Father’s Day with America’s Top Baker Brian Emmett

America’s Top Baker Brian Emmett shares Father’s Day recipes your dad will love!  Blueberry and Cream Cheesecake with an Almond Shortbread Crust and Brian’s favorite Stromboli.

Blueberry and Cream Cheesecake with an Almond Shortbread Crust

Serves 6-8

Shortbread recipe to follow  

1 pound of blueberries

¼ cup light corn syrup

1 pound plus 13 ounces cream cheese, room temperature

8oz mascarpone cheese

¼ cup sour cream

1 cup of sugar

¼ teaspoon salt

2 large eggs, room temperature

1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped and reserved

½ teaspoon of pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Place blueberries on a rimmed cookie sheet. Drizzle with corn syrup, and toss to coat. Bake until syrup thickens and blueberries turn deep purple and shrink slightly. Pour mixture into a medium bowl and mash with a potato masher or the back of a fork. Cool completely.

Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees. Put cream cheese into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment; mix on medium-low speed until creamy, about 2 minutes. Scrape down sides of bowl gradually add remaining cup of sugar and the salt. Scrape down sides of bowl; add eggs, 1 at a time, mixing well after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.   Next, take a knife and cut the vanilla bean length wise. Scrape the seeds out of the inside of the bean and add to mixture. Discard the bean casing. Mix in the vanilla extract, and mascarpone. Mix well about 4 minutes.

Transfer cream cheese mixture to bowl and fold in mashed blueberry mixture. When the blueberry mixture is completed folded in, pour on top of the almond shortbread crust and smooth with spatula.

Wrap the bottom and sides of the spring form pan with foil set a deep dish pizza pan. Fill roasting pan with boiling water until water reaches halfway up the sides of the spring form pan. Bake cheesecake until set about 1 hour 10 minutes. Remove spring form pan from water bath transfer to a wire rack to cool. Refrigerate until cold at least 6-8 hours or overnight.

Almond Shortbread Crust:

7 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces, room temperature

¼ cup sugar

1 large egg yolk

1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour

¼ teaspoon of almond extract (vanilla extract if preferred)

1/3 cup of crushed almonds (If there are any allergies, omit this step)

In a bowl, combine the butter and sugar and blend to make a paste. Add the yolk and blend thoroughly. Add the flour and using your fingers, blend to make a crumbly dough, being careful not to overwork. Pat firmly into a 9-inch pie pan and let rest in the refrigerator at least 2 hours or overnight. Remove from the refrigerator and prick the bottom of the crust with the tines of a fork. Place a sheet of parchment or foil in the pie tin and fill with pie weights, dried beans or rice and blind bake the crust in a preheated 400 degree oven for 10 minutes. Remove the pie weights and foil and bake for another 5 minutes or until light golden brown.

Brian Emmett’s Stromboli


3 cups of bread flour

1 package rapid rise yeast

1 cup of warm water

1 tsp of sugar

1/4 cup of EVOO

Pinch of salt


8 oz. sliced thin Genoa salami

8 oz. hard salami or sopressata salami

8 oz. sliced thin smoked mozzarella cheese

8 oz. sliced thin provolone cheese

1/3 cup of torn Basil

1 tablespoon of minced garlic


1 pint cherry tomatoes halved

1/3 EVOO

1 tablespoon of fennel seed

1 tablespoon of fresh rosemary

1/2 teaspoon of crushed red pepper (leave out if you do not like heat)

Sea salt and pepper


For the dough: Mix the warm water and sugar to dissolve. Then add yeast package and let sit until foamy about 10 minutes. In a mixer fitted with a dough hook add flour with a pinch of salt, then add EVOO and yeast water mixture. Mix until it comes to a ball and knead for about 5 minutes. Oil a glass bowl and add dough to coat and cover with towel and let rise in a warm draft free area for about 1 ½ hours and doubled in size.

Punch dough down and let sit for about 15 minutes to let relax. Then roll dough out on a floured surface into and oval about 22” long to 12” wide. Layer meat, cheese and basil in the center of the dough up to 6” wide. Fold end flaps over filling, about 1 inch. Then cut 1 inch strips along each of the side of the dough so you can braid the dough. Overlap each piece of dough in the center to form braid.


Split cherry tomatoes in half and add to bowl then add herbs salt and pepper and EVOO. Sprinkle over braided bread, sprinkle with sea salt and pepper and transfer to oiled tray/pan cover with plastic wrap and let sit for 20 minutes. Bake for 45 minutes in a preheated 375 degree oven until golden brown.

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