Healthy Mediterranean Cooking at Home

Category Archives: Desserts



Wishing Everyone A Happy Thanksgiving.


Pat-in-the-Pan Pie Crust


1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon sugar

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/3 cup vegetable oil

3 tablespoons water

Crust Directions

Whisk together the flour, salt, sugar, and baking powder in a 9-inch pie plate. Whisk together the oil and water, then pour over the dry ingredients.

Stir with a fork until the dough is evenly moistened. Pat the dough across the bottom of the pie pan and up the sides.

A flat-bottomed measuring cup can help make the bottom even. Press the dough up the sides of the pan with your fingers, and flute the top.

Chill in the refrigerator while you make the filling.

Pumpkin Pie Filling


2 1/2 cups pumpkin puree

1/4 cup maple syrup

1/3 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup whole milk

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

2 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch

1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice (or a mix of ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg & cloves)

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

Filling Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Add all the pie filling ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth, scraping down the sides as needed. Taste and adjust seasonings, if needed.

Pour the filling into the chilled pie crust and bake for about 60 minutes.

The crust should be light golden brown and the filling should be set.

Remove the pie from the oven and let cool completely before loosely covering and transferring to the refrigerator to fully set overnight.

A Fall favorite.


1 cup vegetable oil, plus more for the pan
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons apple pie spice mix
1 cup honey, divided
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2-3 apples (about 1 1/4 pounds), peeled and shredded
1/4 cup warm water


Preheat the oven to 350˚ F. Brush a 12-cup nonstick bundt pan with vegetable oil.

Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices in a separate bowl.

Combine 3/4 cup honey, the granulated sugar, vanilla, vegetable oil, and eggs in another large bowl; beat with a hand mixer on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes.

Fold in the flour and apples until completely mixed.

Pour the batter into the bundt pan. Bake until golden and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 50 to 55 minutes.

Stir together the remaining 1/4 cup honey and the warm water in a small bowl.


Remove the cake from the oven and brush the top of the cake with half of the honey mixture.

Let the cake cool for 20 minutes in the pan, then turn the cake onto a waxed paper-covered rack.

Brush the entire cake with the remaining honey mixture and let cool.



My husband loves these little pastry rolls, so I try to make them for him when I have extra pastry.

Peach Galette


For the Galette:
1 Prepared pastry dough for a 9-inch pie pan
3 large peaches, peeled and sliced
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon butter, melted
Turbinado Sugar
Ice cream, for serving, optional

For the Cinnamon Rolls
1 Prepared pastry dough for a 9-inch pie pan
2 tablespoons soft butter
½ cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon


Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Prepare a baking sheet by lining it with parchment paper. Place the uncooked pie dough onto the baking sheet.

In a bowl, gently mix peaches, sugar, cinnamon, and flour together. Pour the fruit mixture into the center of the pastry round, leaving about 2 1/2 inches around the edge.

Fold up the edge of the pastry dough over the filling to make a rim. Fan the edge as you go around folding the dough.

Brush the pastry with the butter and sprinkle with sugar

Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown and the fruit is bubbling. Cool the galette on a rack and serve warm or at room temperature with your favorite ice cream.

To make the cinnamon rolls.

Prepare a baking sheet by lining it with parchment paper. Place the uncooked pie dough onto the baking sheet.
Spread the butter on the dough and sprinkle evenly with the brown sugar and cinnamon. Roll the pastry up, jelly roll style, and cut into 1-inch pieces. Spread them out and place the pan in the oven with the Galette and bake for 15 minutes or until crispy and light brown.



2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa, preferably Dutch-process
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup packed brown sugar
¾ cup canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups grated zucchini or yellow squash
1/2 cup chocolate chips


Preheat oven to 325°F. Coat two 8 1/2-by-4 1/2-inch loaf pans with cooking spray.
Whisk flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl.
Whisk eggs, sugar, oil, and vanilla in another large bowl until blended. Add to the dry ingredients and stir with a rubber spatula until just combined. Fold in squash and chocolate chips. Spoon the batter into the prepared pans, smoothing the tops.


Bake the loaves for 45 -50 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool in pans on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Invert onto the rack and cool completely.



These cookies are great for a summer dessert and make for easy entertaining. Serve with ice cream for a special treat.

Makes about 14 cookies


3/4 cup golden raisin
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon fine salt
1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats (not instant)
1/2 cup chopped walnuts


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Line two large-rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper.

Soak the raisins in warm water to cover and let soak for 20 minutes then drain.

Whisk the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt together in a medium bowl.

Beat the butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar together in a large bowl with an electric mixer until light and fluffy.

Beat in the egg and then the vanilla. Add the flour mixture and beat until just incorporated. Stir in the oats, walnuts, and drained raisins.

With a ¼ cup muffin scoop drop the batter onto the prepared baking sheets, about 2 inches apart or 5 per baking sheet.

Bake, rotating the position of the pans halfway through, until golden brown around the edges, about 20 minutes.

Cool on the pan for 5 minutes then transfer to a rack to cool completely.



Having Mexican cuisine for dinner, then you will want to make these Mexican Brownies. Dulce de Leche is a Mexican caramel sauce.


¼ cup butter
1 (1 ounce) square unsweetened dark chocolate, chopped
½ cup white sugar
½ cup brown sugar
½ cup all-purpose flour
6 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 cup dulce de leche


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Line the bottom of a 7×11-inch or 8-inch square baking dish with parchment paper cut to fit. Spray the pan with cooking spray. with cooking spray.

Place butter and chocolate in a large microwave-safe bowl. Heat on high for 1 minute.

Add white and brown sugars and mix with a spatula. Add eggs, one at a time. Add vanilla. Add cocoa, flour, and salt. Fold the ingredients into the mixture with the spatula just until the flour is incorporated. Do not over-mix.

Pour the brownie batter into the prepared pan.
Drop tablespoons of the de leche evenly over the top. Gently drag a knife through the dulce de leche to create swirls.

Bake in the preheated oven until edges start pulling away from the sides of the pan, 30 minutes. Let the brownies cool completely before cutting them into squares.


9 inch (23 cm) springform cake pan
Electric Mixer

5 large eggs (room temperature)
¾ cup granulated white sugar (150 grams)
1 ¼ cups cake flour (150 grams)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1/4 teaspoon lemon extract
Strawberry Topping and Whipped Cream


Preheat oven to 340ºF/170ºC. Butter a 9-inch (23 cm) springform cake pan and line the base and sides with a piece of parchment paper cut to fit.

Sieve the flour and set aside.

Using an electric mixer and the whisk attachments, beat the eggs with the sugar at maximum speed for about 15 minutes until frothy and thick.


Add the vanilla extract, lemon zest, and lemon extract. Once the eggs have been whipped, stop the electric mixer.

Mix in the sieved flour a little at a time using a large metal spoon or rubber spatula. Take care to slowly incorporate it with gentle movements from the bottom up.

Pour the mixture into the previously buttered and lined springform pan. This cake can also be used to make Tiramisu.


Bake in a preheated oven for 20-25 minutes.

DO NOT open the door during the first 20 minutes of cooking.
Use a cake tester to check on the cake after 20 minutes. When the tester is dry, turn off the oven.

Leave the cake in the turned-off oven with the door open for 5 minutes (this will prevent the sponge cake from undergoing a thermal shock and deflating too much as it cools). Remove the pan to a wire rack and allow the cake to cool in the pan for 1 hour. Run a thin spatula around the edge of the pan.


Remove the sponge cake from the pan and allow it to cool completely on a wire rack before serving or storing.

If well wrapped in plastic wrap the sponge cake lasts 3-4 days in the refrigerator, or it can be frozen.

Cut the cake into wedges and serve with strawberry topping and whipped cream.


Spinach & Mushroom Quiche

Servings: 6


One 9-inch refrigerated pie crust
4 slices bacon, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch dice
8 ounces sliced fresh mushrooms
1 cup diced red onion
5 ounces fresh baby spinach (about 8 cups), coarsely chopped
6 large eggs
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground pepper
2 cups shredded Gruyère cheese, divided


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Coat a 9-inch deep dish pie pan with cooking spray. Fit the pastry into the pie pan and flute the edges.
Cook the bacon and drain on paper towels. Retain bacon fat in the skillet.
Scatter the crumbled bacon in the bottom of the prepared pie pan. Scatter 1 cup of the cheese over the bacon.

Add the mushrooms and onions to the bacon fat in the skillet. Cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 8 minutes. Add spinach; cook, tossing constantly, until wilted, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from heat.

Whisk eggs, cream, mustard, thyme, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl. Fold in the mushroom mixture and 1 cup of cheese.


Spoon into the prepared pie pan. Bake until set and golden brown, about 45 minutes. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

Serve with a salad. I made a Caesar salad.

Caesar Salad

2 servings

1/2 head Romaine lettuce, washed and finely chopped
1 cup croutons, see recipe below
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
Freshly ground black pepper for garnish

1 anchovy, finely chopped or use anchovy paste
3 tablespoons Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons mayonnaise made with olive oil, if available
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil


Add the anchovy, Parmesan cheese, mayonnaise, lemon juice, mustard, garlic, and Worcestershire sauce to a bowl and whisk together.
Gradually whisk in the 1/4 cup of olive oil, whisking until the dressing is emulsified.
Place the chopped lettuce in a bowl and toss it with the dressing, and croutons. Top the salad with extra cheese and freshly ground black pepper.



2 cups cubed bread
1 tablespoon olive oil


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
In a mixing bowl combine the bread cubes and olive oil. Toss well to coat.
Pour the bread cubes onto a baking sheet. Spread them into a single layer. Bake in the oven for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring every five minutes to prevent burning. Cool completely before storing in an airtight container or ziplock bag.




6 cups frozen blueberries
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup cornstarch
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon salt
Lemon zest from a Meyer lemon plus ¼ cup juice from the lemon
2 store-bought rolled 8-inch pie crusts, at room temperature
2 tablespoons melted butter, plus extra for grading the pie plate


Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Butter a deep dish 9-inch pie pan.
In a large bowl, combine the sugar, cornstarch, salt, cinnamon, and lemon zest. Mix very well and be sure the cornstarch is completely mixed into the sugar. Add the blueberries and lemon juice and mix well. Set aside.

Unroll one pie crust and fit it into the pie pan. Brush the pastry with some melted butter. Pour the blueberry filling into the pan and spread evenly. Place the second crust on a pastry board and cut it into strips/ Place the strips in a lattice formation over the pie filling. Flute the edges of the pie. Brush with the remaining butter.

Place the pie on a parchment-lined cookie sheet and place it in the oven. Bake for 15 minutes. Lower the oven temperature to 375 d3r33w F. Bake for 50 minutes. Cool the pie on a wire rack.


Cannoli Cake


Cake Batter

2 sticks (8 ounces) plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
2 cups granulated sugar
6 large eggs at room temperature
Zest and juice of 1 large lemon
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt

Ricotta Cream

2 cups ricotta cheese, preferably whole-milk
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup mini semisweet chocolate chips
¼ cup toasted, slivered almonds
1/4 cup rum


For the cake: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Grease the bottom and sides of two 9-inch round cake pan with 2 tablespoons of butter. Line the bottom of each pan with a circle of parchment paper and grease the paper.

Make the cake batter: In the large bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and granulated sugar on medium speed until smooth, 5 to 8 minutes. Add the eggs, one by one, and then add the lemon zest and juice.

In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Remove the bowl from the machine and stir in the dry ingredients. Do not overmix.

Fill each prepared cake pan with half of the batter. Place the pans in the center of the oven and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of each cake emerges clean for 30 minutes. Cool the cakes in the pans on wire racks until cool enough to handle, then turn the cakes out onto the racks to cool completely.

For the filling: In a medium bowl, whisk the ricotta until smooth. Sift in the confectioners’ sugar and cinnamon Mix to blend.

In a separate bowl (or in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment), beat the heavy cream until fairly stiff.

Using a rubber spatula, gently fold the cream into the ricotta mixture.

Assemble the cake: Place one layer of the cake on a dessert platter.

Brush some of the rum on the first layer and top with a third of the ricotta filling. Sprinkle half of the chocolate chips evenly over the ricotta cream.

Place the second cake squarely on top and gently press the two layers together.

Brush the second cake with rum and spread the remaining ricotta over the sides and top of the cake..

Sprinkle the chocolate chips and almonds evenly over the top of the cake. Refrigerate until serving time.