It’s French, it’s English, it’s American South. It’s creme anglaise, it’s sweet cream, it’s ice cream base, it’s boiled custard! The recipes are mostly identical. The cooking methods are mostly identical. Cook and stir until the mixture coats the back of a spoon is the universal directions. If you get it too hot it will curdle. Strain the finished cream for a wonderful, smooth, not too sweet drink. I prefer it chilled. It is a wonderful addition poured over cakes or any other dessert. There’s untold numbers of recipes available. I chose today’s because there are not quite as many steps to the finished product.

Boiled Custard

2 cups milk, scalded

3 large egg yolks, slightly beaten

1/4 cup sugar

Pinch of salt

In a medium size heavy saucepan, scald milk. Very slowly stir in eggs, sugar and salt. Place the pot over gently boiling water. Stir constantly until mixture is smooth and slightly thickened. Remove from heat.

As it cools, beat occasionally. Before chilling thoroughly, stir in a teaspoon of vanilla, rum or bourbon.

Serve in small cups. Top with whipped cream if desired.

To scald milk: Heat milk until tiny bubbles appear on the sides of the pan.

I am not usually a fan of sweet coffee. However, I enjoyed the spice mix in my coffee more with a little sugar. I recommend letting each guest sweeten to their taste.

How many of you have the time to make a pumpkin roll during the holidays? And isn’t it one of the best desserts in the world? I love all things pumpkin, especially pumpkin roll. I can make three of today’s version in the time I’d spend on one (probably broken) roll. I did change the cake To a firmer textured, more flavorful recipe. The reason for buying the extra cake mix is because older recipes altering cake mixes into masterpieces of yum used the formula for an 18.25 ounce mix.

The mixes are now decreased to 15.25 ounces with no decrease in price, I might add. I think I may have made my disapproval clear in a phone call to Duncan Hines recently.

A member of the family who owned the beloved Van’ s Bakery in Maryville told me about purchasing the extra cake mix. She buys a white cake mix and uses it in whatever flavor mix she’s using at the time. Thank her.

Pumpkin spice mix for coffee

4 teaspoons cinnamon

2 teaspoons ginger

2 teaspoons nutmeg

1 teaspoon cloves

1 teaspoon allspice

1 cup nondairy milk powder

Mix thoroughly.

To serve: 2 rounded teaspoons powder to one cup strong,hot coffee. Sugar to taste if desired. Store in a tightly covered container.

Filled pumpkin spice cake

2 spice cake mixes, divided

1 small package Jell-o French Vanilla instant pudding mix

3 eggs

1/2 cup vegetable Oil or melted butter

1/2 cup half and half

1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup Pumpkin puree

Preheat oven to 350°. Spray a 9x13 baking pan with Pam. Line with parchment, spray parchment.

In a large bowl, combine one cake mix and three ounces from the other. Reserve remaining mix for future use. Whisk together dry ingredients then add all the remaining ingredients. Beat two minutes. Spread evenly in the prepared pan. Bake 30-35 minutes or until a cake tester inserted into the middle comes out clean. Cool completely on a wire rack.

Cut the cake in half horizontally. Carefully remove the top layer spread filling over bottom layer. Replace top layer. Cover tightly with plastic wrap.

Chill until serving time.

For the filling:

1 (8-ounce) container extra creamy cool whip

1 cup sifted powdered sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

8 ounces cream cheese at room temperature

Beat sugar with cream cheese until smooth. Add vanilla and powdered sugar. Beat until smooth. Fold in Cool whip. Spread on bottom half of cake. Cook’s note: This is delicious with other cake flavors or cup cakes. Especially chocolate.

MISS OLIVIA Sipe is the owner of Miss Olivia’s Table in Maryville.

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