Country Cook News – February 28, 2014

Hi Everyone!

cream based dessert


Prepare yourself for a mini-vacation to the Hawaiian Islands with my recipe for Old-fashioned Pineapple Cream Pie with Meringue. This cream pie captures the fresh flavor of pineapple with every rich and creamy bite. It’s one of my favorite recipes to make during the winter when fresh fruit from the grocery store just isn’t cutting it. I’m also putting a spoiler alert on the made-from-scratch cream pie filling because once you’ve tasted homemade cream filling, there’s no going back to the store-bought, packaged variety. Yes, it’s that delightful, and the same is true of home-prepared meringue.



Tasty Kitchen generously shares a wealth of recipes and cooking ideas. Blog owner, Teresa Ochoa, offers probably hundreds of her own tasty creations while giving other cooks the opportunity to strut their specialty. Teresa begins the dessert line-up with Tres Leches e-Milk Custard. Other tempting treats are Skinny Pina Colada Bread Pudding shared by Taylor Kiser, Strawberry Coconut Meringue Cookies from Sprightliest and Cherry M&M Blondies from Tanya Schroeder. If that’s an overload on sweets then you might be interested in warming up with a bowlful of Spicy Thai Curry Noodle Soup, Pesto Chicken Orzo Soup, or Low-fat Turkey Chipotle Chili, all created by Tasty Kitchen. Check out Teresa’s site and consider touting one of your own to-die-for recipes on her site. Tasty Kitchen is also on Twitter @tastykitchen



Always pile meringue topping onto a hot filling. This way the filling begins to cook the meringue from the bottom up while the oven’s heat cooks the exterior, which gives a golden brown meringue with no weeping.


Organized Island is offering-up Simple Pineapple Muffins that look like the perfect cold weather distraction. Surprise your family with a basket of these babies this weekend; they’ll be singing your praises or at the very least doing the hula!



CREAM FILLING: Scalding milk or cream before using to make a cream pie or custard will keep it from getting watery.



Here’s a slick way to separate an egg yolk from its white. This method has come along just in time for the 3 separated eggs you’ll need for making the Recipe of the Week for Pineapple Cream Pie with Meringue. Funny to watch, yet useable tip at



This is totally off subject for this month’s newsletter, but I think it is valuable information that could save lives and property. Who would have thought 9-volt batteries could be such a danger? Watch on…



12 No-Bake Cookie Recipes From Shugary Treats. Yum, I’ll beat everyone to the kitchen to stir up these scrumptious little darlings.



Thank you to everyone for a fantastic send-off of the Seasons of Our Lives series on February 1, 2014. All four volumes hit the Amazon Best-seller list. We’re all busting buttons with pride! Here’s a peek: Seasons of our Lives: Spring, Seasons of our Lives: SummerSeasons of our Lives: Autumn and Seasons of our Lives: Winter. I have stories in Spring, Summer and Autumn.



Custard is probably one of the most overlooked comfort foods. My recipe for BAKED APPLE CUSTARD uses a vanilla wafer for the crust and then blends of cream cheese, sour cream, apples and pecans to create custard that goes beyond everyday. My recipe is a remake of an old classic, which is so delicious it’s bound to bring custard back into the spotlight. The recipe is in my cookbook SWEET APPLE TEMPTATIONS. If you don’t have a copy of “Sweet Apple” just request a copy of the recipe by e-mailing me at and I’ll be glad to send it to you. Note: Adding 3 tablespoons of brandy to this recipe gives it a spirited old-time punch you’re sure to appreciate.


ASK CYNTHIA A QUESTION – February 28, 2014

Marie asked: What’s the difference between flan, custard, pudding, panna cotta, creme brulee, and other milk or cream based desserts?
My answer: All are similar in that they’re cooked together with milk, cream, sugar, eggs and/or a thickener; their ingredients and the process in which they’re cooked varies, which gives them a different name. Some are just in a language other than English, such as panna cotta translated means “cooked cream.” Flan and baked custard are similar because they’re both baked in a container and then flipped out of their baking containers to serve. Mexican flan is denser than Spanish flan; some flan has a crust, while others do not. Regular custard is cooked and then put into serving dishes like pudding. Chocolate Pots de Crème is simply a fancy name for chocolate pudding served in tiny “pots” or teacups.

Richness varies whether milk, cream or eggs are used. The addition of fruit (as in this week’s recipe) or flavoring completely changes the dessert. My recipe for Pumpkin Flan with Orange Zest from last October is a delicious and healthy example of adding fruit to custard.

Zabaglione, lemon curd and sometimes tiramisu are in this “dessert group.” The origin of pudding is French. Cornstarch or gelatin can replace eggs as a thickener. What’s Cooking America goes into detail and gives recipes for each of the pudding/custard type desserts. This historical site about cream based desserts will captivate you for hours: Origin of cream based desserts. Thank you for your question, Marie!



I love sharing my recipes, quotes and quips, so forward this newsletter to those who might enjoy reading it. Tell them you can forward it to them every month or they can sign-up at to receive it directly from me. Thanks!


Till next time…


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