HOLIDAY FEATURE RECIPE – Gumdrop Cake
I always use Ganong gumdrops because they are made right here in the Maritimes and they are really good quality. I do not use the black or pink gumdrops (black has strong licorice taste and pink has a peppermint taste). Cut your gumdrops into halves or quarters using well ‘floured’ scissors and toss the gumdrops into ¼ cup of flour. Keep dipping your scissor blades into flour to avoid them getting too sticky. If you skip this step of dredging the gumdrops, your gumdrops will fall to the bottom of the cake when it’s baking. I prefer to use a funnel cake pan for this cake, for presentation and because it’s a thick batter cake, I find it helps the cake to cook evenly without having to overcook.
- ¼ cup flour for dredging cut 1 lb gumdrops (go ahead and start with this step)
Cream together the following:
- 1 cup softened unsalted butter
- 1½ cups white sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla, good quality
- 1 tsp grated lemon zest
Pour in 1 cup (room temp) milk to batter and mix until smooth.
Sift 2¼ cups flour with 2½ tsp baking powder and ½ tsp salt.
Add flour mixture to the batter and beat until well mixed and smooth. Gently fold in the floured gumdrops. Do not over-mix once the gumdrops are added. Pour into a greased funnel pan and bake at 300 degrees for 2 hours. Use a toothpick to check for uncooked batter. If the toothpick comes out clean, it’s done. If raw batter comes out on the toothpick, bake for an additional 10 minutes and recheck with clean toothpick. Let cake sit for 30 minutes before removing from the pan. This cake will slice better on the second day. My dear friend Barb taught me many years ago how to make this cake and it’s still one of my favorite holiday tradition. Your guests will love this with a piping hot cup of tea.
Autumn Crisp (Apple Crumble)
- 4 – 6 large Jonagold apples
- ¼ cup white sugar
- juice of 1 lemon
- 2 tbsp flour
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- 1 cup walnuts or pecans, chopped
- 1 cup flour
- 1¼ cup rolled oats
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- pinch of salt
- 8 tbsp cold butter – 1 stick, chunked into small pieces
Preheat oven to 350. Peel and core apples. Slice apples into ¼-inch slices. In a large bowl or ziplock bag, toss apples in lemon juice, white sugar, 2 tbsp flour & ½ tsp cinnamon. Evenly spread out the coated apples into a lightly greased 9″ x 13″ baking dish.
In a large bowl, mix nuts, flour, rolled oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Using a pastry cutter (or your hands), gently cut in the cold butter. Mixture will be lumpy. Top the apples with this mixture and bake for 45 minutes.
Serve this piping hot with French vanilla ice cream.
Bay of Fundy Bacon Wrapped Scallops (with Maple Syrup from Briggs Maple)
Rinse 1 – 2 lbs of fresh scallops and marinate for at least one hour (in fridge) in:
3/4 cup Briggs Maple syrup
¼ cup low sodium soy sauce
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
Preheat oven to 375 F. Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Arrange a pack of bacon on baking sheet (do not overlap) and bake for 6-8 minutes until bacon is soft and pliable. Remove from oven and pat with paper towel to remove excess grease.
Wrap each marinated scallop with a piece of bacon and secure with a toothpick (If you plan to BBQ the scallops, it helps to soak the toothpicks in water for 30 minutes before cooking on the grill)
Bake at 375 F on a covered baking sheet for 10-15 minutes or grill on the BBQ on med-high heat for 4-5 mins per side depending on the size of the scallop (turning frequently and ensure grill marks are on the bacon and not on the scallop to prevent sticking to the grill).
Transfer to platter, sprinkle with ground pepper and drizzle with Briggs Maple syrup. Your guests will certainly appreciate this appetizer.
Bay of Fundy Clam Chowder
- 1 pint shucked clams
- 3 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
- 1 clove crushed garlic
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- Milk or cream to taste
- Salt and pepper, to taste
Steam enough clams to make a pint after shucking. Save filtered broth, keeping clams aside. Add potatoes, garlic and onions to filtered clam broth. Cover and simmer until potatoes are tender. In a separate saucepan, warm milk until bubbles form. Add milk to broth mixture. Flavor with salt and pepper.
- ½ cup softened butter
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 3½ cups flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 cup milk
- 1½ tsp lemon extract
- 4 cups blueberries
Beat together butter, sugar and eggs. Add milk and lemon extract. Sift together flour, soda and salt and gradually add into wet ingredients. Once smooth, fold in blueberries and gently pour batter into a greased 9 inch pan.
Topping – 2 tbsp granulated sugar, 1 tsp cinnamon. Mix ingredients in a bowl and sprinkle on to batter in pan. Bake for 1 hour at 350F. Remove from oven and drizzle ½ tbsp melted butter and 1 tbsp of fresh lemon juice on top of cake crumble. Just try not to eat the whole cake…
- 2/3 cup sweetened condensed milk (Eagle Brand)
- ¼ cup white vinegar
- ½ tsp garlic power
Whisk ingredients together until smooth consistency. Refrigerate for 1 hour before serving. Serve with your favorite ‘garlic finger’ recipe.
- 1 pound fiddleheads, washed and trimmed
- 1 potato, peeled and cubed
- 2 cups water
- 3 tbsp butter
- 3 flour
- 4 cups milk
- ½ cup heavy cream
- Salt & pepper, to taste
- ½ tsp dried tarragon
- ½ tsp dried rosemary
- 2 tsp dried chervil
- 1 tsp dried parsley
Cook fiddleheads and potatoes in 2 cups water until tender. Meanwhile, melt butter in small saucepan and whisk in flour. Slowly whisk in 2 cups milk and cook over medium heat until slightly thickened, whisking often.
Place cooked potatoes and fiddleheads in a blender with their cooking liquid and puree. Return to large saucepan, add thickened sauce, remaining milk, cream, salt and pepper and herbs, Reheat, being careful not to boil mixture. Stir with wooden spoon.
Friday Night Chicken Wings
- 3 cups cooking oil
- 2 cups sweet chili sauce (VH sweet thai or homemade recipe below)
- 1 bunch cilantro
- 1-2 limes
- 24 chicken wings with drumette attached
Sweet Chili Sauce: (from Maryann Dover, Saint John NB – printed in the Rural Delivery, September 2018)
½ pound fresh hot peppers
1 bulb garlic
2 tsp salt
2 cups brown sugar
2 cups cider vinegar
Chop peppers and garlic to a coarse mix. Mix all ingredients together in saucepan and bring to a boil. Turn the heat down and simmer for 20 minutes. Bottle, seal, and let set for two weeks before eating.
Heat oil in crock pot (line with foil) for 25 minutes until wings are almost fully cooked. Drain wings on cooling rack and allow grease to drip dry. Once room temperature, toss wings with chili sauce and juice of 1 lime. Cover tightly and refrigerate overnight. When ready to grill, heat grill to high and char each side (or bake in oven at 425F on foil lined sheet. Sprinkle with coarse salt, garnish with lime slices & serve with Twice Baked Potatoes – recipe below.
Gramma’s Sugar Pie
- Pastry for single-crust pie
- 2 large eggs
- 2 large egg yolks
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- 2 cup dark corn syrup or golden syrup
- ½ tsp fine sea salt
- 1 tbsp. vanilla extract
- Juice of ½ lemon
- 2/3 cup unsalted butter
- Whipped cream
- Toasted nuts (pecans, walnuts or hazelnuts)
Grease a 10-inch tart pan with removable bottom and coat with flour, tapping out excess flour. Roll the pastry into a circle until it reaches 1/8 inches thickness. Ease into the pan and press dough into the scalloped edges of the pan. Cut away overhanging dough. Prick the pastry on the bottom of the pan with a fork. Refrigerate. In a bowl, beat eggs and egg yolks until slightly frothy. Add brown sugar, syrup, salt, vanilla and juice; stir until well mixed and smooth consistency. Melt butter in small saucepan and add butter to egg mixture. Pour filling into prepared tart pan. Bake at 350F for 35-40 minutes or until crust is brown and filling has set. Cool tart for 1 hour on a rack, then refrigerate for minimum 3 hours before serving. Serve with a heaping dollop of whipped cream and a few toasted nuts to balance the dish.
- 1 cup each fresh green beans, yellow beans – ends snapped
- 1 cup chunked fresh carrots from the garden or baby carrots
- 2 cups washed new potatoes (leave skins on)
- ½ cup salted butter
- ½ cup of cereal cream (10%)
- 1 Tbsp flour
- ½ cup water or chicken stock
- Cover beans and carrots with salted water in a pot, bring to a boil for 30 minutes. Add potatoes and cook for another 30 minutes.
- Stir in butter and cream.
- Wisk flour and ½ cup water or chicken stock. Pour over veggies.
- Cook for 5 minutes to thicken sauce.
- Remove from stovetop and serve hot!
Variations: Chunked turnip can be added when beans and carrots are added. Fresh peas can be added when potatoes are added. Traditional Nova Scotian Hodge Podge is made by adding crispy bits of bacon in the last 5 minutes of cooking.
- 3 cups cold cooked lobster meat, bite-sized pieces
- ¼ finely cupped celery
- 2/3 cup mayonnaise
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- 2 cups shredded iceberg lettuce
- 4 hotdog style buns, toasted
- chopped chives to sprinkle on top
Combine lobster, celery, mayo in a small mixing bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Place lettuce on rolls and fill with lobster mixture. Serve with oven baked French fries and coleslaw. A truly delicious maritime lunch!
Mother’s Baked Beans
- 1 pound New Brunswick soldier beans or navy beans
- 1 bay leaf, 2 sprigs celery leaves, 2 sprigs fresh parsley, all wrapped together in cheesecloth
- ½ pound salt pork
- ½ cup fancy molasses
- ¼ cup dark brown sugar
- 2 tsp dry mustard
- ¼ tsp pepper
- 1 medium onion, chopped fine
Cover beans with cold water and soak overnight. In the morning, drain and add enough fresh water to cover generously, add cheesecloth bouquet. Cook over low heat until the skins break open, about 2 hours.
Drain beans, reserving the liquid. Cut the salt pork in to ¼ inch slices. Place beans and pork slices in a crockpot. Mix the molasses, brown sugar, mustard, pepper and onion with 1 cup of the reserved bean liquid. Pour mixture over beans. Cover crockpot and cook on low for 10 hours. Add more bean liquid if desired.
- 2 English cukes, sliced thin into rounds
- 1 red or white onion, sliced thin
- 1 bunch fresh dill, chopped fine
- small knob of fresh gingerroot
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 cup cider vinegar
- ½ cup white sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 Tbsp fennel seeds
- 2 Tbsp coriander seeds
Combine vinegar, sugar, salt, seeds and bay leaves in a pot and bring to boil. Remove from heat and grate a pinch of ginger with fine grater. Toss cukes and onions in the hot liquid. Stir in dill. Refrigerate until cool and serve. Batch will keep for weeks in your fridge. If you don’t have all the listed ingredients, ask you neighbor – a true Maritime custom!
Salt Water Taffy
How did salt water taffy get its name? No one knows for certain, but one story holds that it came from David Bradley (No, not the same David Bradley, Harry Potter fans), a candy store owner in the late 19th century. The legend goes that Bradley’s candy store became flooded during a major storm in 1883. His entire stock taffy became soaked with seawater from the Atlantic Ocean, so he began to call it “salt water taffy” as a joke.
- 1 cup white sugar
- 1 TBSP cornstarch
- 2/3 cup light corn syrup
- 1 TBSP unsalted butter
- ½ cup water
- ¼ tsp food coloring
- 3/4 tsp flavoring extract of your choice
- ½ tsp salt
Thoroughly butter a small baking dish and set aside. Place sugar, cornstarch, corn syrup, butter, water, and salt in a medium saucepan on medium-high heat. Mix thoroughly. Heat until the mixture reaches 255 F on a candy thermometer and immediately remove from the heat. Note: If you read other salt water taffy recipes, you’ll see a range of temperatures. The higher the temperature, the harder the taffy will be. 255 F makes a candy that holds its shape but dissolves in your mouth. Cut into 1″ pieces using buttered scissors –Wrap individually in waxed paper.
Twice Baked Potatoes
- 4 large Russet potatoes
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 4 Tbsp salted butter
- ½ cup 2% Baxter milk
- ½ cup full fat sour cream
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- 12 strips of cooked crumbled bacon
- ¼ cup diced green onion
- salt & pepper to taste (also try paprika or garlic salt)
Rub the clean potatoes with olive oil, and bake in a 400 degree oven for one hour (Reduce oven heat to 350 at this time). Once cooled enough to handle, slice them in half lengthwise with a sharp knife and scoop out the meat of the potato — leave enough of the shell to ensure they are sturdy to be filled and re-baked. Mix together by hand until a creamy texture; butter, milk, sour cream & potato. Over mixing will cause the potato mixture to have a sticky, pasty consistency. Gently fold in the cheddar cheese & half of the bacon. Season mixture with s & p. Refill the potato skins and bake for 20 minutes at 350. Garnish with additional crumbled bacon and diced green onion. Be sure that you have invited enough guests to help you eat these; your waist line will thank you!
- 4 lbs rhubarb
- 7 cups (It’s a lot, I know!) white granulated sugar
- 2 3-ounce packages of liquid pectin
- 2 drops red food coloring, optional
Prepare rhubarb in to small chunks, and blend in a food processor. Place rhubarb in a fine mesh sieve and press out as much liquid as possible. Measure out 3½ cups of liquid (you may add rose wine or apple juice if you are short on liquid). Pour liquid into dutch oven or large heavy pot. Stir in sugar and bring to rolling boil, stirring constantly. Add coloring if desired. Skim the top. Pour quickly into hot preserving jars, leaving ¼ inch space. Seal and process. Don’t be disappointed if it doesn’t taste like Grandma’s; nothing can ever compete with Grandma’s cooking.