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Nice 'n' Simple

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Classic Stars Desserts by Emily Luchetti

Of all the recipes in Stars Desserts and Four Star Desserts, this is the one I make the most often, and also the one people tell me they make again and again. Dessert doesn’t get much better than this.

- Serves 6 -

Planning Ahead
The gingerbread may be made a day in advance. Wrap in plastic wrap and store at room temperature. The apples may be cooked 2 days in advance, covered, and refrigerated. Reheat before serving.

Extract from

Classic Stars Desserts: Favorite Recipes by Emily Luchetti by Emily Luchetti

Published by Chronicle Books

Renowned pastry chef Emily Luchetti has updated and compiled 150 of the best recipes from her hugely popular (and out of print) treasures Stars Desserts and Four-Star Desserts into one delectable cookbook. Those familiar with Emily's irresistible recipes will be thrilled to rediscover their favorites in a new, indispensable collection. And for those who have yet to enjoy these timeless treats, here's the chance to taste such unforgettable delights as rich chocolate French Silk; sweet, tart, and buttery French Apple Tartlets; and decadent Poached Pears with Walnut Cream. From puddings, pies, and cakes to cookies, candies, and confections, these sweets have stood the test of time. Tips on ingredients and equipment plus expert wine pairings for each recipe make Classic Stars Desserts a baking classic.

© 2016 Emily Luchetti / Chronicle Books · Reproduced with permission.


  • Step 1

    To make the gingerbread: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter a 9-inch square baking pan.

    In a small saucepan, bring the water to a boil. Remove from the heat and stir in the molasses and baking soda. Set aside to cool to lukewarm. Sift together the flour, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and baking powder onto a piece of parchment paper or into a bowl. Add the salt and set aside.

    Combine the butter and brown sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the egg and beat until incorporated. Reduce the speed to low and add the dry ingredients in 3 additions alternately with the cooled molasses mixture in 2 additions, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients and mixing well after each addition. Spread the batter into the prepared pan.

    Bake until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean, 30 to 35 minutes. Let cool to room temperature.

  • Step 2

    Cider Sabayon

    Sabayon was a Stars staple. Its velvety thick consistency makes it the best dessert sauce there is. I find it difficult to write a dessert menu and not include it at least once. At Stars, we always had several flavors on hand, to be used on a moment’s notice.

    Makes about 1 1/2 cups

    Prepare an ice bath. In a stainless-steel bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, sugar, and salt until blended. Whisk in the cider.

    Place the bowl over a pan of simmering water, making sure the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water. Cook, whisking constantly, until thick and there are no air bubbles, 3 to 4 minutes. The mixture should mound slightly when dropped from the whisk.

    Remove the bowl from the pan and place it in the ice bath. Let cool to room temperature, whisking occasionally.

    Put the cream in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whip attachment and whip on medium-high speed until soft peaks form. Using a spatula, fold the cream into the cooled sabayon just until combined.

    Cover and refrigerate until serving.

  • Step 3

    To prepare the apples: In a large sauté pan, combine the butter, apples, sugar, apple juice, lemon juice, and salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until the apples are soft but still retain their shape, about 10 minutes.

    Cut the gingerbread into pieces. Top with the warm apples and the cider sabayon.

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CO + K User

This looks and sounds so amazingly delicious!
Danielle G.
Danielle G. · Ottawa, Ontario, CA
wow, i'm impressed! will try it.
Heather C.
Heather C. · Mt Holly, North Carolina, US · 56 projects
this looks so yummy! can't wait to try it Happy

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