Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Chocolate Pie, Mrs. Dorothy Jordam. Salem's Favorite Recipes

Attempt one... deeeeee-licious
Attempt 2, almost just as good...


2 cups scalded milk (save a little cold milk for dry mixture)
2 egg yolks, beaten
3/4 cups sugar
1/8 tsp salt
1/4 PLUS 1 tbs cornstarch
2 tbs cocoa powder
2 tbs butter
1/2 tsp vanilla

Mix together cornstarch, salt, sugar and cocoa. Mix cold milk and beaten yolks together, add to dry mixture. Then add to hot milk and cook in a double boiler until thick. Add butter and vanilla. Cool and pour into baked pie shell. Top with meringue *. Bake at 400 for 2 - 3 minutes or until light brown.

I made this pie 2 times, and will probably attempt a 3 version of it which I think combines the best aspects of both methods.

First attempt, I made the pie exactly as the the recipe said to, only I used a graham cracker crust that had a fair amount of brown sugar and butter mixed into it. The pie was gone within 6 hours, and there were only 2 of us eating it.

However, I had a couple of issues with the original recipe... namely the meringue. Which to be totally fair isn't really even part of the recipe... technically.

But the pie called for 2 egg yolks, that left me with 2 egg whites. So I made meringue with the 2 eggs whites because I couldn't justify wasting an egg yolk so that I could add a third white to my meringue. It mostly covered the pie, but it was very thin, and because I have only a stand mixer and not a hand-held, 2 whites wasn't really enough to reach the whipping attachment very well so the meringue was a bit runnier than I wanted it to be.

The solution I came up with?
Add a 3rd yolk to the pie filling, reduce the amount of cornstarch, then add the third egg white to the meringue.

By the time I was finished the recipe was closer to this:
1 1/2 cups scalded milk
1/2 cup cold milk
3 egg yolks
1/4 cup cornstarch
3/4 cup sugar
3 tbs cocoa powder
1 tbs strong coffee
2 tbs butter

3 egg whites
pinch of salt
1/2 cup sugar

In one bowl combine yolks and sugar until well blended, add cornstarch salt, cocoa powder and coffee. Mix well. Pour into saucepan of scalded milk and whisk constantly until thick. Take off heat, whisk in butter. Pour into baked pie crust.

* In another bowl beat egg whites, salt and sugar until thick, but still spreadable.

Spread over pie. Bake for 4-5 minutes at 400.

Upping the eggs helped a lot... though as I was typing this up, I just realized that I forgot to add the butter. So it appears that you could, if you wanted, skip the butter altogether and still have a pretty awesome pie.

I will say, the graham cracker crust really takes this pie from "good" to "freaking amazing". My next attempt I'll use the modified filling recipe, with the graham cracker crust.

I'm back!

Hello friends!
So a perfect-stormy combination of getting a new computer, starting a volunteer position at the museum, George teething, several illnesses and Lenten Fasting has caused me to neglect my blog... I am sorry, but I promise I'm back and will try to update the blog at least once a week, preferably more though :)

Friday, February 19, 2010

Basic Sweet Yeast Dough, Mrs. A. Dunker. Salem's Favorite Recipes

Attempt #1
Many steps, but if you follow them, the recipe is extremely rewarding.

2 cups milk
2 tsp salt
2 pkgs dry yeast
1/2 cup water (105 - 110 degrees)
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup soft butter
2 - 4 eggs
8 - 10 cups of sifted flour (depends on how many eggs you use)

Scald milk, pour over sugar and salt in mixing bowl. Cool to lukewarm. Soften yeast in 1/2 cup water. Add to milk and add 3 cups of flour. Beat thoroughly. Let stand until light and foamy (about 15 minutes). Add soft butter (must not be hot) and eggs. Beat well. Add enough flour to make a soft dough which can be handled easily. Sprinkle a little flour onto the board and turn dough onto the board. Knead dough until smooth and satiny. Put dough into a lightly greased bowl. Turn dough over to grease top as well. Cover. Let rise until double in bulk. Punch down, turn out onto board. Shape into loaves, rolls, rings or braids. Place in lightly greased pans. Bake rolls at 375 for 15-20 minutes. Bake bread at 375 for 10 minutes then finish baking at 350 for about 45 to 50 minutes.

Many years ago, after watching Baking With Julia, I thought it would be really fun (cause thats just the kind of kid I was) to make my own sour dough starter and make bread with it. I kept it going for almost a whole year too... since then I haven't done much bread baking though. It's too specific for my taste and the slightest problem can cause failure. But I thought I'd give it another chance with this recipe.

I followed every step, just as the recipe said I should. And I'm going to go through each one of these steps here (for anyone else intimidated by yeast dough).

I scalded the milk...

Softened the yeast...

Mixed the milk with the sugar and salt and waited for it to cool down. Then added the yeast with the first part of the flour...

Let it sit til foamy...

Added the butter and I only used 2 eggs (next time I try this recipe I will try 4 to see what difference it makes)...

I added the second part of the flour (5 more cups added to the original 3) and mixed it all for about 5 minutes (I used my Kitchenaid with the dough hook attachment)...

As you can see, I let the machine do the work of the kneading... mostly because I don't have enough counter-space to be able to knead this much dough properly by hand.

So I greased it and put it in a bowl, then flipped it over so that the top was greased as well as the bottom. Then I covered it with a damp towel and forgot about it for about an hour.

<---notice the dough is slightly below the 2 Qt mark

I went back to check on the dough, and it looked pretty well inflated to me... though i probably could have let it go longer, as you can see it didn't quite double in volume...This makes a LOT of dough, so 2 different things. I made a pan of dinner rolls...

And I used the rest to make a big loaf of bread. My original intention was to use this dough to make a King Cake for Mardi Gras, but we got slammed with a huge snow storm that day and I wasn't able to get out to get the rest of the supplies I would need to complete it. So, plain old bread it was. With the rolls, I coated them in melted butter, but the loaf got a nice little egg-wash (just 1 egg beat with a splash of milk and brushed all over the dough).

I baked each according to the instructions provided in the recipe. Though the rolls needed almost 30 minutes in the oven. But the bread (using the 2-step baking method outlined in the recipe) needed only about 35 minutes total.

The rolls were definitely my favorite. The dough bakes up very smooth textured, sweet but not too sweet. It would make great cinnamon rolls, but I wouldn't make pizza dough with it. The loaf made very yummy french toast, but was a little too crumbly as regular toast. Also, the loaf tasted very spread with pesto, but NOT garlic butter. It's just a touch too sweet for certain applications.

All in all, it was a great way to kill time and take my mind off the snow storm, and the thought of my husband driving in it, and bonus... we didn't have to try to brave the weather to go to the store for bread!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

TASTING PARTY Onion Pie, Mrs. D. Early. (My Aunt Dorothy!)Salem's Favorite Recipes

Attempt #1
Very good. Even a non-onion-lover said she enjoyed it :)

2cups Ritz Crackers crushed
1/2 stick melted butter (finally! someone uses butter!)
2 cups of onions thinly sliced
1 Tbs butter
2 eggs
3/4 cups milk
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese

Mix crackers and butter together to make a crust. Saute onions in butter until clear but not brown. Place in crust. Pour milk over the mixture and bake at 350 for 30 minutes.

Anyone else notice a few steps missing from the recipe? I took it upon myself to mix the milk, eggs and cheese together before pouring it over the onions and it turned out just fine. Very simple, very tasty. This would be an excellent side dish for a pork roast if you're looking for something a little out of the ordinary.
So, here was my Tasting Part Spread. The Molasses Cookies, then clockwise the Cabbage Casserole, Lazy Daisy Meatballs ( I made them again for the party, but with ground pork instead of beef... they were just as yummy as the first time!) and the Onion Pie.

Needless to say... we were pretty full by the end of the evening, and I had gobs of leftovers to munch on over the next few days for lunches.

TASTING PARTY Cabbage Casserole, Mrs. E Kost. Salem's Favorite Recipes

Attempt # 1
Yummy! But with a little adjustment...

1 lbs ground beef
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 small head of cabbage cut up coarsely
1 medium onion, chopped
1 large can of condensed tomato soup.
Cook beef in skillet until lightly browned; season with salt and pepper, drain fat. In 3 quart casserole layer 1/3 of cabbage, 1/2 the beef and 1/2 the onion. Repeat and top with the final 1/3 of cabbage. Pour soup on top of all. Do not mix or stir. Cover, bake at 350 for 40 to 60 minutes.

I picked this particular recipe because it reminded me very much of "stuffed cabbage rolls", with all the beef and cabbage in a tomatoey sauce. Also, it was the first of many Cabbage Casserole recipes that S.F.R. had to offer, and I thought that would be a good way to keep track of them. It was super simple to assemble, though I choose to slice my cabbage into long, thin strips (moo shoo style) as opposed to the coarse chop the recipe called for.

After about 30 minutes in the oven though, I was really starting to doubt if this recipe would be any good. It was looking very dry and some of the cabbage was getting a tiny bit burned... So I did a quick re-read of the recipe and realized I hadn't covered the dish! And to make matters worse, I had run out of aluminum foil the day before. So I grabbed my broiler pan and turned it upside-down over the casserole. It wound up cooking for another 45 minutes after that... but when it was done it was good! And I mean GOOD! Even my husband, Mr. "I Don't Like Cabbage" tried some and liked it. Also, I think if you eliminated the ground beef altogether it would be a really yummy vegetarian dish too (Lent is approaching, and I'm always looking for vegetarian recipes during Lent).

Another plus of this recipe is that with all the acid, it keeps really well in the fridge. It's actually better after a few days and reheated.

So... If you like cabbage, I say give this recipe a try. It makes a TON of food, but it can very easily be cut in half.

TASTING PARTY Molasses Cookies, Mrs. C. Rehmert. Salem's Favorite Recipes

Attempt #1
Good, simple. Would be good to add to a tray of mixed Christmas Cookies.

2/3 cup margarine
1 cup sugar
1/4 dark karo syrup
1 egg
2 tsps baking soda
1 cups flour
1/2 tsp cloves
1/2 tsp ginger
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt

Melt margarine and cool. Add sugar karo and egg; beat. Combine with rest of ingredients and chill. roll in powdered sugar. Bake at 350 for 8 to 10 minutes.

Now, if you're anything like me the first thing you said was "There isn't any molasses in these Molasses Cookies..." That's because there ISN'T! I know! But, since I was throwing together a tasting party, and I happened to have all the ingredients for this recipe, I thought I'd give it a shot.

I mixed up the recipe with all my standard substitutions (seriously, whats up with all the margarine?) and for the spices I just used the teaspoon equivalent of all the spices called for with Pumpkin Pie Spice... In this case 1 full teaspoons of P.P.S.

The dough did not take very long to chill, maybe a half hour or so. Then I just scooped out the balls of cookie dough right into another bowl with some powdered sugar (Hidden Ingredient!)
The recipe made 30 cookies which was nice to only have to bake a couple of batches (as opposed to 5 or 6 like some other recipes make).

The cookies do go from "perfect" to "rock-hard" in a matter of seconds, so as soon as they look set-up I'd pull them out of the oven. But as you can see, they make very pretty, crackly-looking cookies. Chewy and spicy and honestly the Karo does a pretty good job of mimicking the molasses in this case. Though I am curious to try the recipe with real molasses and see what kind of results I'd get.

As I mentioned before, this was part of my "Tasting Party" which was really just my awesome friend Megan coming over and eating a bunch of food with me and my husband... either way the cookies got the "Thumbs up" from Megan, my husband and me. So I would recommend giving this recipe a shot if you're looking for something easy and a little different.

Texas Sheet Cake, Mrs. V. Moore and Mrs. H. Voge. Salem's Favorite Recipes.

Attempt # 1
Pretty good... I had enough faith in it to take it to a party :)

Boil together:
-2 sticks of Oleo (margarine)
-4 tbs cocoa powder
-1 cup water

-2 cups flour
-2 cups sugar
-1/2 tsp salt

Mix, then add:
-2 eggs
-1/2 cup buttermilk
-1tsp soda

Bake on a 10X15 cookies sheet (small jelly roll pan) at 350 for 35 - 45 minutes.

-1 stick oleo
-4 tbs cocoa powder
-6 tbs milk
Boil just a little Add 1 box of powdered sugar, 1 tsp vanilla. Sprinkle with chopped nuts (optional) and spread over warm cake.

First off, let me apologize for my long absence. A 6 month old baby who is continuously having his nap time interrupted by some very loud neighbors makes for one VERY clingy and restless baby. But enough about the elephant herders upstairs...

This was a recipe that took me back to my younger days of working at Kings Island. My friend Shannon would often bring Texas Sheet Cake whenever we had something to celebrate and this recipe came very close to the recipe she used to make.

It was pretty straightforward... although I was not a fan of the "hidden ingredients" I.E. the ones that aren't mentioned until they pop up in the directions. But that just goes to show you, you should always carefully read the instructions.

I didn't have and buttermilk so I just added a splash of cider vinegar to regular milk and let it sit for a few minutes until it had slightly curdled. I pulled my cake out after only 28 minutes the corners were started to get the slightest bit charred... so keep an eye on this cake once it's in the oven. It also baked up much more than I expected which made pouring the frosting over the top a bit messy and I wound up frosting (glazing really) in steps. Just a thin layer at first, then pour the rest on after the first layer had time to set up.

The cake was very moist and very chocolaty, though it did get a little "streaky", which a lot of baking-types consider a "no-no". But after tasting it my husband and I decided it was good enough to take to the Super Bowl party we were attending the next day. It seemed to go over pretty well with that crowd too.

S.F.R. contains 3 recipes for Texas Sheet Cake and they all seem very similar. I may try a different version of this somewhere down the road, but I really don't see that much differentiation to try several versions all at once.