Blueberry Flan

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Joyce" 
To: phaedrus
Sent: Thursday, December 11, 2003 6:09 PM
Subject: Apple Pie

> Dear Phaedrus,
> I would like to have the receipe for  apple-blueberry flan pie.  It used
> to be  sold by either costco or bj's merchandise store.  I haven't seen
> it in a long time and one of the workers stated that they did not sell
> it anymore.  Please help!
> Thank You

Hello Joyce,

Sorry, no "apple-blueberry flan pie" recipes that I can find. The closest thing that I can find is the below recipe which has blueberries and apple jelly, and is in a pie shell of sorts.


Fresh Blueberry Flan

Prep Time: 30 Minutes Bake Time 12 Minutes
Chill Time: 3 Hours

1 cup all purpose flour
2 tablespoon icing sugar
1/2 cup butter
1 package (6 serve size) Jello Vanilla Pudding and Pie Filling
2 cups milk
2 cups fresh blueberries
1/2 cup apple jelly
2 tablespoons orange liqueur

Sift the flour and sugar; cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse
meal. Press firmly into 9 inch flan pan. Chill 30 minutes. Bake at
425*F for 10 minutes or until golden, Cool.
Prepare pudding with milk, Place plastic wrap on pudding surface;
chill 30 minutes. Whisk until smooth; pour into shell. Chill 10
Top with berries. Melt jelly and liqueur over low heat. Cool and
spoon over fruit. Chill before serving. Makes 8 servings.

English Toffee

----- Original Message ----- 
From: I.J.
To: phaedrus
Sent: Saturday, December 13, 2003 4:28 PM
Subject: receipe for English toffee

> Please e mail me the receipe for English Toffee,
> Thank you, I. Jansson

Hello I.,

Please give your first name when making a request.

Note that REAL English toffee, like they have in England, is not the same as what we call "English toffee" in America. Note also that there are two types of American "English toffee". Recipes for all three kinds are below.


English Toffee  (English English Toffee)
Categories:  Candies

Yield: 1 Servings

2  c  Sugar
1  c  Butter
2  tb  Vinegar
1/4  c  Safeway gourmet golden syrup
1/4  c  Water

1.  Combine all ingredients in large saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring
until all dissolved, then boil without stirring until the mixture is dark
golden. Test by spooning a few drops into a cup of cold water. The toffee is
done when it hardens at once into a crisp ball. Take off heat and pour into
a flat oiled pan to make a layer about 1/2 inch thick. When toffee is tepid,
score into squares, and when cool break with a hammer and store in an
airtight container. Makes about 1. 5 pounds.
English Toffee,  American style

1 1/2 c  Whole blanched almonds, chopped (12 oz)
      1 c  Butter or margarine
  1 1/2 c  Sugar
      3 Tbs. Light corn syrup
      3 Tbs. Water
      8 Semisweet chocolate squares (1 oz. each)

   1. Place chopped almonds on a cooky sheet; toast in moderate oven
  (375F) 10 minutes, or until lightly golden.
   2. Combine butter or margarine, sugar, corn syrup and water in a
  medium-size heavy saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring
  constantly, to 300F on candy thermometer. (A teaspoonful of syrup
  will separate into brittle threads when dropped in cold water.)
  Remove from heat; stir in 1 cup of the toasted almonds. Pour into a
  buttered 13x9x2" pan, spreading quickly and evenly; cool. Turn out
  onto wax paper.
   3. Melt chocolate squares in the top of a double boiler over hot
  water; remove from heat. Spread half the melted chocolate over top of
  candy; sprinkle with 1/4 cup nuts; let set for about 20 minutes; turn
  candy over and spread with remaining chocolate and sprinkle with
  remaining nuts. Let stand until set. Break into pieces.
   Makes l pound.
English Toffee (also American style)

1 pound butter (4 sticks)
1 pound white sugar (2 cups)
24 oz. chocolate (2 packs of chocolate chips)
chopped nuts (don't use walnuts; they're too oily and don't stick to the
candy thermometer
saucepan with heavy bottom
jelly roll pan, or cookie sheet with sides that go up a little
another cookie sheet, or any clean flat thing that size
Put butter and sugar into saucepan and cook it over medium heat until the
mixture reaches 300 ("hard crack" stage). This is the most boring part of
making the toffee, because you have to stir it pretty much constantly while
it cooks, so that the bottom of the mixture won't burn. I usually like to
listen to the radio while I do this part. Don't be tempted to turn the heat
way up so it will reach 300 sooner, because then the mixture may not be as
smooth and nice as it would otherwise be.
When the mixture reaches 300, pour it onto the cookie sheet. Tilt it around
to get it evenly distributed. Then put the pan aside to cool a little.

Melt half the chocolate chips, and pour the melted chocolate onto the
hardened toffee. Spread it on evenly with a spatula, and sprinkle on
whatever quantity of chopped nuts is esthetically pleasing to you. Then put
the whole pan in the fridge.

When the chocolate on the toffee has hardened, melt the rest of the
chocolate chips. Now comes the tricky part. Put the other cookie sheet over
the toffee and flip the whole thing over. Get the toffee to detach itself
from the first pan so that it is resting on the new pan and the un-chocolate
side of it is exposed. Don't be freaked out if it breaks; that doesn't make
a difference. Now do that side the same way you did the other, and stick it
back in the fridge.

When the chocolate is hardened, you can take the toffee out and break it
into manageable pieces. Some of the chocolate always comes off in this
process, and some of the pieces don't break in the optimal way, but this
actually makes a good excuse for you to taste the broken pieces.

Spanish Cream Pie

----- Original Message ----- 
From: Lana
To: phaedrus
Sent: Saturday, December 13, 2003 3:53 PM
Subject: recipe

> Many years ago in high school they served Spanish cream Pie I have never
> found the recipe and would love it although its been 35 years ago  
> Thank you Lana

Hello Lana,

See below.


Spanish Cream Pie

1 pt. milk, scald
2 eggs, separated
1/2 c. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 pkg. plain gelatin
6 coconut macaroons (sticky ones)

Add sugar to egg yolks and vanilla; beat. Add a little scalded milk, then
add to milk on burner. Add gelatin and broken up macaroons. Stir until
dissolved. Beat egg whites stiff and fold in. Pour into baked shell
 Spanish Cream Pie

2   cups milk
1   cup sugar
3    egg whites, stiffly beaten
4   tablespoons cornstarch
1/4   teaspoon salt
1   teaspoon vanilla
   sliced banana
1    9 inch pie shell, baked

1. Combine milk, sugar, salt and cornstarch in a saucepan and cook until thick.
2. Fold in stiffly beaten egg whites and 1 t vanilla.
3. Let cool.
4. Pour into baked pie shell.
5. Place sliced bananas on top, then finish off with cool whip topping or
whipped cream.


----- Original Message ----- 
From: "sandi" 
To: phaedrus
Sent: Sunday, December 14, 2003 3:54 PM
Subject: speculaas?

I have lost a recipe for "speculaas" which I found in a magazine ~20 years
ago. The recipes I find on the internet do not match.  The cookie was
described as a Scandanavian butter cookie and included butter, cardamom,
ground anise seed, and light brown sugar.  The dough was refridgerated and
then rolled to 1/8th inch before cutting with cookie cutters.  Thank you

Hello Sandi,

Sandi, from the reading about spaculaas that I have just done, I would have to say that the information given in your magazine of 20 years ago is questionable. "Speculaas" are primarily a Dutch cookie, although they are popular in neighboring Belgium as well, and they are also made in Germany, where they are called "spekulatius". Speculaas date from at least the 17th century in Holland. I found no association of these cookies with the Scandinavian countries of Denmark, Norway, or Sweden. Speculaas cookies are related to Springerle cookies, the molded German cookies.

Another problem with your magazine's speculaas is the almonds. 99% of the speculaas recipes that I found contained almonds, almond slivers, or almond paste.

I only found one recipe that mentioned anise, and it had almonds as well, but no cardamom. Anise is not a typical speculaas ingredient. About 2/3 of the recipes that I've looked at contained cardamom, but 1/3 didn't.

So, this is why the recipes you saw on the Internet don't match the one you had. The recipe that you had was not traditional or typical. I did not find one like you describe anywhere.



1 cup softened unsalted butter
1 1/3 cups sugar
2 large eggs
1/4 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
3 3/4 cups flour
1 1/2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
2/3 cup finely ground blanched almonds
vegetable oil for oiling molds
flour for dusting molds

Cream the butter and sugar in a large bowl until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs 
and lemon zest. In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, cinnamon, ginger, allspice, 
nutmeg, and baking soda. Slowly beat in the dry ingredients and almonds until just 
blended. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and chill for 24 hours. Preheat the oven to 
350 degrees and lightly grease several baking sheets. Prepare molds by lightly brushing 
vegetable oil over the surface and lightly dusting with flour. Shake out the excess flour. 
Using only enough dough to to fit each mold, and keeping the rest refrigerated press the 
dough into the mold. Firmly press the dough once you have filled the mold to eliminate 
any air bubbles and cut away any excess dough. Flip the mold over and gently tap to remove 
the cookie. Place on the prepared cookie sheet. Before filling the mold again, dust with 
additional flour. Bake the cookies for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the cookies are just 
starting to turn golden brown on the edges. Remove from the oven and let the cookies sit 
on the sheets for 3 minutes. Transfer to wire racks and cool completely. Decorate if 
desired or place in an airtight container.
Speculaas (Belgian Spice Cookies)  
4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
3/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp cardamom
1/4 tsp ginger
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp white pepper
1 1/4 cups unsalted butter, softened
2 cups granulated sugar
finely grated zest of 1 medium lemon
2 eggs
1 egg white beaten with 2 tsp. water for glaze. (optional)

Preheat oven to 350F. Grease 2 large baking sheets. In a medium
bowl, combine flour, baking powder, spices, salt and pepper; set
aside. In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar together
until light and fluffy. Add lemon zest and eggs, one at a time
beating well after each addition. Add flour mixture 1/2 cup at a
time, blending well after each addition. Turn dough onto a well
floured surface and form into a ball. Cover and let stand 5 minutes.

If using Speculaas molds, generously dust molds with flour making
sure flour gets into the crevices. Invert molds and tap out excess
flour. Press dough into molds; level off with a thin-bladed knife.
Un-mold by inverting the mold over the prepared cookie sheet and
firmly tapping. If necessary, use the tip of a knife to loosen the
edge of the dough.

To roll out the cookies, work with half the dough at a time. On a
floured surface, roll one half of dough out into an 18x7 inch
rectangle 1/4 inch thick. Cut into 2x3 1/2 inch rectangles or
using a cookie cutter, cut into desired shapes. arrange cookies
1 1/2 inches apart on prepared cookie sheets. If desired, brush
tops with egg glaze. Bake until golden brown, 6-12 minutes depending
on the thickness and size of the cookie. Cool on racks. Store in
an airtight container at room temperature 1 week. Can be frozen
for longer storage. Makes about 3 dozen cookies.

Variation: Add 3/4 cup finely ground almonds to the flour mixture.

"These are traditionally served on St. Nicholas Day, December 5th (it is on 
December 5th that celebrating and presents are given to children). Served 
with hot coffee these spicy cookies are at treat anytime. A special wooden 
mold is typically is used, however, regular cookies cutter will due. In 
Germany an almost identical cookie is called a spekulatius. Be sure to follow 
the directions for preparing your molds. Usually they need to be well greased 
then heavily dusted with cornstarch. Remember to re-dust molds for each cookie."

type: formed
makes: 4 dozen

1 cup all-purpose flour 
1/4 teaspoon baking powder 
2 eggs
1/3 cup light brown sugar 
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
pinch of salt
1 teaspoon milk
1 teaspoon vanilla 
5 tablespoon butter, cold
1/4 cup blanched ground almonds

Preheat oven to 350F.
Lightly grease cookie sheets or line with parchment paper.
Combine flour and baking powder.
Add eggs, brown sugar, spices, milk, and vanilla.
Work dough with clean hands until dough is combined and thick.
Cut the butter into pieces.
Add butter and almonds.
Knead quickly until a smooth dough is reached. (Add flour or milk as needed.)
Roll out dough between two pieces of lightly floured wax paper until 1/4" in thickness.
Carefully remove the top sheet of wax paper.
Press into prepared speculaas or clay molds (or cut-out with a cookie cutter). 
Be sure to press out any bubbles and trim off excess. Tap out cookies and place on cookie sheets.
Bake 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.
Transfer to wire racks to cool. 

1/2 lb. butter, softened 
2 cups brown sugar 
Grated rind of 1 lemon 
2 eggs 
4 cups flour 
1 tsp. baking powder 
1 tbsp. cinnamon 
1 tsp. nutmeg 
1/4 tsp. cardamom 
1/4 cup blanched slivered almonds 
2 to 4 tbsp. milk 

Cream the butter and sugar until they are fluffy. Add the lemon zest and eggs. 
Mix the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and cardamom, and stir into the 
butter mixture with the almonds. Add enough milk to make the dough malleable; 
turn out onto a counter and knead until smooth. Chill well. Roll out on a floured 
countertop. Cut into bars with a knife, a cookie cutter or a speculaas mold. 
Place on greased baking sheets and bake at 350 degrees for about 25 minutes, 
until golden brown. Makes 40 cookies. 
Speculaas  Douwe Wieberdink - The Netherlands

1 cup butter, softened       
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon 
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar       
1 teaspoon grated nutmeg 
2 tablespoons milk    
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves 
2 teaspoons grated orange rind   
1/2 teaspoon pepper 
2 cups all-purpose flour     
1/2 teaspoon anise seeds, crushed 
1 tablespoon baking powder       
1/2 cup blanched whole almonds 
1/2 teaspoon salt 

Cream butter in a large mixing bowl; add sugar, and beat until light and fluffy.  
Add milk and orange rind; beat until well blended. 
Sift together remaining ingredients, except almonds, in a medium mixing bowl.  
Gradually add to creamed mixture, beating well.  (Use additional milk, if necessary.) 
Divide dough in half; press each portion to 1/2 -inch thickness on greased cookie sheets.  
Cut each portion into 10 rectangles, and press 4 almonds into each rectangle.  
Preheat oven to 425 degrees for 7 minutes; reduce heat to 325 degrees, and bake 25 minutes.  
Cool slightly on cookie sheets; remove to wire racks to cool completely.  
Break cookies apart, and store in an airtight container. Yield: about 2 dozen. 
Note: Wooden cookie molds may be used to press dough into assorted shapes.  
Omit almonds when following this procedure. 

Date Pudding

----- Original Message ----- 
From: Linda
To: phaedrus
Sent: Monday, December 15, 2003 10:27 PM
Subject: 1940's-1950's in Iowa -- Date Pudding

Dear Uncle Phaedrus,

I have been searching printed books for years and then the Internet (every
web crawler available) attempting to find a special recipe of my husband's
childhood. We have been married for 30 years and he talked about it often
enough to get me looking.

My husband, Larry, is from Des Moines, Iowa, and when he was about 10-15
years old (1948-1953), his mother made a dessert that seems from his
description like a date pudding to me, but it had a particular light-colored
swirl to it, almost beige he says, almost gelatinous, although he remembers
no Knox gelatin used.

He recalls his mother using dates that were soaked and chopped, walnuts,
cream or heavy milk (most milk from the Iowa farm then was heavy and rich!),
brown sugar, and flour. No eggs that he remembers.

The ingredients were mixed by hand and dark date mixture was placed in a
deep bowl and baked, probably because on the farm she didn't have fancy
bakeware. The dessert was soft and served warm from the bowl just by
scooping, which makes me think it was a pudding rather than a cake as we
know it now. She served it with whipped cream.

I have collected about 20 recipes but none were right; they usually had too
many ingredients and none produced the unique pale swirl. I tried your
Favorites and then your Archives; although you have some Amish date
puddings, they still don't seem like the one.

Again, the key characteristic is the baked mixture, when finished, had a
lighter colored swirl amidst the dark brown background of the date mixture.
Could be my mother-in-law just didn't mix it well!

I appreciate your work finding lost recipes and maybe after all my
searching, you can locate this vintage gelatinous-like baked date dessert
from Iowa in the late 1940's-early 1950's. It would mean a great deal to
recreate this wonderful childhood experience for Larry. I would definitely
bake it again in just a deep bowl.

Thank you,

Hello Linda,

How about the ones below?


Old  Fashioned  Date  Pudding

 Ingredients :
 2 c. brown sugar
 3 c. water
 2 tbsp. butter or margarine
 1 c. sugar
 2 c. flour
 6-8 oz. dates, cut up
 3/4 c. chopped walnuts
 1 c. milk
 2 tsp. baking powder

 Preparation :
    Stir together brown sugar and water in a saucepan; boil 5
 minutes.  Pour into greased 13 x 9 inch pan; let cool while
 preparing the rest of the ingredients. Cream together butter and
 sugar.  Stir in flour with baking powder alternately with the milk.
 Add dates and nuts.  (Will be thick.)  Spoon on top of cooled syrup
 mixture.  Bake at 350 degrees about 45 minutes.  Serves 12-15.

Upside - Down  Date  Pudding

 Ingredients :
 1 c. snipped dates
 1 c. boiling water
 1/2 c. granulated sugar
 1/2 c. brown sugar
 1 egg
 2 tbsp. butter or margarine, melted
 1 1/2 c. sifted all-purpose flour
 1/2 tsp. salt
 1 tsp. baking soda
 1/2 tsp. baking powder
 1/2 c. chopped walnuts
 1 1/2 c. brown sugar
 1 tbsp. butter or margarine, melted
 1 1/2 c. boiling water

 Preparation :
    Combine dates; add the 1 cup boiling water.  Cool.  In mixing
 bowl, blend granulated sugar, the 1/2 cup brown sugar, the egg, and
 the 2 tablespoons butter.  Sift together flour, salt, soda, and
 baking powder.  Add to the sugar mixture.  Stir in walnuts and
 cooled date mixture.  Pour into 11 x 7 x 1 1/2 inch cake pan.
 Combine the 1 1/2 cups brown sugar, the 1 tablespoon butter, and the
 1 1/2 cups boiling water; pour over the date mixture.  Bake in 375
 degree oven for 40 minutes.  Cut in squares; invert each on a plate.
  Serve warm, with vanilla ice cream.  Makes 9 to 12 servings.
 Date  Pudding

 Ingredients :
 2 c. brown sugar
 1 tbsp. butter
 3 c. hot water
 1/4 c. sugar
 3/4 c. milk
 1/4 c. butter
 1/4 tsp. salt
 1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
 3 tsp. baking powder
 2 c. flour
 1 c. dates, cut up, soaked in hot water while preparing other ingredients
 1/2 or 1 c. English walnuts, chopped

 Preparation :
   Put onto boil a few minutes and pour in bottom of a bread pan,
 9"x13".   Mix together and pour in pan with prepared brown sugar.
 Bake at 350 degrees.  Serve hot or cold with whipped cream or Cool


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