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.
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.
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”.
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.
Feeling a bit of déjà vu? Maybe you’ve seen 1-31: Crab Cocktail before, or maybe you haven’t. I was doing some recent experimentation on the backend of my website, and long story short: I needed to do a rollback to an earlier version and this one got deleted. So I’m reposting/rewriting it again–however, you’ll miss whatever witty remarks I included with the first version.
I remember saying something about this being a good option for a meal instead of an appetizer (since there’s no parties allowed), and that you should picture yourself eating it near the coast with the breeze in your hair, since between COVID and wildfires, I don’t know if we’re ever getting to leave the house again.
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.