September 30, 2010

Randolpha’s Famous Peach Pie

jkribbitdesigns in ‘Sunshine Contest – Round 2’, 9 aug 10

1 cup flour
1/8 cup milk
1/4 cup oil
pinch of salt

Mix ingredients. Roll out (using wax paper), put in dish, poke holes with a fork, bake at 350 for 10-15 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool

Cream Cheese Filling:
8 oz cream cheese
1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup whipping cream

Mix ingredients. Poor into pie shell. Chill.

Fresh Peach Layer:
Slice fresh peaches onto cream cheese filling. (3-4 good sized peaches should be plenty for both peach layers.)

Cooked Peach Topping:
2 cups fresh peaches (sliced or chunked)
1 cup sugar
2 TBS corn starch
2 TBS water

Combine ingredients over medium heat until dissolved. Turn heat up and bring to a boil. Boil until thickened. Cool. Pour over fresh peach layer.

Chill pie at least one hour.

Ellen Donald Mount’s Pound Cake

Abigailmm in ‘Sunshine Contest – Round 2’, 9 Aug 10

nothing extreme here, no two or three cups of heavy cream. “Cake” in our family basically means this cake.

2 cups sugar
2 sticks (1 cup) butter (REAL BUTTER, preferably unsalted)
6 eggs
1 tsp. lemon extract (almond also works)
1/2 tsp. grated nutmeg
2 cups flour

Butter and flour a tube (angel-food) cakepan. Helps to have the kind where the center lifts out, or cut parchment to fit the bottom.
Preheat oven to 350°F

Cream butter and sugar till fluffy. Add lemon extract, then add eggs one at a time, beating 1 minute on high after adding each egg.

Add flour and nutmeg, mix on low just until blended in, pour the fairly thick batter into cakepan, and bake for 50-60 minutes. Don’t open the oven to check till at least the 50 minutes is up. It should rise up, cracking the first crusting, and then bake and set so that toothpick comes out dry. Sometimes for no discernible reason it falls down again. Never mind, it tastes just as good.

It was offered for sale by the slice at our Unitarian Fellowship’s fundraising craft sale in the 50s. One woman, seeing the nutmeg, said, “Mrs. Mount, you’ve got weevils in the flour.” Grandmother was livid – “It’s the NUTMEG!” I don’t remember if there was any later fallout from this – it had been a gracious gesture for my Presbyterian grandmother to make these cakes for that free-thinking group her daughter had gotten mixed up in. But ever after, someone tends to ask me if I remembered to put in the weevils.

Old Fashioned Blueberry Cake

Sunshine Contest – Round 2, 8 Aug 10

The best way to eat blueberries…..

Preheat oven to 350

3 C flour
2 C sugar
3 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 C berries
2 eggs
1 C milk
1/3 C veg oil
1/2 tsp vanilla

Mix all ingredients (except berries) in large bowl with electric mixer until fully combined. Fold in berries, Spread evenly in 9 x 13 pan.

Top with 1/2 C sugar, 3/4 tsp nutmeg (combined), sprinkle evenly over batter

Bake at 350 for 40 minutes

This comes out somewhere between a cake and coffee cake is best enjoyed for breakfast with coffee or milk or an afternoon snack with tea.

Other berries can be substituted, raspberries and blackberries are especially good and the note from my mom says to try strawberries. I haven’t yet as I love strawberries so much they rarely sit around long enough to be baked.

Betty’s Butterscotch Brownies

Sunshine Contest – Round 2, 8 Aug 10

Betty was my Mom. That was actually the name she was given at birth, and she always hated it when people thought it was short for Elizabeth. Her childhood friends used to call her “Lizz” just to watch her steam!

I have come to dislike dark chocolate because it’s likely to give me migraines. When you begin to associate a taste with pain, it stops tasting quite so good. Mom was excellent at coming up with goodies I could happily eat.

These are chewy brownies, not the soft cake kind. This recipe probably originally came from a can or box or some other kind of label, because a lot of Mom’s recipes did, but I have no idea what. At any rate it’s been modified: among other things, the original called for 1/4 cup oil but I replaced half of it with yogurt.

Do not get the bright idea of using “butterscotch” chips in these. Commercial “butterscotch chips” are awful. We tried it: we know. The flavor called butterscotch is actually a combination of molasses and vanilla and caramelized sugar, so it’s there already when these ingredients are mixed.


2 Tablespoons cooking oil (flavored oil would probably be yummy)

1/4 cup plain nonfat yogurt

1 packed cup of light brown sugar (OR: 1 cup white sugar, 1 teaspoon blackstrap molasses. Yes, TEAspoon, it’s strong stuff. I usually do it this way because I don’t bake that often and brown sugar solidifies into concrete if you keep it around too long.)

1 egg

3/4 cup flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional)

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease an 8 by 8 inch pan.

Blend oil, yogurt and brown sugar. Add the egg.

In another bowl, mix the flour, baking powder and salt thoroughly (the recipe originally said to sift them, but my Mom was a maverick and declared that she never bothered to sift flour and could never see any difference). Add blended dry ingredients to wet ingredients.

Add the vanilla and nuts.

Pour into greased pan and bake for 25 minutes. Makes 16 at about 140 calories each (by my calculation).

Clootie Dumpling

Sunshine Contest – Round 2, 8 Aug 10

This was originally my Great Aunt Suzie’s recipe which she used to make from memory,it had been in the family for years before Mum persuaded her to write it down (which involved writing the amounts down as she made one as she couldn’t remember the quantities otherwise.) We only tend to get it on Birthdays due to time required to watch the pot as it steams.

1 lb self raising flour
8 oz granulated sugar
Pinch of salt
4 oz butter
1 oz cinnamon**
1 tsp mixed spice
¾ lb sultanas
¾ lb currants
½ – ¾ pt milk
1 tbsp syrup

1. Mix flour, salt and sugar together.
2. Cut butter into small pieces and add to mixture.
3. Add the spices a little at a time.
4. Add fruit.
5. Mix with milk until a soft consistency*** is achieved.
6. Mix in syrup.
7. Scald cloth**** in hot water then lay on surface and sprinkle inside with flour.
8. Place mixture inside and gather up sides and tie loosely.
9. Place a plate, raised slightly, into a pot and add boiling water. Ensure it does not cover the plate.
10. Place mixture in cloth on plate and steam for 3-4 hours. Do not allow to boil dry.^
11. Finish off in oven to form a skin. (About 170C, 10mins)

** Yes it does say an ounce of cinnamon, it used to say a pot of cinnamon but then they changed the packaging so we weighed what the pot held.
*** A soft consistency is basically enough milk so that you don’t have any dry flour left. You want a strong wooden spoon as with all the fruit it is hard to mix.
**** A cotton cloth is best, you can use an old pillowcase if you have one, what you want is a large square of material.
^ If you have a large enough steamer I’m sure this will do. Plate wise we’re talking a medium sized dinner plate, whatever will fit in your pot – the smaller the plate, the deeper the dumpling and the longer it will take to steam.

Comfortably Numb Cookies

Sunshine Contest – Round 2, 8 Aug 10

(These are adapted from a Diane Mott Davidson recipe. I actually sent Diane a note with the altered recipe, and she wrote me back, teasing me about it, but was glad that I enjoyed the recipe enough to fiddle with it. So, I apparently have a HISTORY of writing to favored authors! These cookies are a bit of work, so I generally only make them at the holidays, and hand them out as presents – no one ever complains, except that I only do them once a year.)

1 cup slivered/chopped & toasted almonds (or other nut – opt)
2 cups bittersweet chocolate chips (the darker the better – I usually use Ghiradelli double chocolate)
1 cup sun-dried cherries
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
3 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 egg

2 ounces best quality unsweetened chocolate, melted gently then combined with…
2 tablespoons milk, allow that mix to cool a bit

1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract (none of that imitation stuff!)
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons flour (I am goofy with flour – I’ll use whatever is handy around the house in combination – whole wheat, spelt, 10 grain, whatever. Feel free to be flexible)
1 cup old fashioned rolled oats
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup Dutch processed cocoa
1 jar marshmallow crème

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
Spread slivered/chopped nuts on an ungreased cookie sheet and toast for 7-12 minutes, until they are lightly browned. Set aside.
Butter 2 cookie sheets. In a large bowl, combine the chocolate chips, cherries and cooled nuts; set aside.
In another large bowl, beat together the butter, sugar, cream cheese and egg until very creamy and smooth. Beat in milk, melted chocolate and vanilla extract.
In a blender, ½ a cup at a time, blend the oatmeal until it resembles a powder. Sift together the blended oatmeal, flour, baking powder, salt and cocoa, then add to the butter mixture. Blend in the marshmallow creme, stirring until thoroughly combined. Add the chips, cranberries and nuts. Stir until well mixed. Batter will be thick.
Using a 1 tablespoon scoop measure, measure out batter and place 2 inches apart on cookie sheets. Bake 13 to 17 minutes, until puffed and baked through. Cool on sheet 1 minute; transfer to wire racks to cool completely.
Yields about 3 dozen.

Gold of the Immigrants Bread

Sunshine Contest – Round 2, 8 Aug 10

2 loaves

Source/comments: Marina Fournier:

“Multi-ethnic backgrounds at work often prompt parties with an international potluck. I’m ‘Heinz 57 American’ (born in Japan for good measure), and this was one of my contributions. This resembles Portuguese or Hawaiian Sweet Bread, but I’ve added a few ingredients to honor some of the wonderful flavors and some of the different kinds of gold brought by the various waves of immigrants to this country: how many ‘golds’ can you find?”

t=teaspoon T=tablespoon I expect you know what c. stands for, right?

2 envelopes yeast
1/2 c. hot tap water
1/2 t. honey
1/2 t. saffron threads
[about a gram: I buy mine by the ounce ( a good one of my handfuls) at Indian groceries. MUCH cheaper]
2 T. boiling water
1 c. milk 4 oz. butter
1 t. ground cardamom
1 c. honey
4 eggs
1/4 t. salt
2 c. unbleached flour
1/3 c. orange flower water
zest & juice of 2-3 lemons
ca. 7 c. unbleached flour

Put the water in a bowl that will hold at least a quart. Sprinkle the yeast and honey over it. Whisk well, cover, and set in a warm place to proof—when the growth oozes over, it’s “proofed”. Measure the saffron before toasting. Oven-toast the saffron at 350˚F for 10 min., or until dry enough to pulverize. Pulverize, put in a cup, and pour boiling water over the spice. Let cool. Isn’t the color glorious?

Scald the milk, add the butter, cardamom, and honey; stir. Let dissolve and cool, then add the yeast sponge to it. Beat the eggs with the salt until frothy, and add to the yeast mixture. Add flour and beat until smooth. This will prevent curdling by the citrus. Add the citrus ingredients, and beat until the batter is smooth again.

Begin adding the rest of flour by cupfuls, stirring until you have a dough that is soft, but ready to knead. Turn the dough out unto a floured surface, and knead for a few minutes. Place the dough in a greased bowl (you might try one of these oils: olive, hazelnut, apricot, to add a little more flavor to the loaf), cover, and let rise until doubled, about an hour.

Punch down this dough and divide into two equal pieces (or more—this makes wonderful buns). At this point, if you are so moved, add 1 c. of some golden dried fruit: raisins of white grapes, apricots, papaya, lemon or orange peel. . . . but it’s very nice without. Shape the dough into slightly flattened round loaves, and let rise for another hour, or until doubled in size. At this point you may wish to brush the loaves with an egg wash, but if you have Goldwasser or some yellow liqueur, use that instead of water to thin the egg. Bake at 400˚F for 30 minutes, or until golden brown, and the loaf sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom.

Good luck letting it cool before someone cuts into it…

Death Brownies

Sunshine Contest – Round 2, 8 Aug 10

These are my infamous Death Brownies, which I admit to baking for any reason at all. They are intensely chocolatey; even a hardened chocoholic like myself can eat only 3 in one sitting.

1/2 cup butter
2 squares unsweetened chocolate
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
3/4 cups flour
Chocolate chips, usually about 1/4 cup

In a saucepan or in the microwave at medium heat, melt butter and unsweetened chocolate together. Transfer to a bowl and mix in sugar, eggs, and vanilla. Add flour and chocolate chips. Pour into well-greased 8″ x 8″ cake pan, and bake at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes, or until a knife poked into the centre comes out clean (ignore signs of melted chocolate chips!). When cool, ice with Chocolate Butter Icing and place in fridge until icing hardens. Cover brownies and refrigerate or freeze.

Chocolate Butter Icing
(Note: the amounts given here are for these brownies, and equal half of a normal cake recipe)

1/6 (or half of 1/3) cup butter
2 1/4 cups icing sugar
1/8 cup milk
3/4 tsp. vanilla
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa

Beat butter until fluffy (it helps to soften it up first!). Mix in 1 cup icing sugar. Add milk, vanilla, cocoa, and remaining sugar, and mix until combined. Continue adding milk until desired consistency is reached – it should be too thick to pour, but the more milk, the gooier the brownies.


Adapted from Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book

Key Lime Pie

Sunshine contest – Round 2, 8 Aug 10

Graham cracker crust- sure you can buy one, but making one is so much tastier:

1 ½ cups fine graham cracker crumbs
1/3 cup butter (about 6 tablespoons)
3 Tablespoons white sugar or 4 Tablespoons powdered sugar

Prepare crumbs either by rolling them or using the food processor. Melt the butter over low ( or microwave). Remove from heat and add crumbs and sugar, blending well. Turn the crumbs into an 8 or 9 inch pie pan, spread evenly and firmly over the bottom and sides. Use a flat bottomed cup to press down. Bake at 325 degrees for 7 to 10 minutes ( watch it) depending on the thickness of the crust to firm the crust. Cool and fill.


4 or 5 egg yolks
1 can sweetened condensed milk
½ cup key lime juice
½ tsp. cream of tartar

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Beat egg yolks on high until thick and light colored. Turn off mixer. Add milk and slowly mix. With mixer on, slowly add in half of the key lime juice then cream of tartar then the rest of the juice. Mix until blended.
Put in cooled crust and bake in the center of the oven until firm and dry to the touch (about 15 minutes). Let cool completely.

Serve with fresh whipped cream with just a touch of sugar and vanilla.

Key Lime Cheesecake

Sunshine Contest – Round 2, 8 Aug 10

My Key Lime Cheesecake is an unbaked cheesecake, so it’s not for anyone who’s leery of uncooked eggs. I’ve been making this for the past 9 years and no one has ever gotten sick from it, so …

I’ve adapted this from several cheesecake recipes that I found online.

Use a 9-inch pie pan.

Crust – I use a standard graham cracker crust:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
1 c graham cracker crumbs
3 Tbs white granulated sugar
1/4 c butter, melted

Mix the cracker crumbs and sugar in the pie pan, pour in the melted butter and mix thoroughly, then pat into the pan; it’ll be a fairly thin crust, the idea is to have just enough to hold in the cheesecake. Bake for 5 minutes and let it cool.

1 envelope (or 2 1/2 tsp) unflavored gelatin
3/4 cup key lime juice
2 large eggs, beaten
1 cup white granulated sugar
8 oz tub-style cream cheese
8 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
2 egg whites
1 1/2 tsp key lime zest
3/4 cup white granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups whipped cream

1. In a medium saucepan, dissolve the gelatin in the key lime juice for 3 minutes. Add 1 cup sugar, the zest, and the 2 beaten eggs.

2. Heat on stove at medium heat, while stirring, and cook for 10 minutes or until mixture thickens. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.

3. In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese on medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Slowly add the lime mixture and beat on low until smooth. Refrigerate the mixture until it’s thoroughly cooled, stirring it every 10 minutes.

4. In another bowl, beat the egg whites until foamy or until soft peaks form. Slowly add the 3/4 cup sugar until incorporated.

5. Fold the egg white mixture into the chilled lime-cream cheese mix, and pour into the prepared crust.

6. Refrigerate until set, about 2 hours.

7. Spread whipped cream over the cheese cake before serving.

If you can’t find fresh key limes, use the bottled key lime juice and grate the zest of a regular lime.

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