Use this master recipe and set of guidelines for adapting your own version of Momofuku Milk Bar pastry chef Christina Tosi’s signature dessert.
■Each makes about 11 / 2 cups of filling.
■It is best to use firm fruit.
Use yellow preserves for yellow fruit; red preserves for red fruit. Either match the preserves to the fruit (e.g. apricot preserves for apricot filling) or use complementary flavors, such as cherry preserves or seedless raspberry preserves for the blackberry filling.
■Raspberries are not advisable for a cake filling as they don’t retain their texture when cooked.■
Start with 2 cups of fruit. Choose one of the following:
3 medium, peeled, pitted peaches or unpeeled, pitted nectarines (1 pound);
4 medium apricots (10 ounces), cut into 1 / 2-inch pieces;
Pitted and halved sweet cherries (12 ounces);
Large blackberries (12 ounces);
Large blueberries (1 pint)
1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 / 4 cup preserves
1 teaspoon cornstarch (for peaches, add an extra teaspoon)
1 / 4 teaspoon almond extract (for berries, do not use extract)
Pinch of salt
■For peaches, apricots, cherries and blueberries: Combine the 2 cups of fruit, lemon zest and juice, preserves, cornstarch, extract and salt in a medium, heavy-bottomed saucepan and stir to dissolve the cornstarch. Heat over medium heat for 3 to 4 minutes (2 to 3 minutes for blueberries), until the fruit releases its juice. The fruit should retain some of its texture and its liquid should be thick, clear and not taste of cornstarch. Cool the fruit completely before using.
■For blackberries: Combine the lemon zest and juice, preserves, cornstarch and salt in a medium, heavy-bottomed saucepan and stir to dissolve the cornstarch. Heat over medium heat until the liquid is thick and clear, about 2 minutes. Gently stir in the blackberries and cook until they just start to release their juices, about 1 minute.