If you asked me to pick one Dorie Greenspan recipe – from her fourteen cookbooks and three decades of welcoming bakers to the fold – to recommend to any novice or busy cook, the lemony cloud of her French Yogurt Cake would already be in the works. to cook in my brain.

Because yes, we all need a simple, trustworthy cake that only requires rudimentary ingredients and equipment, but most of all one like this, with a significant step so cheerful Dorie named it The Smoosh.

The gist of The Smoosh, which she learned from pastry chef Pierre Hermé, is this: Pinch lemon zest — or other citrus fruits, fresh herbs, or the belly of a vanilla bean — into the sugar; watch (and feel) it all get exponentially more lemony than the zest alone. “Smoosh whenever you can,” says Dorie.

And besides, I did have to choose a recipe from Dorie – but I also got greedy. When I asked Dorie if I could include her iconic cake in our upcoming “Simply Genius” cookbook, she generously handed it over, along with three of her favorite riffs.

One was a summery trick streaked with blueberries and thyme, but still simple enough that students in his last Zoom class baked it in their dorm toaster ovens.

While the rest of “Simply Genius”, the third child in our Genius Recipes cookbook series, will be here in September, in the meantime I wanted to hustle you this one, while there are blueberries to pick and picnics and car trips to dress up, though you can also bake it forever with frozen blueberries – or any other fruit you like.

(For anyone pre-ordering the book now, there’s also an instant bonus preview of 14 new recipes and riffs to start cooking before all the caboodle arrives — here’s more on that.)

And now here’s Dorie’s latest riff on her any day, any season, however, you want it, as it will appear on “Simply Genius.” Go away.

Recipe: Blueberry Thyme Yogurt Cake from Dorie Greenspan

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