I’m all for authenticity, but sometimes there’s nothing quite like a shortcut when you’re pressed for time. One of my culinary heroes, Britain’s beloved Delia Smith, wrote a book called How To Cheat At Cooking which caused quite a stir, with half of England’s home cooks up in arms. I’m a firm believer in cheating, especially if it keeps you cooking rather than heating up microwave dinners.
My favorite cheats are sweet cheats. We all lead busy lives and the idea of baking a pie after a long day’s work can seem like a step too far. Years ago, one of my best friends whipped up this “faux” tarte tatin in minutes, and had I not seen her do it I would never have believed it was so easy. It’s now my go-to recipe for a dinner party dessert, and one that I rarely have to leave the house to make; it has just four ingredients, all of which I usually have on hand. So when you find yourself stuck with a last-minute guest coming to dinner, or you have been asked to bring a dessert to a potluck dinner, I’d highly recommend giving this a try.
The “faux” creme anglaise sauce that I serve alongside is the best cheat of all. It is melted vanilla ice cream! Could anything be simpler than that? I pour it over everything from brownies to mixed berries but it’s absolutely perfect with apple pie.
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