This Memorial Day weekend will be one unlike any other. An article by NYPost


The summer holidays are usually spent enjoying the good weather with friends and family by gathering and grilling outdoors. And while some may be able to get by with their “bubble” groups for a small backyard cookout, other beloved outdoor events, such as carnivals and state fairs, certainly won’t be taking place this season — and that’s a real shame, because the eats are notoriously scrumptious.

Here in New York City, the foodie event of the season is usually the Queens Night Market, a summer-to-fall weekend food festival at Flushing Meadows Corona Park. Queens is one of the most ethnically diverse communities in the world, and that’s reflected at the Night Market, where immigrant vendors like Wembie, purveyor of traditional Moldovan-Bashkir treats, used to sell.

Now, their recipes can be found in the new cookbook, “The World Eats Here: Amazing Food and the Inspiring People Who Make It at New York’s Queens Night Market” compiled and written by QNM co-founders John Wang and Storm Garner.

“We’re still waiting and hoping maybe this year at the end of the summer everything will reopen,” said Wembie’s co-founder Liia Minnebaeva, originally from Russia.

In the meantime, Minnebaeva says she’s been missing the Bashkir Farm Cheese Donuts, a family recipe, that she used to make for night market customers. They were considered a special-occasion dessert when she was a child in the USSR.

Now that she’s not making the savory-sweet snack once a week for the Queens event, “I kind of miss them,” she said. So if you, too, are missing the sweet street fare, here’s the recipe to try your own version at home — plus a slew of others to round out your Memorial Day dessert table.

Bashkir Farm Cheese Donuts

Makes about 30

7 ozs. dry farm cheese (queso fresco or feta make good substitutes here) 2 tbsp. granulated sugar 1 large egg ⅓ cup all-purpose flour ¼ cup semolina flour ¼ tsp. baking soda Sunflower, vegetable or other oil for frying Confectioners sugar, for garnish Sweetened condensed milk, for dipping

  1.  In a bowl, mix the cheese and sugar, then add egg until well-combined throughout. Add both flours and baking soda and knead until dough is mixed and no longer sticky, sprinkling with flour as needed. Refrigerate the dough for 15 minutes.
  2. Form into 1 to 1 1/5-inch balls in diameter.
  3. Pour enough oil to fill about 4 inches of a pot and heat on medium-high to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. (If you don’t know the temperature, dip a wooden spoon into the oil. It’s ready if it begins to boil.)
  4. Drop balls into oil and cook on one side for 2 to 3 minutes, until browned and crispy, and flip to repeat. When both sides are cooked, remove with a slotted spoon and place on a wire rack to drain and cool for about 3 to 5 minutes.
  5. Dust with confectioners sugar and drizzle with sweetened condensed milk.

Banana Cream Pie With Amaretto & Almond

This recipe comes from the Chef Adam Richardson of the West Village’s Don Angie, and it’s included in the forthcoming chef-powered cookbook, “On the Line,” sales of which go to benefit laid-off restaurant workers during the pandemic. Richardson usually makes a homemade crust (included in the book), but bakers at home could just as well opt for Pillsbury. Or, “If you want to get fancy,” he suggests, “phyllo dough, found in the freezer aisle, is great for a more flaky, crunchy pie crust.”

1 9-inch pie crust 3 large egg yolks 1 large whole egg 2 ½ tbsp. cornstarch 2 cups whole milk ⅓ cup sugar for pie filling, and 1/4 cup sugar for topping ½ tsp. Kosher salt 1 tsp. vanilla extract 3 tbsp. unsalted butter 2 tbsp. amaretto or 1/2 tsp. almond extract 2 ripe bananas, chopped

8 ozs. mascarpone, sour cream, cream cheese, or Greek yogurt 1 cup heavy cream 1/2 tsp. kosher salt

Toasted sliced almonds, peanuts, or walnuts for garnish

  1. Bake the pie crust as directed or assemble your store-bought crust.
  2. To make the pastry-cream filling, whisk yolks, egg, cornstarch, and about half of the 1/3 cup of sugar in a medium bowl.
  3. Next, whisk the milk, remaining sugar, salt and vanilla extract in a medium saucepan over medium heat. As soon as the milk starts to bubble around the edges, remove from the heat.
  4. Slowly ladle the hot milk into the egg mixture while constantly whisking, so they are heated slowly and don’t scramble (calling “tempering”). Once most of the hot milk has been added to the egg mixture, return all contents to the saucepan and place over medium heat while whisking vigorously and continuously. When large bubbles start to form, lower the heat and cook for 2 more minutes, still whisking.
  5. Finish the filling by whisking in the butter one tablespoon at a time.
  6. Pass the pastry cream through a fine-mesh sieve into a heat-resistant bowl. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing it directly on top of the mixture and up the sides of the bowl, so that the pastry cream doesn’t form a “skin.” Allow the mixture to cool completely.
  7. Once cooled, remove plastic and whisk-in the amaretto. The mixture will be thickened and gelatinous, like pudding. Fold in the chopped bananas with a rubber spatula, then pour into the pie shell.
  8. For the topping, whip mascarpone in a stand mixer with whisk attachment or using a hand mixer on medium-high speed, until smooth, about 2 minutes. Add heavy cream, 1/4 cup sugar and salt, and continue to whisk until the mixture holds a stiff peak, about 2 minutes more. Dollop onto pie, and garnish with chopped, toasted almonds. Allow to set in fridge at least one hour before serving.

Jam Bars

These versatile granola bars are lightly sweetened and could even sub-in for breakfast, according to Jordan Champagne, whose new book “It Starts With Fruit” (Chronicle Books) includes the recipe for the bars that she sells at her Pacific Grove, California, cafe Happy Girl Kitchen Co. Of the fruit aspect, says Champagne, “Any kind of jam or marmalade can be used in the center, but fig jam is a classic favorite!”

4 cups rolled oats 2 cups all-purpose flour (can be made gluten-free with oat, quinoa or rice flour) 1 cup sugar 1 tsp. ground cinnamon ½ tsp. sea salt ½ tsp. baking powder ½ tsp. baking soda 1 ½ cups coconut or safflower oil ½ cup milk 8 to 12 ozs. jam or marmalade, depending on how thick you want it and how much you have

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. To make the crust, combine the rolled oats, flour, sugar, cinnamon, salt, baking powder and baking soda in a large mixing bowl.
  3. Add the oil and mix thoroughly, then add milk and mix to combine.
  4. Take half of the dough mixture and firmly press it into an 8 x 10-inch baking pan. For the filling, spread the jam in an even layer on top, then crumble the rest of the dough mixture on top, and press down lightly to create a more even layer.
  5. Bake for 45 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool to room temperature before cutting into 12 pieces, since the crust will harden once it cools. These bars travel well and keep for up to 4 days in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Maple-Spiced Grilled Apples with Sea Salt

Not everyone has access to an outdoor grill, let alone in the era of social distancing. That’s what makes the recent release of “The Indoor Grilling Cookbook” (Insight Editions), developed by the Williams Sonoma Test Kitchen and available exclusively on its website, so fortuitous.

⅓ cup plus 2 tbsp. pure maple syrup 2 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted 2 tsp. ground cinnamon ½ tsp. ground ginger 3 tart and sweet apples, such as pink lady, quartered and cored Vanilla ice cream, for serving Flaky sea salt

  1. Whisk together syrup, butter and spices and a pinch of salt, to fold in apples to coat.
  2. Cut four 12-inch squares of heavy-duty aluminum foil. Place three apple quarters in the center of each square, drizzle with 2-3 tablespoons of syrup mixture, and fold foil up on each side to create open packets.
  3. Place the foil packets on a high-heat grill for 25-30 minutes, until sauce is bubbly and apples are tender.
  4. Serve cooked apples alongside vanilla ice cream, and finish with a dash of flaked sea salt.

More Memorial Day desserts

This recipe from Joy the Baker gives the classic summer dish an outdoorsy twist by using grilled slices of pound cake in place of the traditional angel food cake. And don’t you dare skip the homemade whipped cream!

The timeless summertime citrus pie inspires a cool twist from Smitten Kitchen that’s far less fussy than baked goods, and more refreshing.

This icy dessert from Food52 punches-up a frozen yogurt with feta cheese, then adds an herbal note of mint to mellow the zingy flavor.

Galette is French for “flat cake,” but in English it translates to a no-fuss, rustic-looking pie with fresh, seasonal fruit. The Minimalist Baker lays out the steps to this simple seven-ingredient pastry.

The best part about pudding cakes — essentially a twice-baked custard-soaked-cake — is they’re very hard to screw up. This bright, citrusy version from Sally’s Baking Addiction is perfect for summer once Meyer lemon season hits.

Inspired by the sweet and inexplicably creamy mango drink often served in Indian restaurants, this frozen yogurt by Cookie + Kate cuts a corner (it’s allowed!) by using frozen mango chunks.

Fruit, but make it pizza, according to Gimme Some Oven. Need I really say more?

A simple fruit crisp is a fail-safe dessert featuring healthy additions such as nuts and oats, so you won’t feel too guilty about eating this version from Love & Lemons.

Let Kitchn be your one-stop shop for all rhubarb recipes (they seem to love the stuff), such as this brightly colored cheesecake bar that features the tart, pink-hued stalky vegetable.

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