Still mixing and musing with DotMom

While I was out of the office yesterday, someone called and talked to one of my colleagues about DotMom’s “Mixing & Musing” cookbook, wondering where one could be acquired. As time goes by, such calls get more infrequent, but I continue to get them, and it’s gratifying that there is still a demand for a book that was first published almost 30 years ago.

Like DotMom did while she was still alive, I tell such callers that the book is long out of print, and their best bet is to look for the book at garage sales and auctions. A few copies have also shown up on eBay from time to time, and we’ve been amazed at how much they’ve garnered.

Although my siblings and I have occasionally discussed the possibility of doing a reprint, it’s doubtful that it will ever happen. I do, however, try to print recipes from the cookbook every once in a while, and today is just such a day. With strawberry season well under way, I’ve searched through “Mixing & Musing” for dishes that utilize those wonderful berries.

This first one is credited to former Worthingtonian Beverly Troth, now of Sioux Falls, S.D.

Strawberry Mousse

Hull 4 cups fresh strawberries, reserving six perfect strawberries for garnish. Combine hulled berries with 1 cup sugar in a large bowl. Crush with fork or potato masher. Drain through a sieve, reserving strawberry liquid for sauce. (You should have about 1 cup.)

In a saucepan, combine another 2/3 cup sugar with 1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar and 1/3 cup water. Heat slowly, stirring constantly, until sugar is dissolved, then cook rapidly without stirring to 240 degrees on a candy thermometer or until syrup spins a 2-inch thread.

While syrup cooks, beat 3 egg whites until they form soft peaks. Pour hot syrup slowly in a thin but steady stream over whites, beating constantly, until meringue stands in firm peaks. Add ½ teaspoon almond extract.

In a large bowl, beat 2 cups heavy cream until stiff. Fold in crushed strawberries, then fold in meringue until no streaks of white remain. Carefully spoon into an 8-cup mold or bread pan. Freeze until firm, preferably overnight.

To make sauce, in a small saucepan combine reserved strawberry liquid and 2 teaspoons cornstarch until smooth. Cook, stirring constantly, over medium heat, until mixture thickens and bubbles. Add 2 tablespoons Triple Sec liqueur or 1 tablespoon lemon juice. Cool; refrigerate until ready to use.

When ready to serve, run a sharp-tip knife around top of mold to loosen; dip mold quickly in and out of hot water. Cover mold with serving plate; turn upside down; shake gently; carefully lift off mold. Spoon small amount of sauce over mousse and pass remainder separately. Garnish with reserved large berries.

Since strawberry pie seems to be the quintessential early summer dessert, here are two versions from “Mixing & Musing.”

Strawberry Pouf Pie

For first layer, partially whip 1 cup cream. Add ½ cup powdered sugar and 6 ounces softened Neufchatel cheese. Continue whipping until thick. Spread over bottom of a 9-inch baked pastry shell. Chill.

Wash 2 cups fresh strawberries, saving perfect berries for garnish. Slice remaining berries over top of cheese layer. Chill.

For third layer, combine ½ cup sugar, 1 envelope unflavored gelatin, 2/3 cup water, 1/3 cup lemon juice and 4 slightly beaten egg yolks. Blend thoroughly. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, just until mixture comes to a boil. Stir in 1 tablespoon grated lemon rind. Place pan in cold water and cool until mixture mounds slightly when dropped from a spoon.

Make a meringue by beating the 4 egg whites with ½ teaspoon cream of tartar and ½ cup sugar until stiff. Fold meringue into cooled gelatin mixture. Swirl on top of strawberry layer. Chill. Garnish with halved strawberries.

Fresh Strawberry Pie

Mix 1 cup sugar with 3 tablespoons strawberry Jell-O and 4 tablespoons cornstarch. Add 1½ cups cold water. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly, until clear. Add ½ teaspoon red food coloring. Cool to lukewarm.

Stir 1 pint fresh strawberries into the sauce. Pour into a 9-inch baked pie shell. Chill. Serve with whipped cream garnish.

What’s your favorite strawberry recipe? I’m not above begging: Won’t you please, please, please consider sharing your recipes for this forum? I’d especially love to get some recipes that make good use of what’s in season.

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