It's December, dear readers, and there is much to say and share.
The first request is for a dessert that some call "a Healthy Snickers." The reader, who shall go nameless, heard that this dessert is a mixture of pitted dates, peanut butter and a chocolate coating. "I hope one of the readers can find this recipe, as it really does seem healthy."
Food from the late great Mount Vernon restaurant returns to the categories "sought" and "promised."
One of you sent an answer to the request for the MV's amaretto pie, a recipe that she was told was authentic. But the plot thickens — or the pie thickens.
The original requester, R.N. of Hixson, doesn't think that recipe is the one, and he will not rest until he finds the Real Thing.
Mr. N. wrote, "Thanks for sending me the amaretto pie recipe. I made it for Thanksgiving, but I must report that this recipe is not the same as the one served at Mount Vernon restaurant, not even close. The crust at MV was not a pecan-cookie type of crust. The Mount Vernon's filling was denser, a bit less sweet and had a distinct custard-yellow color. This pie was nearly white in color and tasted strongly of the vanilla pudding and Cool Whip that are its main components. I simply cannot believe that Mount Vernon made its signature dessert with either of those ingredients."
And then, "I have found a recipe that I think is close to the MV's original pie ... it's an almond-infused crust filled with a cooked custard made with egg yolks. The MV's pie filling was obviously made with egg yolks, hence the yellow color it had. It had milk but no cream in the filling and certainly no Cool Whip. Whipped cream adorned the top of the pie. I will keep you posted as I continue my search for an amaretto pie that is worthy of the same respect as the MV's celebrated recipe."
Please join this conversation, if you have a recipe that tastes authentic.
And here is the promised part: A reader has the Mount Vernon sweet celery dressing recipe, and when she gets back to her home kitchen, we will have it too.
THE BOMB BROWNIES
Emily Huckabee reported that this recipe was "the best-loved dessert of our Tennessee Thanksgiving. They are irresistible. The original recipe was for an 8- by 8-inch pan, and that is way too few brownies. So I doubled the recipe."
Best Ever Homemade Brownies
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
20 ounces semi-sweet chocolate (3 cups)
1 cup salted butter
4 large eggs
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
4 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 cup of mix-ins (chocolate chips, nuts, etc., if desired)
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9- by 13-inch pan, and set aside.
Mix flour, cocoa powder and sea salt together in a bowl. Set aside.
Melt chocolate and butter together in a microwave-safe bowl or on the stovetop over low heat. You may use chocolate chips or whatever chocolate you have around the house, and it doesn't have to be three whole cups. Stir until smooth and glossy. Set aside.
In the bowl of a standing mixer, beat eggs for 1 minute or until pale and thick.
Add sugar, and beat for an additional 30 to 60 seconds, until sugar is dissolved.
Add melted chocolate/butter mixture and vanilla, and stir on low speed until batter is smooth and homogeneous (uniform throughout).
Add dry ingredients; mix on low speed until just incorporated and there are no lumps.
Stir in chocolate chips, nuts or other mix-ins by hand.
Pour batter into prepared pan; bake until the top is set, and the brownies are only very slightly jiggly, 25 to 30 minutes.
Place pan on a wire cooling rack to cool completely.
Cut into squares, and serve.
TWO SOUPS, WITH DUMPLINGS
Two soups arrive from the generous kitchen of Roseann Strazinsky. A recipe for egg dumplings follows, useful in either mushroom or caraway soup. You'll note that there is a little ceremony in these soups — finishing touches of sauerkraut juice or caraway seeds.
Fresh Mushroom Soup
1 pound fresh mushrooms
1 tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon flour
1 teaspoon finely chopped onion
Salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup water
Egg dumplings or cooked noodles
Sauerkraut juice, to taste (if desired)
Wash mushrooms, and cook in 1 quart water until tender. Save the water. Strain. Chop the mushrooms with a food chopper, add them to the mushroom water and simmer.
In a frying pan, melt butter, then brown the flour in the butter until light brown; add onion. Season with salt and pepper. Add 1/4 cup water, and bring to a boil, stirring with a wooden spoon.
Add to the soup pot, stirring well. Simmer for a few minutes, then add egg dumplings (see separate recipe) or your favorite noodles.
Serve the sauerkraut juice on the side for those who desire to add to their soup.
Makes 4 servings.
Caraway Seed Soup
1 tablespoon caraway seeds
4 cups water
Salt to taste
1 tablespoon butter, melted
1 tablespoon flour
1 cup cold water
Egg dumplings or cooked noodles
In a soup pot, simmer caraway seeds in salted water for 10 minutes. (Save the water.) Drain the caraway seeds, but SAVE the water. Save the seeds into a small bowl for those who desire them in their soup.
In a frying pan, melt butter, then brown the flour in the butter (do not burn the flour), stirring with a wooden spoon. Remove the pan from heat, and slowly stir in the cold water, blending well, like a roux and bring to a slow boil. Add this mixture to the boiled caraway soup pot, stirring well.
Add your favorite cooked noodles. Cook till well heated.
Makes 6 servings.
Egg Drop Dumplings
2 eggs, beaten well
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon water
1/2 cup flour
Mix ingredients in a bowl or a 2-cup measuring cup, and stir until smooth. Carefully add, using a spoon, to a pot of boiling, salted water, from the end of the spoon, dropping them into the water about the size of a walnut or smaller, stirring with a wooden spoon occasionally so they don't stick together. Also the spoon you are using to drop them into the water can be dipped now and then into the boiling water. After you have completed them all into the water, stir with a wooden spoon and cook for about 15 minutes until well cooked. Drain. Add them to your soup.
Thank you for your company this day, and any days to come.
— "Healthy" Snickers
— "Worthy" amaretto pie
To Reach Us:
Fare Exchange is a longtime meeting place for people who love to cook and love to eat. We welcome both your recipes and your requests. Be sure to include precise instructions for every recipe you send, and know we cannot test the recipes printed here.
Mailing address: Jane Henegar, 913 Mount Olive Road, Lookout Mountain, GA 30750