From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...When I was quite young and still rebellious, my mother freely gave advice I chose not to hear. I know there was a list of dos and don'ts for social interactions, and I suspect the situation I found myself in might never have happened, if I had been paying attention to what she said. Last year, about this time, the Silver Fox and I were invited to a party, and rather than just accept, I, of course, asked if I could bring anything. Turns out, I sure could. The list included burger buns and a cake that was holiday appropriate. Now, I don't usually do holiday appropriate. Once my children were grown, recipes for lamb and flag cakes were retired. I probably could have resurrected my recipe for a flag cake, but I didn't think anyone in the 60+ crowd was pining for it. So, I decided to make an ordinary cake that would be simply decorated to make a symbolic nod to the 4th of July. I have long cherished a recipe for a pure white cake that would make a perfect base for my extravaganza. A cake, if it's to be pure white, must be made with white shortening and a clear extract of one type or another. I can hear some of you groaning, but that's the only way it can be done. I decided to use pie filling to provide the play of red and blue against the white because I had it in the pantry and wanted to use it up. Red and blue jam would also have worked nicely. My plan included using whipped cream or topping to ice the layers because that was the simplest way to carry on the red white and blue theme. If you decide to make a cake like this, I must warn you the both pie filling and jam have a tendency to bleed into the cake layers. Had I used a buttercream frosting I could have created a light sealing coat that would make the layers impervious to a bleeding filling. That, alas, cannot be done with whipped cream. The cake, which had terrific flavor and a lovely crumb, was well received and had enough holiday flair to please the hostess for which it was made. Those of you who need a quick and relatively easy holiday dessert, might find this one perfect for your purposes. Here is how the cake was made.
Patriot's Red White and Blue Cake...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite
3/4 cup white shortening
2-1/4 cups granulated sugar
1 teaspoon almond or lemon extract
3-1/3 cups sifted cake flour
3-3/4 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1-1/2 cups whole milk, room temperature
6 egg whites, room temperature
1-1/2 cups canned strawberry pie filling
1-1/2 cups canned blueberry pie filling
1 (12-oz.) container whipped topping, thawed
1) Grease and flour 3 (9-inch) round pans. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
2) To make the cake: Cream shortening. Add sugar and extract, beating until fluffy. Sift flour with baking powder and salt. Add dry ingredients to creamed mixture alternately with milk. Blend just until smooth after each addition. Beat egg whites until stiff enough to form peaks. Fold into batter. Pour batter into prepared pans. Bake for about 20 minutes. Test for doneness with a toothpick. Cool in pans for 10 minutes. Turn onto racks to complete cooling.
3) To assemble: Place 1 layer on a cake plate. Pipe a 1-inch band of whipped topping around rim of layer. Fill center with strawberry pie filling. Top with second layer. Pipe a rim around it and fill canter with blueberry pie filling. Top with third layer. Frost top and sides of cake with whipped topping. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Yield 12 servings.
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