Recipe Cook-Off: Amateurs Vs. Pros



Named as Bon Appetit's 2006 pastry chef of the year, Elizabeth Falkner has come to be known as a "rock star of the pastry world." Recently Elizabeth released her first cookbook, Demolition Desserts, and presently is residing in San Francisco, the home of her three restaurants: Citizen Cake, Citizen Cupcake and Orson.


Cheddar Crumbles

1 c. all-purpose flour

1/2 c. plus 2 tbsp. cornstarch

1/4 c. powdered sugar

1 tsp. kosher salt

1/4 tsp. ground pepper

1/4 tsp. paprika

12 tbsp. cold unsalted butter, cut into ? in. pieces

1/2 c. chopped pecans

4 oz. sharp white Cheddar cheese, grated

Tarte Tatin Apples

1/2 c. sugar

2 tbsp. water

1 tbsp. lemon juice

2 large Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and cut into 1-in. cubes

1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

1/4 tsp. kosher salt

Balsamic-Apple Reduction

1/2 c. apple juice

2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar

2 tbsp. sugar


Cheddar Crumbles

Preheat oven to 350˚F.

Line large baking sheet with parchment paper.

In large bowl, combine flour, cornstarch, powdered sugar, salt, pepper, and paprika. Mix in butter until mixture resembles gravel. Scatter pecans and cheese over the top and toss.

Place mixture onto center of baking sheet and distribute evenly. Bake for 10 min. and then flip crumbles, bake another 15 to 20 min. or until crisp.

Tarte Tatin Apples

In 10-in. skillet, combine sugar, water, and lemon juice over high heat. Heat without stirring until the sugar dissolves. Caramelize the sugar by slowly tilting the pan back and forth for 4 to 5 min.

Remove pan from heat and add apples in a single layer. Do not stir the apples.

Place pan over med. heat and simmer apples in caramel for 5 min.

Remove pan from heat and sprinkle apples with vanilla and salt. Let apples stand 15 min, or until the apples absorb all the caramel.

Balsamic Apple Reduction

In saucepan, combine lemon juice, balsamic vinegar, and sugar and place on med. heat. When mixture bubbles slightly, lower heat to med/low and cook for 20 min, or until liquid is reduced. Remove from heat. You should have about 1/4 c. of liquid. Serve over cinnamon ice cream.