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.
It’s the first days of spring, but I’m still catching up on old posts. Consider it “spring cleaning.” Here’s one from Thanksgiving 2017, 16-8: French Apple Pie. In 2016, I went all out for Thanksgiving and made most of the entire meal from Simply Delicious recipes. We had alternate plans for 2017, so only an easy-to-prepare ahead of time dessert was needed.
I’ve already covered a similar recipe to this one: 16-15: Tarte Tatin. Consider these a smaller, more rustic version. In regards to authenticity, as long as it’s apples on top and crust on bottom, it counts as a French apple pie according to Wikipedia. 🍏🇫🇷
This project is coming up on 4 years old, and I’m a handful of recipes away from finishing the Baked Goods chapter–at least, according to the collection that I have. There’s definitely some out there that I don’t have the card for, but here’s one of the last uncovered few (#50!) that I do have: 17-2: English Rusks. 🇬🇧☕
According to Wikipedia, English rusks are hard, dry biscuits given to babies for teething or crumbled up and used as filler for ground meat. It’s actually the US version of rusks that are more familiar–they list Melba toast and biscotti as examples.
Scones have a lot of different methods of preparation, usually depending on varying geographical interpretations. There’s even different pronunciations of the word “scone”–some rhyme it with “tone”, while others rhyme it with “gone.”
Simply Delicious‘ take, 17-11: Scones, seems to most closely adhere to the British version of scones in that they make theirs into round cakes, score them, and then break them apart into triangle shapes after baking. The North American versions tend to be individually-sized, round, and more often than not closely resemble what we refer to as biscuits.
One of my first memorable experiences with scones were at an 18th birthday tea party I attended in the last few months of senior year of high school–we had just come back from a Spring Break trip to England & Ireland, and I came to the tea party prepared with white gloves and pinkies up. They had scones with clotted cream & jam, finger sandwiches, and lots of flowery, delicate pots of tea. ☕️
Wouldn’t have been my choice for an 18th birthday party (I spent a good portion of mine in my freshman dorm room hungover from the Halloween extravaganza the night before), but it was definitely unique.
I had mentioned in 16-24: French Chocolate Cake that it was one of two desserts that I made for a recent baby shower I attended: 16-39: Apricot Tart was the second dessert. I’ve been meaning to make this thing since near the start of this project, and it only took me a few years to finally get around to it. There’s something about this recipe and procrastination, though–this entry’s been sitting in my writing queue half-finished for over a month.
For the length of time that it took me to make it (and to write about it), I never even got to try it–I ended up leaving this and 16-24: French Chocolate Cake still wrapped up on the table at the party. We’ll just assume that both of them were delicious and everyone ate every last crumb of them.
Here’s a simple dessert that’s easy for a dinner, gift, or even just a snack. 16-9: Raspberry Tart is exactly what it sounds like–pie crust in a tart pan filled with raspberry preserves and topped with bits of dough. Simply Delicious uses a simple drop method for the dough topping, but I think we can do better than that. 🌟
Why did anyone think that amorphous blobs of dough were an acceptable tart topping? 🤷♀️
Safeway had a deal on raspberries a few weeks back, and I knew there were some raspberry recipes lingering in Section 3 of the book that I needed to get to sooner or later. After purchasing said raspberries, the only recipe that I had all of the other ingredients for was this one, 16-28: Raspberry Meringue Cake.
I didn’t make this for a ladies’ luncheon or anything cult-of-domesticity like that–I made this to eat. I shared some with my husband, but sometimes, you just don’t need a special occasion for cake.
This recipe is another Simply Delicious “take” on something that already largely exists in a slightly different form. These aren’t really these kind of macaroons (the Passover kind). They’re not these kind of macarons (the French kind) either.
17-52: Apricot Macaroons were part of my big batch of assorted baked goods that I made as gifts for people this year–you can find the others linked at the end of this entry.
Mine were a horror show compared to the picture on the card–I blame poor tools (my pastry bag blew its side out early on, rendering it useless and me bagless) even though any chef knows that’s a cop-out. I also blame exhaustion–these were the last ones I made of all of the recipes.
I don’t know about you, but my grandma is not much of a baker. Or a cook. In fact, if it can’t be cooked in a microwave, she’s really not that interested. However, someone at Simply Delicious must have had a grandma who liked to bake, since they included 17-36: Grandma’s Spice Cake.
I suppose they called it Grandma’s Spice Cake because it’s “old-fashioned”. Regardless of if an actual grandma baked/created this, it’s actually pretty good.
It’s feeling a bit unbalanced around here–we need more from the back of the book. Here’s one from a brand new group: Pies & Cakes. Just in time for the cooler weather, we have 16-47: Orange-Almond Pie.
This came out really well: it tasted great, and you can make it in a toaster oven!