It’s citrus time where I live, which means that everyone has buckets of oranges, lemons, limes, and grapefruits that they can’t give away fast enough. I myself have an orange tree, but I’m often given lemons from friends and family as well–16-13: Lemon Meringue Pie is a good recipe to use up some of that winter citrus. You can also check out 15-29: Raspberry-Lemon Parfait or 17-42: Luscious Lemon Bars if you have a LOT of lemons to use up.
This is a NEW book recipe, so I never even knew until recently that Simply Delicious even had a lemon meringue pie recipe. If I had known, I guarantee I would have attempted it much earlier than now.
I LOVE lemon meringue pie–it conjures recipes of slowly rotating cake and pie displays in coffee shops. Man, do I miss eating in a restaurant.
Yet another apple dessert recipe for you today. I made 14-24: Wine-Baked Apples at the same time as 14-2: Apple Strudel, since if I’m going through the work of breaking down apples, I’m getting at least two entries out of it.
The blurb above mentions this being a “new” way to bake apples–it doesn’t seem that far off from the “old” ways, to be quite honest.
I had a goal to finish all the ones I cooked in 2019 by the end of 2020…not sure if I’ll meet that goal (EDIT: I did!), but here’s one more from last year: 16-49: Chocolate-Glazed Raspberry Tart. Not only is this from last Thanksgiving (along with 6-42: Turkey Pot Roast and 17-15: Cream Puffs), but I also made a version of it as part of a fancy Christmas dinner 12 years ago (XMAS 08) as well. Since today is Christmas Eve, I think it’s a good day to tell you about it.
When I made this back in ’08, I made 6 individual tarts instead of one big one–I was afraid it would look weird once I cut it, so I thought individual servings would look better. I had been watching a LOT of Top Chef at that point (and still do, but that’s the ONLY cooking show I’ll watch).
Since I had a few of the same guests attending as that Christmas dinner back in ’08 (and the same number), I decided to make the same modification this time. Usually I will reverse modifications when I recook recipes I’ve already done to try to honor the “original” recipe, but this time I decided to stick with it.
I’ll be honest–I’ve started this entry for 14-2: Apple Strudel a bunch of times, and I can’t think of anything exciting to say about it. There’s a lot of apple desserts in this book, and they all just start to blend together for me after a while. Even then, apple strudel is pretty a well-known dish to begin with, so odd are low that you’re going to learn anything new about it from reading Simply Delicious’ take on it.
It took me until NOW (and by now I mean as I’m pushing the keys to type this) to realize that there was actually powdered sugar coating the one pictured above, and they didn’t just peel the first layer of the outside off and say “yep, looks good to me”.
I often wonder when I “evaluate” these recipes if I’m biased in my ratings/attitude towards them because of my own personal feelings about their contents. If I don’t personally like pears, does that unfairly impact my review of 15-41: Pear Halves with Chocolate Topping? Probably. Just a thought.
I’m not a huge pear fan, so if you haven’t figured it out by now, pear halves with weird chocolate bread topping wasn’t my jam. But if months of quarantine have you curious about weird desserts from the 80s, read on.
Looking to impress? Or maybe you’ve been watching a lot of those baking shows while on lockdown and you think you’re ready for some of the “tougher” stuff. Well, here’s a good one for you to test your skills.
I made 17-15: Cream Puffs for Thanksgiving last year (TGV 2019), but haven’t written about it until now. Cream puffs feature pâte à choux, which is the puffy, airy dough that you also find in éclairs. We made profiteroles when I worked at a restaurant a few years ago, and it’s essentially the same thing.
Simply Delicious suggests you can fill your cream puffs with vanilla or whipped cream–the most traditional ones also feature pastry cream (crème pâtissière).
The ones we served at the restaurant I worked at were filled with house-made, hand-scooped ice cream that were (sometimes) baked and (often) assembled by yours truly and then drizzled with a chocolate glaze like these. It was one of those trendy gastro-brew pubs that made the beer onsite and had many beardy/tattooed gentlemen working there, so you can imagine the rest of the menu and atmosphere. At least we served most of it on a normal plate. #wewantplates
Here’s a very basic dessert recipe: 14-21: Pear Pandowdy. Pandowdies are typically made with apples, but Simply Delicious offers a pear variation which is also popular. Both are in season right now, so either one would work for this recipe if you’re looking for something to do with all of that fall produce.
An old-fashioned favorite, the pandowdy is, by definition, a cooked fruit dessert sweetened with maple syrup or molasses and topped with a pie pastry. The name refers to the act of “dowdying” the crust — that is, breaking it up with a knife and pressing it into the bubbling juices — midway through baking. While it’s not the prettiest of pastries, what it lacks in streamlined good looks it more than makes up for in rich flavor.
Yankee Magazine, August 2020
Let’s see how close Simply Delicious gets to their definition. They sell this thing much better than I do.
A LOT of the dessert recipes in Simply Delicious feature almonds, and 14-23: Almond-Baked Sliced Pears is a perfect example of these type of “semi-fancy” recipes. I’m not sure why almonds are featured so heavily in the book (or 1980s cuisine in general), but I suppose it’s to lend a sense of haute cuisine to something that would be (in reality) executed in a home kitchen.
The 1980s were all about stylish and flashy veneers without much to back it up underneath, even when it came to food, and this recipe is a perfect encapsulation of it. The fancy top covers up the cheap canned pears underneath, dazzling you with a hint of something high-class to distract you from the less impressive core which makes up the bulk of the dessert. Maybe some things should have just stayed in the 80s.