Another Spring Delight

My mother had a dear friend named Alice Moore. Alice and her husband lived in a town nearby and spent many summer vacations with us cruising Georgian Bay and environs on dad's boat. It also happens that Alice was an exceptional cook, which of course was how the friendship got started because so was my mother. They babbled on and on about recipes and entertaining and as a result of their long friendship, I have inherited quite a number of Alice's recipes.

                                                                Mother (on the left) and Alice in Baie Fine

The photo above was taken  in Baie Fine, in the North Channel in Ontario, Canada. A rare photo of my mother in the water as she was absolutely terrified of snakes and there were plenty of them around there. (Every night she used to make certain we plugged up all the drains on the boat so one didn't get in that way.) Either Alice gave her courage right before this photo was taken, or my dad had walked around first batting the bushes and then checking the shallows to make certain any snakes had left the area.

One of Alice's tastiest desserts was a family favorite and we served it often  at Easter because not only does it serve a lot of people but it brings a much needed breath of spring to a gathering. It needs to be refrigerated so it's also a cool, refreshing dessert on a hot summer's day. It used to be simpler to make because years ago the A & P carried a ready-made yet excellent quality orange sunshine cake. Not anymore so you have to make the cake yourself. It's a basic orange sponge cake and really quite easy. The cake is divided into three layers and spread with a lovely mixture of fruit and whipped cream. I decorated it with some of those cute William Sonoma Easter cookies. (Luckily we didn't eat them all before I got them on the cake!)

Alice's Party Cake

1 orange chiffon cake (recipe follows)
1 #2 size can crushed pineapple, drained well
1 packaged instant vanilla pudding
1/3 cup marachino cherries, cut up
2-1/2 cups whipping cream

Cut the cake into three even layers. Whip the cream, add the pudding, cherries and pineapple. Layer with this mixture and frost the entire cake. Refrigerate.

Orange Sunshine Cake

6 large eggs, separated plus 1 additional egg white
2 -1/4 cups sifted cake flour
1- 1/2 cups superfine white sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup vegetable oil or safflower oil
3/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice (2 - 3 large Navel Oranges)
2 tablespoons orange zest
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

Separate the eggs and place the whites in one bowl and the yolks in another. Cover with plastic wrap and bring them to room temperature (about 30 minutes).

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees and have ready a 10 inch two piece tube pan (ungreased).

In the bowl of your electric mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, place the flour, sugar (minus 3 tablespoons , baking powder, and salt. Beat until combined. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and add the egg yolks, oil, orange juice, orange zest, and vanilla extract. Beat about one minute or until smooth. In a separate bowl, with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites until foamy. Add the cream of tartar and continue to beat until soft peaks form. Gradually beat in the remaining 3 tablespoons of sugar and beat until stiff peaks form. With a large rubber spatula or wire whisk, gently fold the egg whites into the batter just until blended (being careful not to deflate the batter).

Pour the batter into the ungreased tube pan and bake for about 55 to 60 minutes, or until a wooden skewer inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. (When lightly pressed the cake will spring back). Immediately upon removing the cake from the oven invert the pan and place on a bottle or flat surface so it is suspended over the counter. Let the cake cool completely before removing from pan (about 1-1/2 to 2 hours).

To remove the cake from the pan, run a long metal spatula around the inside of the tube pan and center core. Invert onto a greased wire rack.

You can store this cake (unfrosted of course) in an airtight container for a few days at room temperature or for about a week in the refrigerator. This cake (unfrosted) can also be frozen for a couple of months.

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