Happy New Years’ Eve! 2021 has not been my favorite year (probably not yours either), and so I’m not sad to see it go–in fact, we’re going to celebrate its departure with a holiday-ish dessert today: 15-34: White Chocolate Strawberry Soufflé. This soufflé is not baked, but does include meringue being folded in. I’m not sure if that makes it “not a soufflé,” but at this point, does it matter?
“Dramatic” is definitely a good way to describe this past year, so perhaps this is the perfect dessert/recipe for today. However your 2021 has been, I hope that 2022 is a safe and prosperous year for you and yours.🎇
Now–let’s get off the heavy stuff and into something much lighter–discussion of this “soufflé”.
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.
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.
When I made 11-9: Fried Jumbo Shrimp, I decided to try to knock out a bunch of recipes at once, thinking I could just buy a few pounds of shrimp and save myself multiple trips to the store. One of the other shrimp recipes I made was this one, 12-21: Luxury Rice with Shrimp.
One of the glaring problems with this theory is that shrimp goes bad QUICKLY, and unless you want to cook/eat a ton of shrimp all at once, you might not end up using all of it in time.
This is what happened to me, and I ended up having to toss a bunch of the shrimp (which was on sale–BIG red flag) before I could even use it and buy more (not on sale this time 💰💰). So much for trying to reduce my environmental and financial impact.
Consider that before you attempt my idea. Also, make sure the recipe is worth it–this one was not even worth rebuying the shrimp, in my opinion.
I’ve finally caught up to Mother’s Day…2019. I made 15-10: Frozen Raspberry Desserts along with a few other desserts from Simply Delicious, which has essentially become a tradition at this point. Considering I got these books from my mother, she has no one to blame but herself.
Mother’s Day is a bit ahead of summertime, but the fruit is usually already out and plentiful by then. The hardest part of making these desserts is the chocolate cups, which I also used for 15-23: Kiwi Mousse with Chocolate Cups. If I have to go through the trouble of making them, I’m getting as much bang for my buck as possible.
I bet you thought I abandoned this project. You’d be wrong–I just started a few others and let this one get a bit dusty. After almost 5 years, I’m still plugging along, and will be until I finish this damn thing. I don’t even know when I cooked this, but here’s 16-17: Meringue-Topped Cherry Pie.
I know I cooked it sometime in 2018, and I know that I wanted to attempt a vegan version (which didn’t go well). I think I was making it to bring to work, but I have a feeling it never made it there. Looking over the pictures of it, I think I know why.
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.
A few months ago, we celebrated Pi Day in my office. Most of the pies were store-bought, but I decided to flip through Simply Delicious and see if there was anything worth contributing. I decided on 16-11: Meringue-Topped Chocolate Pie–everyone likes chocolate, and we had had a mishap with the lemon meringue pie on the way back from the store while preparing the day before.
If you’re not familiar with Pi Day, it takes place on March 14th, which when written as a numeric date is 3-14 (at least in the U.S. it is–some countries reverse the order). Pi (the mathematical constant represented by the Greek letter π) is usually rounded up to 3.14, so March 14th is celebrated with actual pies (and a bit of math) as a play-on-words. 😂
No one really needs an excuse to eat pie, but “It’s a math joke” is certainly an acceptable one.