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Brainstorming - American Regional Classic Desserts


bluechefk
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woo hoo - starting a new job after a year of unemployment! the concept is 'american regional classics' - and yes, that's kind of vague :blink: my chef describes the menu as containing foods that remind you of things you ate when you were growing up - stuff you ordered at your local luncheonette, stuff your mom made, stuff that reminds you specifically of where you grew up. not necessarily retro - and not kitsch either: fried chicken, deviled eggs, green chili, chinese spare ribs, red velvet cake, etc. doing desserts this way should be a blast - i'm already thinking about how to make the perfect Ho-Ho!

here's my question, then - what do you think of when you think of the desserts you grew up with? maybe store-bought things that were only sold in your area (like Moonpies, or Tastycakes)? or maybe something your mom or grandmother made & you loved to pieces? recipes are welcome, if you'd like to share, but even more than that i'm looking for ideas, memories, stories - anything you've got! :laugh:

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Pretzels and ice cream -- definitely regional as most people I mention it to think I'm whacked. But it's great -- the crunch, the salt, the cream, especially as it melts because of the pretzel salt... I'm already back sitting around grandma's table stirring the bowl with the pretzel rods (which also served as the spoon) to make the ice cream the consistency of soft serve... :wub:

Edited to add: I grew up in southern NJ... This was also popular in eastern/southern PA.

Edited by SweetSide (log)
Cheryl, The Sweet Side
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It would help if you mention where you are..... that'd get people in your area thinking about what they remember.

American classic - to me that means fudge cakes, ice cream, and of course, apple pie. But then, what would I know? :wink:

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Buttermilk pie

Lemon Chess pie

Blackberry cobbler

Strawberry Shortcake (sweet biscuit, please-no dumb pound cake)

Any double crust fruit pie

Strawberry-Rhubarb Compote w/ ice cream

Boston Creme Pie

Mocha Eclairs (Ok, Grandma was a terrific baker)

Tapioca Pudding with fresh apricots

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well, i'm in the western states, but we're actually interested in regional desserts from all over the country. so desserts that i remember from growing up on the jersey shore will be up there on the menu right next to the one's remembered by the texan sous chef :-)

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well, i'm in the western states, but we're actually interested in regional desserts from all over the country. so desserts that i remember from growing up on the jersey shore will be up there on the menu right next to the one's remembered by the texan sous chef :-)

Cool, where? I'm from the shore as well with my post of the pretzels and ice cream. Point Pleasant area... Home of the orange and vanilla twist custard soft serve on the boardwalk. Ice cream was our main dessert!

Edited by SweetSide (log)
Cheryl, The Sweet Side
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point pleasant - cool! i grew up in long branch, where the boardwalk WAS the social scene of the town! my big memory is on italian ice - served in those little paper cups that would turn into soggy mush by the time you got to the bottom of the ice? i remember flattening the cup to make a point at one hand, and just drinking off the melted lemony, sugary slush on the bottom :biggrin:

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I grew up on Long Island in New York state. The desert memories go like this: deep dish peach pie, grape pie, apple pie made with honey rather than sugar, chocolate ice cream with a little of my mother's black coffee poured over, raspberry whip (which involved pureed raspberries, egg whites and something else) strawberries and cream, and, of course, Jello. :raz:

Almost forgot, My T Fine cooked chocolate pudding with nuts, tapioca pudding served with a dollop of nice tart HOMEMADE jelly, and anything from the Seaford Bakery :wub:

Edited 'cause I almost forgot.

Edited by judiu (log)

"Commit random acts of senseless kindness"

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point pleasant - cool! i grew up in long branch, where the boardwalk WAS the social scene of the town! my big memory is on italian ice - served in those little paper cups that would turn into soggy mush by the time you got to the bottom of the ice? i remember flattening the cup to make a point at one hand, and just drinking off the melted lemony, sugary slush on the bottom  :biggrin:

Off thread... but yeah... to the boardwalk, the squashed italian ice cups, frozen custard... :wub: Good luck bringing back all those memories, whatever they may be, for the patrons!

Cheryl, The Sweet Side
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Banana pudding.

I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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I am orginally from Alabama:

Moonpies (chocolate, vanilla and banana) and an RC Cola with peanuts

Pecan pie

Fried peach and apple pies

Lady Baltimore Cake

Coconut cake with seven minute icing

Coconut cream pie

Black bottom pie

Boston cream pie

Little Debbie's oatmeal creme pie and raisin creme pies

Dairy Queen Peanut Buster Parfait

Howard Johnson's peppermint ice cream

Caramel cake

peanut brittle

Edited by Swisskaese (log)
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ooooo, moon pies :wub: i'm loving the idea of making those from scratch! never had a banana one, though - what were those like? which part was banana flavored? - the filling? the cookie? hmmmmm (pastry wheels turning in brain, smoke coming out of ears...)

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My memories growing up always include pineapple upside-down cake, the yellow cake mix that you poked holes in with a toothpick and then poured jello over the top, and angel food cake filled with english toffee mixed with whipped cream or, if summer, filled with whipped cream and strawberries. One more memory -- the remnants of pie dough that she would sprinkle with cinnamon sugar and bake.

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Interesting replies . . . the infusion of grocery-store items into the consciousness of American Regional Classic Desserts.

You might look to Marion Cunningham's Lost Recipes.

If we are talking about commercially-made products, I would appreciate if someone could replicate the Mickey's Flip. Basically, a whoopie pie. But made from about a six inch in diameter circle of spongey cake, covered with about a half inch of that incredible creamy filling snack cakes sport, and then folded in half. The result is a half circle with a giant gob of white deliciousness hanging out. I was extremely fond of the banana version, which was probably a yellow cake with a banana-flavored cream.

Also, Lawson's featured half gallons of ice cream with their own brand. They had a unique flavor called banana split that had streaks of fudge through it, bananas, and chunks of maraschino cherries. It was delicious.

However, when I think of regional classics (I grew up in Ohio), I think:

cherry pie with a lattice crust -- made from the sour cherry tree in the back yard

strawberry shortcake -- made from the pick-your-own strawberry farm

blueberry pie -- ditto

As a current New Yorker, rice pudding or black and white cookies are the two classics. The best rice pudding comes from a Polish coffee shop. The only good black and white cookie I ever ate came from the student cafeteria at the Rochester Institute of Technology.

I like to bake nice things. And then I eat them. Then I can bake some more.

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Good homemade butterscotch pudding with whipped cream on top.

Some great regional desserts from New Mexico are sopapillas, natillas, and capirotada.

The first are airy fried dough fritters served with honey. The second is an oeufs a la neige concoction with Spanish roots and New Mexican flavors. The third is a bread pudding with brown sugar, cinnamon, raisins, almonds and cheddar cheese. (yes, cheddar cheese.)

(I didn't grow up with any of these, but I think they are great American desserts.)

Jean Anderson's, "The American Century Cookbook" has a great overview of favorite American desserts of the 20th century.

"Under the dusty almond trees, ... stalls were set up which sold banana liquor, rolls, blood puddings, chopped fried meat, meat pies, sausage, yucca breads, crullers, buns, corn breads, puff pastes, longanizas, tripes, coconut nougats, rum toddies, along with all sorts of trifles, gewgaws, trinkets, and knickknacks, and cockfights and lottery tickets."

-- Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1962 "Big Mama's Funeral"

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ooooo, moon pies :wub: i'm loving the idea of making those from scratch! never had a banana one, though - what were those like? which part was banana flavored? - the filling? the cookie? hmmmmm (pastry wheels turning in brain, smoke coming out of ears...)

The icing has a banana flavor, but I think you could revamp it and make a cookie with a layer of marshmallow and a layer of banana cream.

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I grew up in the central valley of California. I remember bread pudding made with brown sugar, cinnamon sticks and cheddar cheese, rice pudding heavily dusted with cinnamon, churros, fried homemade flour torillas with cinnamon sugar, and little fried pies(also made of flour torilla dough) filled with pureed pumpkin, cinnamon, brown sugar and butter).

My grandmother would have a treat waiting when I returned home from school. She didn't even have an electric mixer, she used hand rotary beaters.

My mouth is watering and my eyes are full of tears!

"A few days ago, I heard a doctor talking on television about the dangers of stress. It can kill you. It can cause a heart attack or stroke. The doctor listed many ways of coping with stress. Exercise. Diet Yoga. Talk a walk. I yelled, "Bake cookies." I often talk to the television. I yelled it again and again. The doctor went on with his list of 12 ways to reduce stress and he never once mentioned my sure-fire treatment......"

Maida Heatter

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I remember; warm apple crisp with vanilla ice cream, jello and whipped cream (or Dream Whip) layered in parfait glasses, prune whip with the egg whites whipped by hand by my grandfather, strawberry shortcake, and frozen layer cakes by Pepperidge Farm.

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I grew up in Chicago..right smack in the city. I remember sno-cones, Italian ice, soft serve ice cream from the ice cream truck, Dolly Madison cupcakes,snowballs,ho-ho's..etc..

My granny was a terrific baker(which is why I'm now in the pastry biz). I'd come home from school to find her making donuts & funnelcakes,churros,fritters.

My mom was a box cake maker..anything from a box was her preference. Remember pudding in a cloud? All those jello & pudding based desserts.

I just remembered this old candy/ice cream shop around the corner from where I grew up..He'd serve sherbert..homemade and all kinds of flavors. But I would get the rainbow one all the time. Served in those little flimsy paper cups where you could push it through to the top to get every last lick.

Edited by sugarbuzz (log)
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My family is from Texas. For me, childhood dessert memories revolve around:

Pecan Pie (at the VERY top of the list)

Pound Cake (very close second)

Fried Pies

Fresh Apple Cake

Pineapple Pie

Chess Pie

Most all of them are simple, yet delicious.

ETA: We were never very into the store-bought convience desserts. Both my mother and grandmother were masters in the kitchen, and that sort of stuff really wasn't allowed in the house. However, I do remember with much fondness those orange-flavored push pops I was allowed on rare occasions to buy from the ice cream truck.

Edited by MissAmy (log)

-Sounds awfully rich!

-It is! That's why I serve it with ice cream to cut the sweetness!

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grew up in So.Cal.

pineapple upside down cake, banana cream pie, coconut cream pie, fresh baked choc chip cookies (tollhouse), chocolate or hot fudge sundaes or banana splits, malts. strawberry shortcake (with angelfood cake). jello. jello pudding.

"You dont know everything in the world! You just know how to read!" -an ah-hah! moment for 6-yr old Miss O.

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Chocolate Cream Pie with graham cracker crust. (I'm originally from Brooklyn, NY)

(Not desserts, but for drinks: Brooklyn Egg Cream and Chocolate Malted).

There's nothing better than a good friend, except a good friend with CHOCOLATE.
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