Sunday afternoon we held our family’s meeting for “camp meeting” to review the rules and regulations set forth by the board of trustees and the rules of our “tent.” We also reviewed the timetable for daily meals and set the schedule for who will be responsible for “table and tent duties” on which days during the upcoming week of Indian Field Camp Meeting.
I look forward to an excellent week and have been trying to find out what desserts others are making so that I may stir up something different. We don’t want two or three of the same desserts within a day or two. I grabbed about a dozen or so recipes and mulled over the decision. I decided on the first two recipes below, neither of which I have run in this column before. I am sharing them because a great friend of mine recently shared a cake-baking tip – sift the granulated sugar just as you sift flour. This added step only takes a few extra minutes, but I assure you that sifted sugar makes a huge difference in the texture of a cake! Another vital tip is use of “extracts” instead of “flavorings” in baking cakes and making frosting. The third recipe I am running can be used with apples, peaches, blueberries or other favorite fruit fillings.
One step pound cake
*Please note that setting the specified ingredients below out for about 45 minutes to reach “room temperature” is very important to the success of the cake. Put all the ingredients into a large mixing bowl in this order:
4 cups plain flour, sifted once
3 cups granulated sugar, sifted once
4 sticks of salted butter, room temperature
6 large eggs, room temperature
3/4 cup whole milk, room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract (may use almond, or lemon extract)
Preheat your oven to 325 degrees or to 300 degrees if you are using a dark pan. Mix the ingredients on the “low” speed of an electric mixer until all of ingredients are well combined. Increase the mixer speed to “medium” for three or four minutes. Pour this batter into a tube pan that has been sprayed with baking spray.
Bake the cake for 90 minutes. Test for doneness. Let the cake stand for 10 minutes before removing it from the pan. Invert it onto a large plate and immediately transfer it to a cake plate so that the crunchy crust is on top. (Please note that this batter is too much batter to bake in a bundt cake pan.)
Perfect, low-fat pineapple cake
1/2 cup egg substitute
2 cups granulated sugar, sifted once
2 cups self-rising flour, sifted once
20-ounce can crushed pineapple, juice included (2-1/2 cups)
1 cup nuts, chopped, plus extra to sprinkle on top (optional)
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8-ounce package fat-free cream cheese, room temperature
2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9x13-inch pan with vegetable cooking spray. In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to beat the egg substitute and granulated sugar together. In a separate bowl, add the sifted flour to egg mixture and beat with an electric mixer until ingredients are well combined. Add pineapple, juice and all, and continue to mix until blended. Stir in vanilla and nuts (optional). Pour batter into the prepared pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes. Test for doneness by sticking a toothpick in the very center. If there is batter on the toothpick, bake the cake longer (increments of 10 minutes) until the toothpick comes out clean.
While the cake is baking, make the frosting. In a medium bowl, stir the cream cheese with a wire whisk, not with a mixer (fat-free cream cheese gets thin if beaten with an electric mixer). Gradually whip in the confectioners’ sugar, and then stir in the vanilla. Cool the cake about 10 minutes and frost it.
Apple ‘Pie’ With Self-Made Buttery Crust
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 large egg
2/3 cup Butter-flavored Crisco
3/4 cup water
16-ounce can apple pie filling or make an equivalent amount of sweetened, stewed apples or peaches
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 heaping teaspoon apple pie spice or cinnamon
Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. In a medium bowl, mix flour, baking powder, salt, sugar, egg, shortening and water. Mix into a batter for about two minutes or until well combined. Pour this batter into a very lightly greased 9x11x2-inch pie pan and smooth the batter evenly into the pan. In a separate bowl, mix the pie filling, lemon juice and apple pie spice or cinnamon until these ingredients are well combined. Pour this into the center of the batter. Do not stir this filling in with the crust. Bake at 425 degrees for about 40 minutes or until the crust forms and becomes light to medium brown.