The days are longer, the weather is warmer, and farmers’ markets are in full swing. And the most popular recipes from last month (based on overall pageviews) were aligned with the bright flavors and outdoor eating that come along with those things. Our home cooks enjoyed grilled burgers, boiled corn, and fruit desserts, and they also started their mornings with breakfast classics and broke out the chickpeas. Head into July with some fresh ideas for your summer menu and check out the rest of the top 25 in this collection.
1. Tender, Juicy Grilled Burgers
Creating a juicy and loosely textured burger that could withstand the rigors of grilling called for a number of tactics. First, we ground our own meat in the food processor, which let us choose the cut (steak tips), grind (coarse), and consistency (loose) of the burger when we shaped it. Incorporating a little salt before shaping added richness, boosted juiciness, and seasoned the burgers throughout. Finally we shaped the burger when (with a dimple) in their centers to prevent bulging) and froze them for 30 minutes, which held them together as they cooked and let them stay on the grill a few minutes longer for excellent char and perfect rosy centers. [GET THE RECIPE]
2. Cherry Clafouti
For a clafouti that featured juicy cherries in every bite (and no pits to get in the way, as most traditional recipes have), we pitted and halved the cherries. To concentrate their flavor and prevent excess moisture from leaking into the custard, we roasted them in a hot oven for 15 minutes and then tossed them with a couple of teaspoons of absorbent flour. To recover the slightly spicy, floral flavor the pits contributed, we added ⅛ teaspoon of cinnamon to the flour. We found that too much flour made the custard too bready, whereas an excess of dairy made it too loose. Ultimately, we settled on a moderate amount of each for a tender yet slightly resilient custard with no pastiness. Switching from a casserole dish to a preheated 12-inch skillet gave us better browning and made the custard easy to slice and serve. A last-minute sprinkle of granulated sugar added a touch of sweetness and delicate crunch. [GET THE RECIPE]
3. Individual Fresh Berry Gratins with Lemon Zabaglione
For a berry gratin recipe with firm but juicy fruit, frothy zabaglione, and a lightly browned crust, we discovered a few tricks. Tossing the berries with sugar and a pinch of salt helped draw out their juices. Cooking the custard over low heat prevented it from curdling, and whipping it longer than usual gave it great texture. For the thickest, most flavorful custard, we added whipped cream and a few spoonfuls of Sauvignon Blanc (which we prefer to Marsala for its clean flavor). A sprinkling of granulated and brown sugar provided the caramelized crust. The resulting fresh berry gratin recipe was juicy, light, and creamy, just what we were looking for. [GET THE RECIPE]
4. Easy Pancakes
We wanted tender, fluffy, flavorful pancakes that are simple to make using pantry-friendly ingredients and basic kitchen tools (no appliances). To make them tall and fluffy, we prepared a thick batter by using a relatively small amount of liquid and lots of baking powder and mixing it minimally. Sugar, vanilla, and baking soda provided sweetness, depth, and saline tang, respectively. [GET THE RECIPE]
5. Moroccan Lentil and Chickpea Soup (Harira)
This recipe carefully streamlines the ingredient list and technique of this classic Moroccan soup to deliver all the bold North African flavors you’d expect from harira in just a fraction of the time. Using canned chickpeas rather than dried saved about 2 hours of cooking time, and paring down the number of spices to a key five made it a dish most people can prepare without a special trip to the market. Using large amounts of just two herbs made for quicker prep and more efficient use of fresh ingredients. Finishing the dish with fresh lemon juice helped focus all the flavors. [GET THE RECIPE]
6. Foolproof Boiled Corn
To produce perfectly crisp, juicy corn every time, we figured out that the ideal doneness range is 150 to 170 degrees—when the starches have gelatinized but a minimum amount of the pectin (the glue that holds the cell walls together) has dissolved. Consistently cooking the corn to that temperature was easy once we realized that we shouldn’t boil the corn. Instead, we used a hack sous vide method: bringing a measured amount of water (4 quarts) to a boil, shutting off the heat, dropping in six ears of corn, and letting the corn stand for at least 10 minutes. The temperature of the water decreased quickly enough that there was never any chance of the corn overcooking, while the temperature of the corn increased to the ideal zone. Even better, the method is flexible: It can accommodate between six and eight ears of different sizes, and the corn can sit in the water for as long as 30 minutes without overcooking. [GET THE RECIPE]
Want to see the rest of our top 25? Check out our Most Popular America’s Test Kitchen Recipes in June collection.
See what recipes were popular in past months in these recipe collections: