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Your favorite homey/vintage/nostalgic dessert

Hi!

I want to make a few desserts for an upcoming party that have a very "throwback to your childhood" feel - you know, like when Anton Ego had his flashback to his childhood when he took a bite of the ratatouille....that's what I'm looking for!

I was wondering if anyone had any suggestions? What was your favorite dessert your mom or grandma made? Pies, cobblers, some kind of bar...?

Thanks for the help!

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  1. The one I remember best is my mother would make a simple yellow 1-layer sponge cake, baked in a pyrex pie pan, flip it out when done, split in the center and filled with a can of crushed pineapple, and served with a can of crushed pineapple on top and freshly whipped cream.

    1. Apple cake or blueberry crisp, I think!

      2 Replies
      1. re: scuzzo

        Blueberry crisp! I grew up near a blueberry farm where we could pick gallons of berries, so we always had plenty of them in season. I just made the easiest blueberry/cherry crisp ever (to rave reviews from friends): Butter 8" glass pie plate, dump in 3 c pitted cherries and 1 c blueberries (or reverse proportions), microwave for 5 minutes. In the meantime, mix 3 tbsp softened butter, 1.5 c oats, 1/2 tbsp cinnamon, 1 tbsp brown sugar. Spread on top of heated fruit and bake at 350 for 20 minutes. Yum!

        1. re: rovingfoodie

          Thanks for that recipe! Great stuff!

      2. Real chocolate pudding with whipped cream. Must be set and served in individual dishes.

        3 Replies
        1. re: heatcrave

          same thing here. REAL Chocolate pudding.

          1. re: heatcrave

            Along a similar note, my grandmother and my mother both made raspberry pudding when I was little. They would put it in little fancy glass desert dishes. Even though it was translucent, it had a surprisingly smooth texture that was almost creamy, but it was tart. I loved that stuff. I think it was made by Danish Desert. Hard to find around here (if not impossible).

            1. re: Jen76

              That's raspberry junket, isn't it? Made with rennet. I haven't seen the packages in years.

          2. My mom's cobbler, which I still make today, was simple and delicious. 9 x 13 pan. Lower crust - 1 cup Bisquick, 3/4 cup sugar and one egg. Filling - fresh or canned fruit to cover. Top crust - 1 cup Bisquick, 3/4 cup sugar, 1 tblsp cinnamon and one egg. 350 oven for about 45 minutes or until a lovely brown.

            4 Replies
            1. re: ola

              Ola - does this make a cookie-like crust?

              Mr CF wants a blueberry cobbler for Father's Day, but I wasn't sure I'd have enough time to make a full fledged pie crust... this looks like something I could handle in the midst of all the other preparations.
              Poor guy asks for a cobbler and I want to make one for him! :-)

              1. re: Cookiefiend

                Just make a quick crumble - cut up flour, butter, and sugar and spread on top of the blueberries - that have some sugar and lemon juice added - and bake. Easy peasy!

            2. I remember my mother's sweet, sticky, gooey pineapple upside down cake. Oh so pretty to look at and oh so toothache making delicious....sometimes with vanilla ice cream on the side or freshly made whipped cream. When our peach trees were producing she would make the cake with the fresh peaches. I'm sure it was all that brown sugar and butter that made the cake so wonderful

              1. Mom made angel food cakes, chiffon cakes, all cookies, sandtortes, and the fave - cream puffs.

                1. This must be a pretty individually determined thing, Arktik! First of all, where / in which decade(s) were your guests children?

                  I grew up in the 80s, but KY time warps you back a decade or two. My great loves as a child were:

                  1. Bird's nest cookies (made with melted butterscotch and "chow mein" noodles)
                  2. Lemon cake mix + Cool Whip cookies
                  3. Cheesecake filled chocolate cupcakes (one of the only desserts using real sugar that my mom would ever make... but only for company!)
                  4. Lemon cheesecake bars (Mom's OTHER sugary dessert)
                  5. Individual cheesecakes -- the kind that have a single 'Nilla Wafer at the bottom of a cupcake foil

                  19 Replies
                  1. re: cimui

                    Right -I should specify. i'm not looking for any era, more of a "nostalgic" feeling...

                    .....something along this lines of this scenario (not that i had a childhood that at all resembled this):

                    You're 10. White linens are swaying in the summer breeze, the bees are buzzing and the wild flowers are in bloom. You're outside, sitting on an old bench that your grandfather built. you just finished your lunch (crusty bread, salami, cheese and a few veggies for good measure) when your apron-donning mom brings out your favorite dessert: _______. Ahh, you think, i want to stay in this moment forever!

                    What is this dessert?!?

                    Am I making any sense?! Thanks for all the suggestions so far!

                    1. re: Arktik

                      "You're 10. White linens are swaying in the summer breeze, the bees are buzzing and the wild flowers are in bloom. You're outside, sitting on an old bench that your grandfather built. you just finished your lunch (crusty bread, salami, cheese and a few veggies for good measure) when your apron-donning mom brings out your favorite dessert: _______. Ahh, you think, i want to stay in this moment forever!"

                      Man oh man did that never happen in my childhood. Mom was a working woman, didn't own an apron. Grandpa never built a bench, no crusty bread (only Sunbeam white). I made the chocolate pudding.

                      1. re: Arktik

                        That's not nostalgic, that's story book fantasy !

                        1. re: Arktik

                          Grew up in San Francisco. It would be more like: You're ten and the fog has just moved in. Yes, it's summer but the thermometer is showing a brisk 50 degrees. Bundled into the same winter jacket you wear when the family visits Tahoe to play in the snow, you look forward to a hot bowl of chicken noodle soup."

                          1. re: Arktik

                            OK, I'm there with you in the image but I hate to tell you that the closest we ever got to dessert at lunch was a slice of watermelon cut right out on the picnic table. Dessert was for special occasions and usually consisted of pie or ice cream. Being 10---homemade stuff was lame, everyone else had a modern mom and they got to go to the ice cream truck rolling by with its siren song. When we were lucky enough to visit the ice cream truck, after dinner when all the veggies were consumed, my ideal summer treat was some bizarre concoction known as a frozen toe. It was a type of pink sherbert on a stick shaped like a footprint with one gumball in the big toe. That gumball made all the difference--because it made the experience last long after everyone else had finished. So I'm sure that's not what you were looking for but as a 10 year old I had a lot to learn.

                            1. re: Sally599

                              I had not thought about the frozen toe in YEARS! Thank you! (I also liked the mickey mouse ice cream bar - eaten ears first).

                            2. re: Arktik

                              ...mom brings out my favorite dessert: a piece of chocolate sheet cake baked by my grandmother.
                              It has a soupcon of cinnamon, is light yet assertive, chocolatey without being overbearing, and there's a good inch of icing, icing so smooth and perfect I shall never see the likes of it again, nor will I ever be able to reproduce it in my own kitchen.

                            3. re: cimui

                              I am also a child of the 80s, but I have fonder memories of Foreigner and Small Wonder than I do of my childhood's desserts. Between the lime jello moulds that looked like fruit suspended in ectoplasm and the Duncan Hines upside down cakes, I didn't have a very big sweet tooth. There were some bright spots, though:
                              1) Orange chiffon cake
                              2) Leche flan
                              3) Mocha torte
                              4) Coconut sticky rice steamed in banana leaves
                              5) Cream cheese-based fruit salad (but only the coconut and maraschino cherries)
                              6) Halo halo
                              7) Macadamia nut-encrusted carrot cake
                              8) Butterscotch or tapioca pudding (storebought, not homemade sago)

                              That carrot cake especially is the madeleine to my Proust.

                              1. re: JungMann

                                >>Between the lime jello moulds that looked like fruit suspended in ectoplasm

                                That was the friendly Green Slimer (with all the fruit chunks he's eaten, suspended inside of him)! ... Shucks, now I'm really starting to feel all nostalgic... ;)

                                1. re: cimui

                                  It really did look like Slimer, though he probably needed a checkup because the cottage cheese suspended around his bottom looked like serious VD.

                                  1. re: JungMann

                                    Ah, those were the days... back when you could catch cottage cheese by sitting on a public toilet. Ah nostalgia!

                                    1. re: cimui

                                      gosh, jungmann and cimui, i don't know if i'll ever think of innocent cottage cheese in the same way again.

                                        1. re: cimui

                                          <grimacing> actually, i don't think about vd. though i did wonder how jungmann had some idea (?) about visuals. eeew.

                                          1. re: alkapal

                                            *grin*

                                            no idea, but when you have the maturity of a five year old, as i do, the accuracy of such things isn't so important. (i also still like fart jokes.)

                                            moving on to more wholesome (but no less delightful) thoughts: Arktik, has anyone mentioned Rice Krispies Treats? these suckers have been tempting us since 1939!

                                            1. re: cimui

                                              i don't think they've been mentioned yet -- which *is* amazing.

                                              1. re: cimui

                                                How did we miss Rice Krispies treats? Yummmmmm! Must be made at home, not the poor substitutes they now sell in a box. I believe someone already mentioned the ever-popular peanut butter kiss cookies, too, right? Those are another classic.

                                              2. re: alkapal

                                                This is probably the point where I should mention that I started my studies on an MD track. I have seen things no clinical psych student ever needed to see. Also I have the maturity level of a five year old.

                                2. Tapioca pudding with blackberry or blueberry jam on top.

                                  1. For me, it's the kids' fvourite cake back home in Argentina: chocotorta, made with layers of thin chocolate cookies soaked in milk (or coffee) interspersed with layers of cream cheese or ricotta mixed with dulce de leche. The top coating of the dulce de leche mix can then be covered in chocolate chips, shredded coconut or berries...

                                    Now I've gone down memory lane, I will have make one soon!

                                    7 Replies
                                    1. re: Paula76

                                      That sounds like the Argentinian version of Tiramisu.... or as one wag said recently, "Tiramisuper."

                                      1. re: Paula76

                                        Did you see this? Maybe you can help me figure out what to use for the chocolate cookie part, because I still have no idea what "chocolate tea biscuits" are.
                                        http://www.chow.com/recipes/14166

                                        1. re: julesrules

                                          Try the Nabisco dark chocolate wafers.

                                          1. re: julesrules

                                            I posted the recipe and as I don't live in the US, I realised I wasn't sure which cookies to recommend. I think those Nabisco wafers should work well or any flat, thin chocolate biscuit for that matter.

                                            1. re: Paula76

                                              How did I not realize it was your recipe? It sounds great. I figured the Nabisco-style (Christie brand here in Canada) wafers would work, but the response I got from the other poster confused me. Thanks!

                                            2. re: julesrules

                                              My mom always made this dessert - chocolate wafer cookies layered with Cool Whip; layed across a plate like a log and covered with more Cool Whip. Definately a 70's dessert that brings back fond memories.

                                              1. re: beggsy

                                                Oh, oh, oh! These were ice box cakes, right? I loved those -- passionately!

                                          2. For me, growing up Italian in Brooklyn, dessert was rarely made except for fruit. The best things were sfolgliatelle and cannoli from the Italian bakery, and coconut covered vanilla ice cream pops from Good Humor!

                                            2 Replies
                                            1. re: roxlet

                                              Growing up Jewish in Brooklyn, I'm most nostalgic for Ebinger's chocolate blackout cake. Four layers of cake with a puddingy chocolate layered in between, frosted with ganache and then coated with cake crumbs.

                                              I still have my grandma's recipe index cards, and her orange bundt cake and coconut cake send me back. From my mom, #1 was apple brown betty made with corn flakes and a ton of butter. From my dozens of cousins' birthdays, Carvel ice cream cake!

                                              1. re: heidipie

                                                Jewish in Queens: bakery-made seven layer cake or individual Charlotte Russe. My mother was Hungarian so desserts were either from the bakery or just fruit. Not that she couldn't bake - she could - but she loved fancy European desserts and she didn't make those.

                                            2. My mom would make a layer of chocolate pudding in a dish, stick 'nilla wafers around the sides and cover the top of the chocolate pudding in 'nilla wafers and then pour vanilla pudding on top of that, more 'nilla wafers around the sides of the dish and that was it.

                                              My grandmother was the one who did all the baking, but every now and then she would take canned peaches, sprinkle cinnamon on them and bake in the oven. Top it with whipped cream.

                                              1. If you're from the southwest, definitely banana pudding with vanilla wafers.

                                                1. Halvah or my grandmother Paklava

                                                  1. Apple dumplings. My grandmother made the best. Whole, cored apples (her favorite was Northern Spy, which I don't see often anymore), wrapped up to their shoulders in a square of pie dough, center filled with butter, cinnamon and brown sugar, baked until the apple was soft and the filling melted and oozed out. Served warm with cream poured over. I think she might have put extra sugar and butter in the baking dish because it seemed like there was a good amount of sauce.

                                                    Edit: Our grandparents lived on the street behind us, and our backyards connected, so we had a secret gate in the back fence. Apple dumplings were a late fall or winter dessert, so it was always cold and dark out when the phone rang and Grandma said she had a pan just coming out of the oven for us. One of us kids would bundle up, go through the back gate, and pick up the pan at Grandma's back door. Sometimes there would be snow in the yard, crunching under boots; always there was the warm apple-spice aroma.

                                                      1. Pineapple Upside-down Cake baked in a cast iron frying pan.

                                                        1 Reply
                                                        1. re: Antilope

                                                          I'd have to second the Pineapple Upside-Down Cake along with some maraschino cherries in the middle of each pineapple circle. Yum!

                                                        2. coconut custard pie. i can taste it now ;-)).

                                                          1. Chocolate chip bars. My Mom made them for every holiday, picnic, family get together. They were like chocolate chip cookies, but in a bar form. Oh, great memories.

                                                            1. Prune whip with custard.

                                                              1. We were allergic to dairy and eggs as kids, so the best and only dessert we ever got was jell-o with cool whip.

                                                                1. My mother made something she called Cherry Mallow dessert. It was canned cherry pie filling on a graham cracker crust. Possibly with some Cool Whip involved. Hopefully she can fill in the details tomorrow. Maybe this belongs on the trashy food thread instead?!

                                                                  Personally, it's fruit crisp or cobbler for me, but my mother never made that.

                                                                  1. Gingerbread made from the Dromedary mix. Eaten out-of-hand with some nice sliced pears it makes a good mid-afternoon snack.

                                                                    1. My favorite childhood summer dessert is/was Ambrosia (otherwise known as 5-Cup Salad)

                                                                      Mandarin oranges, pineapple, mini-marshmallows, shredded coconut, sour cream and maraschino cherries. Okay six cups!

                                                                        1. i still make my mom's version of apple crisp--it was her mom's, too. the topping is a flour, butter, sugar and egg crumble--we were not a rolled oats family. i still arm wrestle with my wife--the silver fox--because she prefers that abomination, apple crisp with oat meal. worse, she likes ice cream on top of the crisp. my memory requires that the warm crisp be served with a good soaking of half-and-half.

                                                                          1. Mom cooked her butt off. Never used boxes for anything at all. She liked to cook, so she made a plethora of desserts that we would get excited about:

                                                                            Bread pudding
                                                                            Pineapple upside down cake
                                                                            bananas foster with ice cream
                                                                            blonde brownies
                                                                            Blackberry cobbler in summer (we had a secret stash just up the road of wild blackberries)

                                                                            BUT, the family favorite desserts were in summer, when we'd spread newspaper on the table after dinner, Dad would get out the giant knife, the ice pick and the hammer, and we'd have watermelon and fresh coconut followed by an hour of cleaning the dining room floor from the seed spitting fights.

                                                                            1. Some of my favorites (surprisingly not yet mentioned):

                                                                              strawberry shortcake--in season here NOW!
                                                                              rhubarb crisp--also seasonal
                                                                              icebox cake--vanilla pudding over graham crackers, topped with another layer of grahams, then chocolate pudding. Graham cracker crumbs top the chocolate pudding for contrast (less dramatic visually when the vanilla pudding is the top layer).
                                                                              magic cookie bars--these are ALWAYS a fave

                                                                              3 Replies
                                                                              1. re: kattyeyes

                                                                                Strawberry shortcake, for sure (or the birthday-cake variation of a layer cake of sponge cake iced with whipped cream and strawberries, including between the layers; my childhood fave version made with chocolate layers).

                                                                                The specialty of a family friend (he still makes this), pineapple upside-down gingerbread cake.

                                                                                From-scratch chocolate pudding and chocolate pudding cake.

                                                                                KE, I have to tell you, when I first had magic cookie/x-number layer bars in high school, the friend who made them called them "Big O" bars - because that was peoples' approximate reaction when they ate them.

                                                                                1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                  I will never think of magic cookie bars again without remembering this discussion. ;)

                                                                                  We also had that layer cake variation from our favorite Italian bakery for birthdays--only addition here was peaches.

                                                                                  1. re: kattyeyes

                                                                                    Doesn't the earth move when you eat them?

                                                                                    Peaches would be an excellent addition, and I see peach-strawberry shortcakes (the traditional biscuit kind) in my future!

                                                                              2. Great Grandma- apple pie
                                                                                Grandma Ginger- lemon bars or the peanut butter cookies with a hershey kiss on top
                                                                                Grandma Connie- vanilla ice cream with a crust and top made of crushed oreos and caramel drizzled over the top
                                                                                Mom- apple crisp or homemade applesauce
                                                                                Dad- fudge or Velvet Crumb Cake (made with chocolate frosting instead of the coconut topping)

                                                                                1. Refrig cake...make a cake mix, poke small holes with fork after it cools then pour over jello mix that has been dissolved in boiling water and cooled with ice cubes. I also like chocolate sheet cake with rasberry jello poured in...throw in frig and serve later with some whipped topping. I liked that one.

                                                                                  3 Replies
                                                                                  1. re: melly

                                                                                    that choco-raspberry combo sounds intriguing. but, my sister's family adores sheet cake, but it is just too sweet for me. maybe i can use the raspberry jello with a duncan hines mix.....

                                                                                    dark chocolate fudge or devil's food (what's the difference, anyway)?

                                                                                    1. re: alkapal

                                                                                      Devil's Food Cake is more evil I think...so it's my choice.

                                                                                      1. re: melly

                                                                                        melly, do you know by any chance what's the special flavoring that makes a chocolate cake "devil's food"?

                                                                                  2. Grandma M - Chocolate cake with 7-minute icing (birthday standard)
                                                                                    Grandma Z - Apple pie, made right with lard crust and bruised Cortlands
                                                                                    Dad - Apple fritters with pancake syrup, sometimes served as the main course
                                                                                    Mom - Chocolate chip cookies (extra chips, no nuts) -- I'm sort of surprised that no one else mentions chocolate chip cookies on this thread. Perhaps they are also more main course than dessert?

                                                                                    1. This makes me think of my grandma, who wasn't a cook, but was female and had potlucks to go to :o) Cool whip was a staple.

                                                                                      She did one thing that I crave, and it's so delightfully trashy. White cake base, cream cheese and cool whip blended fluff on that, topped with canned pie cherries. Done in a big, deep pan, and refrigerated!

                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                      1. re: Vetter

                                                                                        That sounds divine. Cherry pie filling or the cherries themselves? You could snob it up with whipped cream and fresh sour cherries I suppose...but a little cool whip never hurt anybody.

                                                                                        1. re: buttertart

                                                                                          I was thinking the same. Except for the pie filling it sounds awesome. Maybe with jarred cherries?

                                                                                      2. My mother wasn't one for packaged foods, and she wasn't much of a baker either, but I love old fashioned, homey desserts -- trifle, gingerbread, shortcake, crumble.

                                                                                        ______________________
                                                                                        http://www.savour-fare.com

                                                                                        1. How 'bout hot fudge sundae cake, the kind where you pour boiling water over batter, pop it into the oven, and end up with a half cake, half pudding goop. I remember that being pretty fantastic with vanilla Ben & Jerry's in college!

                                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                                          1. re: cimui

                                                                                            I did mention that, but by the name I know it as from my childhood, chocolate pudding cake. But since it's best served warm with ice cream, and gives you cake and fudgy sauce, hot fudge sundae cake is a very appropriate name!

                                                                                            1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                              Oh, sorry I didn't make that connection! There's a brand of cake mix that was around when I was a kid that advertised itself as having "pudding in the mix" (Duncan Hines?), so every time I think of pudding cake, I think of that. Either way, the goopy cake is absofrickin'lutely great stuff, eh? =)

                                                                                          2. orange popsicles ( mom wasnt a baker)

                                                                                            8 Replies
                                                                                            1. re: cassoulady

                                                                                              You just made me have a flavor hallucination - that was a very distinct orange taste.

                                                                                              1. re: cassoulady

                                                                                                cassoulady and buttertart, have you tried these edy's frozen fruit bars? http://www.edys.com/brand/fruitbars/i...
                                                                                                i'll bet they're good.

                                                                                                1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                  i have not! I still love the flavor or an orange popsicle.

                                                                                                    1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                      They sound good. Freezer space at a minimum, will try to squeeze some in!

                                                                                                      1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                        In our local Lucky's supermarket, I have discovered the best fruit popsicles I've ever tasted. They're made by Vietnamese and come in a green box. The best, imho, are the coconut. Unlike the other brands I've tried, where the coconut is shredded, these have large chunks or large shavings of coconut. Wonderful! They're local, I think...I mean local to California. I'll post the name next time I get them. I don't usually shop at supermarkets, having the luxury of Berkeley Bowl in my neighborhood, but this is worth a special trip. I get them at the Lucky's on 18th and Lakeshore in Oakland.

                                                                                                        1. re: oakjoan

                                                                                                          oakjoan, we have vietnamese markets here, too. so if possible, could you please post a photo with the name? sometimes it helps me find things when the clerks don't speak english.

                                                                                                          1. re: oakjoan

                                                                                                            You always make me homesick for my 13 yrs in Berkeley. The Bowl is unmatched anywhere I've seen in NYC. I fondly remember its smell and that of the Produce Center on Shattuck across from Chez Panisse...need to get back one of these days.

                                                                                                    2. My favorite dessert of my grandmother's was actually not from scratch: Jell-O Chocolate Pudding (NOT instant) made with whole milk and served still warm.

                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                      1. re: katydid13

                                                                                                        My mother used to make something called Spanish Cream Cake for my birthday every year. I would not stand for any other cake. I've lost the recipe. I've seen recipes that approximate it, but have not tried any. It's not fair that I have to make it for myself! Not fair, I tell you!

                                                                                                      2. Ice box cake brings back a lot of memories. But mom would also make a window glass cake. Graham cracker crust, a couple of flavors of jello made in shallow pans cut in little cubes. Then another flavor made cooled and mixed with cool whip, then add in cubes of jello and fill crust. I think it's on the jello website.
                                                                                                        Chocolate chip cookies, surprise cookies, vanilla with a dark chocolate mint in the middle.

                                                                                                        1. Does anyone remember WaterGate cake. A pistacio cake with like a pudding and cream frosting . Oh and what about that pina colada cake that stayed in the fridge for like 3-4 days before it was served. I also loved boston cream pie cake.

                                                                                                          6 Replies
                                                                                                          1. re: Analisas mom

                                                                                                            i remember not only watergate cake, but watergate salad, too (with the lime jello and -- cottage cheese? nuts, something else?). EDIT: oops, i guess i don't remember much except it was green. in fact, this recipe says it used pistachio pudding, marshmallows, nuts, cool whip and pineapple: http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Watergat...

                                                                                                            (so what's the lime jello cottage cheese thingy called?). ANOTHER edit: why, silly girl, it is called lime jello - cottage cheese salad! http://www.cooks.com/rec/search/0,1-0...

                                                                                                            i'd like to try a piƱa colada cake.

                                                                                                            1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                              the pina colada cake rocked. I will try to get the recipe from my Mom.

                                                                                                              1. re: Analisas mom

                                                                                                                i'd appreciate that. fresh coconut, fresh pineapple -- a match made in heaven!

                                                                                                            2. re: Analisas mom

                                                                                                              Bacardi rum cake too, very popular in the mid-late 70's.

                                                                                                              1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                my mom made harvey wallbanger cakes too, lol.

                                                                                                                1. re: hotoynoodle

                                                                                                                  those were very popular. made galliano a household liqueur.

                                                                                                            3. I'm surprised to see so few mentions of gingerbread! Our usual dessert was fruit (out of hand), but gingerbread was the quintessential summertime treat for us as kids- big tall pieces of moist, dark gingerbread, sticky with molasses but not too sweet, with a drizzle of cream or (as a real treat) a dollop of ice cream.

                                                                                                              Fruit cobblers, buckles (or grunts), pies, and so on were also common, or the occasional custard pie, sugar cake (=sponge cake). We also sometimes had plain custard (with nutmeg). For fancy company, a nut cake or a light fluffy cheesecake. I still make all of these other things, but for some reason, have never managed to have gingerbread come out as well as my mother's or grandmother's did.

                                                                                                              4 Replies
                                                                                                              1. re: another_adam

                                                                                                                My impression is that gingerbread is somewhat regional - the northeast especially New England? It wasn't big in my (Canadian) or my husband's (Iowan) childhoods.

                                                                                                                1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                  Oh, yeah, could be regional. (I grew up rural upstate NY, family is from around there and rural New England). Gingerbread was definitely a summertime treat for us, to be enjoyed with cream in the heat of July. I think the reason might be that, unlike pies or other things that require crusts, it doesn't require working with butter in the hot humid weather. Or, maybe we just associated it with summer :)

                                                                                                                  (Is the gingerbread for the holidays the same thing, actually? I think of gingerbread spice cookies, not big squares of fluffy black gingerbread. But I may have formed this impression from TV)

                                                                                                                2. re: another_adam

                                                                                                                  I think a lot of people associate gingerbread with fall and winter, and with the holidays.

                                                                                                                  1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                                    I was thinking the same thing, Caitlin.

                                                                                                                3. My favorite in the summer was this killer dessert pizza my aunt used to make that I would look so froward to.

                                                                                                                  1. for me it's a tie between peach cobbler (with a poured, cake-like crust, and Strawberry Shortcake. Mom always and only made it with freshly baked baking powder biscuits, and that's the only way I like shortcake to this day. ;)

                                                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                                                    1. re: ChefJune

                                                                                                                      Yes! Biscuits. My MIL (65 and a demon cook) made this for us last trip to see her. With pouring cream...

                                                                                                                      1. re: ChefJune

                                                                                                                        chefjune, would my mom's cobbler recipe be similar to your cobbler's recipe?

                                                                                                                        http://www.chow.com/recipes/13522

                                                                                                                      2. Jello with canned fruit cup! Not that I'm going to re-visit that, but yup, that was my childhood.

                                                                                                                        1. Queen Elizabeth Cake which was a dense date nut cake with a broiled coconut icing.

                                                                                                                          German chocolate cake

                                                                                                                          I think I liked it best when she served a dish of strawberries with a dollop of sour cream, brown sugar on top.

                                                                                                                          Apple crisp

                                                                                                                          1. i always remember this chocolate cake my mom would make, something called Whacky Cake, or Crazy Cake. Made with vinegar, and very few ingredients mixed right in the baking dish. The top is very fudge like which I loved. Not being a sweet eater, I never liked frosting, it was perfect. Actually I make this cake every now and then, it's perfect for a sweet treat with little effort.

                                                                                                                            4 Replies
                                                                                                                              1. re: hotoynoodle

                                                                                                                                i don't recall dump cake having a fudgy top, though....
                                                                                                                                http://images.google.com/images?clien...

                                                                                                                                here are some wacky cake photos.... and some look pretty darn good!!!
                                                                                                                                http://images.google.com/images?clien...

                                                                                                                                http://culinarytypes.blogspot.com/200...

                                                                                                                                the wacky cake is also made in the pan, like the dump cake. served with good homemade ice cream, i'll eat dump or wacky cakes ;-).

                                                                                                                                1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                  Yup you are correct ap, it is chocolatey, made in its own pan, and the easiest cake to whip up. Some people will shower it with confectioner sugar, not us, we like the top fudgey left all alone. Hm... time to make this.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                    The wacky cake recipe has the virtue of being naturally egg- and dairy-free, which means a) even if you've nothing fresh in the house, you've no doubt got all the ingredients, and b) it's good if you need something for vegan, egg/dairy allergic, or lactose intolerant individuals - yet it doesn't advertis that it "lacks" something.

                                                                                                                                    A double recipe works well in a bundt pan.

                                                                                                                              2. lemon pie, made with whipped evaporated milk, lemon juice and lemon jello, and cream cheese. It's in a graham cracker crust. The super old-style part of it is the Pet milk...super light and delicious dessert.

                                                                                                                                1. Definitely my mom's cherry pie - she wasn't much on added sweetener so it was sour and needed the homemade vanilla ice cream. Oh, and homemade peach ice cream in the summertime.

                                                                                                                                  1. My mother's strawberry pizza. It had a cookie crust, strawberries with cream cheese and was topped with whipped cream.

                                                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                                                    1. re: Sam D.

                                                                                                                                      With the 4th of July on the horizon, that'd be festive with the addition of blueberries. :)

                                                                                                                                    2. My mom used to make a three layer dessert, with Junket Danish raspberry dessert, a tapioca pudding, and chocolate mousse, in tall dessert glasses. Once chilled, it was topped with whipped cream. I don't remember the order of the layers, but my mom never made anything from scratch, so this must have been a recipe idea from somewhere. Anyone ever had anything similar or know the source of the recipe?

                                                                                                                                      1. Both rainbow sherbet (orange, lime, pineapple) and neopolitan ice cream (chocolate, vanilla, strawberry) fascinated me.
                                                                                                                                        My father (on birthdays) would make "marble" cakes, but the marbling was pastel pink and blue tinted batter in a white cake.
                                                                                                                                        Eating sweetened condensed milk out the can with a spoon!

                                                                                                                                        1. Chocolate cake with fudge frosting -- served at practically every birthday I can remember, except for my dad's birthday, because he always requested orange chiffon cake.

                                                                                                                                          Oh, and my grandmother's blueberry pie -- which was my grandfather's birthday "cake" request every year. :)