Helpful Hints In the Kitchen: Part 6, Desserts

By Sarah Hunt, AZFB Communications Intern



Have you ever cooked a meal with one of your parents or grandparents and they showed you a cool trick or shortcut you didn’t know before? Well thanks to Southwest Family Citrus, we have a whole series of them for you! Make sure to check back next week for more tips.


  1. Egg whites need to be at room temperature for greater volume when whipped. Remember this when making meringue.
  2. When preparing several batches of pie dough, roll dough out between sheets of plastic wrap. Stack the disks in a pizza box, and keep the box in the freezer. Pull out the required crusts as needed.
  3. Place your pie plate on a cake stand when placing the pie dough in it and fluting the edges. The cake stand will make it easier to turn the pie plate, and you won’t have to stoop over.
  4. Many kitchen utensils can be used to make decorative pie edges. For a scalloped edge, use a spoon. Crosshatched and herringbone patterns are achieved with a fork. For a sharply pointed effect, use a can opener to cut out points around the rim.
  5. Keep strawberries fresh for up to ten days by refrigerating them (unwashed) in an airtight container between layers of paper towels.
  6. When grating citrus peel, bits of peel are often stuck in the holes of the grater. Rather than waste the peel, you can easily brush it off by using a new, clean toothbrush.
  7. To core a pear, slice the pear in half lengthwise. Use a melon baller to cut out the central core, using a circular motion. Draw the melon baller to the top of the pear, removing the interior stem as you go.
  8. When cutting butter into flour for pastry dough, the process is easier if you cut the butter into small pieces before adding it to the flour.
  9. To keep the cake plate clean while frosting, slide 6-inch strips of waxed paper under each side of the cake. Once the cake is frosted and the frosting is set, pull the strips away, leaving a clean plate.
  10. When decorating a cake with chocolate, you can make a quick decorating tube. Put chocolate in a heat-safe zipper-lock plastic bag. Immerse in simmering water until the chocolate is melted. Snip off the tip of one corner, and squeeze the chocolate out of the bag.
  11. Professionally decorated cakes have a silky, molten look. To get that appearance, frost your cake as usual, then use a hair dryer to blow-dry the surface until the frosting slightly melts.
  12. To ensure that you have equal amounts of batter in each pan when making a layered cake, use a kitchen scale to measure the weight.


Find more cooking tips on Fill Your Plate’s blog!

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