Graham Cracker Cake pleases sweet tooth


April 14, 1999|By Ellen Hawks | Ellen Hawks,Sun Staff

Cheryl Hammerand of Wonder Lake, Ill., was looking for a cake from her past. When Hammerand was growing up in a Polish neighborhood on the northwest side of Chicago, her mother "always bought Graham Cracker Cake from the bakery. It was very light with whipped cream icing," she says. "Can you find this," she asks.

John Krawczyk, no address given, had the answer.

Barbara C. Reier of Towson was seeking a recipe for pineapple jam made with canned crushed pineapple and Sure-Jel or Certo.

A response came from Judee Freund of Kelso, Wash., who wrote, "This is a recipe that I requested from Sure-Jel. I use it mostly as a topping for ice cream. Hope it will work. It's very easy."

Pineapple Jam

Makes about 6 8-ounce jars

3 1/4 cups prepared fruit (one 20-ounce can crushed pineapple in syrup)

3 cups sugar

1 box Sure-Jel fruit pectin

First, prepare the fruit. Measure contents of one can crushed pineapple. Add enough water to make 3 1/4 cups. Place in 6- or 8-quart saucepan.

Then make the jam. Measure sugar and set aside. Mix fruit pectin into fruit in saucepan. Place over high heat and stir until mixture comes to a full boil. Immediately add all sugar and stir. Bring to a full rolling boil and boil hard 1 minute, stirring constantly.

Remove from heat and skim off foam with a metal spoon. Ladle quickly into hot sterilized jars, filling to within / inch of tops. Wipe jar rims and threads. Cover with two-piece lids. Screw bands tightly. Invert jars for 5 minutes, then turn upright. After 1 hour, check seals.

Tester Reiley's comments: "This is indeed a great vanilla ice cream topping, especially when still warm. It is thinner than most jam, but thick and chunky enough to spread on toast or use as a topping. Because one tends not to use a lot of this at a time, I would can it into 4-ounce canning jars instead of 8-ounce ones. It is very sweet with intense pineapple flavor and a golden yellow color."

Graham Cracker Cake

Serves 12

1/2 cup butter or butter substitute, softened

1 cup sugar

3 eggs, separated

1 pound graham cracker crumbs

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3/4 cup milk

1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts

Cream butter and sugar. Add egg yolks one at a time. Beat thoroughly. Combine with graham cracker crumbs rolled fine and baking powder. Add vanilla extract, milk and nuts. Mix thoroughly. Fold in stiffly beaten egg whites. Pour into two well-oiled, shallow cake pans. Bake in moderate oven at 375 degrees for approximately 30 minutes. Unmold and cool on wire racks. Ice with whipped cream or whipped topping.

Tester Laura Reiley's comments: "This recipe fits the request of Cheryl Hammerand in all but one way: It is not light. The graham cracker crumbs make the batter very thick, and in turn make the cake heavy and dense. The flavor is very pleasant and similar to that of a graham cracker. In addition to greasing the cake pans. I would flour them as well. The cake had a slight sticking problem. Do not bake longer than 30 minutes; the cake dries out quite quickly in the oven."

Recipe requests

* A. Silva of St. Augustine, Fla., is looking for a recipe for Portuguese Sweet Bread. "My aunt who had the recipe is not well, and I cannot find her recipe."

* Sally Benda of North Huntingdon, Pa., wants a barbecue sauce made with peaches. "When I was a young girl we had numerous peach trees in our yard. My father would gather baskets of peaches and take them to someone and in a couple of days he would get jars of the most delicious barbecue sauce that I can remember eating. It was not too sweet, but the bitterness of the tomatoes that were in it wasn't there. That is what I am looking for."

If you are looking for a recipe or can answer a request for a hard-to-find recipe, write to Ellen Hawks, Recipe Finder, The Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore, Md. 21278.

If you send in more than one recipe, please put each on a separate sheet of paper with your name, address and daytime phone number. Important: Please list the ingredients in order of use, and note the number of servings each recipe makes. Please type or print contributions. Letters may be edited for clarity.

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