb
In a medium saucepan, bring 2 cups of water, the grenadine and sugar to a simmer and cook, stirring until the sugar is dissolved; set aside. Using a sharp mandoline, slice the rhubarb into thin ribbons and submerge in the syrup. Transfer to medium-low heat, covered, and poach at just below a simmer until tender, about 3-5 minutes. Chill the rhubarb in the liquid.

Line a 10-inch square of plastic wrap on a flat surface. Lay a ribbon of rhubarb horizontally on one side, and begin layering more ribbons, in a clockwise direction, meeting the ends to overlap in the center, to form an 8-inch wide circle. Spoon about ¼ of a cup of the Turkish Rice Pudding into the center where the pieces overlap, and using the plastic wrap as an aide, pull up the edges of the rhubarb to enclose the pudding. Twist the plastic at the top of the mound to tighten into a ball. Repeat with remaining rhubarb and rice pudding to make 4-6 balls. Store in the plastic, refrigerated.


For the Almond Tuile
In a medium bowl, with a wooden spoon, combine all ingredients except for almonds until smooth. Stir in the almonds, cover, and rest in the refrigerator for 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray a non-stick cookie sheet with non-stick cooking spray, and scoop a teaspoon of batter onto the tray. Using your index and middle fingers, spread the batter into approximately 3-inch wide free-form shapes. Continue process with remaining batter to make at least 6 cookies. Bake for 4 minutes, or until the tuiles turn a light golden brown color. Cool at room temperature, and store in an air-tight container.


To Finish
For each serving, place one portion of rice pudding in a chilled dessert bowl or glass. Add a scoop of lemon sorbet and top with Almond Tuile.

Crème Fraîche Panna Cotta with Plum Soup

Recipe by Melissa Chou of Aziza in San Francisco; adapted by StarChefs.com


Makes 12 servings


Plum Soup
4 pounds plums
1 cup sugar

Crème Fraîche Panna Cotta
1¼ teaspoon gelatin powder
1 cup cream
6 tablespoons sugar
1 pint crème fraîche

To Assemble and Serve
2 diced strawberries
Mint, chiffonade
Rose gelée, cubed
Strawberry meringue, crumbled

For the Plum Soup
Roughly chop the plums and place into a large pot, along with their stones. Add the sugar and enough water to cover the plums, about 2½ quarts. Cook over medium-high heat for about 1 hour, occasionally crushing the plums. Strain the mixture and reserve the liquid and the solids. Reduce the soup until you have about 1 quart of liquid. Chill and reserve.

For the Crème Fraîche Panna Cotta
Dissolve the gelatin in a generous tablespoon of water. Gently heat the cream with the sugar in a small pot over medium low heat. When the cream begins to simmer, remove from the heat and add the gelatin, whisking until fully dissolved. Whisk in the crème fraîche and strain the mixture. Lightly oil timbale molds and pour the mixture into the molds. Allow to chill until set in the refrigerator.

To Assemble and Serve
Gently remove a panna cotta from the mold and place in a shallow serving bowl. Spoon the diced strawberry on top of the panna cotta, so it cascades from the top of the panna cotta into the bowl. Sprinkle with the mint and about 5 small cubes of gelée. Crumble the strawberry meringue over the top of the gelée, then pour in about ¼ cup of soup into the bowl.

Homemade Pop-Tarts

Recipe by Joanne Chang of Flour Bakery + Café in Cambridge, MA


Makes 8 pastries


Pâte Brisée I


1 3/4 cups (245 grams) unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup (2 sticks/228 grams) cold unsalted butter, cut into 12 pieces
2 egg yolks
3 tablespoons cold milk

1 egg, lightly beaten
1 cup (340 grams) raspberry jam


Simple Vanilla Glaze
1 cup (140 grams) confectioners’ sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 to 3 tablespoons water

Rainbow sprinkles for sprinkling (optional)


Pâte Brisée I

Using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or a handheld mixer), mix together the flour, sugar, and salt for 10 to 15 seconds, or until combined. Scatter the butter over the top. Mix on low speed for 1 to 11/2 minutes, or just until the flour is no longer bright white and holds together when you clump it and lumps of butter the size of pecans are visible throughout.


In a small bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and milk until blended. Add to the flour mixture all at once. Mix on low speed for about 30 seconds, or until the dough just barely comes together. It will look really shaggy and more like a mess than a dough.


Dump the dough out onto an unfloured work surface, then gather it together into a tight mound. Using your palm and starting on one side of the mound, smear the dough bit by bit, starting at the top of the mound and then sliding your palm down the side and along the work surface (at Flour we call this “going down the mountain”), until most of the butter chunks are smeared into the dough and the dough comes together. Do this once or twice on each part of the dough, moving through the mound until the whole mess has been smeared into a cohesive dough with streaks of butter.


Gather up the dough, wrap tightly in plastic wrap, and press down to flatten into a disk about 1 inch thick. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours before using. The dough will keep in the refrigerator for up to 4 days or in the freezer for up to 1 month.

Homemade Pop-Tarts (continued)

Position a rack in the center of the oven, and heat the oven to 350 degrees F.


Remove the dough from the refrigerator and divide it in half. Press each half into a rectangle. On a lightly floured surface, roll out each half into a 14-by-11-inch rectangle. Using a paring knife, lightly score 1 rectangle into eight 31/2-by-51/2-inch rectangles (about the size of an index card).


Brush the top surface of the entire scored rectangle with the egg. Spoon 2 tablespoons of the jam in a mound in the center of each scored rectangle. Lay the second large dough rectangle directly on top of the first. Using fingertips, carefully press down all around each jam mound, so the pastry sheets adhere to each other.


Using a knife, a pizza roller (easier), or a fluted roller (easier and prettier), and following the scored lines, cut the layered dough into 8 rectangles. Place the rectangles, well spaced, on a baking sheet.


Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, or until the tops of the pastries are evenly golden brown. Let cool on the baking sheet on a wire rack for about 30 minutes.



While the pastries are cooling, in a small bowl, whisk together the confectioners’ sugar, vanilla, and enough of the water to make a smooth, pourable glaze. You should have about 1/2 cup. (The glaze can be made ahead and stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.)


When the pastries have cooled for 30 minutes, brush the tops evenly with the glaze, then sprinkle with the rainbow sprinkles (if using). Let stand for 10 to 15 minutes to allow the glaze to set before serving.


The pastries can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days.


Pop-Tarts is a registered trademark of Kellogg, Inc.

Chocolate Soufflé Tart with Salted Caramel Ice Cream and Pretzels

Recipe by Mindy Segal of Mindy's Hot Chocolate in Chicago


Chocolate Sweet Dough
14oz butter (room temperature)
8oz sugar
5 eggs
1 1/4 lb all purpose flour
3 1/2oz cocoa
1/2 tbsp baking powder
1tsp salt
1/2tsp vanilla extract


Chocolate Tart Filling
10 oz. bittersweet chocolate
4 oz. butter
5 eggs (separated)
¼ x 2 sugar
1 pinch salt


1 Cup Milk
1 ½ tsp. yeast
2 ½ cups + *½ cup All Purpose Flour
1 ½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. honey
1 Tbsp. Barley Malt
1 oz. soft butter


Salted Caramel Ice Cream
6oz sugar
1qt milk
1qt cream
24 egg yolks
12oz sugar
salt to taste


Chocolate Sweet Dough
Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy; add eggs one at a time. Scrape bowl to combine. Add all ingredients and mix thoroughly. Wrap dough in plastic and refrigerate until cold. When cold, roll dough out on a flour dusted work surface to about 1/8” thick. Fill dessert tart shell with dough. Freeze until frozen. In a 350 degree oven back tart shell with pie weights until toasted and baked, about 10 minutes.

Set aside.


See next slide for Chocolate Tart Filling, Pretzels and Salted Caramel Ice Cream recipes


Chocolate Soufflé Tart with Salted Caramel Ice Cream and Pretzels (continued)

Chocolate Tart Filling
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.


Melt chocolate and butter in a bowl over a double boiler and combine together. While doing this, whip yolks with sugar on high until tripled in volume. Fold whipped yolks into the warm chocolate mixture 3 ¼ of the way.


Whip the egg whites with a pinch of salt until soft peaks form. Add remaining sugar slowly and whip until they reach medium stiffness. Fold into the chocolate mixture.


Scoop soufflé batter into prepared tart shells and bake until crusty on the outside and still runny on the inside (about 8 minutes).


Serve with Salted Caramel Ice Cream and pretzels (can use crushed Dutch style or make your own) recipe below…


Scald milk and then set aside to cool. Add yeast and let sit for about 3 minutes. In a mixing bowl with the dough hook attachment of your mixer add all of the dry ingredients. Mix to combine. Work on medium speed until dough is smooth and soft to touch. Place the dough into a greased bowl. Cover with plastic and let rise 1-2 hours.

*if needed add ½ cup more flour


Once the dough has risen, punch the dough down and place it in the refrigerator to rise again. Punch the dough down and remove from the bowl and place on a table. Cut off small pieces of the dough and run through a manual pasta machine thru to level 5 and then run through the spaghetti size. Place the strips of pretzel dough on a lightly floured work surface. Bring a quart of water with 1 Tbsp baking soda to a boil and piece by piece boil strands of pretzels for 10 seconds. Place on a sprayed sheet pan and lay into the desired shape. Two strands per shape only. Sprinkle with kosher salt.


Bake at 325 degrees turning sheet pan half way through. Bake until golden brown.

Salted Caramel Ice Cream
Combine yolks and sugar until pale and thick. Set aside. Bring milk and cream to a boil, pour over yolks and combine. Pour back into pot and cook stirring constantly until custard is thick. Pour into a bowl over ice to cool. Meanwhile take reserved sugar and place in a sauce pot, add water to cover and mix thoroughly. Wash sides of pot so that the sides are clean and free of sugar. On a high flame cook sugar until caramel is very dark and “burnt”. Add a little of the warm ice cream to this. Be careful not to splash yourself, then pour tempered caramel to the rest of the base and mix. Season with salt. Cool completely, strain through a fine mesh strainer and freeze according to manufactures instructions.

Butterscotch Budino with Caramel Sauce

Recipe by Dahlia Narvaez of Osteria Mozza in Los Angeles


Makes 10


3 cups heavy cream

1 1/2 cups milk

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

1 egg

3 egg yolks

5 tablespoons cornstarch

5 tablespoons butter

1 1/2 tablespoons dark rum


In a large bowl, combine the cream and milk and set aside.


In a large heavy-bottomed pot, combine the brown sugar, one-half cup water and salt over medium-high heat. Cook to a smoking, dark caramel, about 10 to 12 minutes. Sugar will smell caramelized and nutty and turn a deep brown.


Immediately whisk the cream mixture carefully into the caramel to stop the cooking (the mixture will steam and the sugar will seize). Bring the mixture to a boil and reduce the heat to medium.


In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg, egg yolks and cornstarch. Temper the hot caramel cream into the egg mixture by adding a cupful of caramel at a time, whisking constantly, until half is incorporated. Pour the egg mixture back into remaining caramel, stirring constantly with a whisk until the custard is very thick and the corn starch is cooked out, about 2 minutes.


Remove the custard from the heat and whisk in the butter and rum.


Next: Gluten Free Dessert Recipes


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