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Pear Preserves & Jam Cake

From: Lisa
Sent: Wednesday, September 09, 2015 5:06 PM
Subject: Pear preserves and jam cake

Hi Uncle Phaedrus, 

I was wondering if you or any of your readers would be able to help with a couple of recipes?

My grandmother-in-law from Texas used to make pear preserves that are unlike any recipe we have found. 
They were chewy like gummy bears (not mushy at all), dark amber like a deep honey and very sticky with 
the liquid portion being really thick and stringy. If refrigerated, it would almost bend a spoon. 
There was no lemon or any other fruit in it. Pear honey recipes havenít replicated her recipe.

After she made this, she would make a jam cake with the preserves on the top and keep it in a closet for 
a month. Both of these were so good and we havenít been able to find recipes to replicate either.

Any help you can offer would be appreciated.

Thank you.


Hello Lisa,

Well, the problem with locating the preserves recipe is that most of your description of it is visual. A recipe isnít usually going to say things like: ďThey were chewy like gummy bears (not mushy at all), dark amber like a deep honey and very sticky with the liquid portion being really thick and stringy. If refrigerated, it would almost bend a spoon.Ē I found 59 pear preserves recipes in just one database. Probably fifteen of them donít have lemon, but none has any description of the finished product to compare with your description.

As for the cake, I could not find a recipe for a jam cake, or a pear cake or a pear jam cake that has pear preserves on top and is kept is kept in a closet or other cool dark place for a month before serving.

All I can do is post this in the hope that a reader will recognize the preserves & cake and have the recipe.


Cherry Kuchen with Vinegar

From: Mickii 
Sent: Wednesday, September 09, 2015 10:15 AM

My mom made a cherry kuchen    it had vinegar in it can you help

Hi Mickii,

I canít find a "cherry kuchen" recipe as such, with any vinegar. I did find a cherry cake recipe with some vinegar. See below.

Iíll post this for reader input.


Quick & Easy Cherry Cake

1/2 c. shortening
1 c. sugar
2 eggs
3/4 c. milk
1 tbsp. vinegar
2 c. flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. vanilla
Cherry pie filling

  Add 1 tablespoon of vinegar to 3/4 cup of milk.  Set aside.  Mix together 1/2 cup shortening, sugar, and eggs until smooth.  
Add milk mixture.  Mix well.  Add flour, soda, salt and vanilla.  Mix.  Spread 1/2 of batter in a greased cake pan.  Spread 
cherry pie filling over batter then the rest of the batter.  Bake at 375 degrees for 35 minutes of until golden brown.
Hey Phaed: Here is the recipe I use for Cherry Kuchen.    

Timm in Oregon

Morello Cherry Kuchen 


For the Sweet Dough:

4 tablespoons white granulated sugar
1/4 cup warm water at 110F to 115F degrees
1 package dry active yeast
3 cups unbleached all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch cubes, plus 1 teaspoon soft butter for brushing top of dough
1/2 cup milk
3 large egg yolks
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

For the Streusel:

6 to 7 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup white granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt

For the Morello Cherry Filling:

24 ounce jar pitted dark Morello cherries in light syrup, well drained with juice reserved
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 cup white granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice, freshly squeezed or 1/2 teaspoon vinegar
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened

For the Pastry Cream:

2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 cup milk
4 tablespoons white granulated sugar
2 large egg yolks
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon unsalted butter
3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


For the Sweet Dough: Rinse a small bowl in hot water to warm it. Add 1 tablespoon of the sugar and 
the warm water to the bowl. Sprinkle the yeast over the water. Do not stir. Cover the bowl with a 
saucer and let the mixture stand for 5 minutes. Stir it briefly with a fork, cover again, and let 
it stand for 2 to 3 minutes more or until bubbly.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix on low speed the 3 cups of flour, 
remaining 3 tablespoons of sugar, and the salt. Add the slightly firm cubed butter and continue to 
mix until meal-sized crumbs form, about 2 to 4 minutes, depending on upon the temperature of the butter. 
Stop the mixer.

In a separate bowl mix the milk, egg yolks and vanilla with a fork. Add the milk mixture to the flour, 
along with the dissolved yeast, and mix on low speed for about 15 seconds. Stop the mixer and scrape 
down the side of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Mix on low speed for another 30 seconds or until a 
smooth soft dough is formed.

Lightly butter a medium size bowl for storing the dough. Empty the dough into the prepared bowl, 
smoothing the top with lightly floured hands. Spread a thin layer of softened butter over the top. 
Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

For the Streusel: Place the butter in a 2 quart heavy bottomed saucepan and heat until almost melted; 
remove from heat and cool to tepid.

Whisk together the flour, sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt. Add to the butter and stir with 
a fork until blended and mixture begins to form crumbs. Gently squeeze the mixture with your hand to 
form larger clumps and then break them apart with your fingers. Before using, let the streusel stand 
for 10 to 15 minutes.

Remove the dough from the refrigerator 1 to 1-1/2 hours before shaping.

In a medium size saucepan, combine 2/3 cup of the reserved cherry juice, the cornstarch, and sugar 
while stirring until no lumps remain. Place the pan over medium-low heat. Allow the liquid to come 
to a boil, stirring gently until the mixture is very thick. Remove the pan from the heat and stir 
in the lemon juice, almond extract, and butter. Using a rubber spatula, gently stir in the drained 
cherries; set aside until ready to use.

Place the cornstarch in a medium size mixing bowl. Stir in 1/4 cup of the milk and mix until smooth. 
Whisk in 2 tablespoons of the sugar and the egg yolks; set aside.


In a 2 quart saucepan, heat the remaining 3/4 cup milk and the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar; stir 
until blended. On low heat, bring the mixture to a slow boil. Stir 1/3 of the hot milk-sugar mixture 
into the egg mixture. Pour the egg mixture into the saucepan and stir with a whisk to combine. Return 
the pan to medium-low and bring it to a full boil, whisking rapidly and constantly until pastry cream 
is thick and smooth. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the softened butter and vanilla. 
Do not over-mix. Cover the pastry cream with buttered plastic wrap and set aside until ready to use.

Generously butter a 9 inch springform pan and set aside. On a lightly floured work surface, knead the 
dough a few times and shape it into a flat disk. With lightly floured hands, press the dough into the 
prepared pan, stretching it to completely cover the bottom. Push the dough up against the sides of the 
pan, forcing it up to form a wall 1/4 inch thick and 3/4 inch high. Be sure to press it well into the 
crease of the pan. If the dough becomes too elastic, let it rest for a few minutes. Prick the surface 
of the dough ten to twelve times with a fork. Cover the pan with a tea towel and set in a warmish place 
to rise until puffy but not doubled, about 25 to 30 minutes. While the dough is rising, prepare the 

15 minutes before baking, position the rack in the lower third of the oven. Heat the oven to 350F degrees. 
Resculpt the lip of the dough with your thumb and gently depress the center with your hand. Leaving a 
3/4 inch rim of dough exposed, drop dollops of the tepid pastry cream around the edges of the pan. 
Using an offset spatula, bring the pastry cream into the center and smooth the surface.

Top the pastry cream with the cherry filling in a single layer. Sprinkle the streusel over the cherries, 
pressing it gently into the surface. Place the pan on a sheet of heavy duty aluminum foil and wrap the 
pan with the foil to catch any spills.

Bake the kuchen for about 45 to 50 minutes or until it begins to release from the side of the pan and 
the streusel is golden brown. Remove the kuchen from the oven and let it stand on a cooling rack for 
20 minutes. Release and remove the sides of the pans and allow cooling completely.

Store in the refrigerator, tightly wrapped in aluminum foil for up to 3 days. Reheat before serving in 
a 325F oven for 2 to 5 minutes or until slightly warm.


The Morello cherry is a sour cherry cultivar. Morellos are distinguished by their very dark skin, flesh, 
and juice. They are extremely popular for things like cherry pie, cherry jam, and cherry preserves; 
they are also used in an assortment of other desserts. The rich, complex flavor of the Morello cherry 
complements an assortment of ingredients, especially chocolate. You may be able to find fresh Morello 
cherries at a market in season, and they are often available frozen or canned (jars). Morello cherries 
can be found in 24 ounce jars at Trader Joes.

Sweet and Sour Chicken with Peaches

-----Original Message----- 
From: Karyn 
Sent: Sunday, September 06, 2015 8:12 AM
Subject: Searching for old McCall's Cooking School magazine recipe

Hello and thank you so much for providing this service.  I have been 
searching for this recipe for years and appreciate your assistance whether 
or not you are able to find it for me.  The recipe I am searching for was 
for a sweet and sour chicken dish which included whole breasts of chicken, 
fresh tomatoes, peaches, onions and green peppers as some of the 
ingredients.  Everything was made in a skillet and I found the recipe in a 
McCall's Cooking School magazine published somewhere between 1975 and 1981.

Thanks again and my fingers are crossed - this recipe is really quite 

Best Regards

Karyn in Calgary, AB - Canada

Hi Karyn,

Sorry, I had no success with this one. I did find a couple of sweet & sour chicken recipes with peaches, but they also had pineapple and/or had no onions or tomatoes, and they had no mention of McCall's Cooking School. I'll post this for reader input.


-----Original Message----- 
From: Karyn 
Sent: Sunday, September 06, 2015 12:52 PM
To: Phaedrus
Subject: Re: sweet & sour chicken with peaches recipe

Thanks again, I really appreciate your service.  Have you posted the recipes 
you did find and, if so where do I find these on your website?



Hello Karyn,

No, I haven't posted them. See below.


Skillet Sweet & Sour Chicken

1 c. orange juice
1 1/2 c. peaches, sliced (canned,fresh or frozen)
2 tbsp. brown sugar
2 tbsp. vinegar
1 tsp. dry mustard
2 dashes Worcestershire sauce
1 clove garlic, minced

  Other ingredients:       1 chicken or 2 breasts       + 4 thighs, 
disjointed 1/2 c. flour 1 tsp. salt 1/8 tsp. pepper Cooking oil to depth of 
1/2" in large fry pan 1/2 c. bamboo shoots, drained well 6 serving cooked 
rice   Heat oil in frying pan while dredging chicken in flour, salt and 
pepper.  Brown chicken.  Combine sauce ingredients and simmer 10 minutes. 
Remove chicken when it is browned and pour off oil.  Replace chicken and 
pour sauce over chicken. Cover and simmer about 30 to 35 minutes over low 
heat to prevent scorching. Test chicken for doneness.  Add drained bamboo 
shoots and simmer for 15 minutes more.  Serve over rice.  Yield: 6
Sweet & Sour Chicken

12 oz. jar chili sauce
10 oz. grape jelly
2 tbsp. lemon juice
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
16 oz. sweet and sour sauce
7 1/2 oz. jar junior baby food peaches
1/4 tsp. ginger
Cut up chicken parts, of choice

  Put all ingredients (except chicken) in a saucepan and boil, stirring 
occasionally until jelly is melted.  Place chicken in roaster and pour sauce 
over all.  Bake at 350 degrees for 2 hours, basting and turning often.
Crockpot Sweet & Sour Chicken

1 cut up fryer, or your choice of chicken
1/4 tsp. ground ginger
1 clove garlic, minced
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 (8 1/2 oz.) can pineapple chunks
1 (16 oz.) can sliced peaches
1 (4 oz.) can water chestnuts, sliced
4 green onions, sliced
1/4 c. cornstarch
1/4 c. soy sauce
1 tbsp. vinegar
Salt and pepper chicken and place in pot

  Mix ginger, garlic, soup, and juice from pineapple.  Arrange pineapple and 
chestnuts over chicken and pour sauce over.  Cover and cook on low for 8 
hours.  Add onions and peaches.  (Mushrooms are good, too.)  Dissolve 
cornstarch in soy sauce and vinegar.  Stir in on high; cook 15 minutes until 
thickened.  Serve with white or brown rice.  NOTE:  Broil chicken to crisp 
it, if desired.

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