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Star Confection: A Must-Try Dessert at Mooncusser Fish House

By Alexandra Hall | July 26, 2019 | Food & Drink


Katherine Hamilburg, pastry chef extraordinaire at Mooncusser Fish House (don’t let the humble name fool you; the place is pure sophistication), is that rare kind of sugar whiz who can make difficult, meticulous work look like child’s play. Case in point: desserts like this one that may appear whimsical and simple, but in fact require multiple levels of artistry. Above all, Hamilburg—who also turns out equally elegant desserts as the pastry chef at Mooncusser’s sister restaurant, 80 Thoreau in Concord— loves to unite complex, classic European techniques with lusty, natural elements like perfectly ripe local fruits. “The process for plated desserts can seem daunting because there are often many components,” she shares. “But if done in a logical order, it’s less complicated than it seems. I make the sorbet first, then the macarons themselves and then the smaller finishing garnishes like the almond cake, candied almonds and Champagne gelee.” As for the flavors and textures she’s spotlighting, they all come back to the macarons: “The macarons already have a lot going for them,” she points out. “A crispy and chewy texture, sweet and salty flavor, creamy buttercream. I wanted to choose flavors and garnishes for the plate that would highlight them and also make the dessert fitting for summertime.” The result? An abstract tableau in which light-as-air, salty-sweet caramel and delicately balanced sorbets, juicy berries and luscious meringue all seem to dance across both your plate and your palate. 304 Stuart St., 617.917.5193,

Tags: desserts