Written by Benjamin Vickers
Photography by Tina Sargeant
Prop Styling by Lisa Malott
Food Styling by Keila Rivera

The sweet treats to perfectly suit each season

Floridians are fortunate. Our climate affords local growers to bring us a wealth of fresh, local produce. Dessert is the perfect opportunity to feature the best of what each season has to offer: tart citrus, juicy berries, gooey apples, and spicy ginger. The following formulas are sourced from Honeycomb Bread Bakers’ recipe archives.

Key Lime Brulee

Summer

Key limes are native to Florida and reach peak freshness in June and August. This dessert celebrates summer in Florida; it’s a good balance of sweet, tart, and bitter. It’s absolutely worth getting fresh limes for the custard. Watermelon and cherries are my favorite summer treats and provide this dessert the perfect sweetness and pop of color.

Recipe
Graham cracker crust

293g all-purpose flour
208g cake flour
208 whole-wheat flour
4g baking soda
4g cinnamon
4g salt
208g brown sugar
166g sugar
384g soft butter
22g honey

Cream the brown sugar, sugar, butter, and honey in a stand mixer with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium speed until light and fluffy. Combine all dry ingredients in a bowl and mix a bit to distribute everything equally. Add to the creamed butter and stir on low speed until it comes together.

Use a rolling pin to roll the dough between two sheets of parchment to about 1/4-inch thick, and line the bottom of your prepared pan. Bake for about 10 minutes, until set but not too browned. Let cool completely before pouring in the key lime custard.

Key lime Custard

793g sweetened-condensed milk
64g egg yolks
150g whole eggs
200g fresh key lime juice
Salt, as needed

Adjust your oven temperature to 350°F.

Combine all ingredients until smooth. A food processor works great here. Pour over the pre-baked graham cracker shell, and tap the pan against your counter to release any air bubbles and make the custard settle.

Bake for 15-20 minutes. When it’s done, it will look slightly underbaked. The edges will be slightly puffy but generally set. The center will still jiggle. Let cool to room temperature, then cover and chill at least 4 hours or overnight.

When you’re ready to serve this dessert, cut into portions, and sprinkle the top with granulated sugar. Use a torch to brulée the surface of the custard.

Toasted Swiss Meringue

400g sugar
200g egg whites
Adjust your oven temperature to 350°F.

Combine in the bowl of a stand mixer. Heat over a double boiler, stirring constantly until the egg whites warm to 142°F. Fit onto the stand mixer fitted with the whip attachment and mix on high speed. When the meringue forms glossy white peaks and cools to room temperature, it’s ready to use.

Once you plate the dessert, torch gently like a marshmallow.

Watermelon & Cherry Ceviche

Fresh watermelon, cubed
Fresh cherries, pits removed and halved
Fresh juice from a lime
Fresh juice from an orange
Sugar, as needed

In a ceramic bowl, toss the citrus and cut fruit together and sprinkle with a handful of sugar. Cover and let rest in the fridge for about 10 minutes. Serve with the juices.

Apple Cider Pie

Fall

Nothing beats a hearty, rustic slice of apple pie. But this deconstructed version comes pretty close! Preparing and baking the crust separately ensures it stays shatteringly crisp and flaky, and the gooey apples and sauces are easy to warm up on the stove at the last moment before serving. Not into the deconstructed version? We use these same recipes at the bakeshop for our traditional apple pies.

Recipe
Graham Cracker Crust

680g all-purpose flour
10g salt
30g sugar
453g cold butter
22g apple cider vinegar

Cut the cold butter into 1/2-inch cubes and mix into the dry ingredients using a stand mixer on low speed. Add cold water and vinegar in a slow, steady stream as the mixer stirs. Stop when the dough comes together, being careful not to overmix. Turn out onto the table and finish by hand if needed. Shape into a square and wrap in plastic. Rest in the fridge for about 30 minutes.

Use a rolling pin and as much flour as you need to roll the dough to 1/2-inch thick. Use a cutter to cut circles. Line them up on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Brush with heavy cream or egg wash and sprinkle with raw sugar. Chill again for about 30 minutes while the oven heats to 375°F.

Spiced Pumpkin-Tamarind Sauce

300g pumpkin puree
45g tamarind puree
200g condensed milk
2g cinnamon
1g clove
1g cllspice
1g ginger
100g milk
6g salt

Combine ingredients in a food processor or blender. Store chilled.

WARM CREME ANGLAISE

1,151g milk
258g heavy cream
347g sugar
245g egg yolks
One vanilla bean

Bring the milk, cream, and sugar to a rolling boil. Measure the egg yolks in a bowl big enough to hold the entire recipe. While whisking constantly, pour the hot cream into the egg yolk in a slow, steady stream. You might need a friend to whisk while you pour!

Return the entire mixture to the pot on medium-high heat. Stir constantly while it cooks until it thickens slightly (if you have a digital thermometer, cook to 175°F).

Strain the anglaise out of the pot into a fresh container to cool. If you leave it in the hot pot, the sauce will continue to cook and may become curdled. Store chilled. When you’re ready to serve the dessert, reheat over a gentle flame, stirring constantly.

Sticky Toffee Pudding

Winter

In winter, I seek out comfort food: warm, spicy flavors that evoke memories of my childhood, and for this dessert, I went back to one of my old favorites. The flavor profile of the warm cake and toffee is incredibly rich and indulgent. Ginger is planted in spring and harvested in early winter. It provides the perfect refreshing zing to cleanse the palate so you’re ready for that next bite of toffee.

Recipe
Steamed Date Cake

486g pitted dates
557g water
10g baking soda
102g butter
312g sugar
233g eggs
285g all-purpose flour
15g baking powder
10g ground ginger

In a saucepot, simmer the dates and water until a chunky paste is formed. Stir in the baking soda and rest for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, cream the butter and sugar on a stand mixer with the paddle attachment. Mix in the eggs, then scrape down the bowl. Mix in the dry ingredients and stir until just combined. Stir in the date mixture and mix until smooth.

Grease a cake pan and pour in the batter so that it’s filled halfway. Cover with aluminum foil and poke a few holes in the top to let steam escape. Bake for about 40 minutes. It’s done when you can poke it with a toothpick and no batter sticks to it.

Butterscotch Toffee

388g brown sugar
7g vanilla extract
200g butter
282g heavy cream
118g dark rum
5g salt

Bring the sugar, vanilla, and butter to a simmer, whisking. Add the remaining ingredients and bring to a boil, still stirring for 5 minutes.

Let cool and store covered and chilled. Warm before serving.

Crystallized Ginger

300g sugar
300g water
Fresh ginger as needed

Bring the sugar and water to a simmer. Peel the ginger and cut into thin strips, and add to the sugar. Simmer until the ginger is tender. Strain out the ginger, and toss with granulated sugar. Let cool on a metal rack before using. Store covered at room temperature.

Ginger Ice Cream

50g fresh ginger
1,019g milk
340g heavy cream
233g sugar
127g corn syrup
10g vanilla
286g egg yolks

Bring the ginger, milk, cream, sugar, and corn syrup to a rolling boil. Measure the vanilla and egg yolks in a bowl big enough to hold the entire recipe. While whisking constantly, pour the hot cream into the egg yolks in a slow, steady stream.

Return the entire mixture to the pot on medium-high heat. Stir constantly while it cooks until it thickens slightly (if you have a digital thermometer, cook to 175°F).

Strain the mixture out of the pot into a fresh container to cool. Chill until fully cold. Churn into ice cream according to the directions on your ice cream maker. Note: This will make about two quarts of ice cream.

Florida Fruit Tart

Spring

Every Floridian looks forward to spring (let’s face it, we aren’t cold hardy). The freshest local berries and citrus can be found at this time. This dessert is inspired by a classic fruit tart: a crisp shortbread crust, bright lemon curd, and fresh Florida berries. At Honeycomb, we make jam while the fruits are freshest to preserve their flavor and love hiding a little jelly underneath the curd for a sweet surprise. The lemon curd is a true gem, and you’ll find yourself returning to these recipes again and again.

Recipe
Shortbread Crust

481g butter
236g sugar
60g eggs
45g egg yolks
2g salt
676g flour

Cream the butter and sugar on medium speed using the paddle attachment of a stand mixer. Once the butter is light and fluffy, add the eggs and yolks.

Scrape down the bowl and add the salt and flour. Stir on low speed until just incorporated. Scrape down the bowl again, then wrap and chill.

Roll the dough to 1/4 inch, and line a tart ring or tart tin. Poke the bottom of the dough with a fork to help release steam in the oven. Rest in the freezer.

Preheat your oven to 325°F. When the oven is ready, slide in the tart shells. Depending on the size of your tart, it can take 10-15 minutes. They are ready when the edges are golden. Let cool completely before filling.

Strawberry Jam

500g strawberries
500g sugar
10g vanilla
25g lemon juice

In a wide pot, let the berries, sugar, and vanilla simmer over low heat until the juices are released and the fruit is tender.

Lemon Curd

160g fresh lemon juice
Zest from two lemons
160g sugar
280g eggs
180g soft butter

Bring the lemon juice to a boil and slowly stream into a bowl filled with the zest, sugar, and eggs, whisking constantly. Return to the pot and cook on medium heat, stirring constantly, until the curd thickens and reaches 175°F.

Strain into a bowl and whisk in the butter. Wrap and chill fully before using. Fill the tarts with a dab of jam and the lemon curd. Garnish with fresh-cut Florida strawberries and blueberries.

If you have any apricot jam on hand, melt some in a pot with a little water, and brush onto the berries to keep them shiny.