Did you know that June 21 will be the longest day of the year? That’s right, because of the summer solstice, the sun will be at its northernmost point in the sky, making this special date the day with the most hours of sun.
To celebrate, we’ve rounded up our most lengthy recipes, labors of love that require as much patience as skill, but are certainly worth the effort. From the Philippines comes a divine slow-roasted pork belly—those long hours make the meat extra tender—while the archival cookbooks of France yielded lou fassum, a strange meat-and-cabbage creation that looks like it came from another planet.
From Chinese zongzi to a baked Alaska flambé, here are the time-consuming (but, once again, worth it) recipes to make for the June solstice, also known as the longest day of the year.
The croissant’s perfection is twofold: an interior of infinitely spiraling paper-thin layers and a shatteringly flaky crust.
Short Ribs with Fermented Pepper Harissa
Tangy fermented pepper paste, the base of Burns’ harissa, can be customized to be as sweet or spicy as you prefer. “Mine is usually in the middle,” she says. The sauce can be used immediately, but Burns says the leftovers will continue to improve in taste for up to 6 months and keep indefinitely in the refrigerator. Slow-cooking the short ribs at the oven’s lowest temperature, or in a low-heat dehydrator, ensures that the centers stay medium-rare. And a quick sear on a grill or grill pan delivers crispy edges. Get the recipe for Short Ribs with Fermented Pepper Harissa »
The Ultimate Pot Roast
A low and slow braise is the best way to transform tough cuts of meat into fork-tender morsels. This version, made with a crosscut whole beef shank, is cooked in white wine and rich homemade beef bouillon layered with vegetables and aromatics for added complexity. Crunchy roasted radishes and a funky flaxseed, herb, and vinegar relish balance the pot roast’s richness with acidity and texture. Get the recipe for The Ultimate Pot Roast »
Step Up Your Chocolate Cake Game With This Baked Alaska Recipe
Layers of ice cream are enrobed in fluffy meringue in a classic baked Alaska.
Chinese Sticky Rice Dumplings (Zongzi)
The leaf-wrapped sticky rice dumplings zongzi (in Mandarin) or joong (Cantonese) are a snack enjoyed year-round in China, though they are especially popular in the spring. The long bamboo leaves are filled with either sweet or savory ingredients, and often made and enjoyed by families in the weeks leading up to the Dragon Boat Festival, which falls on the fifth day in the fifth month of the lunar calendar. We learned how to make these with Chinese home cook Mei Zeng, who’s perfected her zongzi recipe after years of practice. Get the recipe for Chinese Sticky Rice Dumplings (Zongzi) »
Pineapple Tea Cookies
These sandwich cookies, adapted from chef Frederico Ribeiro of New York’s Te Company, are an homage to the classic Taiwanese pineapple cake. Here a super-buttery vanilla bean shortbread gets a nutty dose of hazelnut flour, and sweet pineapple-rosemary jam gets balanced by the spicy, fermented, and grassy flavor of Japanese yuzu kosho paste. Get the recipe for Pineapple Tea Cookies »