20-8: Pie Crust

20-8: Pie Crust

I missed getting this one out in time for 4th of July, but summer’s far from over here in the U.S. If you happen to have some seasonal fruit or are looking for a lighter dinner option (I grew up on quiches and I love them), 20-8: Pie Crust can be a great base recipe for both of those. And of course, this isn’t limited to just summer–pie crusts are useful all year round.

You can even make up a bunch of pie crust dough balls using this recipe and freeze them individually–just pull one out when needed and let it defrost.


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15-7: Banana Split

15-7: Banana Split

Y’all, we have been locked inside for over a year at this point, so it was only a matter of time before the recipes that looked silly to me before now started looking like a good time. What better time to enjoy 15-7: Banana Split than when the only “safe” entertainment you can get these days is picking up ingredients for it while wearing two masks at the grocery store?

Nope, that’s not a cat hair on your screen–it was on my scanner when I scanned the card. Stop trying to get it off.

In case you are unfamiliar with the very American concept of a banana split, here’s Wikipedia’s rundown on it.


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16-29: Heavenly Apple Cake

16-29: Heavenly Apple Cake

It’s a bit past apple season (usually fall/autumn), but 16-29: Heavenly Apple Cake uses applesauce instead of fresh fruit, so you can make it anytime you’ve got a hankering for apples. Or cake. Cake is always good.

They (Simply Delicious) are trying REALLY hard to make you believe there are actual apple pieces in this cake. I mean, the picture and the description would lead you to think that this thing is just chock full of fresh apples.

I hate to break it to you, but this is gonna be one heck of a bamboozle.


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16-13: Lemon Meringue Pie

16-13: Lemon Meringue Pie

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.


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16-49: Chocolate-Glazed Raspberry Tart

16-49: Chocolate-Glazed Raspberry Tart

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.


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14-2: Apple Strudel

14-2: Apple Strudel

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”.


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16-16: Chocolate-Frosted Nut Cake

16-16: Chocolate-Frosted Nut Cake

Think of 16-16: Chocolate-Frosted Nut Cake like a Nutella cake–same flavor profile (chocolate and hazelnuts), and maybe even somewhat healthier?

This is a pretty simple cake–it’s just one layer, and all you have to do is frost and garnish it. Or you can do it like me and make little individual cakes instead.


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14-17: Pears with Mint Chocolate

14-17: Pears with Mint Chocolate

In case you hadn’t had your fill of weird pear desserts with 15-41: Pear Halves with Chocolate Topping and 14-21: Pear Pandowdy, I have a third one for you: 14-17: Pears with Mint Chocolate. To add to the weirdness, even Food Network considers this a recipe.

It does look nice, but I don’t know about the taste claims. Is it the pear that they think makes this taste so good, or the mint chocolate/whipped cream/liqueur?


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14-21: Pear Pandowdy

14-21: Pear Pandowdy

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.

Here’s more info on pandowdies, courtesy of New England.com:

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.


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14-23: Almond-Baked Sliced Pears

14-23: Almond-Baked Sliced Pears

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.


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