Posts tagged with dessert:
This French Pear Tart which I served at my recent brunch is simply an adaptation of Ina Garten,The Barefoot Contessa’s French Apple Tart which I have made numerous times.
I had bought a large bag of Forelle Pears when I spotted them at Costco on a recent visit. I first tasted them several years ago, and was hooked.
Forelle pears are not as well known as your Bartlett, Bosc, or Anjou, but they are more beautiful, every bit as delicious, and when ripe, they are as sweet as they come and yet still crunchy and juicy at the same time.
Their small size makes them perfect for snacking, adding to a salad, or serving with an assortment of cheeses.
They are actually perfect for a tart because their firmness keeps them from getting too mushy when baked.
I had enough left after snacking on them all week to use them in place of the apples in Ina’s recipe for the French Apple Tart.
This is the dessert to try whether using apples or pears, because even the most baking phobic among us will find success.
By using store bought puff pastry which you will find in the freezer section of most good grocery stores, and a few other simple ingredients you can create this fantastic tart that your guests will think you purchased at a French bakery.
French Pear Tart (adapted from Ina Garten’s French Apple Tart, Back to Basics)
8 -10 Forelle pears
1/2 cup sugar
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) cold unsalted butter, small diced
1/2 cup apricot jelly or warm sieved apricot jam
2 tablespoons water
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.
Roll the dough slightly larger than 10 by 14-inches. Using a ruler and a small knife, trim the edges if necessary. Place the dough on the prepared sheet pan and refrigerate while you prepare the pears.
Peel the pears and cut them in half through the stem. Remove the stems and cores with a sharp knife and a melon baler.
Slice the pears crosswise in 1/4-inch thick slices. Place overlapping slices of pears diagonally down the middle of the tart and continue making diagonal rows on both sides of the first row until the pastry is covered with pear slices. (I tend not to use the end slices in order to make the arrangement beautiful.) Sprinkle with the full 1/2 cup of sugar and dot with the butter.
Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until the pastry is browned and the edges of the pears start to brown.
And pat yourself on the back!
We have been fortunate to have made so many new friends in the short time we have been calling San Luis Obispo “home”.
A couple we had met shortly after arriving here last July ( it is really hard to believe we will soon be here one year) joined us for brunch this past Sunday.
We had met them at a social gathering and she and I immediately realized we shared a passion for all things food related…cooking, baking (her specialty), finding great restaurants, blogging, etc. She even hosted a food related radio show for many years here in SLO.
Sunday Brunch is one of my favorite ways to entertain because it is undeniably more relaxing for the guests as well as the host.
Many dishes and baked goods are easily prepared ahead, and lend themselves to being served buffet style, eliminating any last minute stoveside cooking frenzy.
The house was filled with sunlight, a gentle breeze entered through the open windows and doors leading to the deck where my flowers were providing a colorful display. (All that garden work does pay off)!
The best part is everyone is content to just linger at the table with more coffee and cake telling stories since the whole day lies ahead. A beautiful start to the week!
Here are the cast of characters for my Sunday Brunch…
Chilled Gazpacho (a beautiful bouquet of roses from our guest’s garden)
Roasted Honey Smoked Salmon…(Costco!)
Tomatoes, Cucumbers, Onions, and Olives
And something sweet…The Best Coffee Cake. Ever.
French Pear Tart
Nancy Silverton’s Bran Muffins
If you have been following my blog you will remember that before our home was completed we had lived in a hotel for one month, then a lovely rental with a small kitchen (finally I could cook again), where we stayed for 6 weeks.
Due to a previous booking at that time, and our home still not ready, we found ourselves looking for yet another rental.
Every cloud has a silver lining and ours came in the form of an amazing studio apartment above a garage that I found in the rental listings I had been scouring for availability.
I immediately emailed the owner who immediately called me back. He responded to our plight of needing a place to live for an indeterminate amount of time by saying he would love to help us out, and we should come by and take a look at the apartment.
It was a really great space with a state of the art kitchen you would rarely find in a studio above a garage!
The owner generously offered to allow us to stay there for as long as we needed to which freed us from the burden of possibly having to find a 3rd rental at some point.
So he agreed to not accept any other renters until we let him know our actual moving date! I know I mentioned it before, but the nicest people really do live here in San Luis Obispo!
He and his two children came for dinner last night.
After showing them our home we sat down to a dinner of Caesar salad, grilled pork loin with herbs and garlic, sauteed apples, roasted carrots with onions and twice baked potatoes.
His son who will be going into sixth grade, and his daughter, who will be going into fifth, were a pleasure to have at our table.
Their social skills, and sophisticated palates surprised both my husband and me. They can dine with us any day. I would be happy to cook for them!
Dessert was this Sour Cherry Pie.
The cover of the June issue of Bon Appetit magazine featured a fresh sour cherry pie.
I had hoped to try that recipe, but was unable to find fresh sour cherries. I know there is a small window for finding them and I had apparently just missed it.
But the photo of the pastry crust was calling my name. I decided to make that crust and fill it with a delicious tart cherry filling I’ve made before that uses canned sour cherries.
These canned tart cherries sometimes known as “pie cherries” are not to be mistaken for that awful bright red artificial goopy pie filling you see on the grocery shelves!
The consensus at dessert last night was they make a really delicious cherry pie with just the right amount of tartness! And the buttery crust was the perfect vehicle for them. And a scoop of good vanilla ice cream will put it over the top. Here’s how to make it…
Sour Cherry Pie
Crust (Sour Cherry Pie,Bon Appetit, June 2014)
1/3 cup almond flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 and1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for surface
1 cup (2 sticks) chilled unsalted butter, cut into pieces
2 large egg yolks
Pulse almond flour, granulated sugar, salt and 2 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour in a food processor. Add butter and pulse until mixture resembles coarse cornmeal.
Whisk egg yolks and 1/4 cup ice water in a small bowl and drizzle over the flour mixture. Pulse, drizzling in more ice water as needed, until dough just comes together(a few dry spots are okay).
Gently knead dough on a lightly floured surface until no dry spots remain, about 1 minute.
Divide dough in half, and pat each piece into a disk; wrap in plastic. Chill at least 2 hours. (Dough can be made 3 days ahead. Keep chilled).
Filling and Assembly
Filling (adapted from a source unknown)
Note: the following is for 1 and 1/2 x the original recipe because I like lots of cherries
1 and 1/2 cups sugar
4 and 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
generous pinch of kosher salt
3 - 14.5 ounce cans pitted tart red cherries in water, and 1/4 juice reserved
1 and 1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon almond extract (optional)
In a large bowl combine sugar, cornstarch, and salt and stir til well blended. Add the drained cherries, reserved juice and lemon juice and stir til thoroughly combined. Set aside at room temperature.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Let dough sit at room temperature to soften slightly, about 5 minutes.
Roll out 1 disk of dough on a lightly floured surface to a 12 inch round. Transfer to a parchment- lined baking sheet and chill. Repeat with remaining disk of dough.
Carefully transfer 1 crust to a 9 inch pie dish. Lift up edges and allow dough to slump down into dish. Trim edges to even out crust if needed. Scrape in cherry filling.
Using a 3/4” diameter pastry tip or cookie cutter, punch out holes in remaining crust, covering an area just smaller than the diameter of the pie dish.
Place over filling. Fold edge of top crust underneath edge of bottom crust and press together to seal. Crimp as desired. (Alternatively, assemble pie, then cut X’s or slits into crust.)
Brush crust with egg and sprinkle with sugar. Chill pie until crust is firm, 20-30 minutes.
Place pie on a parchment-or foil-lined baking sheet. Bake until crust is golden, about 30 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees and bake, tenting with foil if crust is browning too quickly, until juices are bubbling and crust is golden brown, 50-60 minutes longer. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool at least 4 hours before slicing.
Serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream…
Do Ahead: Pie can be baked 1 day ahead. Store tightly wrapped at room temperature.
We are starting to feel “at home” in our new home.
One of the things we love doing is entertaining friends at home, and for me that means food is going to be involved via brunch, lunch or dinner.
This afternoon we had friends for lunch.
We had met this great couple when we were still living in the hotel. When we moved here last July we had thought we would be in the hotel for a month or 2 at the most. When we realized it was going to be much longer I began looking for a rental with extended availability, (not to mention I REALLY needed a kitchen…I can only tolerate so many breakfast buffets…need I say more?)
We were fortunate to find a lovely one bedroom rental walking distance to downtown, with a cute little kitchen that had all the basics one might need. And there was a six week availability!
The owners were our guests for lunch this afternoon, and we were thrilled to be able to show them the house, but more importantly, share lunch and conversation with them at the table.
They had been so welcoming and accommodating during our time there that it made the stress of moving and construction delays somewhat tolerable. They filled us in on where to go and what to do in our new “hometown”, and for the first time we began to feel what it would be like to live downtown.
Because one of them has recently gone on a gluten and dairy free diet I prepared a gluten and dairy free lunch. With a little forethought and planning it really isn’t hard to do.
We started out with tortilla chips and salsa and home made guacamole.
But when it came to dessert I had to give it a bit more thought, and this is what I came up with.
Angel Food Cake (Gluten-Free) with assorted berries and raspberry sorbet
(For a gluten-free and dairy-free dessert substitute sorbet for the whipped cream!)
Here is the recipe for the cake from the King Arthur’s Flour website.
Gluten-Free Angel Food Cake
- 3/4 cup King Arthur’s all-purpose gluten-free flour
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 3/4 cup Baker’s Special Sugar** or superfine sugar
- 1 1/2 cups egg whites (10 to 11 large eggs, separated, yolks discarded or reserved for another use)
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 ½ teaspoons cream of tartar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon almond extract or Fiori di Sicilia, optional
- 3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons Baker’s Special Sugar** or superfine sugar
1) Preheat the oven to 350°F and place the oven rack in its lowest position.
2) Whisk together and then sift the flour, cornstarch, and 3/4 cup sugar. Set aside.
3) In a large, clean (grease-free) mixing bowl, beat together the egg whites, salt, and cream of tartar until foamy.
4) Add the flavorings. Gradually increase the speed of the mixer and continue beating until the egg whites have increased in volume, and thickened.
5) Gradually beat in the 3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons sugar, a bit at a time, until the meringue holds soft peaks.
6) Gently fold in the sifted flour/sugar blend ¼ cup at a time, just until incorporated.
7) Spoon the batter into an ungreased 10” round angel food pan. Gently tap the pan on the counter to settle the batter and remove any large air bubbles.
8) Bake the cake until it’s a deep golden brown, and the top springs back when pressed lightly, about 45 minutes.
9) Remove the cake from the oven and invert the pan onto the neck of a heatproof bottle or funnel, to suspend the cake upside down as it sets and cools, about 2 hours.
10) Remove the cake from the pan by running a thin spatula or knife around the edges of the pan, and turning the cake out onto a plate.
11) Cut the cake with a serrated knife or angel food cake comb. If it’s difficult to cut, wet the knife and wipe it clean between slices.
12) Serve with whipped cream and fruit. Wrap any leftovers airtight, and store at room temperature.
Yield: one 10” cake, about 12 to 16 servings.
This year for Passover I decided to make Pavlova for dessert in addition to the traditional Passover Lemon Sponge Cake…
The Pavlova, which will easily serve eight, is composed of a crunchy meringue base with a soft center of whipped cream and fresh fruit. The meringue base can be made up to 2 days ahead if stored in an airtight container. Assemble it within a few hours of serving it so the meringue retains its light crunch.
To assure success, try to choose a day that’s not humid for meringue making. Not a problem for me now that we are living in California!
Note: If you observe the rules of kashruth (keeping kosher) you will have to reserve this delicious dessert for after a dairy meal since it contains whipped cream.
Here we go…
Pavlova (Food and Wine, Diana Sturgis)
6 extra large egg whites, at room temperature
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 and 1/3 cups superfine sugar
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon confectioners’ sugar, sifted
2 cups heavy cream, chilled
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 small pineapple, peeled, cored, and cut into 1-inch chunks
2 and 1/2 cups raspberries (or strawberries)
4 ripe kiwis, peeled and sliced
Sprigs of fresh mint for garnish
1. Preheat the oven to 250 degrees. Draw a 9-inch circle on a sheet of parchment paper and place on a large cookie sheet.
2. In a large mixing bowl, beat the egg whites with the cream of tartar on low speed until foamy. Increase the speed to high and beat until soft peaks form.
3. Gradually beat in the superfine sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating for about 10 seconds after each addition to be sure the sugar dissolves. Beat in the lemon juice. The whites will be stiff, dense and glossy at this point.
4. Sprinkle 1/2 cup of the confectioners’ sugar over the beaten egg whites. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold the sugar into the whites until thoroughly blended.
5. Scoop the meringue onto the parchment paper and spread to form a 9-inch round. Hollow the center slightly to make a nest, leaving the meringue at least 1 inch thick at the base, and 1 and 1/2 inches high around the sides.
6. Bake the meringue in the middle of the oven for 1 hour. Reduce the oven temperature to 200 degrees and bake for 1 hour longer. Turn off the heat and leave the meringue in the warm oven with the door closed for 1 and 1/2 hours or overnight, until crisp and dry throughout.
(Purists prefer an absolutely white meringue, but I like the flavor and color of a pale beige one, so don’t worry if the heat colors the meringue slightly.)
When the meringue is completely cool, peel off the paper. Place the meringue on a flat serving platter
7. In a large bowl, beat the cream with the remaining 1 tablespoon confectioners’ sugar and the vanilla until stiff peaks form. Spread half the cream in the meringue shell and sprinkle with half of the pineapple and raspberries.
Mound the rest of the cream on top and cover with the remaining pineapple and raspberries. Overlap the kiwi slices around the inner rim of the Pavlova and garnish with fresh mint sprigs.
Recently I made a batch of my favorite Meyer Lemon Curd. http://dinneratsheilas.com/post/14642659492/meyer-lemon-curd
Besides slathering it on toast, scones, or muffins, it is also delicious sandwiched between gingersnaps or other cookies of your choice.
For an elegant dessert set out bowls of assorted fresh berries along with a bowl of lemon curd for dipping, or fill mini or small tart shells with a spoonfull or two of the lemon curd and top with a little whipped cream or meringue.
But, if my husband has a vote those last couple of jars will be used to make a Lemon Meringue Pie with a Graham Cracker Crust.
Fill a graham cracker crust (store bought or homemade), with the Meyer Lemon Curd. It is already cold cause it’s been in your fridge, so no waiting for it to cool before you whip up a mile high meringue. Slather it on, making little peaks which will brown nicely when you place it in the oven for about 10 minutes at 375 degrees.
The hardest part of this whole recipe is waiting for it to chill thoroughly for a few hours before digging in !
A couple nights ago was Yom Kippur Eve on the Jewish calendar.
Yom Kippur literally means “Day of Atonement.” It is traditionally a day devoted to repenting and reflecting on one’s sins committed in the past year.
Yom Kippur marks the end of the 10 day period that begins with the Jewish New Year on Rosh Hashanah. It is a time of introspection and a day of fasting.
As a result the dinner the evening before has special significance and the meal usually consists of traditional holiday foods.
We were on the east coast this year during Rosh Hashanah so we were fortunate to have a holiday dinner with our aunt whose home we stayed at that evening before leaving for the wedding a few days later.
It was a lovely dinner and while we were happy and grateful to be among family, the holiday seems very different to us this year.
Having moved to the west coast, but still not settled in our home, and having been back on the east coast again, but not in the home we celebrated the holidays in for the past 25 years, was especially bittersweet.
For me, shopping and cooking for the Jewish holidays has always been an important part of the New Year.
The smells, sights and sounds that occur within those hallowed walls of the kitchen are part of me…from growing up watching my dear mother in her kitchen (my mom is always so close to my heart, but even more so at this time of the year), and then from a lifetime of preparing meals for the holidays in my own kitchen in our various homes.
So now that we were back in SLO for Yom Kippur, and challenging as my current kitchen is for preparing a holiday meal, I couldn’t wait to begin.
It was just a Yom Kippur Eve Dinner for Two, but as I was cooking that afternoon, all the holiday smells, sights and sounds that I remember were in full force, and as I prepared recipes from my mother, and my husband’s grandmother I felt the warmth and love that is tradition.
With the limited kitchen equipment in mind I chose the following menu:
Bottle of Chardonnay (complements of the owner of our rental, which we found in our fridge upon our return from our trip)
Freshly baked challah (not by me, and thanks to my husband for finding one) drizzled with honey symbolic of our wish for a sweet year ahead
Store-bought gefilte fish with crudités
(Memories of my grandmother’s homemade gefilte fish… watching her chop the fish in her wooden bowl)
Roast turkey breast for me (leftovers for sandwiches for the week) and 2 turkey drumsticks for my husband
Mom’s Apple Noodle Kugel (instead of the regular egg noodles I substituted a package of TJ’s pappardelle egg noodles that I already had, and they worked perfectly)
Baby Carrots in a Buttery Brown Sugar Glaze
Mom Min’s Farfel with Mushrooms and Onions (recipe below)
Jelled Cranberry Sauce
And for dessert…
A variation of my Mom’s Passover Lemon Sponge Cake served with nectarine slices
Mom Min’s Farfel with Mushrooms and Onions (my version of what we remember)
One 12 ounce package of Manischewitz Barley Shaped Egg Noodles
8 ounces fresh white button mushrooms, chopped
Half of a large sweet onion, diced
2- 3 tablespoons salted butter
About 2 cups chicken broth
Kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper to taste
Cook Farfel according to package directions, not more than 8 minutes.
In a medium skillet sauté diced onions in the butter till translucent.
Add the chopped mushrooms, and cook til browned a bit.
Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Add chicken broth and stir well.
Add the mushroom and onion mixture to the drained Farfel.
Cover and keep warm on top of the stove or put in a buttered covered casserole in a 325 degree oven to keep warm.
When ready to serve add some gravy and stir to combine.
A few notes about the Lemon Sponge Cake…
Since I didn’t have a tube pan here, but did have a layer cake pan that is what I used.
I also used flour instead of the potato starch I prefer.
Both of those changes produced a more dense cake than the lighter version baked in a 10 inch tube pan, but truly delicious nonetheless.
Without an electric mixer here I had to whip the egg whites, which are the only leavening agent in this batter,with a wire whisk.
When I first came home from shopping I had to look around to see if there even was a whisk here. There was, but far from a professional one so I knew I would have to be careful not to break it.
With all the desserts I have made over the years I had never whisked egg whites by hand… with the Kitchen Aid within easy reach, why would I?
All I can say is I have a new respect for chefs who seemingly can easily whip that gelatinous mixture into stiff peaks before your very eyes.
Those who know me know I will persevere when the going gets tough, and though my arms were telling me to stop I refused to quit until those snow white peaks surfaced.
And finally they did! And I was never so proud! And I did it with the handicap of a flimsy whisk and a plastic bowl!
So I pulled together a wonderful holiday meal for us, and at the same time was able to master a new culinary skill!
Happy and Healthy New Year to all!
I was especially excited this past Father’s Day to have my brother and his family from New York with us. For dessert I made one of his favorites…
our Mom’s Banana Sour Cream Cake with this Fluffy Peanut Butter Frosting which I discovered online searching for a better peanut butter frosting than what I usually make.
And this was it…here’s the link to the video on how to make it…
It’s a keeper!
Fluffy Peanut Butter Frosting (allrecipes.com)
Original recipe makes 2 cups
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup creamy peanut butter
3 tablespoons milk, or as needed
2 cups confectioners’ sugar
Place the butter and peanut butter into a medium bowl, and beat with an electric mixer. Gradually mix in the sugar, and when it starts to get thick, incorporate milk one tablespoon at a time until all of the sugar is mixed in and the frosting is thick and spreadable. Beat for at least 3 minutes for it to get good and fluffy.
If you double the recipe any leftover frosting freezes well.
These days I have been spending most of my time packing. The movers come Saturday, ready or not, and I would much rather be ready when that truck pulls up.
Our dining room has turned into the staging area for packing.
I can go at it for some time, but eventually I need a break. When that happens I find myself in the kitchen rooting through the fridge, freezer, and pantry to see what I can create.
I haven’t been to the market since before Father’s Day, and so far I haven’t had much trouble coming up with something to make with what I find hanging out in my kitchen.
The other day I made chopped chicken liver (my husband’s favorite snack on a cracker).
In looking through the freezer I discovered a small amount of chicken livers. With lots of onions sauteed in a little rendered chicken fat hiding out also in the freezer, and some hard boiled eggs, lots of kosher salt and pepper I made a pretty fantastic spur of the moment chopped liver.
Along with a big fat pickle what more can you ask for?
The truth is I really liked the ratio of more eggs and onion to less chicken livers. It was really yummy!
Next up was the Blueberry Pie you see in the photo above. While retrieving the chicken livers from the freezer I noticed 2 discs of pie dough in plastic wrap hidden under some other items.
Here’s the story…Last Thanksgiving I had seen a recipe for an apple and pear pie with a walnut crust that looked great. I immediately decided to make it as one of our Thanksgiving desserts, so without hesitation I made the dough.
While the rounds of dough were chilling I looked over the rest of the recipe a little more closely only to realize that it was pretty time consuming…precooking the apples and pears, refreezing the pastry filled dough before baking, and on and on…
While this might be fine at any other time, this was the day before Thanksgiving and with all that I had to do I decided to scratch that and freeze the dough for another day when I would have time to make that pie.
Well, that day never came, and honestly I forgot the pastry was still in there until I just discovered it. So I pulled it out and thought what do I have that I could fill it with….and there was a container of fresh blueberries, not enough for a whole pie.
However, I’ve had a huge bag of frozen wild blueberries in my freezer in the garage which I have been trying to work my way through so I combined the fresh berries with the frozen and tossed them with some cornstarch, sugar, lemon juice, and a little salt for a blueberry filling.
When it came to rolling out the pie crust I realized two things. First, I had used up all of my flour recently and didn’t replenish it since we are moving. And second, I had packed all 3 of my rolling pins!
I searched the pantry and came up with a small bag of rice flour which worked fine for dusting the buttery pastry to roll it out. And an unopened bottle of wine stood in for the rolling pin.
I cut the other disc of dough into strips for a lattice crust… kind of rustic, right? I was in a hurry!
and about 45 minutes later…
After a piece of pie and a glass of milk I was relaxed, full, and ready to continue packing!
The next day for my break I found myself making Barbeque out of some extra ground chuck left over from making burgers the night before.
I simply sauteed it with onions and peppers and added my special home made Sweet and Sour BBQ Sauce, and served it on a potato roll.
And tonight we dined on a vegetable soup I threw together with some chicken stock, roasted tomatoes, veggies, barley, and farfalle pasta.
After dinner I packed most of my cookware, leaving out just a few pieces so cooking the next couple of days should be even more challenging!
Strawberries and Cream Spectacular! This recipe comes from the Time Life Series of Books called The Good Cook/Techniques and Recipes published in 1981. I had the entire collection in those days, and through the years I have donated many and sold some at yard sales, but this particular one simply called Cakes remains on my shelf.
It is a great resource for anyone who loves baking cakes as I do. This particular cake is one that I love and continue to make today. I have made it for many special occasions, including a bridal shower for my best friend’s daughter a few years after we had moved here.
It is a great springtime cake and I served it at the brunch we had a week ago.
Now I’ll confess I use a pastry bag and tip to decorate occasionally, but my skills are from from that of a professional.
Somehow with this cake even if you stray as I do from using 3 different tips as the recipe suggests, this cake always ends up looking yummy and tasting yummier.
And, if you don’t run out of whipped cream as I did this time, you can also pipe rosettes around the bottom edge of the cake for a more finished look.
But you know what, nobody said, “Hey, where are the rosettes?”
The cake itself is light as a feather with just enough lemon flavoring that complements the ripe strawberries and vanilla flavored whipped cream.
May is around the corner and with it strawberry season, so find an occasion and do make this delicious spectacular cake.
Strawberries and Cream Spectacular
(The Good Cook, Cakes from the Time Life series, Elise W. Manning, Farm Journal’s complete home Baking Book)
To make one 9-inch cake
2 and 1/2 cups cake flour
1 and 2/3 cups sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
1 and 1/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon lemon extract
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
5 egg yolks
4 cups strawberries
2 cups heavy cream, whipped with 1/4 cup sugar and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup red currant jelly
Sift together the cake flour, sugar, baking powder and salt into a mixing bowl. Add the shortening and half of the milk. Beat with an electric mixer at medium speed for two minutes, scraping the bowl occasionally.
Add the remaining milk, the lemon extract, the vanilla extract and the egg yolks. Beat with the electric mixer for another two minutes.
Pour the batter into two buttered layer-cake pans that have been lined with parchment paper.
Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 30 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in the centers of the layers comes out clean.
Cool the layers in their pan for 10 minutes, then turn them out onto wire racks.
While the cake is cooling, wash and hull the strawberries. Chop enough strawberries to make one cup; reserve the remaining berries. Fold the chopped strawberries into one cup of the whipped cream.
Place one cake layer, top side down, on a serving plate. Spread it with the strawberry-cream filling.
Top with the second cake layer, top side up.
Slice the reserved strawberries lengthwise. Arrange the sliced strawberries on top of the cake, starting at the outer edge and placing the slices with their pointed ends toward the edge of the cake.
After the first circle of berries is completed, continue placing the strawberries in this manner until the top is covered.
Refrigerate the cake for 10 minutes.
Melt the red currant jelly in a small saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly. Carefully spoon or brush the hot jelly over the strawberries
Spread some of the remaining whipped cream around the sides of the cake.
Spoon the rest of the whipped cream into a pastry bag fitted with a No. 190 drop flower tube. Pipe rosettes between the strawberry points around the rim of the cake. then change to a No.24 star tube and fill in the spaces. Finally, change to a No. 71 leaf tube, and piupe a border around the bottom edge of the cake.
If you do not wish to decorate the cake with decorating tips, spoon the remaining cream in small puffs on the top of the cake between the strawberries.
Refrigerate the cake until time to serve it.