Daryl Olson of Powell Butte, Ore., requested an Apple Brown Betty recipe, which "was made with brown sugar sauce that caramelized and did not have milk or eggs." His response came from Cindy Smithson of Baltimore, who wrote, "This recipe is on a wooden plaque in my kitchen and I hope this is what he is looking for."
Freya Sponselier of Hanover, Pa., wrote that she was desperately looking for a lasagna recipe she had before her house burned down. "It has shredded carrots, hamburger, oregano and garlic and a mixture of Parmesan and cottage cheese and an egg."
Beth Hunter of Timonium responded with a recipe she wrote "has been in our family for several generations and is quite a favorite."
Apple Brown Betty
1/4 cup melted butter
2 cups fresh bread cubes or crumbs
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
grated rind of 1 lemon
4-5 cups sliced pared tart apples (about 4)
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 cup hot water
sour cream or vanilla ice cream for serving
Toss butter with bread cubes and set aside. Mix sugar, spices and lemon rind.
In a buttered 8-inch-square baking dish or 7-inch round casserole, arrange two layers of cubes, apples and sugar mixture, reserving one-third of the cubes.
Spoon on combined lemon juice and hot water. Top with remaining cubes. Bake in a preheated 375-degree oven, covered, for 30 minutes.
Uncover and bake for another 30 minutes. Serve with sour cream or top with vanilla ice cream.
Tester Laura Reiley's comments: "The brown sugar, lemon juice and apple drippings commingle and darken, leaving a deeply caramelized juice that moistens the whole thing. The bread cubes soften into a gooey cake that holds the apples together. Altogether, it is like an American version of a caramelized tarte Tatin, with a crisp top of toasted bread cubes."
Lasagna With Shredded Carrots
1 pound lean ground beef
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 cloves minced garlic
1 tablespoon oregano
1 bay leaf
1/4 teaspoon ground thyme
1 cup grated carrots
1 pound can chopped tomatoes
2 (6-ounce) cans tomato paste
3 cups creamy, small-curd cottage cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
2 beaten eggs
10 ounces lasagna noodles
1 pound mozzarella cheese, sliced thinly or grated
Saute ground beef in a skillet until all red is gone. Drain thoroughly and remove from pan. Heat olive oil in skillet and add garlic. When garlic is fragrant, but not browned, add the oregano, bay leaf, thyme and carrots. Continue to saute until carrots just begin to smell sweet, but not brown, about 5 to 8 minutes. Return ground beef to pan and add tomatoes and paste, stirring frequently until well combined. Allow to simmer while noodles are being cooked and cheese layer is prepared.
In a small bowl, combine cottage cheese, Parmesan cheese, parsley and beaten eggs. Bring 6 quarts of water to boil, add noodles and cook until al dente, about 10 minutes. (Also may use noodles that do not need to be cooked.) Drain carefully.
Lightly grease a 9-inch-by-13-inch baking dish. Place cooked noodles in a single layer, about three across, top with meat sauce, cheese mixture and sliced mozzarella cheese. Continue making layers until dish is full, ending with mozzarella cheese. Cover and bake in preheated 375-degree oven for 45 minutes. Uncover and bake an additional 15 to 20 minutes until the top is browned. Allow to cool 10 minutes before serving.
Tester Reiley's comments: "This is a serious, dense lasagna. It is filling and hearty, with good herbal flavor and intense tomato sweetness. Use at least three layers of noodles and a corresponding number of layers of meat, cheese, etc. It reheats nicely (even in the microwave) and keeps for several days in the refrigerator. The ingredients seem to match the request exactly, although I'm not sure what the carrot is supposed to impart. It's not enough quantity to really flavor the meat mixture."
Andrew Hennessey, no address given, writes that he is "looking for an oyster recipe that has oysters, heavy cream, topped with bread crumbs and baked. If anyone has this or one that is similar, I would appreciate it."
Dana Reeves of Fayetteville, N.C., would "love to have a recipe for Buttered Coconut Pie, which is served at K&W Cafeterias I have visited. I've tried many cookbooks, but nothing I have found comes close."
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.