Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Columns

April 30, 2013

Lee Ward: Beaten biscuits, the final installment; some summer goodies: 04/30/13

ASHLAND — Ann Bledsoe called to say the Beaten Biscuit recipe by Larry Miller from Ladies Home Journal Cookbook 1963 was the recipe she was looking for.

However, Miller submitted three recipes for beaten biscuits and I want to give each one equal time.

I’d never heard of beaten biscuits and wondered why they were called “beaten,” but when I saw a few recipes, I knew why. The directions call for some fierce attacks and rough handling of the dough. Exhausting, it seems, but maybe good for taking out some frustrations.

This recipe is from “America’s Cook Book,” compiled by New York Herald Tribute Home Institute in 1944.

MARYLAND BEATEN

 BISCUITS

3 cups sifted flour

1⁄2 teaspoon salt

1⁄3 cup shortening

1⁄4 cup ice water

1⁄4 cup milk

Sift flour and salt and cut in shortening until well mixed; add ice water and milk, stirring until a very stiff dough is formed. Knead thoroughly and run dough through a biscuit machine or meat grinder, using the coarse knife or place dough on biscuit block and beat with heavy mallet or club 30 minutes or until dough blisters and is smooth, keeping dough round and turn edges in after each blow.

Roll 1⁄2 inch thick and cut with small biscuit cutter. Prick lightly with fork and bake in moderate oven, 350 degrees, for about 25 minutes or until a delicate ivory color.

t

It’s time for fruit to get juicer and tastier. While it needs no embellishment, fresh, in-season fruit makes a beautiful dessert and this recipe, from Neilson-Massey Vanillas, is especially lovely.

 TROPICAL FRUIT

 PARFAIT

8 ounces cream cheese, softened

3 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar, sifted

2 to 4 tablespoons whole milk

1⁄2 teaspoon Nielsen-Massey Pure Orange Extract

Four fruit choices such as finely diced mango, pineapple, grapes, strawberries or whole blueberries

Combine the cream cheese, confectioners' sugar, milk and orange extract in a mixing bowl and beat using an electric mixer.

Alternate layers of the cream cheese mixture and the fruit in a trifle dish or parfait glasses by either spooning the cream cheese mixture or piping with a pastry bag.

Note: Approximately 3⁄4 cup of each fruit choice allows for 2 tablespoons per layer in parfait glasses.

Serves 6.

t

Although good all year, bananas are used in this gorgeous cake that has a long  family history.

Sandy Jones of Redford, Mich., told justapinch.com it’s her great-grandmother’s recipe.

BANANA CAKE

WITH BUTTERCREAM FROSTING

Cake

3 cups cake flour

1 tablespoons baking powder

11⁄2 teaspoons baking soda

3⁄4 teaspoons salt

3⁄4 cup shortening

21⁄4 cup granulated sugar

3 eggs, well beaten

11⁄2 cup mashed ripe bananas (about 4)

11⁄8 cup buttermilk

11⁄2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Frosting

3⁄4 cup hot milk

1⁄2 cup butter

1⁄2 cup shortening

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 tablespoon cornstarch

1 cup granulated sugar

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Sift flour, baking powder, soda and salt together; set aside.

Cream shortening and sugar. Add eggs and bananas. Mix in buttermilk and vanilla.

Add flour mixture alternately with wet ingredients beginning and ending with flour.

Grease and flour two 9-inch layer pans and pour in batter. Bake 25 to 30 minutes.

For frosting, heat milk until very hot, but not boiling.

Cream butter and shortening. Gradually add cornstarch and sugar. Beat well after each addition, then add vanilla.

Add hot milk to sugar mixture a little at a time, beating thoroughly after each addition until all the sugar dissolves and it is thick enough to spread.

Make sure to add milk a little at a time to make sure frosting doesn’t curdle.

SOURCE: SANDY JONES THROUGH JUSTAPINCH.COM.

t

The International Biscuit Festival in Knoxville is approaching.

The event, set for May 16 through 18 and sponsored by Southern LIving, attracts more than 20,000 visitors and recently was named the Best Food Festival in the nation by Livability.com.

Southern Living will have a major presence at the festival, with Southern Living staff doing demonstrations on the Biscuit Bake-Off Stage. There also will be a Southern Living pavilion on the Biscuit Boulevard tasting area with samples of biscuit recipes straight from the Southern Living Test Kitchen.

Hunter Lewis, Southern Living’s new executive editor, will be featured at the festival’s Southern Food Writing Conference, along with “Top Chef’s” Hugh Acheson, CNN’s Kat Kinsman and author Julia Reed.

For more information about the International Biscuit Festival, go to biscuitfest.com.

t

Speaking of Southern-style bread, I think I’ve found the corn bread recipe I’ve been searching for with this one, from justapinch.com.

SOUTHERN

CORN BREAD

Natalie Loop, Hudson, Mich.

justapinch.com

3⁄4 cup vegetable oil (divided)

3⁄4 cup self-rising flour

1 cup self-rising cornmeal

1 cup sour cream

2 eggs

1 cup cream-style corn

1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese

1⁄2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

In a No. 8 or 10 cast iron pan, pour 1⁄4 cup of vegetable oil into pan and place in the oven.

While the pan is heating with the oil, mix remaining ingredients together using a wooden spoon and pour batter into the hot skillet.

Return to oven and bake until golden, approximately 30 minutes.

t

I love to hear good ideas about how to make the best use of supplies or how to save a little time in the kitchen.

Food Network is always good for a few ideas. Here are the latest:

‰Freeze leftover buttermilk by the tablespoon in an ice-cube tray. Transfer the premeasured frozen cubes to a labeled re-sealable freezer bag. If separated after thawing, whisk or blend together before using in a recipe.

‰Place an unfrosted cake with its edges atop wax-paper strips before frosting to keep your cake stand or serving plate neat and tidy. Remove and discard the strips after frosting.

‰For even results, slice decorative goat-cheese rounds from a log by using a piece of dental floss pulled taut between your hands.

‰Use a wooden skewer to clean the nooks and crannies of kitchen appliances like a stand mixer or food processor. Wrap a damp cloth around the tip to tackle sticky corners.

‰After working with fresh chilies like jalapenos or serranos, press your fingertips into the cut end of a halved lime to tame the oils that can lead to a burning sensation.

‰When a recipe calls for a buttered baking dish, use a pastry brush for less mess and to distribute the butter evenly.

‰Roll leftover uncooked bacon strips into coils and freeze on a flat surface. Toss them into a resealable plastic bag so you can just grab what you need.

t

Readers are encouraged to send questions about food and cooking; I’ll try to find the answers. Also, if you’re looking for a specific recipe, send your request, or if you can offer a recipe to someone looking for something specific, please  email lward@dailyindependent.com.

 

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