Add a Homemade Touch to Prepared Desserts: Sauces from the Founders of Food52

Store-bought pie? Who can blame you – that beast of a turkey took some serious time. Your super sneaky (and easy) solution? Made-from-scratch toppers brought to us by Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs, co-founders of Food52 and our own Rue Living Inspirers.


Coconut Cajeta & Chocolate Fondue
“We loved the idea of fondue made with chocolate and cajeta (a close cousin of dulce de leche), and when we saw that this recipe used coconut milk in the cajeta, well, there was no holding us back. The fondue is silken and almost custardy, punctuated with rum and vanilla and generously salted, the way we like caramel to be. Not surprisingly, it is quite rich and sweet, and we found our favorite dipping instrument ended up being salty, extra-dark pretzels.”

Nancy Silverton’s Genius Whipped Cream
“This whipped cream holds its peaks thanks to the addition of crème fraiche (or sour cream), which also adds a lovely sheen and fuller flavor. If you must whip this up in advance, under whip it slightly, and then when you’re ready to serve it over cake or pie, bring it to room temperature and whisk it until firm.”

Miso Caramel
“An umami-rich caramel sauce enriched with a dollop of miso – what a genius idea! A quick simmer of sugar and water followed by a generous splash of cream gives you caramel, and then you whisk in the miso and you’re done. Yes, you can spoon it over ice cream, but make sure it’s nothing too complicated. Pure and simple vanilla or chocolate ice cream will allow the subtle miso flavor to shine.”

Before you start your toppers? Scoop up your ready-made desserts in time for Thanksgiving at our End Dinner on an Easy Note: Thanksgiving Desserts Boutique open Monday, November 11, at 11AM ET.

By Julia Ivins, Staff Writer

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Before she and Merrill started Food52, Amanda Hesser was a reporter at the New York Times and the food editor at Times Magazine. She wrote the award-winning books Cooking for Mr. Latte and The Cook and the Gardener, and edited the essay collection Eat, Memory. Her last book, a Times bestseller and the winner of a James Beard award, is The Essential New York Times Cookbook. Amanda is a trustee of Awesome Food and an adviser to The Spence Group.

Merrill Stubbs graduated from Brown and Le Cordon Bleu. She went on to work at Cook’s Illustrated and behind the counter at Flour Bakery in Boston’s South End. In addition to her work with Amanda on The Essential New York Times Cookbook, Merrill has written for the Times‘s T Living, Edible Brooklyn, and Body+Soul, and she was the food editor at Herb Quarterly. She lives with her family in Brooklyn.


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