It’s time for another heaping helping of short cuts, saving you time and money in the kitchen and elsewhere. Today we’re focusing on baking tips and hints so your culinary creations not only taste terrific, but save you time, too!
Most of these tips are from my mom. “Time tested. Mother approved!” So let’s get to it:
- Egg whites need to be at room temperature for greater volume when whipped. Remember this when making meringue!
- When preparing several patches of pie dough, roll dough out between sheets of plastic wrap. Stack the discs in a pizza box. Keep the box in the freezer. Pull out the required crusts as needed.
- Place your pie plate on a cake stand when placing the pie dough in it and fluting the edges. The cake stand will make it easier to turn the pie plate, and you won’t have to stoop over.
- May kitchen utensils can be used to make decorative pie edges. For a scalloped edge, use a spoon. Crosshatched and herringbone patterns are achieved with a fork. For a sharply pointed effect use a can opener to cut out points around the rim.
- Keep strawberries fresh for up to 10 days by refrigerating them (unwashed) in an airtight container between layers of paper towels.
- When grating citrus peel, bits of peel are often stuck in the holes of the greater. Rather than waste the peel, brush off the grater with a clean toothbrush.
- When cutting butter into flour for pastry dough, the process is easier if you cut the butter into small pieces first, before adding it to the dough.
- To keep the cake plate clean while frosting, slide 6-inch strips of waxed paper under each side of the cake. Once the cake is frosted and the frosting is set, pull the strips away, leaving a clean plate.
- Professionally decorated cakes have a silky, molten look. To get that appearance, frost your cake as usual. Then use a hair dryer to blow-dry the surface until the frosting melts slightly.
Here’s a quick and easy recipe for Swedish Pineapple Cake to jump-start your dessert menu:
- 2 cups sugar
- 2 cups flour
- 2 eggs
- 2 tsp. soda
- 1 (20 oz.) can crushed pineapple (undrained)
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 1/2 cup nutmeats
Combine all ingredients (do not use a mixer). Pour into a 9 x 13 inch pan. Bake at 350′ for 35-40 minutes.
- 1 (8-oz.) pkg. softened cream cheese
- 1 stick margarine
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 1/2 cup nuts
Combine all ingredients. Beat well. Frost cooled cake. Enjoy!
Who’s hungry for dessert?
Zested lemon image credit