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Southern desserts you can't live without

I was thinking about old timey desserts the other day and wanted to know what "gramma" dessert you couldn't live without or don't see anymore. My would be raisin pie, kind of a shoe-fly with raisins.

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  1. A good made correctly lemon ice box pie
    clancys has a good one
    Degas is alright

    the rest are for the birds

    1 Reply
    1. I really like pecan pie. Although, I can't quite put my finger on a favorite in NOLA. Any thoughts?

      2 Replies
      1. re: oldfast1

        Brigsten’s pecan pie is outrageously good.

        1. re: oldfast1

          Ooooooh! Camelia Grill had the best pecan pie I ever tasted, but I haven't been there in a coon's age. Don't know if it survived.

        2. My grandma not from the south but a good friend of hers made it. A simple pecan and peach cobbler. It was amazing. I still to this day make it. Basic cobbler, but she used fresh peaches and topped with lots of pecans and some honey and brown sugar and bourbon in the peaches. It was decadent.

          I may have to post to my favorites, it really is good.

          1 Reply
              1. re: thecajunfoodie

                Brings back great memories of both, along with Blackberry Pie with Sweet Dough. And the bread pudding in my family had that wonderful cream custard sauce nobody makes any more.

                1. re: thecajunfoodie

                  Bread pudding, bread pudding, bread pudding! Topped with a kick-a** whiskey sauce. Never mind the wimpy creme anglaise or, God forbid, fruit sauce.

                  1. re: BrooksNYC

                    Ever have Bon Ton's? You will need coffee with chicory after that.

                    1. re: mrsfury

                      You got dat rite, Mrs. Fury. Black coffee, a coupla slaps across the face, and a cold shower.

                      When I was a kid, BP was always served with a stiff whiskey sauce. Then, about 25 years ago, local chefs started easing up on the booze, or abandoning whiskey sauce altogether in favor of other toppings.

                      The Gumbo Shop's bread pudding, which used to better-than-decent, was a total letdown the last time I tried it, thanks to the lackluster sauce. Sigh.....wish people would quit messin' with the classics!

                    2. re: BrooksNYC

                      While I love the translucent "hard core" whiskey sauce, I'm also a fan of sauces that are closer to a creme anglaise consistency yet still contain a couple good shots of whiskey.

                      So far, I have never had someone attempt to serve me bread pudding with a fruit sauce and I hope to never encounter such a ridiculous dish.

                      However, I do admit to enjoying the white chocolate and bananas foster variations and willing accept chefs deviations from the original in that direction.


                      1. re: thecajunfoodie

                        Bread pudding with a peach bourbon sauce and candied pecans is great. Make a standard bread pudding ... I do add a little bourbon in the mix and some chopped raisins and pecans and dried peaches and then topped with a reduction of pureed peaches, bourbon, thickened with some apple cider and reduced until thick and and served over the pudding with some whipped topping and ground pecans. Decadent and easy.

                        1. re: kchurchill5

                          Hi Kim. I made your fudge today - it's DELICIOUS and much faster and easier than the conventional recipe.

                          Thanks again!

                          1. re: bayoucook

                            I'm so glad you liked it. Good and simple. Nothing fancy but you can make hundreds of versions and works every time.

                            I made tons of it for work every year cuz it is soo inexpensive and easy. My sons favorite it peanut butter and chocolate, 2 layers with nuts in between. Still easy but this is great for a party. Make 1/2 batches of 2 or three and wrap in small gift bags the clear ones and tie with a pretty bow and give as a dinner gift. Easy, cheap, quick and impressive and it keeps well.

                            I makes tons for Christmas and give little bags to 50 or more people but 5-7 bites per person is so inexpensive you can do it and it is great for working relations and people love it. Now everyone just expects it :)


                            You can always catch me a kchurchill5@comcast.net, it is on my profile too. Any questions, always there to help or share. Love new ideas.

                            1. re: kchurchill5

                              Good old fudge. Every family has a favorite recipe.
                              But do you realize that this is the ONLY mention of chocolate in a pretty long thread about Southern desserts.
                              Hard to believe, isn't it?

                              I often laugh that climate and history played such a part in our food. Too damned hot for chocolate on store and pantry shelves before air conditioning in the hot and humid South. We were poor and largely rural. Chocolate was an expensive import until that nice Mr. Hersey made powdered cocoa available in the late 1800s. A long time before we had Nestle's morsels or blocks of chocolate. The 1930s? Much of the South didn't even have electricity.
                              A friend of mine laughs that you can always tell the Southerners at parties. We'll shove others aside to get at the desserts with coconut, lemon, or pecan, leaving the chocolate to others.
                              Those old favorites are still the nearest to our hearts, aren't they?

                              1. re: MakingSense

                                Very true, never thought of that. Today people can't get enough chocolate and as much as I like chocolate ... I still enjoy some of the other sweet treats. I love lemon and pecans probably more. And I love the cobblers. I find the regional interests just in the US are so diverse when it comes to not only recipes, but likes and dislikes Always interesting to see what people like or cook most often.

                                FL, we cook seafood all the time and a big part of our diet where in MI where I lived, not nearly as much. But cherries, apples, strawberries and local meats and dairy are a big part of the diet.

                                1. re: MakingSense

                                  You are so right, never thought of it like that. It always surprises me when someone doesn't like coconut.

                                  1. re: MakingSense

                                    Speaking of coconut and pecans, I have a fabulous cake recipe that should be a southern thing. Its called a Paul Revere cake covered in toasted coconut and has pecans mixed in to the frosting and I think the batter. It is a bit time consuming but oh so worth it. I posted the recipe here a long time ago.

                                    1. re: danhole

                                      I am so going to try to find that one - I remember it from my childhood and I WANT IT NOW!

                                        1. re: danhole

                                          Hello, Easter dessert! Thanks, danhole.

                                          1. re: bayoucook

                                            You are welcome. Truly one of the best things I have ever tasted! But very rich! Enjoy!


                                            1. re: danhole

                                              I don't like to use cake mixes, so I wonder if you have ever made this recipe with a standard yellow cake recipe.

                                              1. re: roxlet

                                                I just go by her recipe, but that would probably work.

                                                1. re: roxlet

                                                  That might depend on what you mean by "a standard yellow cake recipe."
                                                  This cake uses 3 cups of inclusions. A layer cake that's meant to be light might not support that much extra weight. Perhaps a recipe for a bundt cake would. A pound cake might be too dry.
                                                  Note that the recipe that Danhole referred to had a box of instant pudding added to it (extra sugar plus starches) and I think that the recipe calls for more liquid (oil and water) and eggs than most regular recipes might.
                                                  You'll probably have to adapt your recipe somewhat rather than just dumping in coconut and pecans. If the batter is too light, they'll sink to the bottom.

                          2. re: thecajunfoodie

                            TART A LA BOUILLE!! I have NEVER, EVER seen this on a menu ANYWHERE outside the South. I have to make it at home and then I get "but it's just a custard pie".

                            Also, when did banana pudding become some kind of fancy pie-looking thing?

                            And when did people stop making trifle? All the best trifles I had were in the South.

                            Hummingbird cake. Nobody outside of the South knows what Hummingbird cake is.

                            Red velvet cake has invaded Los Angeles but I haven't seen anybody make Lane cake.

                            People in the South still know what goes into a pound cake (that would be a pound of butter creamed with a pound of sugar, a pound of eggs (8 large) and a pound of flour, with a shot of vanilla and a pinch of salt and THAT'S IT, baked in a slow oven for 2 to 2 1/2 hours). Every time I see pound cake recipes with stuff like baking powder in it, I feel like a tromped-on toad frog.

                            1. Banana pudding made the way it should be : with a custard and no meringue. I still make it two-three times a year. And chess pie. And Lane cake at Christmas. Would like to make divinity but it hates me!

                              9 Replies
                                1. re: bayoucook

                                  How about mango pudding. I had it once, never made it personally. WOW! Any recipes. It had a crunchy like oatmeal crust, but seemed pretty standard otherwise except for the bourbon ... Southern you said right?

                                  1. re: kchurchill5

                                    Sounds delicious - wonder if it could be make with fresh peaches?

                                    1. re: bayoucook

                                      I use fresh peaches always. I can send recipe. Got to wait until I get home late tonight around 8 or so. It is peaches, bourbon, some brown sugar, spices. And then top with all the good stuff. I will send, just so you have the right stuff. Good and simple. I like to use a large glass pyrex, but pie pan works fine too

                                        1. re: bayoucook

                                          Strawberry Shortcake was always to me especially as a child was the greatest desert on earth something really special.

                                    1. re: Scargod

                                      And warm pudding so the banana flavor really permeates it! So simple and so easy to get wrong if you short-cut this old classic!

                                      1. re: MakingSense

                                        My friends' daughter's never make a "real" banana pudding with the custard. It's some kind of recipe that uses a jello product and sour cream. Yuk!

                                  2. pralines

                                    Not a full-fledged dessert member, but one of the best and shining examples of Southern "cooking" at its best.

                                    And, of course, at the other end of the meal, it would have to be hush-puppies. Still is hard to find them outside the South, let alone Good ones outside the South!

                                    2 Replies
                                    1. re: FriedClamFanatic

                                      Actually, if you take a simple hush puppy recipe (without the green onions and what not), fry them up, and then drizzle with a little honey, Steen's cane syrup, and/or shake some powdered sugar over them, you have a pretty tasty dessert!


                                      1. re: thecajunfoodie

                                        sounds good! I often slice in half and fry up cornbread for breakfast

                                    2. For me, it's down to two:

                                      Banana pudding with vanilla wafers, though this is more of a Mississippi thing, and I cannot even recall a good one in NOLA>

                                      The other is pecan pie. Fortunately for me, my wife makes the best in the world, so I only order it to compare.


                                      4 Replies
                                      1. re: Bill Hunt

                                        The now departed Mama Rosa's on Rampart had a very good banana pudding, using the receipe right off the side of the Nabisco vanilla wafers box.

                                        I'm also fond of lemon ice box pie, another southern classic. Or red velvet cake.

                                        1. re: underworld gourmet

                                          Sorry that I missed Mama Rosa's. I love a good banana pudding.

                                          I also miss the various pies from the old Delmonico. Their chocolate, coconut and banana are the paradigm for all other pies in my book.

                                          I am trying to come up with a spectacular dessert, that I've had in the last dozen years. Many have been good, but none sticks out as great - this is US/Europe, North/South/East/West. Most just do not make that lasting impression.


                                          1. re: underworld gourmet

                                            i also have a weakness for the good ol' nabisco banana pudding with a nice squirt of redi-whip on top!

                                          2. re: Bill Hunt

                                            The natives of Middle Tennessee are equally incapable of imagining a banana pudding without vanilla wafers - I think they'd sooner have a breakfast without grits.

                                            Pecan pie is to me THE essential Southern dessert; strawberry shortcake was much more common in Illinois when I was a kid than it ever was when I lived in the South, so although I'm passionate about it (as long as it's SHORTcake and not SPONGE cake!) I can't consider it to be especially Southern.

                                          3. Camellia Grill had a wicked banana creme pie, best eaten at 2am after a chili cheese omelette. way back when, for some reason it was seasonal and only served in February.
                                            I still make my own, but nothing compares.

                                            1. Rice Pudding
                                              Bread Pudding
                                              Banana Pudding
                                              Strawberry Shortcake
                                              Lemon Ice Box Pie
                                              Pecan Pie
                                              Creole Cream Cheese Ice Cream
                                              Rock n Roll Stage Planks

                                              6 Replies
                                              1. re: Isabella

                                                What, pray tell, is a Rock&Roll Stage plank?

                                                1. re: FriedClamFanatic

                                                  It is a gingerbread that is rectangular in shape, has scalloped edges and back in the day had a very light glaze on the top. IIRC glase was pink.

                                                  They are thicker now and no icing.
                                                  With a glass of cold milk on a hot summer day . . . divine!

                                                  Or in the winter with hot tea.

                                                  1. re: Isabella

                                                    They still sell variations of those at several gas stations around South Louisiana if I am not mistaken, glazed (in pink!) and relatively thin.

                                                    Maybe these are still way off of what you remember though, and the "Rock n Roll Stage Plank" is a new one on me but I like it!


                                                    1. re: thecajunfoodie

                                                      relatively thin is subjective. The original, well original that I remember, was more like the thickness of a gingersnap cookie. Now it is a little poofier and softer, instead of cruncy. What you described is the real deal tho.

                                                      1. re: thecajunfoodie

                                                        i remember those, too! they were good and not too sweet. the pink glaze was crunchy when you bit down.

                                                      2. re: Isabella

                                                        I forgot about those! We used to love them.

                                                  2. We love Sweet Potato Pie, and since I worked several years now perfecting it, I just have to make Sweet Potato pie with Praline topping at least once a month. For me it's just the perfect pie.

                                                    Oh I almost forgot, the other one is my Lemon Chess Pie, yum.

                                                    20 Replies
                                                    1. re: chef chicklet

                                                      Sweet potato pie is the best. Never liked sweet potatoes till about 10 years ago. Probably because all I had was mashed with marshmellow other than my grandmas with bourbon. The bourbon one was the only one I was willing to eat. since I have developed a absolute love of the sweet potato. And the pie is great.

                                                      1. re: kchurchill5

                                                        yes me too! Then I changed.. I can eat a sweet potato microwaved and with nothing and be happy. But even happier if i mix in butter and cream up the sweet potato, then add some brown sugar, run it back under the broiler and omg. We love those.

                                                        I love sweet potato pie, I worked and worked on the pate brisee and got that pretty well perfect. Then the pie, and then the last addition was the praline topping; holy moly.
                                                        oh and sweet potato scones too!

                                                        1. re: chef chicklet

                                                          Sweet potato anything ... just no marshmellows :)

                                                          1. re: kchurchill5

                                                            We're together on that! no marshmellows.

                                                            1. re: chef chicklet

                                                              Sweet potatoes are so good...savory, sweet, nuts, with spinach, kale, soups, ravioli, pies, honey, fillings anything but marshmellows.

                                                              Hey every have 'phyllo filled with kale or spinach wilted, goat cheese and roasted sweet potato and onions and pecans. Then baked and sliced and topped with with drizzled honey It is a great appetizer or side dish for grilled pork. I also do it the easy way and make this in a simple store bought canned crescent roll. Spread some of the cheese on the some of the onions, squash and spinach or kale and then roll. Individual rolls. Same thing. A bit different crust but depends how much time you want to spend. Either or a great simple appetizer or side dish.

                                                              Ok ... off track. But with the honey it can actually be a savory desert. I love it. You could add some sweet orange marmalade on the inside and make it very sweet which would also be great in flavor.

                                                              1. re: chef chicklet

                                                                Agreed. Foodnetwork.com has a recipe called something like Sweet Potatoes without a Marshmallow in sight - make it for Thanksgiving and it was delicious. Maybe from Alton Brown?

                                                                1. re: bayoucook

                                                                  That I could handle, just no white critters, floating on top LOL

                                                                  1. re: kchurchill5

                                                                    Agree. I just roast them, mash them with niter kebbeh (which is easy to make -- it's basically ghee that's been made while some warm spices hung out in the bottom of the pot) and run them back in the oven to get a crust on top.

                                                                  2. re: bayoucook

                                                                    i made alton's sweet potato pie recipe last thanksgiving and it was wonderful!

                                                          2. re: chef chicklet

                                                            How could I forget Sweet Potato Pie and Pralines!

                                                            1. re: chef chicklet

                                                              Or just a plain buttermilk Chess Pie!

                                                              1. re: danhole

                                                                I was pulling together several on my recipes for Lemon Chess pie yesterday, and I noticed a few things. One calls for white cornmeal, I wonder why? The pie is really golden amber after baking.

                                                                I'm gearing up for Lemon Chess pie nade with buttermilk.

                                                                1. re: chef chicklet

                                                                  The recipe I have just says cornmeal. Doesn't specify white.

                                                                  1. re: chef chicklet

                                                                    Southern cooks traditionally used only white cornmeal, deeming yellow cornmeal fit only for hogs. Maybe the recipe you have was written by someone who wanted to make sure the right cornmeal was used. I write that in my chess pie recipe, just to be sure yellow isn't used.

                                                                    1. re: browniebaker

                                                                      really? love that bit of trivia, I will keep it in then.

                                                                      1. re: browniebaker

                                                                        Never thought of it but that's so true. We never had yellow cornmeal.
                                                                        The only flour they'd buy was White Lily, and that's all I use to this day except for specialty flours (cake, bread). And I never had a chess pie that didn't have cornmeal in it.

                                                                        1. re: bayoucook

                                                                          Re: cake flour. One rainy day last year, I was out of cake flour and of course didn't feel like going out in the crummy weather.
                                                                          I decided to try White Lily, reasoning that the low gluten that made baked goods like biscuits and other cakes so tender might work just as well.
                                                                          Bingo! White Lily worked just as well as Swansdown or whatever that brand is. The cake came out just as good or maybe even better.
                                                                          No more cake flour for me.

                                                                          1. re: MakingSense

                                                                            In that case, for me either, thanks.

                                                                            1. re: bayoucook

                                                                              Try it. It may have worked ONLY for the recipes that I used it on. It could fail horribly for you. I've never been completely sure that "cake flour" was a "real thing" since there are always suggestions for substitutes that don't seem that complicated.

                                                                      2. re: chef chicklet

                                                                        I made a Lemon Chess Pie for my Cali born boyfriend last week (he had never had one). I was going through my hometown cookbook (the ones where everyone in town sends in their recipes) and all of the Lemon Chess recipies (there were four) had cornmeal except one -a recipie that was supposedly Lady Bird Johnson's. I'm allergic to corn so I made that one. It was very tasty. The mouth feel wasn't exactly right, but it was a damn fine pie.

                                                                  2. pralines, beignets, and bread pudding. mmmm....i wish i could have all this now..

                                                                    1. Any time someone starts a thread on Southern Food it takes off. I know for me all I've been thinking about are the wonderful desserts of the South and my favorite sweet things.
                                                                      Without a doubt don't you think the South has the best cakes?

                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                      1. re: chef chicklet

                                                                        no doubt, chef c! do you recall that thread on "regional cakes"? http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/464253
                                                                        i outline my family recipe for sour cream pound cake.

                                                                        1. re: alkapal

                                                                          oh yes! thanks for the remider and the thread. That was fun!

                                                                      2. I could not live without these favorites:

                                                                        Japanese fruit pie (it's Southern; raisins, pecans, coconut in a chess filling)
                                                                        chess pie
                                                                        sweet-potato pie
                                                                        peach cobbler
                                                                        fried fruit pies
                                                                        banana pudding

                                                                        17 Replies
                                                                        1. re: browniebaker

                                                                          My grandmother used to dry apples and make fried fruit pies with them. I had forgotten about those!

                                                                          1. re: bayoucook

                                                                            Depends on how far South you are. Apples don't grow in the Deep South.
                                                                            We never had them when we were kids except for mealy storage apples and never could figure out what the deal was. We read about them in books. About all those Yankee kids bobbing for apples at Halloween. Why would somebody take one of those mealy things to a teacher?
                                                                            Apple trees? Not in Louisiana. They don't grow South of Virginia.
                                                                            Cookbooks extolling Mom's Apple Pie?
                                                                            Our Moms made Mock Apple Pie with Ritz Crackers.

                                                                            We waited with anticipation for the citrus in late Fall.

                                                                            1. re: MakingSense

                                                                              Until your comments, I had never given it a lot of thought. We had pears (though the cooking varieties, and not anything that one would eat raw), but never saw an apple tree, until I went to Arkansas and Missouri. Now, our A&P did have pretty good apples, unlike the ones that you describe. Yeah, those are still around, and we see them all too often. Same for peaches, but that's another story, and another thread.

                                                                              Heck, I felt the same way about Autumn leaves. I thought that it was a plot to exploit the minds of kids in school in the Deep South. Even when the teachers brought in examples, I thought they were fake - until I ventured a bit north, and saw them for myself.


                                                                              1. re: Bill Hunt

                                                                                yes, pear trees. my mom grew up in the florida panhandle, and they had pear trees, and lots of pears to "put up." those pear preserves make the best cobblers.

                                                                              2. re: MakingSense

                                                                                Apples are grown in abundance in the mountains of NC, also in SC and GA. Even in the Piedmont of NC, my grandmother managed to nurture several apple trees. Apple pies, both the "regular" kind and the fried kind (called apple jacks in the part of NC where my family hailed from) were commonplace growing up.

                                                                                To the already-mentioned pecan pie, sweet potato pie, banana pudding, caramel cake, and red velvet cake, I'll also add Huguenot torte, chocolate chess pie, buttermilk pie, and Coca-Cola cake.

                                                                                1. re: Low Country Jon

                                                                                  In some areas. See Zones 32 and 36 on this map. http://www.tomatofest.com/tomato-grow...
                                                                                  Outside of those, you get into the Deep South and the weather doesn't cooperate. The nights are too warm and there isn't the same change of seasons.
                                                                                  Roughly corresponding to the Zones 8, 9 and 10 on the old USDA map which only covered Winter hardiness.

                                                                                  1. re: MakingSense

                                                                                    My wife reports that growing up here in Charleston (which shares a zone with north Florida on your map), her father sucessfully raised "real" apple trees. It was not the most productive environment for them, but they did produce edible fruit. We can also grow limes, sour oranges, bananas, and papayas here in addition to the more common strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, plums, and peaches, so I think our little "micro-climate" offers a good balance to an astonishing range of fruit.

                                                                                    1. re: Low Country Jon

                                                                                      "Micro-climate" is the magic word. That's why gardeners experiment. But many of the things that you can grow in Charleston might struggle in Orangeburg and wouldn't have a prayer in Columbia.
                                                                                      I've had things do fine in my sheltered garden for years until they get zapped in one weird Winter. Things that I can grow won't survive in my daughter's less sheltered garden less than a mile from here.

                                                                                      As a general rule, for fruits or vegetables to become part of the local food, they have to be fairly widely grown and available.
                                                                                      Apples don't grow in the Gulf South, nor does citrus survive very far inland, e.g. we had it in New Orleans backyards but it was uncommon in Baton Rouge, only 90 miles upriver, and nonexistent in Alexandria.

                                                                                      1. re: Low Country Jon

                                                                                        a couple years back, i saw some beautiful meyer lemon trees and kumquats in gorgeous pots on private patios throughout the charleston garden club's historic home tour http://ocw.esiteasp.com/gardenclubofc... -- (i thought ours was in may....) folks, you've gotta check out their website. FOOD RELATED: the tour is finished off with a buffet of home-made goodies and punch, from the lovely ladies who run the club.

                                                                                        that tour was quite a treat, especially ending up with the cookies, cakes and candies from old charleston family recipes. i love, love, love charleston. my nephew, a citadel grad, lives in mt. pleasant.

                                                                                  2. re: MakingSense

                                                                                    I don't know if they were "real" apples, but we had scrappy trees with apples on them and we'd eat them green.

                                                                                    1. re: bayoucook

                                                                                      Probably some kind of "wild" apple, not an orchard type that was planted for fruit.
                                                                                      Until the latter half of the 20th century, fruit was more localized in the South. Then plant scientists began to develop strains that were more cold or heat tolerant so that they could be planted in wider areas.
                                                                                      Now there are pecan trees that grow slightly North of Virginia and, with some care, figs are OK most Winters along the Eastern Seaboard up to New Jersey and New York, much to the delight of Italian communities.

                                                                                      That map I posted is from an heirloom tomato seed company. Not all tomatoes will grow everywhere. Some won't set fruit successfully in some sections of the US no matter what you do. It's not that you're a poor gardener, just that the plant isn't meant to do well where you live.

                                                                                      1. re: MakingSense

                                                                                        I'll take tomatoes over apples ANY DAY!

                                                                                        1. re: bayoucook

                                                                                          yeah buddy, fresh out of the garden, a little s&p, some wonderbread and hellman's. drippy and delicious!!!

                                                                                            1. re: bayoucook

                                                                                              come to think of it, i can't recall ever sitting down to eat a tomato sandwich!

                                                                                        2. re: MakingSense

                                                                                          i've heard of crab apple pie down south. they're small and quite unedible when raw-- very bitter. they look a bit like a cherry or rosehip.

                                                                                  3. re: browniebaker

                                                                                    I've never had Japanese fruit pie but add bread pudding and you've got my list!

                                                                                  4. ALIGATOR PIE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I dunno if it's southern but I love it!

                                                                                    1. sour cream pound cake (recipe: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/4642... ).
                                                                                      my mom's pear cobbler (recipe is here: http://www.chow.com/recipes/13522 ).
                                                                                      coconut custard pie
                                                                                      key lime pie
                                                                                      pecan pie that isn't too sweet
                                                                                      pecan logs

                                                                                      1. What everybody else said.

                                                                                        lemon bars
                                                                                        coconut pies
                                                                                        and Southern Tea Cakes - those plain cookies that everybody's grandmother made like these http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Southern...

                                                                                        24 Replies
                                                                                        1. re: MakingSense

                                                                                          The tea cakes were a staple in our house, with the sugar sprinkled on after baking?

                                                                                          1. re: MakingSense

                                                                                            I love tea cakes and have tried tons of recipes looking for one that tastes like my Grandmother's did. I have gotten close but haven't found the right one yet. Of course, it is fun trying. :)

                                                                                            1. re: Boudleaux

                                                                                              Such a simple cookie and so hard to hit exactly right.
                                                                                              Most of the recipes that I see are drop cookies, but the ones that my aunt, the Tea Cake Queen, made were cut with a round cutter.
                                                                                              I guess every family had their own recipe.

                                                                                              1. re: MakingSense

                                                                                                Have you tried this recipe? It calls for cutting the tea cakes with a round cutter.


                                                                                              2. re: Boudleaux

                                                                                                Just what is a "tea cake"? If you don't mind me asking? I invison them to almost be between a scone and a cupcake? But that's just my imagination, I really don't know.

                                                                                                1. re: chef chicklet

                                                                                                  No, a tea cake is actually a crisp-ish cookie dusted with powdered sugar.


                                                                                                  1. re: chef chicklet

                                                                                                    The picture that Das Ubergeek doesn't look like the tea cakes I grew up with. Those look like Wedding Cookies. Maybe different parts of the South had different tea cakes. The ones I grew up with are a plain, simple cookie that are sprinkled with sugar (not powdered sugar) while still hot. Kind of like a sugar cookie. My Grandmother's were "chewy" (in a good way) rather than crispy, I guess because that's how she liked them. Look at the link that Making Sense posted.

                                                                                                    1. re: Boudleaux

                                                                                                      my mom's tea cakes were tender, about 3" diameter, and had a slight almond (or vanilla?) scent from extract. she has lost the recipe, but i wish we could find it. i could eat way too many!

                                                                                                      das ubergeek's photo looks close, but mom's were puffier.

                                                                                                      1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                        Interesting! I've always called those in Das Ubergeek's picture wedding cookies. I took an informal poll in my office and a girl from Nebraska said her Mother made "Russian Tea Cakes" and she described the ones with powdered sugar. Interesting bit of food anthropology.

                                                                                                          1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                            Thanks for that link alkapal! After all this discussion I feel like I need to make some tea cakes this weekend!

                                                                                                            1. re: Boudleaux

                                                                                                              i think if you made every one of those recipes, you could <and here's my mom's favorite phrase> feed pharoah's army!

                                                                                                              the first time i heard her say that was when my niece, her husband and i had gone out to kfc and gotten a large bucket of chicken. when we brought it back, mom exclaimed, "my goodness, you got enough to feed pharoah's army!" we all cracked up. now it is a standing joke whenever there is an abundance of food.

                                                                                                              1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                Haha! My father's favorite phrase like that was that it would be enough to feed Coxey's army!

                                                                                                          2. re: Boudleaux

                                                                                                            Those look like mexican wedding cakes (Das Ubergreeks). I found this link, which gives them many different names. My mom had a name for them also, but I don't recall what it was, but she made them in a crescent shape i just called them "super good" and she was lucky if they ever got served before I ate myself into a tummy ache!


                                                                                                            1. re: danhole

                                                                                                              we had "mexican wedding cookies" but they were smaller, rounder, with nuts, and a ton of confectioner's sugar. oh. so. good. http://images.google.com/images?clien...

                                                                                                              1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                Are these the same as Russian tea cakes?

                                                                                                              2. re: danhole

                                                                                                                Yes, I remember the crescent shaped ones that my Great Aunt always made at Christmas. She called them Almond Crescents. They had chopped nuts in them.

                                                                                                                1. re: Boudleaux

                                                                                                                  my aunt pauline made "sand tarts," which had more of a "sandy" shortbread texture, with finely chopped pecans, and were not as sweet as the mexican wedding cakes. they too were shaped like crescents, more or less.

                                                                                                                  1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                    I think that's what they were! Sand tarts! Melt in your mouth good.

                                                                                                                    1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                      I make a pecan sandie, addicting, that what I have to say. For years I didn't care for nuts, I ignored the recipe. Finally I make them. OMG, I could of eaten them all. Wonderful! My recipe comes from an old company cookbook with family recipes (the best kind).I can' t believe what I've been missing all these years.

                                                                                                            2. re: Boudleaux

                                                                                                              really? neither photo looks like anything like what I imagined it to be.
                                                                                                              I was thinking more of a cake, scone small thing. Shows you what i know!

                                                                                                              1. re: Boudleaux

                                                                                                                That's the exact same cookie I was raised on and had in everyone's household. They were much more chewy than crispy and the sugar went on the second they came out of the oven. My part of the south is Mississippi, and that's pretty darn deep south!

                                                                                                                1. re: bayoucook

                                                                                                                  Wait, which cookie? LOL. I'm confused. :)

                                                                                                          1. re: pikawicca

                                                                                                            I love coconut cake!

                                                                                                            My husband's aunt makes hers with coconuts from her back yard (in Fla.). Mind-bogglingly good.

                                                                                                          2. When i really need to do something from my roots it is a Lance Cake. A bit of work but soooo good.

                                                                                                            20 Replies
                                                                                                              1. re: Candy

                                                                                                                I have a recipe if you need another one. It's an oldie.

                                                                                                              2. re: Candy

                                                                                                                Do you mean Lane Cake? It takes hours and hours but I make one every Christmas.

                                                                                                                1. re: bayoucook

                                                                                                                  Yes, that was why I posted a correction. I misspelled it and did not catch it until this AM. It is worth the work and time. A very special cake indeed.

                                                                                                                  1. re: Candy

                                                                                                                    mmmm, my mom used to always make a wonderful lane cake for christmas. she'd make it near the beginning of december, and then keep "adding" to the whisky drizzle every other day or so. wooooo-wee.

                                                                                                                      1. re: Jacey

                                                                                                                        Go to southernliving.com and put in Lane Cake. They have the genuine deal!

                                                                                                                        1. re: bayoucook

                                                                                                                          The only Lane Cake recipe I found at the Southern Living site was made with cake mix, frosting mix, and had candied cherries in the filling -- ick!

                                                                                                                          The real deal starts with a homemade white cake, the filling has no artificially colored things in it (a splash of good bourbon is nice), and the whole thing is iced with 7 Minute Icing.

                                                                                                                          1. re: pikawicca

                                                                                                                            Sorry - they USED to have the real thing on there - that is SO not it. Will try to find a link to my recipe.

                                                                                                                            1. re: bayoucook

                                                                                                                              Found it!:

                                                                                                                              CAKE3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
                                                                                                                              1 tablespoon baking powder
                                                                                                                              1/4 teaspoon salt
                                                                                                                              2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
                                                                                                                              2 cups sugar
                                                                                                                              1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
                                                                                                                              1 cup milk
                                                                                                                              8 large egg whites (reserve the yolks for the filling)

                                                                                                                              FILLING1 1/2 cups pecans (6 ounces)
                                                                                                                              1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter
                                                                                                                              12 large egg yolks
                                                                                                                              1 1/2 cups sugar
                                                                                                                              1 1/2 cups unsweetened shredded coconut
                                                                                                                              1 1/2 cups golden raisins, chopped
                                                                                                                              1/4 cup bourbon

                                                                                                                              BUTTERCREAM2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
                                                                                                                              1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
                                                                                                                              1/4 teaspoon salt
                                                                                                                              1 pound confectioners’ sugar, sifted
                                                                                                                              1/4 cup half-and-half or milk

                                                                                                                              MAKE THE CAKE: Preheat the oven to 325°. Butter three 9-inch round cake pans. Line the bottoms with parchment paper; butter the paper and flour the pans. In a large bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder and salt. In a standing electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar at medium speed until light and fluffy. Beat in the vanilla. At low speed, beat in the dry ingredients and the milk in 3 alternating batches; be sure to scrape the side and bottom of the bowl.
                                                                                                                              In a clean bowl, beat the egg whites to soft peaks. Beat one-third of the egg whites into the batter. Using a rubber spatula, fold in the remaining beaten whites until combined. Divide the batter between the prepared pans. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until the cakes are lightly golden and springy. Let the cakes cool in the pans for a few minutes, then invert them onto racks to cool completely. Peel off the parchment paper.
                                                                                                                              MEANWHILE, MAKE THE FILLING: Spread the pecans on a baking sheet and toast for 10 minutes, until fragrant. Let cool, then coarsely chop. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over low heat. Remove from the heat and whisk in the egg yolks and sugar until smooth. Return the pan to moderate heat and cook the filling, stirring constantly, until slightly thickened and an instant-read thermometer reads 180°; be sure not to let it boil. Remove from the heat and stir in the chopped pecans, coconut, raisins and bourbon. Transfer to a bowl and let cool.
                                                                                                                              MAKE THE BUTTERCREAM: In a medium bowl, beat the butter until creamy. Add the vanilla and salt, then gradually beat in the confectioners’ sugar, being sure to scrape the side and bottom of the bowl. Add the half-and-half and beat until fluffy, about 1 minute.
                                                                                                                              ASSEMBLE THE CAKE: Place a cake layer on a plate and top with one-third of the filling, spreading it almost to the edge. Top with a second cake layer and another third of the filling. Top with the last cake layer. Using an offset spatula, spread a thin layer of the buttercream all around the cake, being sure to fill in any gaps between the layers. Refrigerate the cake for 10 minutes, to firm up the buttercream.
                                                                                                                              Spread the remaining buttercream around the side of the cake only, leaving the top with just the thin layer of buttercream. Spread the remaining filling over the top of the cake. Let the cake stand for at least 4 hours before cutting.

                                                                                                                              Make Ahead
                                                                                                                              The cake can be refrigerated for up to 4 days before serving. Return to room temperature before serving.

                                                                                                                                1. re: bayoucook

                                                                                                                                  Oldtime purists might decry the buttercream. In the real old deep South it was far too hot for that. You had to use boiled icing or it melted and slid off the cake.

                                                                                                                                  My vote goes to Bananas Foster.

                                                                                                                                  Although I had a terrific slice of boiled peanut pie at Billy Carter's restaurant in Plains, Georgia, when I was a little kid.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: Cinnamon

                                                                                                                                    i love boiled peanuts, but that boiled peanut pie is a new one on me.

                                                                                                                                    did your folks eat theirs with some cold billy beer?

                                                                                                                              1. re: pikawicca

                                                                                                                                Southern Living lately thinks it's South Philly - as in Philadelphia Cream Cheese.
                                                                                                                                They seem to have totally abandoned any other kind of icing.
                                                                                                                                What's with them and all the mixes and processed foods?
                                                                                                                                Most of the good Southern cooks I know still swear by the old original recipes.

                                                                                                                                1. re: MakingSense

                                                                                                                                  I don't know. their recipes used to be great, but lately it's a lot of processed food. This is NOT Southern cooking.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: pikawicca

                                                                                                                                    The recipes in Southern Living have been terrible for a couple of years now. Way too much emphasis on knock offs of the real things, and loads of convenience food. Still like the non-food part of the magazine, though.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: jeanmarieok

                                                                                                                                      I agree with y'all - thought it was just me. I was shocked when SL online didn't have the real Lane cake recipe. They need to get back to their (our) roots!

                                                                                                                                      1. re: bayoucook

                                                                                                                                        Southern Living used to have the BEST recipes, but I agree, no more.

                                                                                                                                2. re: pikawicca

                                                                                                                                  iirc, my 87-year old mom's lane cake has finely diced candied cherries in the frosting, which was the same as the filling, along with coconut, raisins and pecans. oh, some bourbon, too. i think there are lots of variations -- but NONE involves cream cheese frosting. ;-).

                                                                                                                      2. Blackberry cobbler. The blackberries always ripen around my birthday and when I was growing up, I would opt for it instead of birthday cake. And this was made with pie crust, not the batter-poured-over-the-top that restaurants seem to be putting out hereabouts these days. Blackberry cobbler is not supposed to be a baked pudding, folks.

                                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                                        1. re: lemons

                                                                                                                          i think you'll find many different "cobblers".

                                                                                                                        2. Cream pies--banana, coconut
                                                                                                                          Traditional layer cakes, esp. carrot
                                                                                                                          Warm cobblers a la mode

                                                                                                                          1. Any kind of cobbler
                                                                                                                            Pecan or sweet potato pie
                                                                                                                            Banana pudding
                                                                                                                            Lemon bars

                                                                                                                            1. In Louisville, we have "Derby Pie," which is a trademark name for something that reminds me of a slightly underbaked chocolate chip cookie in a pie shell. Meh.

                                                                                                                              Caramel cake with Penuche frosting is one of my favorites.

                                                                                                                              1. OOooohhhh, I was forgetting about fried pies! Man, I love me some fried pies. Even those cheap boughten ones with the goopy filling...

                                                                                                                                6 Replies
                                                                                                                                1. re: Will Owen

                                                                                                                                  Oh, yes. Everyone was sooooo happy that Hubig's Pies survived Katrina! They're back again in all the convenience stores and gas stations.
                                                                                                                                  I wish I could remember the name of the place in Hot Springs that specializes in them. Hot ones right out of the fryer. Chocolate and peach are my favorites.
                                                                                                                                  My aunt made wonderful coconut pies.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: MakingSense

                                                                                                                                    Coconut pies fried??? Yum! Was the filling like the filling for a coconut cream pie?

                                                                                                                                    1. re: browniebaker

                                                                                                                                      The coconut is mixed with egg yolks and sugar. The pies can be either fried or baked.
                                                                                                                                      Yes, they are wonderful. I've had similar ones in Central and South America and the Caribbean. Maybe because New Orleans had the Port. Lots of Spanish influence.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: MakingSense

                                                                                                                                        Gosh, that sounds good! Must try that some time soon.

                                                                                                                                    2. re: MakingSense

                                                                                                                                      When the phase of the Moon is just right, I can conjure up the taste of a Hubig's. Never had the coconut though.

                                                                                                                                      Now, many things from McKenzie's would fit my fav. desserts, but they are history, like the original Delmonico. Still, I can use those experiences as the paradigm to judge all others.


                                                                                                                                      1. re: Bill Hunt

                                                                                                                                        We could make an entire list of McKenzie's and other New Orleans favorites.
                                                                                                                                        King Cakes, Snoballs, Eclairs, Blackout Cakes, Doberge Cakes, anything from Broccato's, petit fours, Roman candy, Heavenly Hash, Bananas Foster, Calas.
                                                                                                                                        And some were on street corners or local restaurants all over town. Except for the Roman Candy Man and his mule drawn wagon. He's still around...

                                                                                                                                  2. My mother's people are Virginians, so they don't fall into the category of the Deep South with its intensely sweet tooth.

                                                                                                                                    Like most Virginians of their background, my mother's people employed cooks, but the women would always have a few special food items they would prepare at the holidays or other special occasions. One treasured family recipe is simply called orange cake, which is a yellow layer cake with orange icing made from blending frozen concentrated orange juice with confectioner's sugar. Although we called it orange cake, I found out the recipe had its origin in the Robert E. Lee cake, which was widely popular in Virginia in the late 19th-early 20th century.

                                                                                                                                    I once tried making the cake out here in Dubai, and while I did produce something enjoyable, it wasn't quite the same orange cake. I blamed it on the flour.

                                                                                                                                    1. I'm not from the South, have never been to the South. However, two of my best friends are and I nominate 1) pecan pralines and 2) Tennessee jam cake

                                                                                                                                      1. My grandma makes the best caramel cake. The best. I only need one slice at a time, a couple of times a year, but I salivate with anticipation weeks before getting that slice. She makes it for most major family functions and holidays, but unfortunately I only get to spend time with that part of my family twice a year or so.

                                                                                                                                        My other Southern favorites have already been mentioned, those I can think of. I recently had a banana pudding epiphany after coming out of a two-decade-long repulsion toward bananas. I may even like banana pudding more than tapioca.

                                                                                                                                        19 Replies
                                                                                                                                        1. re: Agent Orange

                                                                                                                                          agent orange, please give us your grandma's recipe. i love caramel cake (i think) -- it's like a dark-ish pound cake from a tube pan, with a light caramel-y drizzle frosting?

                                                                                                                                          1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                            Ah yes, alkapal, my fellow Floridian. I believe we're thinking of two different things. The caramel cake I've had in the South is a yellow layer cake with a rich brown caramel frosting. I've never actually been around when the frosting has been made, but the base is burnt sugar just like anything caramel. Like many Southern desserts, this is a rather sweet cake, so you need family and friends to help you make it disappear. For me, it's best heated up a little and accompanied by a glass of milk.

                                                                                                                                            This link will take you to a photo which is very similar to the one my grandma makes:

                                                                                                                                            As far as the recipe, I have never even thought to ask for it. First off, I'm not much of a baker (been trying breads lately, I still need work) and second, it has never occured to me to eat that cake outside of family gatherings. I wouldn't enjoy it as much if I weren't surrounded by those people. But then grandma won't be able to bake cakes forever, so I probably should go ahead and get the recipe. I'm not sure how she would feel about her recipe, which took her years of toiling to perfect, being posted online. But if I do get it from her I would be happy to email it to you.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: Agent Orange

                                                                                                                                              dear fellow floridian, agent orange, thanks for the info and picture. i have had that caramel cake you show, but that is different than the recipe i'm seeking. i got a recipe from my georgia cousins a few years back, and i need to dig that up. when i find it, i'll post it.

                                                                                                                                              so, you're in "the great blight of dullness"? LOL! hey, if you're in tampa, you're much better off than a lot of other places in florida. at least you can get good seafood. is the tex-mex cantina on courtney campbell causeway still any good? i took the bar exam in tampa, and that is where i regathered my sustenance for day 2 (must have fajitas and guac!). i heard the columbia has gone downhill since its heyday. would you second that opinion? the last time i went was not in ybor city, but the one on st. armand's key. it was pretty good, but that was a while back.....

                                                                                                                                              do you know kchurchill? she is in sarasota.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                                Is it is a yellow cake with a frosting that is caramel colored and covers the entire cake as normal frosting. I'm searching everywhere for a caramel cake that has the burnt sugar frosting and when you bite into it it has that little crunch to it?
                                                                                                                                                I LOVE that.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                                  I'd be interested in this other Georgian caramel cake, as the source of the cake I've described is Georgian as well.

                                                                                                                                                  I'm trying to figure which Tex-Mex joint you're referring to; there was one in Clearwater on Gulf-to-Bay which is what the Courtney Cambell turns into as you head west. These days most of my Tex-Mex thrills come from my own kitchen. The Columbia is really a place to take out-of-town guests, maybe for a flamenco show on the weekends. I'm afraid I was too young to recall its heyday. The food is okay, but for my money I prefer some of the divey Cuban joints in West Tampa, like La Teresita and Arco Iris.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                                    Hey, alkapal and you other Floridapals, here's an old Southern Caramel Icing thread from about three years ago with a selection of recipes.
                                                                                                                                                    See if any of these come close to your recollections!

                                                                                                                                                    The one I remember best from Louisiana uses Pet Milk boiled with sugar until it caramelizes. Then it's beaten until it's cooled and fluffy, before it's spread on the layer cake.

                                                                                                                                                    Hope this helps! I'm NOT participating because I would eat the entire Caramel Cake!
                                                                                                                                                    I'm making Tea Cakes and giving 3/4 of them away.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: MakingSense

                                                                                                                                                      Hey, MS. I don't live too far, so if I send you my address maybe you could send me some of the 3/4 you will be giving away. Pretty please?


                                                                                                                                                    2. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                                      Any Southern gents/belles, carpetbaggin' Yankees, or d@#& Yankees who are interested in the caramel cake recipe... I have received some information...

                                                                                                                                                      The cake that I often reminisce about, and which I praised so highly here last week, has been confirmed to be... from a mix! That's right, Duncan Hines Butter Recipe. And the frosting is actually a really common one in the South, sometimes called a Pet frosting (named for the canned milk traditionally used.) It's basically a can of evaporated milk, a box of brown sugar, and a stick and a half (amount varies) of butter. Cooked to the "soft ball" stage. Turns out there was a thread which discussed this in depth a few years ago (MakingSense posted the recipe above as well):

                                                                                                                                                      At first I was a little embarrassed, thinking my chow-cred might be in jeopardy for enjoying, even publicly lauding, cake from a box. And maybe the nostalgia of this confection has inflated my claims of its superiority. But you know what, it tastes darn good to me and I'm going to celebrate my birthday this month with a Duncan Hines cake and a frosting made from milk-in-a-can. If anyone would like more specific instructions, please email me.

                                                                                                                                                      P.S. Duncan Hines cake mixes are buy-one-get-one at Publix though Saturday this week!

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Agent Orange

                                                                                                                                                        agent orange -- that duncan hines butter flavor cake mix is really good. i've added extra eggs and real vanilla extract and made wonderfully-flavored and pound-cake-textured diamond shaped cupcakes <in the silicone cups>. they were devoured as mini-pound cakes.

                                                                                                                                                        thanks for the recipe update, too!

                                                                                                                                                    3. re: Agent Orange

                                                                                                                                                      Another FL CHOW. SRQ here. Columbia in St Armands not bad. Not as good as usual. Still get descent seafood.

                                                                                                                                                      Carmel cake ... please? That sounds decadent!! I don't bake a lot but can, just prefer to cook, rather than bake (well same thing) in a sense but you know what I mean. I bake when I have to or someone gives me great fresh ingredients and then I me something. Put a caramel cake in front of me ... I eat the whole thing, hence why I don't bake just for me.

                                                                                                                                                      So where are you?

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: kchurchill5

                                                                                                                                                        I'm in the final stretch of finishing my sentence at USF in Tampa (undergrad). I live a block away from campus. These days I don't have a car, which makes life in Tampa... interesting. My parents live in Bradenton so I am in Sarasota often, or rather, I was when I had wheels. Nice town, a little geriatric, but some good restos.

                                                                                                                                                        I don't want the requests for caramel cake to get out of hand, so I'll just say that I'll start fishing for that recipe. I will report back on any new developments. And yes, sometimes if you get a big glob of frosting it is sort of "crunchy", but I'm not sure if chefchicklet was refer to my post or to alka's.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Agent Orange

                                                                                                                                                          AO I was eavesdropping on your conversation with ap, but if either if you know the answer... and the best way I can describe the frosting is it is a little grainy and there is the tiniest crunch to the frosting. Not hard at all and no clumps either. It's funny how the tiniest details of a certain food will evoke the strongest sensory memory or in this case it was mouth feel.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: chef chicklet

                                                                                                                                                            Yes, we're speaking the same language. The frosting does have a graininess to it; certainly it's nothing like a buttercream. Yep, the frosting is slathered on the three layers like a normal cake. I'm beginning to think I should fabricate some celebratory excuse to attempt this cake on my own...

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Agent Orange

                                                                                                                                                              I literally hate having to diet, and I've been trying to do that for the past couple of weeks. I still cook for the family and friends, and I found a really nice caramel cake recipe in an old cookbook series. Temptation is gnawing at me... the recipe for the cake is fairly simple, buttermilk and the usual suspects. It's the icining... and I'm wondering if that's when pralines were born.

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: chef chicklet

                                                                                                                                                                Hey cheflet, I learned that the grainy/crunchy factor in the caramel icing comes from slight overcooking. But if you like it that way, follow one of the recipes posted in the thread linked above and simmer a little longer than called for. Alternatively, I could give you my grandmother's version which is slightly different. Just shoot me an email.

                                                                                                                                                          2. re: Agent Orange

                                                                                                                                                            Nice to meet a fellow Floridian. Yes, I am taking some classes at USF as well. Biology and Chem. Always wanted a MA in science. things of that. Just finishing my quals for going for my grad next year I hope. TPA without transport, difficult, SRQ, a bit old, but some good places. Luckily St P and TPQ are close 45 and in TPA so not too bad.

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: kchurchill5

                                                                                                                                                              Good luck with bio and chem, especially with finals fast approaching. I'm kinda glad I didn't ever wind up taking chemistry in college, but then I think I would understand some of the mysteries of cooking and baking a little better if I had.

                                                                                                                                                              To keep this on topic before the gestapo discover my insubordination, see my and MakingSense's posts above on the subject of caramel cake if you're still interested. Might make a good Easter dessert?

                                                                                                                                                          3. re: kchurchill5

                                                                                                                                                            St Armands..and the Columbia...My parents used to winter on Longboat Key...Loved St. Armands Circle. I grew up in Ohio but my grandma was from the south, my dad and stepmom live in Covington, LA and I live in VA.
                                                                                                                                                            My List:
                                                                                                                                                            fresh peach cobbler
                                                                                                                                                            king cake
                                                                                                                                                            banana cream pie
                                                                                                                                                            derby pie(it was like pecan with chocolate and bourbon)
                                                                                                                                                            lemon meringue pie
                                                                                                                                                            rhubarb strawerry pie(is rhubarb a northern thing?)

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: rHairing

                                                                                                                                                              We go to this BBQ place close by and they serve a homemade Peach cobbler. I am not a big sweet eater, but the first time I had a sample of it I loved it. Made me think of my grandma, and I told them that. So ever since then I order s small portion of it. We are regulars there and they know my by name, so now when I order it, I order a small and they slip in a large for the same price! I secretly think they are trying to fatten my up, but what a way to go!

                                                                                                                                                    4. This cake for me has so much appeal. Clearly a cake meant for special occassions and the holiday season. I'll be making this version this Christmas. I am going to add some Grand Marnier to the cake itself, since the filling includes the orange zest.

                                                                                                                                                      Lane Cake

                                                                                                                                                      2 sticks of butter, softened
                                                                                                                                                      2 cups sugar
                                                                                                                                                      2 tsp vanilla
                                                                                                                                                      3 1/4 cups sifted cake flour
                                                                                                                                                      3 1/2 tsp baking powder
                                                                                                                                                      1/2 salt
                                                                                                                                                      1/4 tsp mace
                                                                                                                                                      1 cup milk
                                                                                                                                                      8 egg whites-stiffly beaten

                                                                                                                                                      8 egg yolks
                                                                                                                                                      1 1/4 cups sugar
                                                                                                                                                      8 T butter
                                                                                                                                                      1 tsp grated orange peel
                                                                                                                                                      1/4 tsp mace
                                                                                                                                                      1/8 tsp ground cardamom
                                                                                                                                                      1/4 tsp salt
                                                                                                                                                      6 oz pecans chopped
                                                                                                                                                      1 cup each finely chopped pineapple, candied cherries
                                                                                                                                                      1 cup coconut
                                                                                                                                                      1/3 Cup bourbon

                                                                                                                                                      Cream the butter and teh sugar together until light and fluffy. add the vanilla. Sift together the flour,baking powder, salt and mace. Add the flour mixture and the milk alternatively to the butter mixture. Gently fold in the egg whites. Pour the mixture into three buttered and floured or parchment lined pans. Bake in a preheated oven at 375 F for 20 mins, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.Turn out onto wire racks to cool.

                                                                                                                                                      To make the filling, beat the egg yolks lightly, add the sugar, butter, orange peel, mace, caradomom and salt. Cook the mixture, stirring constantly for about 5 mins, until the sugar melts and the mixture thickens slightly. Remove the mixture from the heat and add the remaining ingredients. Let it cool, then spread it between the layers and on top of the cake. Store the cake in a covered container in a cool place for about 3 days, letting the cake ripen. Each day spoon the filling that has run off back onto the cake.

                                                                                                                                                      Now that's a fruit cake!

                                                                                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                        1. re: chef chicklet

                                                                                                                                                          BEAUTIFUL! that's the lane cake i remember. mom's would cure over a week or so, wrapped in plastic, then foil, then kept in the tupperware cake keeper. dosed it every day with a bit of bourbon, and "readjusted" the frosting. that cake made you know christmas was near. it was moist and heady, and so rich and delicious. ;-).

                                                                                                                                                          i'm going to visit mom later this month, and i think i'll make it for her. thanks!

                                                                                                                                                        2. caramel cake (now from caroline's cakes in annapolis). My mother made something similar, but Caroline's is better, sorry Mom!

                                                                                                                                                          1. Pralines and homemade peach ice cream. Not necessarily together, although come to think of it that's not a bad idea!

                                                                                                                                                            1. I read throught this pretty quick and I didn't see it so the first one to say red velvet cake is it. I can eat it and I actually like the taste, but looking at it gives me the creeps. On a more positive note...pralines!