the Pence family cookbook

Recipes in Category “Dessert”

Turtle Pie

dessert caramel chocolate pecan pie


for the crust:

  • 2 cups ground pecans
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup melted butter

for the filling:

  • 14 oz. Kraft caramels
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 pkg. (8 squares) Baker’s Bittersweet chocolate
  • 1/3 cup milk [it may need a lot more]
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla


Combine the crust ingredients and bake at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes, or until lightly browned.

Melt caramels in milk. Pour over crust, sprinkle with pecans. Heat chocolate, 1/3 cup milk, powdered sugar and vanilla, stirring, just until melted. Pour over pecans and refrigerate. Serves 10-12.

Strawberry Pie

dessert pie strawberry untested


  • 4 pints (~3lb) fresh strawberries
  • 3/4 c.sugar
  • 2 tbsp. cornstarch
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Sure-Jell low-sugar pectin (pink box)
  • pinch salt
  • 1 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1 pie shell, baked


Select 6 oz. of less pretty berries. Blend to smooth puree. Whisk sugar, cornstarch, Sure-Jell, and salt in medium saucepan. Stir in berry puree. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring constantly. Boil, scraping bottom and sides of pan to prevent scorching, for 2 minutes to ensure that cornstarch is fully cooked. Transfer to large bowl and stir in lemon juice. Let cool to room temperature.

Measure 2 lb. of pretty beries; halve only extra-large berries. Add berries to bowl with glaze and fold gently until berries are evenly coated. Scoop berries into pie shell, piling into mound. Refrigerate pie until chilled, about 2 hours. Serve within 5 hours of chilling.


Fresh Strawberry Bars

dessert strawberry


  • 125 g / 1 stick unsalted butter, melted
  • 1½ cups/ 225 g plain flour (all purpose flour)
  • 1½ cups / 135 g rolled oats (traditional oats, not quick, instant or steel cut)
  • ½ cup / 110 g brown sugar
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 egg
  • 2/3 cup strawberry jam
  • 2 cups chopped strawberries (about 375g)
  • 2 tbsp white sugar
  • 2 tsp cornflour / cornstarch


Preheat oven to 180C/350 (fan forced).

Spray a 20cm/9" square tin with oil and line with baking/parchment paper with overhang (so it can be lifted out once cooked).

Mix together flour, oats, sugar, baking powder and salt. Add butter and egg then mix. Measure out 1 cup of the mixture (for topping) and set aside. Place remaining mixture in the tin and press into base.

Mix together Strawberries, sugar and cornflour in a bowl (don’t do this in advance because sugar will make strawberries sweat = runny filling).

Spread base with jam, then scatter over strawberries. Use your hands to crumble the remaining mixture over the top.

Bake for 35 - 40 minutes or until the top is deep golden. Remove and allow to cool for 10 minutes in the tin before lifting out of the tin using the baking paper. It will sag - don’t worry, it will set.

Cut into squares. Serve at room temperature. Store in airtight container (in fridge if it’s very hot where you are).

Recipe tin eats

Satsuma Mandarin and Vanilla Upsidedown cake

dessert orange satsuma


  • 4 to 5 medium Satsuma mandarins (1 1/2 pounds), thinly sliced and seeded
  • 8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 vanilla bean, split and scraped, pod reserved for another use
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed Satsuma mandarin juice (from 1 mandarin)
  • 1 1/3 cups plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated mandarin zest
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup whole milk


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cook mandarins in a large pot of boiling water for 3 minutes. Drain. Arrange slices in a single layer on paper towels.

Place 1 stick of butter in a 9-by-2-inch round cake pan. Mix half the vanilla seeds and 1/2 cup sugar, then sprinkle over butter. Place in oven until butter melts, about 7 minutes. Carefully whisk in 2 tablespoons mandarin juice.

Whisk flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl. Cream zest and remaining 1 stick butter, 1 cup sugar, and vanilla seeds with a mixer until light and fluffy. With mixer running, add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Reduce speed to low. Add half the flour mixture, then the milk and remaining 1 tablespoon juice. Beat in remaining flour mixture.

Arrange mandarin slices in a circle over sugar in pan, starting in the center and spiraling outward, overlapping slices slightly. (Use slices that are completely intact.) Gently spoon batter on top of mandarins, and spread evenly. Bake cake until golden brown and a tester inserted in center comes out clean, 45 to 50 minutes. Let cool in pan on wire rack. Run a knife around edge of pan to loosen cake. Invert onto a serving plate, and let cool before serving.

Martha Stuart

Strawberry Curd

dessert strawberry


  • 4 cups sliced fresh strawberries
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 3 tablespoons butter


Process strawberries in a blender or food processor until smooth, stopping to scrape down sides as needed. Press strawberries through a large wire-mesh strainer into a medium bowl, using back of a spoon to squeeze out juice; discard pulp and seeds. Combine sugar and cornstarch in a 3-qt. saucepan; gradually whisk in strawberry puree and fresh lime juice. Whisk in 3 large eggs and 2 egg yolks. Bring mixture to a boil over medium heat, whisking constantly, and cook, whisking constantly, 1 minute. Remove from heat, and whisk in butter. Place plastic wrap directly on warm curd (to prevent a film from forming); chill 8 hours. Serve with hot biscuits, Strawberry-Lemonade Muffins, or use as a filling for tart shells.

My Recipes

Citrus Olive Oil Cake

dessert cake lemon orange


For Cake

  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons citrus zest (any type)
  • 1/4 cup fresh citrus juice
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup plain yogurt
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

For Glaze

  • 1/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 to 3 teaspoons fresh citrus juice


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Generously butter and flour an 8½ by 4¼-inch loaf pan. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.

Pour the sugar into another medium-sized mixing bowl. Use a Microplane to grate 2 teaspoons zest from your fresh citrus fruits and add it to the bowl. Rub the zest into the sugar until the sugar takes on the color and fragrance of the citrus.

In a liquid measuring cup, measure out ¾ cup yogurt and squeeze in about ¼ cup citrus juice to yield 1 cup total liquid. Whisk the yogurt and juice, eggs and vanilla into the sugar mixture until well blended.

Gently whisk the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, just until incorporated. Switch to a spatula and fold in the oil, making sure it’s all incorporated. The batter will be shiny. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan and smooth the top.

Bake the cake for 50 to 55 minutes, or until the top is golden and the sides start to pull away from the sides of the pan; a toothpick inserted into the center should come out clean.

Let the cake cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then run a knife between the cake and the sides of the pan to loosen. Unmold the cake by placing a large plate upside down over the loaf pan and carefully turning them over. Carefully flip the cake back over and let it cool to room temperature.

To make the glaze: Measure the powdered sugar into a small bowl. Whisk in just enough blood orange juice to make a thick glaze that drizzles easily off your whisk when lifted. Drizzle the glaze back and forth over the cake. The glaze will need about 15 minutes to set, then it’s ready to slice and serve.

Cookie and Kate

Peach, Bourbon, and Molasses Tart

dessert peach untested vegan vegetarian whiskey



  • 1 cup walnuts 1/2 cup raw unsalted sunflower seeds 1/2 cup medjool dates 1/4 teaspoon sea salt


  • 4 local ripe peaches
  • 1 cup multicolored raisins
  • 5 medjool dates
  • 1/4 cup bourbon
  • 1/4 cup blackstrap molasses
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup nuts (walnuts or almonds are best)
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice


Pulse all crust ingredients in food processor until crumbly dough forms. Press into pie pan and set aside.

Large dice ripe peaches and transfer to mixing bowl. In food processor, pulse pitted dates, lemon, bourbon, and maple until mostly smooth. Pour into mixing bowl and toss peaches, raisins, 1/2 cup of nuts, until well-covered. Pour into pie pan over crust and drizzle molasses.

Edible Nashville

Sweet Potato Pie

dessert pie sweetpotato


  • 16 ounces peeled, roughly diced sweet potatoes (3 1/3 cups; 455g), from 2 medium sweet potatoes
  • 1 vanilla bean, split and scraped, seeds reserved for whipped cream topping
  • 2 or 3 cinnamon sticks (about 6 inches total)
  • 1 whole nutmeg
  • 26 ounces milk (3 1/4 cups; 740g), any percentage will do
  • 6 ounces heavy cream (3/4 cup; 170g)
  • 7 ounces white or lightly toasted sugar (1 cup; 195g)
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt; use half as much if iodized
  • 1/2 ounce vanilla extract (1 tablespoon; 14g)
  • 3 large eggs


In a 3-quart stainless steel saucier, combine sweet potatoes, empty vanilla pod, cinnamon sticks, whole nutmeg, milk, cream, and sugar. If you have a scale, write down the weight of the saucier and combined ingredients so you can precisely measure the reduction.

Bring to a boil over high heat, then adjust to medium-low and maintain a gentle simmer (higher heat may cause the milk to curdle). Scrape frequently with a flexible spatula to prevent milk solids from building up around the side, and simmer until sweet potatoes are fall-apart tender and dairy has condensed into a thick sauce, about 55 minutes. The saucier should weigh 19 ounces (535g) less than when you started. (Alternatively, total volume, including cooked sweet potato, should be 3 2/3 cups when finished.)

Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and preheat to 350°F (177°C). Remove vanilla bean and spices from saucier and purée sweet potato and dairy mixture with an immersion blender until smooth. (If needed, transfer to a smaller container to avoid splashing.) Whisk in ground cinnamon, grated nutmeg, salt, and vanilla, followed by eggs. If you like, strain through a fine-mesh strainer before pouring into prepared pie crust.

Bake pie until gently set in the middle (with an internal temperature of 195°F or 91°C), about 40 minutes. Cool at least 20 minutes before slicing with a chef’s knife, pausing to wipe the blade clean as needed. If desired, serve with dollops of whipped cream. Wrapped in plastic, sweet potato pie will keep up to 3 days at cool room temperature.

Serious Eats

Scotch Shortbread

dessert caramel chocolate untested


  • 7/6 c. butter
  • 1/4 c. white sugar
  • 1 1/4 c. flour
  • 1/2 c. brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp. light corn syrup
  • 1/2 c. sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 1/4 c. dark chocolate chips


Preheat oven to 350 F. Mix together sugar, flour, and 2/3 c. of the butter until evenly crumbly. Press into a 9" square baking pan. Bake for 20 minutes. In a saucepan, combine remaining 1/2 c. butter, brown sugar, corn syrup, and condensed milk. Bring to a boil, and continue to boil for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and beat vigorously with a wooden spoon for about 3 minutes. Pour over crust (warm or cool). Cool until it begins to firm. Melt chocolate chips, pour over the top of the caramel, and spread. Chill and cut into squares.


Old Fashioned Lemon Icebox Pie

dessert lemon pie untested


  • 3 cups vanilla cookie crumbs
  • ¾ cup melted butter
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 2 rounded tsp powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 9 extra large egg yolks
  • ⅓ cup sugar
  • Two 10 ounce cans of sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 cup lemon juice
  • zest of 2 lemons finely minced


Grease a 10 inch deep dish pie plate or line the bottom of a 10 inch spring-form pan and lightly grease the sides. Mix together the cookie crumbs and butter. Press into the bottom and sides of the pie plate or to about ¾ of the height of a spring form pan if you are using one. Bake for 10 minutes at 325 degrees F. Set aside to cool. Whip the cream, icing sugar and vanilla to soft peaks and set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment in place, add the egg yolks and ⅓ cup sugar. Whisk at high speed until light, foamy and pale yellow in color, about 5 minutes. Slowly whisk in the sweetened condensed milk lemon zest and lemon juice. Gently fold in the previously whipped cream. Pour into the prepared pie crust. Freeze overnight. Garnish with whipped cream, additional Nilla cookies and lemon zest before serving.

Barry Parsons