Thursday, November 22, 2012

DJ'S Holiday Dessert Recipes (& W*n OOP Cookbook)

First, today, if you'll look at the top of the righthand column, you'll see a questionnaire. I hope you'll take a quick minute to fill it out--it's completely anonymous and will take less than a minute. I'm looking at what people do and don't like about this blog, things I might want to overhaul come the new year, things you'd like to see more of and less of, etc. Your input will be appreciated!

Only one stop today on the River Road book tour. I'm over at All Things Urban Fantasy, talking about how to tell the difference between a member of the Historical Undead and a celebrity impersonator. You can enter for the official tour prizes of eReaders and also leave a comment for today's mystery book giveaway and an entry in one of two tour-wide $25 gift cards to your bookseller of choice.

There will be tour stops over the weekend as well, and on Sunday I'll repost all the holiday URLs as well as the Sunday tour stop since I know a lot of my U.S. readers will be doing family stuff this long weekend. 

So, the idea for today’s blog (and tomorrow’s) was DJ’s Holiday Cookbook. But, you might say, DJ doesn't cook. She eats junk and goes out to eat. Reheating pizza is usually Alex's job.

Gran to the rescue! DJ likes the traditional Southern desserts. In New Orleans, traditional desserts include bread pudding, pecan pie, and creme brulee. But since DJ spent holidays in Alabama with her grandparents, she grew up with more traditional Southern favorites: Pecan Pie; Banana Pudding; and the ultimate Deep South masterpiece, Lane Cake. This is a cake to die for. Seriously. Best. Cake. Ever.

Here are Gran's recipes: 

GRAN'S PECAN PIE
4 eggs
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup melted butter
3/4 cup light corn syrup
3/4 cup dark corn syrup
1-1/4 cups firmly packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 unbaked 9-inch pie shell
1 cup pecans, whole or chopped (Gran uses whole)

Beat eggs with wire whisk or fork. Add salt, butter, syrups, sugar and vanilla; mix well.
Pour into pie shell; top with pecans as solidly as possible.
Bake at 350 degrees F for 45-50 minutes.

GRAN'S BANANA PUDDING
Yes, you can make it using instant pudding mix but that's a poor, poor substitute. Easier, though. Gran does this well, but I've screwed up this recipe quite a few times.
2 cups scalded milk
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 eggs, separated
3 Tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
bananas
Vanilla wafers
Scald milk by heating just to the boiling point in a medium saucepan. In another pan mix sugar, four and salt. Add hot milk and stir well. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly until mixture thickens to pudding consistency. Beat the egg yolks. Add a small amount of hot pudding to the yolks and mix well, then add the rest of the pudding. Stir until no lumps of egg yolk appear. Return to heat and cook an additional two minutes, then remove from heat and add butter and vanilla. 

Using a large oven-proof bowl, layer sliced bananas and whole vanilla wafers. Pour one-third of pudding over the top. Repeat for two additional layers.

Serve warm or chilled. If you are a fan of meringue, beat egg whites with sugar until it forms stiff peaks. Spread over pudding and put under the broiler briefly until lightly browned.

GRAN'S LANE CAKEAnd now the ultimate Southern holiday dessert. OMG. I don't like coconut and am not a big fan of raisins and I'd still run over my own foot for some of this :-)

The cake:
1 cup butter, softened
2 cups sugar
3-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
8 egg whites, stiffly beaten
Cream butter; gradually add sugar and beat at medium speed until blended. Combine flour, baking powder and salt, and add to the sugar/butter  mixture alternately with milk. Blend slowly so there are no lumps or bubbles. Stir in vanilla and fold in beaten egg whites--do not overstir enough to break down the egg whites.

Pour batter into three greased and floured 9-inch cake pans. Bake at 325 degrees for 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool in pans 10 minutes; remove from pans and let layers cool completely on wire racks.

FILLING
8 egg yolks
2 cups sugar
1 cup butter
1 cup raisins
1/2 teaspoon vanilla flavoring
2 cups pecans, chopped
1 cup shredded coconut
1/2 cup bourbon (Gran uses Jack Black)
Cook eggs, butter and sugar until thick. Cook on medium to low heaat for 15-20 minutes, stirring constantly. Cool, then add raisins, nuts, coconut, vanilla flavoring, and bourbon.

Ice between layers and around outside. This cake gets better and moister the longer it sits; it does not have to be refrigerated.

Now. Today’s and tomorrow’s commenters will be put in a pool (you can comment each day) to win a special USED book because this baby is out of print. It’s called ANTOINE’S COOKBOOK, and was published by fifth-generation restaurant owner Roy F. Guste Jr. and features a history of the restaurant and of original owner Antoine Alciatore, plus many of Antoine’s original recipes. If you’ve read RIVER ROAD, you’ll know that the original Antoine’s (circa 1850) has an important scene in the book, and I managed to snag a copy of this book and used it to decide what the characters would eat, cooked by Antoine himself.


Just leave a comment (no hoop-jumping—another thing for which to be thankful) and tell your favorite Thanksgiving food if in the US; if outside the US…your favorite special-occasion food!

20 comments:

  1. When it comes to dessert for Thanksgiving I have pumpkin pie with cool whip. I also am not fond of coconut but the Lane Cake sure sounds good. Or maybe the Pecan Pie. Thanks for Gran's recipes.

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    1. I promise, even if you don't like coconut (neither do it), Lane Cake is amazing. I also like pumpkin pie!

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  2. No nuts or raisins for me. The banana pudding sounds great. I like a nice light pumpkin chiffon or chocolate chiffon pie.

    My must have Thanksgiving side, though, is rutabaga!

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    1. The banana pudding is really good, but I have to admit I average about 50-50 making a decent one. Sad to say, I am NOT a skilled cook.

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    2. I am not a skilled cook either...I leave the banana pudding to the experts!

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  3. We're having homemade rum cake for dessert today. Whenever we get low on rum my boyfriend buys a big bottle so my Mom can make more rum cakes.

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    1. One of my former coworkers brought rum cake to the office every year (it was in New Orleans, so nobody much cared if we got sloshed on rum cake)--good stuff!

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  4. i don't think i could eat pecan pie since i'm allergic to nuts almond etc ( i guess pecan fall in the same category but it's not common here so i haven't tried it)
    lets see which other special occasion food i know....not that special but special for me because it's one of the only food my brother accept when he is depressed and it make him smile)

    i'm cooking for him when needed a "tournedos" sauce cognac ( with pasta) ^^ i love cooking with cognac or other alcool ( my grandmother had a lot f them we inhereted but we don't drink a lot so i'm cooking, baking etc^^ but the level of alcool is higher than in the recent brew^^)


    A dessert, when i get too sad or nostalgic my mother makes me a hot vanilla pudding ( to be precise i eat it hot like my father did while normally it's eaten cold ( my mother and brother eat it only cold^^)

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    1. A hot pudding sounds really good--and good comfort food. No, you wouldn't be able to eat pecan pie with a nut allergy. Cooking with alcohol...I think the reason I like the Lane Cake so much is the bourbon in the frosting :-)

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  5. oh that's so nice to learn new recipes, thank you so much! Love the idea.

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    1. Thanks, Melliane! Glad you stopped by :-)

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  6. Hmm, I don't eat a lot of special occasion foods, I usually just make a random cake instead. I am partial to cheesecake though which my mum only makes on special occasions so it would have to be cheesecake or cake in general :)
    Happy thanksgiving :)

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    1. Well, cheesecake is hard to beat. I like New York-style cheesecake, which has a tiny bit of flour mixed in and is baked.

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  7. I am thankful the turkey came out the way it should.

    Larena

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    1. I wish I could say the same, Larena--mine was dry as dust! I have a new (as in one-day-old) oven, and--surprise!--it cooks hot.

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  8. HAPPY THANKSGIVING!! My favorite dish is the Turkey :) it's the only time I successfully get to eat it since I always cook it LOL :)

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    1. Happy Turkey Day to you too, Maghon! Hope you had a great one :-)

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  9. I do love Creme Brûlee, whenever a restaurant serves is, that is the one I order. Thanks Suzanne, and happy belated Thanksgiving to all of you.

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    1. Creme Brulee is awesome! I'd never try to make it myself but, like you, I'll order it in a restaurant when I get a chance.

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