How to Make Puff Pastry, According to the Fearless Baker

I’ve always had a thing for dough. Bread dough, pie dough, biscuit dough…I love diving into a big bowl of ingredients and coming out of it with floury hands and something delicious to show for my efforts. This is why, despite being one of the m…

I’ve always had a thing for dough. Bread dough, pie dough, biscuit dough...I love diving into a big bowl of ingredients and coming out of it with floury hands and something delicious to show for my efforts. This is why, despite being one of the more complicated recipes on my long list of doughy loves, I adore making puff pastry. 

Puff pastry is made using a method known as lamination, where a block of butter is wrapped fully and sealed inside a dough. The dough then goes through a series of folds, where it is rolled out to a certain thickness and folded over onto itself. The first fold creates a series of layers (thin, alternating layers of dough and butter). The subsequent folds increase these layers, ultimately creating a versatile dough that can be used to make a huge variety of impressive desserts. (The dough for puff pastry can also be yeasted, which is then used to make things like croissants and Danish, and while the method is similar, this article focuses on a non-yeasted puff.) When the dough hits the heat of the oven, the moisture inside the thin layers of butter evaporate, creating steam, which creates the crisp, insanely flaky dough that is puff pastry. 

Read More >>

How to Make Natural Food Coloring From Ingredients in Your Kitchen

When it comes to food coloring, I’ll happily take the natural route whenever possible. There are so many beautiful hues in food, so why not use them? Especially for decorated cookies and cakes, I love to DIY. If you want to try it yourself (do it!), re…

When it comes to food coloring, I’ll happily take the natural route whenever possible. There are so many beautiful hues in food, so why not use them? Especially for decorated cookies and cakes, I love to DIY. If you want to try it yourself (do it!), read on for our best tips and recipes.


Pro Tips for Natural Food Coloring

1) Choose the source of color.

Sources for natural colorings can be found all over the place, and many may already be in your pantry or fridge. More on how to turn these ingredients into food coloring below, but here are my favorite sources for certain colors. (The ingredients I used in this post are in italics.)

Read More >>

I’m a Professional Baker, but the Best Pies I Ever Made Were With My Grandma

Grandma Jeanne’s house was a family heirloom, a true “little house on the prairie” in the tiny rural town of Overbrook, Kansas. The house was originally built by my great-great-great-grandparents in 1866, and was passed down to my grandma’s grandma, Cl…

Grandma Jeanne’s house was a family heirloom, a true “little house on the prairie” in the tiny rural town of Overbrook, Kansas. The house was originally built by my great-great-great-grandparents in 1866, and was passed down to my grandma’s grandma, Clara. My grandma visited her there as a child—she and her brother would sometimes sneak her lightly spiced sugar cookies from the jar that sat in the kitchen window before scurrying back home down the road. My dad grew up visiting the house, too, and when my grandpa passed away at just 60, Grandma Jeanne decided to return to the family homestead for good. She put in proper plumbing and tacked on a little addition, and just like that, it was “Grandma’s House” to a new generation of grandkids, including me.

At Grandma’s House, I was always allowed free reign in the kitchen. It started with elaborately arranged snack plates of peanut butter, marshmallows, and chocolate chips I would assemble for my cousins and me when we’d have sleepovers there. Grandma would let me use any plates or cups I wanted—even the fancy cut crystal ones that she kept in a separate cabinet. She’d just shrug and say, “They’re meant to be used!” So we’d sip lemonade out of delicate wine glasses on the floor.

Read More >>

How to Make Mousse, According to an Expert

Mousse, for me, is the ultimate fancy-pants dessert—at least ever since someone explained to me the difference between moose and mousse (both are impressive, but one is decidedly more delicious).
There are lots of different kinds (including this of wo…

Mousse, for me, is the ultimate fancy-pants dessert—at least ever since someone explained to me the difference between moose and mousse (both are impressive, but one is decidedly more delicious).

There are lots of different kinds (including this of wonderfully easy chocolate mousse recipe, with only a few ingredients), but the traditional method is worth learning because it’s so versatile. Since the dish has so few ingredients, basic tweaks can yield dozens of different flavor combinations. The sky’s the limit for creating your own custom mousse recipe.

Read More >>

I’ve Been Baking Cakes at Food52 for 10 Years. This One Might Be My Favorite.

Food52 is 10 years old! To celebrate a decade of all things kitchen and home, we’re rolling out our top recipes, tips, and stories for another victory lap, along with some of our very favorite memories over the years. Go on, take ‘em in!

I was floor…

Food52 is 10 years old! To celebrate a decade of all things kitchen and home, we’re rolling out our top recipes, tips, and stories for another victory lap, along with some of our very favorite memories over the years. Go on, take ‘em in!


I was floored when the email landed in my inbox a few weeks ago asking me to develop a new cake recipe to celebrate Food52’s 10th birthday. Had it really been 10 years since I first clicked on the magical URL (more on that later), and fell seriously in love with the recipes, ideas, and conversations that were happening in this little corner of the internet?

Read More >>

Pumpkin Cobbler Is Like Pumpkin Pie, Only 10x Easier

I’ve never been a big pumpkin pie person. I like it okay. I definitely eat my once-annual slice around Thanksgiving, but you’ll never find me making it voluntarily unless it’s November. That’s because so many pumpkin pies can be disappointing, largely …

I’ve never been a big pumpkin pie person. I like it okay. I definitely eat my once-annual slice around Thanksgiving, but you’ll never find me making it voluntarily unless it’s November. That’s because so many pumpkin pies can be disappointing, largely due to the reason I’ve been harping about on this site since way back in 2014: the soggy bottom crust.

Yup, I’m team Mary Berry all the way, and pretty much blame this one faux-pie (see what I did there?) for every slice of pumpkin I’ve passed on since. When pumpkin pie is good: a crisp, flaky crust encasing a silky-smooth spiced custard, it is nutso-crazy good. But when it’s orange mush sitting on top of a thin layer of uncooked pastry, it’s something else entirely.

Read More >>

Hot Water Crust Pastry Goes Against Everything You Thought You Knew About Pie

Hot water crust can handle deep-dish like this.

Photo by Mark Weinberg

My fellow Americans, I know we know a lot about pie. We take pride in being as American…

Hot water crust can handle deep-dish like this. Photo by Mark Weinberg

My fellow Americans, I know we know a lot about pie. We take pride in being as American as the apple pies we bake for any and every occasion. We’ve got pie traditions galore at our favorite holidays. And here at Food52, we even dedicate a week in the fall to the flaky dessert. (Plus, who are we kidding? Many, many other days throughout the year. Pie is just the greatest). But, across the pond, they make just as many pies, often utilizing a crust we’ve been slow to adopt stateside: the elusive hot water crust pastry.

There’s a reason the Brits love hot water crust pastry. This dough has so many checks in its “pro” column. It’s a serious wonder why it’s taken us so long to jump on the bandwagon. How water crust is crazy crispy, but still manages to have great flavor. But most of all, it’s super sturdy. This crust does for pies what gingerbread does for holiday houses: It stays put, and holds up incredibly well. That means you can tackle that old fashioned pork pie recipe, go deep dish without fear, or just fill it to the brim with anything—even heavy and/or wet fillings without worry!

Read More >>

How to Crimp Crust to Make Your Pie Look Like It Came Straight From the Bakery

One of the first articles I wrote for Food52 many moons ago was about my favorite subject: making pies—and making them pretty, to boot. I covered a few decorative edges in that post, but I figured it was about time for a second go-around. There are so …

One of the first articles I wrote for Food52 many moons ago was about my favorite subject: making pies—and making them pretty, to boot. I covered a few decorative edges in that post, but I figured it was about time for a second go-around. There are so many ways to crimp the edge of your pie crust—calling that index finger!—and with strawberry season nearly behind us, and stone fruit/berry/everything-delicious season ahead, I wanted to give step-by-step guides for 9 pretty edges.

What dreams are made of. Photo by Linda Xiao

First, a few general guidelines for decorative pie edges:

Read More >>

How to Make a Gingerbread House

Erin McDowell is a professional baker, food stylist, and writer. Her first book, The Fearless Baker, was named one of 2017’s best baking books, by The New York Times. Today, she’s sharing with us her expert tips on how to make a stunning gingerbread ho…

Erin McDowell is a professional baker, food stylist, and writer. Her first book, The Fearless Baker, was named one of 2017's best baking books, by The New York Times. Today, she's sharing with us her expert tips on how to make a stunning gingerbread house that's both structurally sound and stress-free.


When I was growing up, my mom would make my brother and me (each!) our own gingerbread houses to decorate around the holidays. For a few years. she even built more than two—allowing us to invite a few friends over to decorate their own, which they got to take home. This is a true story. My mother was Superwoman, straight out of the pages of Martha Stewart (she would deny this, but, seriously, anyone who makes more than two gingerbread houses in a day gets Superwoman status, right?).

Read More >>