Lemon Pecan Baklava

Mix a half cup light brown sugar with a teaspoon of cinnamon, a stick of melted butter, and 3 cups chopped pecans. Spread on a pound of buttered phyllo. Cover with another pound of buttered phyllo and bake until golden. Stir a cup of sugar into a cup of water.  Add a half cup honey, a half cup corn syrup, and the juice of three lemons with zest. Bring to a boil until slightly thickened. Pour evenly over phyllo, and cool before slicing and serving.

Aunt Jesse’s Easy Icebox Pie

Whip a 14 oz. can Eagle brand milk with an 8 oz. bar of softened cream cheese. Add a half cup freshly-squeezed lime juice, a mashed ripe banana, and a jolt of vanilla. Pour into a cooled 8 in. graham cracker crust (just buy one, for Pete’s sake) and freeze until solid.

Homemade Ice Cream Base

If you’re of a certain age, such custards as this were the beginning of that ice cream churned when you were growing up. This recipe makes a sumptuous base for any home freezer.

Combine 1 cup sugar, 1 tablespoon cornstarch and a scant teaspoon salt in a saucepan. Gradually stir in a quart of half-and-half and place over low heat. In a large bowl beat together 2 large eggs and a tablespoon of pure vanilla extract until whites and yolks are thoroughly blended.

Slowly add eggs to the cream, stirring constantly and gradually increasing heat until thickened. It should have the consistency of eggnog. Stir in a pint of whipping cream and remove from heat.

Refrigerate for 45 minutes to cool, then add fruit, nuts and/or flavorings, place in freezer, and help make people happy.

Blackberry Ice Cream

Macerate 4 cups fresh or frozen blackberries with 1 cup sugar; mash and strain. This will yield about 3 cups of syrup. Sift together 1 cup sugar with a tablespoon of cornstarch. Drizzle this mix into a quart of warm half-and-half, add 2 eggs well beaten and a tablespoon of vanilla extract. Simmer until thickened, remove from heat, add 2 cups whole cream, another teaspoon of vanilla, and the blackberry syrup. Whisk until smooth. Refrigerate for at least an hour before processing in the ice cream freezer with a squeeze of lemon. This recipe works well with any berry or stone fruit.

Angel Food Cake

You can find mixes for this in the store, but they cannot compare to scratch, and hot, dry weather is the perfect time to make it.

Preheat oven to 350. Separate a dozen eggs while cold, using caution to ensure no yolks make it into the whites. Bring whites to room temperature and stir in a tablespoon of water. Sift a cup of cake flour with a half cup sugar until it’s very light. (Yes, you can use plain flour.) You want to sift several times; some recipes say as many as five.

Beat the egg whites in a large, very clean, dry bowl. Start on a low speed. When the eggs are foamy, sprinkle in a teaspoon of cream of tartar. This acid helps stabilize the egg whites when they are whipped. Since most of the volume and structure of the cake comes from these egg whites, you’re not going to want to take the risk of substituting this ingredient. As the texture of the bubbles begins to even out, add a teaspoon or two of pure vanilla extract, and incorporate another cup of sugar bit by bit, about a tablespoon at a time.

Keep beating at a medium speed until the sugar is dissolved and the whites form stiff peaks. Then carefully FOLD in the flour while sifting it over the egg whites. Use a spatula, and turn the bowl; the key is not to deflate the bubbles. Make sure the flour is evenly combined throughout the whites, but don’t over-mix.

Gently pour the batter into a 10-in. ungreased tube pan; the cake has to cling to the sides as it rises, forming a bit of a crust. Bake for at least 30 minutes, until the top is crusty and springy.

Remove from oven and cool over a rack. You’ll find specially-made tube pans with legs for this cake. When cool remove by running a thin knife around the sides of the pan. You can buy a comb to slice this cake, otherwise use a serrated knife dipped in warm water.

No Churn Ice Cream

Line a lightly buttered loaf pan with parchment paper, and place it in the freezer.

Pour a 14-oz. can sweetened condensed milk into a mixing bowl, add two teaspoons pure vanilla, and refrigerate. Whip two cups of heavy cream to stiff peaks. Working quickly, GENTLY fold the whipped cream into the sweetened condensed milk, along with any additions—mashed macerated fruit, chocolate syrup, or crushed cookies or nuts—until well blended.

Pour into the frozen loaf pan and cover with plastic wrap. Freeze for at least four hours. Some recipes will tell you to stir the mixture after about two hours (while you still can) but you don’t have to.