What’s Cookin’ at the Sweet Seasons Bakery Café?

Breath of SpringBecause I love to cook as much as Miriam and Naomi do, here are recipes for some of the dishes they’ve served up in BREATH OF SPRING. The weather is warming in Willow Ridge but the gardens aren’t yet producing, so these dishes reflect that time of year when Plain folks empty out their freezers and use up the quart jars of last summer’s harvest, preparing for the fresh food to come. I constantly read Amish cookbooks, The Budget, and Lovina Eicher’s weekly newspaper column, The Amish Cook, so I can say yes, the convenience foods you see as ingredients are authentic!

I’ll also post these here on my website. If you don’t see the recipe you want, please email me to request it, plus bookmarks, etc—and let me know how you like them! I hope you enjoy making these dishes as much as I do! Yum!
~Charlotte

P.S.: You also find on this page recipes for some of the dishes they’ve served up in SUMMER OF SECRETS, AUTUMN WINDS, WINTER OF WISHES and AN AMISH COUNTRY CHRISTMAS.

Recipes

Recipes appear in alphabetical order.

Annie Mae’s Apple Pie

Looking for a way to perk up an old standby? What a difference it makes to use brown sugar and fresh lemon rind along with your favorite firm apple—my choice is usually Jonathan, Jonagold, or Braeburn.

6 C. tart, firm apples, cored, peeled and sliced
3/4 C. brown sugar
2 T. cinnamon
Dash of salt
4 T. all-purpose flour
Grated rind of one lemon
1 T. fresh lemon juice
3 T. butter
Pastry for a 10” double-crust pie

Preheat oven to 375º. Place apple slices in a large bowl, add brown sugar, spices, flour, the lemon rind and the juice, and mix until apples are coated. Place filling in the bottom crust and dot with butter. Slice the other crust into strips and weave for a lattice top; flute the edges. Cover the edge with foil and bake for 25 minutes, then remove the foil and bake for an additional 25 minutes. Makes 8 large slices.

Kitchen Hint: I can never get the foil to stay around my crust edge, so I use a nifty adjustable silicone pie shield instead. You can find them in kitchen gadget shops or online.

Annie Mae’s Favorite Macaroni Salad

This is a fabulous salad that serves a crowd. The difference is in the dressing . . . Amish cooks tend to add sugar to their dressings. If you’re watching your calories, you can omit the sugar and still have a tasty dish that’ll be a hit at potlucks and picnics.

3 C. uncooked elbow macaroni, shells, etc.
3 hard-cooked eggs, chopped
3 stalks celery, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
1 small red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
3 T. dill pickle relish
2 C. creamy salad dressing (e.g. Miracle Whip)
3 T. yellow mustard
3/ 4 C. white sugar
3 tsp. white vinegar
2 tsp. celery seed
Salt and pepper to taste

Bring a pot of water to boil, add macaroni, and cook according to package directions. Drain and set aside. In a large bowl, combine the chopped eggs and vegetables. In a smaller bowl, blend the rest of the ingredients, then combine this dressing with the macaroni, eggs, and vegetables. Cover and chill at least 2 hours (or overnight) before serving. Serves 10-12. Keeps about 3 days in the fridge.

Kitchen Hint: I make this salad with whole wheat macaroni, which adds fiber and doesn’t change the taste a bit. I also like to mix pasta shapes, using a cup of each!

Apple Crisp

OK, I confess that I make this recipe more for the “crisp” than for the apples! So I tend to put a lot of the oatmeal-butter-sugar topping on the fruit, thinking the oatmeal—as a whole grain—and the fresh fruit qualify this as health food. You decide.

1 C. quick or old-fashioned oats
1 C. packed brown sugar
½ C. all-purpose flour
1 T. cinnamon
½ C. butter or margarine
3 or 4 large apples

Preheat oven to 350º. Combine the oats, brown sugar, flour, and cinnamon and then cut in the butter until well blended. Set aside. Peel, core and slice the apples to make 5-6 cups and put them in a greased/sprayed 2-quart baking dish. Sprinkle the oatmeal topping over the fruit, then dig down into the fruit with a spoon to mix in some of the topping. Bake about 40-45 minutes or until fruit is bubbly. Enjoy warm with cream or ice cream. Serves 4-6.

Kitchen Hint: This is also yummy using the same amount of peaches or rhubarb!

Apple Walnut Coffee Cake

Wow, is this just the yummiest use of apples there is! Call it coffee cake or call it dessert, but call folks to the table and watch it disappear.

2 C. sugar
1 C. plus 2 T. vegetable or canola oil
1/4 C. apple cider
3 large eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. each cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, and baking soda
3 C. all-purpose flour
2 large, firm apples (Granny Smith or Jonathan work well), peeled cored and sliced (3 ½ C.)
1 1/2 C. chopped walnuts
Powdered sugar, if desired

Preheat oven to 350º. Spray a 10-inch tube pan with a removable insert. Stir sugar, oil, apple cider, eggs, vanilla, seasonings and soda in a large bowl until blended. Stir in the flour until smooth, and then stir in the apples and walnuts. Pour into the pan, and bake an hour and ten- to twenty minutes, until a toothpick in the center comes out clean. Dust with powdered sugar if desired. Cool on a wire rack for an hour before removing the sides of the pan. Cool completely before lifting the cake from the pan’s bottom.