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.
Today is Independence Day here in the U.S., so let’s do one of my favorite desserts and recipes from this book, 14-8: Baked Alaska. Obviously Simply Delicious didn’t invent this dish–it’s an American dessert that’s existed since Civil War times and is so well known you can even make it as a Sim.
I have a history with this particular version of the dish, however. I first made it as my “showstopper” dessert for a big family dinner I cooked as a teenager (along with a similarly-aged family friend) many years ago.
I also taught about 200 K-8 kids (ages 5-13ish) how to make this recipe and several others as part of an after-school cooking class program that was one of my first teaching-related jobs. I’ve been waiting YEARS to write this one, so now it’s your turn with it.
I think 14-9: Glazed Crêpes with Pears might be my final untested crêpe recipe from Simply Delicious–but there may be others in there. I’ll even give you a quick spoiler (since this recipe is kind of boring…another spoiler) for upcoming posts–there are more recipes out there than what I had originally. I know because I found (and purchased) some in a local Goodwill.
I’ve still got quite a few posts to go before I dig into some of the *NEW* recipes (and show you the book they came in), but for now, you can read aboutyetanothercrêperecipe after the jump. But this time, with pears! And glaze!
Finally, we’ve reached the first recipe (for this project) made in my new (to you) kitchen: 14-22: Strawberry-Peach Cobbler. It was summer and 4th of July, so something with fruit that goes well with ice cream was bound to be a hit.
Speaking of 4th of July, I made 2-37: Chicken-Salami-Rice Salad for a party that I attended with a guy that I had just started dating. 10 years later, this is the first recipe I cooked in my very first house, that I bought with that same guy (who I ended up marrying not long after I made that first recipe).
The editors of Simply Delicious love to write a common type of recipe that includes the act of putting meringue on top of a fruit filled pie. 14-19: Old-Fashioned Apple Meringue is a mistake with all but the classic lemon custard version of a meringue pie. Apple and cherry do not carry a meringue the same way in my opinion.
The meringue clouds in the example photo would probably have been the ideal presentation method, however, my meringue came out runny so it didn’t clump very well. I was lucky that it cooked to a hard crust.
Trying to sneak one in before the month of October completely passes me by. 14-31: Coffee Nut Crêpes is not the first crêpe recipe I’ve covered during this project, but it may be the last–believe it or not, I’m getting close to finishing a few of these sections. I made this dish back in May as part of my Mother’s Day brunch for 2018, since it seemed like a breakfasty-brunchy kind of treat.
You can find the other dishes I made for this year’s Mother’s Day tagged under MD2018–there’s also MD2017 if you’re interested in last year’s menu.
Yes, this is technically a dessert (according to SimplyDelicious). But doesn’t brunch already cross a few boundaries just by definition? Plus, it was Mother’s Day–most restaurant brunches you’ll find on that day have a pretty extensive dessert section. I’m just contributing to authenticity.
14-14: Sliced Pineapple with Nut Meringue is a unique desert. It was actually fairly tasty, just not something I would have thought to put together. This interesting dish has multiple textures, flavors, and temperatures which all interact nicely. I love raspberry, pineapple, and meringue, but I never thought to combine them, especially this way. 🍍
Meringue is probably one of my favorite applications of eggs in cooking. Egg whites only, but still a great use of eggs.
My posting’s slowed down a bit (and my husband Adam has been cranking out his posts like crazy), but I am still cooking (and eating) from this book. It’s good to take breaks every so often, and rather than abandon the blog for those break times (as I have in the past), I’m glad that he’s here to keep it alive and to lend another voice besides my own. Just wanted to get that out there. I’ll pick it back up to speed soon, but for now I’m enjoying watching it be interpreted through someone else’s eyes for a bit.
I find myself with extra heavy whipping cream now and then due to other cooking activities, and I’m the only one in the house that can consume it without much gastrointestinal distress. When I have excesses of ingredients, I try to find Simply Delicious recipes to burn off that kill two birds with one stone–using up a recipe AND the cream, 14-3: Grand Marnier Soufflé is one of those recipes.
I’ve permanently borrowed a bottle from my parents (when you’re in your 30s, parents don’t seem to mind as much if you raid their liquor cabinet), and it’s what we’ve been using for flambéeing and any other instances that call for brandy/cognac/Grand Marnier. Why buy a brand new bottle when there’s plenty of barely touched ones sitting at their house? 🍾