The Dessertations

Two unfinished dissertations and the baking in between

Month: September, 2014

Apples for apples

by Jessica

Yes. Gah! Those little pies are exquisite, though the amount of labor involved in those thin slices would deter me. Having company would make it much easier, and having Eisha’s company would make it downright pleasurable.


The apples came in early at our favorite orchard at the Tahoe foothills: small and bright Galas and sun-baked Golden Delicious.

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The owners, a delightful retired couple whose only goals seem to be growing fruit, tanning, and giving joy, let us pick the last of their syrah grapes for free! I have no idea what to do with these; they’ve got little crunchy seeds so snacking is cumbersome.

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I think apple rosettes are a bit beyond me (or my patience, can’t tell), but the bushel we picked will be baked-good bound. A sign of things to come–

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Bulgarian Pie; Turkish Baklava

by margarkolb

We hosted a Bulgarian movie night this past weekend, which set me scrambling to learn something — anything — about Bulgarian desserts.

And, wow. I think perhaps the food truck of our dreams should be called “Circular Meals” rather than square. Because ….




“Why didn’t we know about this before?” Eisha asked me, dumbfounded. Apparently we should have. A small internet storm has gathered around apple-flower pies, based on one recipe posted by a Bulgarian lady and since translated (with varying success) into English.


Are they Bulgarian? My Bulgarian friend and her mother have yet to encounter them. Apple pies are very Bulgarian, but flower-pies are rare specimens everywhere, it seems. (Flower form adds, for clumsy people like me, about an hour to pie prep-time, using Alice Waters’ classic apple pie as a benchmark.)


Was it worth it? Absolutely it was.

We also made baklava. We sent you some in our imaginations. Come visit….there’s more in our freezer!

A glut of cherries and a sketch

by Jessica

I’m finding your biscuits delightful–and hope you finally got the muffin of your dreams, whether here or in Westown.

It has been a summer of cherries. They’ve gone into cakes, Julia Child’s clafoutis, roasted and swirled into goat-cheese ice cream, courtesy of Jeni.

The summer has also revealed an unfortunate habit: I tend to eat whatever I’ve made before documenting the fruits of my labor.

So there are many cooking shots and few final photos–such is life!

I enclose a sketch in lieu of a photograph: