FOOD FOR THOUGHT—Desserts for Special Occasions

By on May 2, 2016
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By LYDIA BOLEN

 

May is a happy month! It is full of special occasions such as Mother’s Day, graduations, and events marking the end of spring and the beginning of summer.

I’m sharing dessert recipes that are good for those occasions—and are also some of my favorites year round.

Coconut Pound Cake is an old-fashioned recipe with many variations. It can be served plain or topped with berries.

Chocolate Pecan Pie is rich and delicious. It is also known by the name Kentucky Derby Pie.

Fresh Strawberry Pie is pretty and easy to prepare. It is best to serve the day it is made.

Hope you enjoy them as much as I do!

 

 

Coconut-Pound-CakeCOCONUT POUND CAKE

  • 1 1/2 cups butter, softened
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 6 eggs
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 8 oz. sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon coconut extract
  • 1 teaspoon rum extract
  • 1 cup flaked coconut

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a Bundt cake pan or a 10-inch tube pan.

Cream together butter and sugar in a mixing bowl. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each one.

In a separate bowl, sift together flour and baking soda.

Add flour and baking soda and mix into the batter.

Stir flaked coconut into the batter.

Spoon batter into greased and floured cake pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 75 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Remove from oven and allow to cool 15 minutes before removing from pan.

SYRUP:

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract

While cake is cooling, make the syrup by combining water and sugar in a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring frequently.

Remove from heat and stir in almond extract.

Before removing cake from pan, brush about one-third of the syrup onto the cake bottom.

Invert cake onto a serving plate and brush on the remaining syrup.

Cool completely before serving.

 

Kentucky-Derby-PieCHOCOLATE PECAN PIE

  • 2 eggs, slightly beaten
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 (6 oz.) package semisweet chocolate morsels
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 unbaked 9-inch pastry shell

Optional:

  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 1 tablespoon bourbon
  • 1/4 cup sifted powdered sugar

 

Combine first 4 ingredients in a medium mixing bowl; beat with mixer just until blended. Stir in pecans, chocolate morsels, and vanilla.

Pour filling into pastry shell and bake at 350 degrees for 45 to 50 minutes.

Beat whipping cream and bourbon until foamy; gradually add powdered sugar, beating until soft peaks form.

Serve pie warm with whipped cream.

 

Fresh-Strawberry-PieFRESH STRAWBERRY PIE

  • 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 1 9-inch pie shell, baked and cooled
  • 4 cups fresh strawberries, washed and dried
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 cups whipping cream
  • 2 tablespoons sugar

Sprinkle powdered sugar over the cooked pie crust.

Fill the crust with 2 cups of berries (cut them in half)

In a saucepan, crush the remaining 2 cups berries with a potato masher. Add in sugar and cornstarch. Stir to combine. Cook and stir constantly over medium heat for 8-10 minutes or until the mixture is thickened and clear.

Add in lemon juice.

Remove pan from heat and cool slightly.

Pour berry mixture over the berries in the crust.

Cover and refrigerate for 4 hours.

Before serving, whip the cream and gradually add in sugar until peaks form.

Spoon whipped cream over pie wedges before serving each piece.