From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...Last week we ended delving into the lives and work of the women who appeared on the Gourmet Live list of 50 Women Game Changers in Food. While I am glad the adventure is over, I wouldn't have missed it for the world. During the course of the year, I heard from many of you who were not at all shy about sharing your views of the list and the women who made it. You were equally vocal about the women you thought should have been included but were not. All those who made the list had fans and detractors and those who compiled the list must have known that it would be controversial. I don't fault their judgment, but, in hindsight, I wish they had shared the criteria they used for selection. I'm also going to take the liberty of "adding" one last name to my version of the list before it is retired.
Dione Lucas was the first woman graduate of Le Cordon Bleu and she was instrumental in establishing a branch of the school in London before WWII. While it is a dubious distinction, she is also remembered for the meal she cooked for Adolf Hitler. She emigrated to the United States in 1940 and established her own cooking school. She also opened several restaurants in New York City, among them the Egg Basket, from which her television program, To The Queen's Taste, was broadcast in 1948-1949. She was the first woman to be featured in a cooking show on television and many view her a a predecessor to Julia Child. She wrote several cookbooks on French cuisine, but there are few accounts written by those who knew her or remember her fondly. She apparently was a difficult woman and her son has described her as a "complicated personality." Those of you who are interested can find a more complete, but short, biography of her, here and here.
Few of her recipes are available on line. The one she is most famous for is "Chocolate Roll Leontine." A really wonderful version of that cake has been featured on Smitten Kitchen and it can be seen, here. I, fortunately, have a tattered copy of The Dione Lucas Book of French Cooking and from it have chosen an apple bread that she considered to be a spécialité. It is very easy to make and its spiceless simplicity highlights the pure flavor of fresh apples. She used a meat grinder to prepare the apples, but your food processor will work just as well, as long as you don't get carried away and inadvertently make applesauce. This makes a wonderful, though not too sweet, tea bread. I really think you'll enjoy it. Here's the recipe.
Apple Bread...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite courtesy of Dione Lucas
8 tablespoons butter or vegetable shortening
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs, beaten
1 cup ground green cooking apples (put cored apples through a fine meat grinder with some of the skin)
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1-1/2 tablespoons sour milk (I used buttermilk)
1/2 cup coarsely chopped nuts
1 teaspoon freshly grated orange zest
1 teaspoon vanilla
1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a 9 or 10-inch loaf pan with butter or shortening. Line it with waxed paper, and brush paper with butter or shortening. Dust pan lightly with flour.
2) In a mixer bowl, cream butter or shortening with sugar. Mix in beaten eggs, then ground apples.
3) In a separate bowl, sift flour with baking soda and salt. Stir flour mixture into egg mixture and mix well. Add in sour milk, then nuts, orange zest and vanilla. Mix well.
4) Scrape dough into prepared pan. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes. Immediately turn it out of pan onto a cooling rack. Peel off paper. Serve warm or at room temperature. Yield:1 loaf.
The following bloggers are also doing wrap-ups today.
Val - More Than Burnt Toast, Susan - The Spice Garden, Heather - girlichef
Taryn - Have Kitchen Will Feed, Miranda - Mangoes and Chutney, Veronica - My Catholic Kitchen
Linda - There and Back Again, Sarah - Everything in the Kitchen Sink
One Year Ago Today: Sugar Snap Pea and Barley Salad
Two Years Ago Today: Asparagus and Mushroom Strata
Three Years Ago Today: Buttermilk Cluster with Blue Poppy Seeds