Thursday, September 13, 2007

Mitford Delights

If you read my blog then you already know about my love of the Mitford Series books by Jan Karon. She describes many mouth-watering dishes throughout her books, and has actually published a cookbook with all the recipes! I love this cookbook, probably because I've tasted most of the recipes in my mind as I've read her books! Anyway, I thought I'd share a few of my favorites-

Esther's Orange Marmalade Cake
for the cake
1 cup unsalted butter, softened, more for greasing pans
3 1/4 cups cake flour, more for dusting pans
1 TB. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
2 2/3 cups granulated sugar
5 large eggs, at room temperature
4 large egg yolks, at room temperature
2/3 cup vegetable oil
1 TB. grated orange zest
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
for the orange syrup
1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
1/4 cup granulated sugar
for the filling
1 (12 oz.) jar orange marmalade
for the frosting
1 cup heavy cream, chilled
4 TB. granulated sugar
1 cup sour cream, chilled

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly butter three 9-inch round cake pans, line them with parchment paper, then lightly butter and flour the paper, shaking out any excess.

2. Sift flour, baking powder, and salt into large bowl. Sift a second time into another bowl. In mixer, beat butter until light in color, about 4 min. Add the 2 2/3 cup sugar with mixer running. Beat until light and fluffy. Add the eggs and yolks, one at a time. After all eggs have been added, continue to beat for 2 min. With mixer on low speed, add oil and beat for 1 min. In a small bowl combine orange zest, vanilla, and buttermilk. Using a spatula, fold in half of the dry mixture to the egg mixture. Scrape down sides and add half of the buttermilk mixture. Fold in remaining dry ingredients, then add remaining buttermilk.

3. Pour batter among the pans, smooth the surface, rap pan on the counter top to expel air pockets, then place in oven. Bake for 30-35 min. or until toothpick comes out clean. Let the cakes cool in pans on racks for 20 min.

4. In a small bowl stir together orange juice and 1/4 cup sugar until sugar is dissolved. While the cakes are still in the pans, use a toothpick to poke holes at 1/2 inch intervals in the cake layers. Spoon syrup over each layer, allowing syrup to be completely absorbed before adding more. Let layers cool completely in the pans.

5. Heat the marmalade in a small saucepan over medium heat until just melted. Cool 5 min.

6. In a chilled mixing bowl using the wire whisk attachment, whip the heavy cream with the 4 TB. sugar until stiff peaks form. Add sour cream, a little at a time, and whisk until mixture is a spreadable consistency.

7. Invert one of the cake layers on a cake plate and peel off parchment. Spread one-third of the marmalade over the top. Invert second layer on top, peel off parchment, and spoon another 1/3 of the marmalade on top. Place the third layer on top, remove parchment, and spoon remaining marmalade on top, leaving a 1/4 inch border around the edges. Frost the sides and top border with the frosting, leaving marmalade on top of the cake exposed. Or, if you prefer, frost the entire cake first, adding the marmalade as a garnish on top. Chill for at least 2 hrs. before serving.

*I LOVE this cake. I don't make it too often because Matt hates orange marmalade {and you have to like orange marmalade to like this cake}, but when I do I am in heaven! It will stay good in the fridge for about a week, which is a plus.

Banana and Peanut Butter Sandwiches

  • 1 large banana
  • 1/4 tsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 4 TB. peanut butter
  • 6 slices sandwich bread
  • miniature chocolate chips, optional
  • miniature marshmallows, optional

  • In a small bowl mash the banana with the lemon juice. Add peanut butter and mix until smooth. Divide mixture between 3 sandwiches, adding mini chocolate chips or marshmallows if desired. Cut each sandwich in half or into 4 triangles.

*The kids love this one!

Father Tim's Christmas Breakfast Casserole

  • 1 LB. ground pork sausage
  • 1/4 cup chopped shallots or green onions
  • 10 pieces white bread, torn into small pieces
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup shredded monterey jack cheese
  • 8 eggs
  • 2 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 1/4 tsp. dry mustard
  • 1/4 tsp. Worcestershire sauce

  • Coat 9x13 dish with cooking spray and set aside. Brown sausage over medium heat until it crumbles. Add shallots a few minutes before sausage is done. Drain sausage onto a paper towel-lined plate.
  • Place bread pieces in baking dish and sprinkle cheeses evenly over bread. Add sausage over the cheese.
  • Whisk eggs, milk, salt, mustard, and Worcestershire sauce together. Pour evenly over sausage and bread mixture.
  • Cover and chill 4-8 hours.
  • Before baking, allow dish to come to room temp. for at least 30 minutes. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.

*this one's great on Christmas morning, of course, or any other special occasion morning where you don't want to be stuck in the kitchen missing all the fun!




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