Berry Napoleons With Buttermilk Whipped Cream

Makes: 6 servings


5 frozen phyllo sheets, thawed (see cook’s note)

5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

5 teaspoons sugar

Parchment paper

2 cups assorted fresh berries (such as blackberries, blueberries and sliced strawberries)

21⁄2 tablespoons sugar, divided

1⁄4 teaspoon lime zest

1⁄2 cup heavy cream

3 tablespoons buttermilk

Garnish: fresh mint sprigs


Cook’s note: Phyllo dough dries out very quickly. While working, keep unused sheets covered with plastic wrap and a damp towel.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Unfold phyllo sheets on a flat working surface. Stack 5 phyllo sheets, brushing each sheet with 1 tablespoon melted butter and sprinkling with 1 teaspoon sugar. Cut into 12 squares, and transfer to a parchment paper-lined jelly-roll pan, spacing them about 1 inch apart.

Bake at 350 degrees for 14 minutes or until golden brown and crispy.

Combine berries, 1 tablespoon sugar, and lime zest. Beat cream and buttermilk at high speed with an electric mixer until foamy; gradually add remaining 11⁄2 tablespoons sugar, beating until stiff peaks form.

Place 6 phyllo squares on individual serving plates; top each with 11⁄2 tablespoons whipped cream and 3 tablespoons berry mixture. Top each with another phyllo square and equal portions of the remaining whipped cream and berries. Garnish, if desired, and serve immediately.

— Recipe adapted from “Around the Southern Table” by Rebecca Lang (Oxmoor House, 2012)

Esther Krawcheck’s and Agnes Jenkins’ Cheesecake

Serves: 12

“Esther Bielsky Krawcheck and her husband, Jack, were prominent Charlestonians in the 20th century, for their generosity to Brith Sholom Beth Israel Synagogue (the oldest Ashkenazi synagogue in continuous existence in the United States), for their vivacious personalities, and for the men’s clothing shop that Mr. Krawcheck founded, fitting tens of thousands of men over many generations for Harris Tweeds and seersuckers from 1922 until 1995.

“Mrs. Krawcheck’s cheesecake recipe, which was published in Charleston Receipts, was a collaboration with Agnes Jenkins, who cooked for the Krawcheck family from the time of Jack and Esther’s marriage until after both had died. ... This is a cheesecake for adults.” — Matt Lee and Ted Lee


2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, plus more for the pan

¾ cup graham cracker crumbs (2 to 3 ounces, or 5 full sheets of crackers), ground medium-fine in a food processor

¾ cup plus 3 tablespoons sugar

5 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, at room temperature

4 large eggs yolks

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

Kosher salt

¾ cup heavy cream

4 large egg whites

6 ounces fresh raspberries (or strawberries; see note below)


Butter the sides and bottom of a 9-inch springform pan. In a bowl, mix the graham cracker crumbs with 2 tablespoons of the sugar and stir with a fork to combine. Add the melted butter and toss with a fork until the butter has evenly moistened the crumb mixture (take the opportunity to break up any larger crumbs during this process). Scatter the crumbs evenly into the pan and press into it using the bottom of a straight-sided glass to create an even layer on the bottom of the pan.

Set a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat the oven to 500 degrees.

With an electric hand-mixer, beat the cream cheese in the bowl with the egg yolks until the cheese is soft and fluffy and the egg is evenly blended in, about 2 minutes. Mix the flour with ¾ cup of the sugar and ¼ teaspoon salt, and add to the cheese, blending well with the mixer. Add the cream to the batter and beat until thoroughly blended. Whip the egg whites to soft peaks and fold into the cream cheese mixture with a spatula until it’s even and elastic.

Transfer the batter to the crust-prepared pan, smoothing it down, and bake for 15 minutes. Decrease the oven temperature to 200 degrees and bake for 1 hour. Turn off the oven, leave the door ajar, and let the cheesecake cool in the oven for 30 minutes (though you can skip this step if you don’t have time).

Heat the raspberries, the remaining 1 tablespoon sugar, and 2 pinches of salt in a small pan over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the raspberries release some liquid and begin to break down. Remove from the heat, and let cool to room temperature.

Cool the cheesecake on a rack for 20 minutes, then serve with the topping, or refrigerate the cake before serving if you prefer the cheesecake cold.

(Note: If using strawberries, trim and quarter them and toss them a few hours in advance with a small amount of sugar, tossing every half-hour or so. By the time they’re ready to serve, they’ll have a small amount of syrup with them. Serve each cheesecake slice with a spoonful of strawberries and their syrup over the top, and then a grind of black pepper. Says Matt Lee: “We love strawberries with black pepper!”)

— Recipe adapted from “The Lee Bros. Charleston Kitchen” (Clarkson Potter, 2013)

Kiwi Lime Pie

Serves 12

Superfoods: Eggs, Kiwifruit, Oats, Pumpkin Seeds


1 tablespoon ground flax

2 tablespoons water

4 graham cracker sheets, broken in half

1/2 cup uncooked old-fashioned oats

2 tablespoons pumpkin seeds

1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk

5 egg yolks, beaten

4 teaspoons lime zest

1/2 cup fresh lime juice

4 kiwis, peeled and cut into thin slices


Heat the oven to 375 degrees. Place the flax and water in a small bowl and stir with a teaspoon. Set aside. In a food processor, grind the graham crackers and oats into fine crumbs. Transfer to a separate bowl.

Using a clean coffee grinder, grind the pumpkin seeds. Add to the graham cracker mixture. Add the flax mixture and stir until a coarse meal forms. Press into the bottom and up the sides of an 8-inch pie plate. In a large bowl, place the condensed milk, egg yolks, and lime zest and juice. Whisk well until a thick, creamlike mixture forms. Pour over the unbaked graham crust and smooth the top with a rubber spatula. Bake 12 to 15 minutes, until the edges are firm but the center still jiggles when you shake the pan. Remove from the oven and let cool 30 minutes. Decorate with kiwi slices. When the pie is fairly cool, cover with plastic wrap and chill for at least 1 hour, or up to 8 hours, before serving.

Chef’s note: Add a spoonful of nonfat Greek yogurt to dress up your dessert even more and sneak in another superfood.

Per serving (1/12 of pie): 219 calories, 6g protein, 7g fat (3g saturated), 34g carbohydrates; 1g fiber, 73 mg sodium.

— Recipe adapted from “The Drop 10 Diet Cookbook” by Lucy Danziger (Ballantine, 2013)