Thursday, March 10, 2005

Former Baker

When I talked to Mom over the weekend we got to talking about baking. Mom has always been an excellent baker. Her cooking? Not always creative or delicious. But she could bake. Dad, my sisters and I always got a special from-scratch cake for our birthdays. At Christmas, she made Yule Bread (some call it Yulekake). Every year, without fail. There might have been years she didn't feel like making it -- it's a huge project -- but every year, there it was, warm and fragrant on Christmas morning.

I asked Mom if she ever misses baking. She answered, emphatically, "Yes!" So in remembrance of Mom's great baking, here's one of her recipes. Be warned: It makes a LOT so invite some friends over to share.

Floating Island

3 cups flour
1-1/2 teaspoon salt
4-1/2 teaspons baking powder
3 tablespoons sugar
Scant 1/2 cup shortening
1-1/3 cups milk (more or less -- enough for moist dough)

4-5 medium apples peeled, cored and sliced
2 tablespoons butter
3/4 cup sugar
Cinnamon to taste

1 cup sugar

Mix flour, salt, baking powder, 3 tbl. sugar, shortening and milk. Roll out onto floured board (I don't know how big -- probably about 12" x 15" -- until it looks right). Top with the sliced apples. Dot with butter. Sprinkle with the 3/4 cup sugar and cinnamon. Roll up and place in dutch oven, arranging to form a circle. In the center, put 1 cup sugar. Pour boiling water in until it's about halfway up the dough.

Bake about an hour at 375 degrees.

Serve warm with cream or ice cream.

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