American recipes from our July meeting

We thought you’d all like to see some of the recipes which members brought to our July meeting as part of the ‘American recipe’ competition.

American Cornbread
(recipe from Sue Knights)

1 fresh corn on the cob or 70g frozen corn (defrosted
140g plain flour
100g polenta or cornmeal
1 Tbsp baking powder
150ml semi-skimmed milk
4 Tbsp olive oil
1 egg
1 Tbsp clear honey


  • Preheat oven to 220C (gas mark 7).
  • Coat a 7-inch square tin with spray or olive oil.
  • If using fresh corn, remove kernels using a sharp knife. Set aside.
  • In a bowl, mix flour, polenta and baking powder.
  • In another bowl, mix corn, milk, oil, egg and honey and beat well to mix.
  • Pour egg mixture into dry ingredients, mix quickly and pour into your prepared tin.
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes until lightly browned.
  • Cut into squares.
  • Optional: add 1/2 tsp chili or ground cumin!


Whoopie Pies
(recipe from Helen Kestle, via Gourmet Magazine)

Cake ingredients
256g all-purpose flour
64g cocoa powder
1 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
250ml buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla
113g unsalted butter, softened
200g packed brown sugar
1 large egg

Filling ingredients
113g unsalted butter, softened
156g cups confectioners sugar
1 cup marshmallow cream such as Marshmallow Fluff (Marshmallow Fluff is sometimes available at Sainsbury’s but if you can’t find it, a fairly simple recipe to make your own follows the Whoopie Pie recipe)
1 teaspoon vanilla


  • Preheat oven to 175ºF.
  • Whisk together flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt in a bowl until combined.
  • Stir together buttermilk and vanilla in a separate bowl.
  • Beat together butter and brown sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer at medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes in a standing mixer or 5 minutes with a handheld, then add egg, beating until combined well.
  • Reduce speed to low and alternately mix in flour mixture and buttermilk in batches, beginning and ending with flour, scraping down side of bowl occasionally, and mixing until smooth.
  • Spoon 1/4-cup mounds of batter about 2 inches apart onto 2 buttered large baking sheets.
  • Bake until tops are puffed and cakes spring back when touched, 11 to 13 minutes.
  • Transfer with a metal spatula to a rack to cool completely.
  • To make the filling, beat together butter, confectioners sugar, marshmallow, and vanilla in a bowl with electric mixer at medium speed until smooth, about 3 minutes.
  • To assemble pies, spread a rounded tablespoon filling on flat sides of half of cakes and top with remaining cakes.
  • Cakes can be made 3 days ahead and kept, layered between sheets of wax paper, in an airtight container at room temperature.
  • Filling can be made 4 hours ahead and kept, covered, at room temperature.

Make-Your-Own Marshmallow Fluff
(recipe from Helen Kestle via Mrs Ellwood’s Simple Life)

150g granulated sugar
166g golden syrup
60ml water
Pinch of salt
3 medium egg whites, at room temperature
¼ tsp cream of tartar
2 tsp vanilla extract


  • Whisk the egg whites and cream of tartar together in a very large bowl until soft peaks form.
  • 2In a small saucepan, dissolve the sugar, golden syrup, water and salt over a medium heat. Stir constantly until the mixture reaches 115C or 240F on a candy thermometer. As soon as it hits the desired temperature remove from the heat and move onto the next step.
  • Using an electric mixer on the lowest speed possible, continue to whisk the egg whites, while at the same time very slowly trickle the sugar mixture into the bowl.
  • Add the vanilla extract, then returning to the highest speed setting whisk the mixture until stiff peaks form.
  • If you manage not to devour this in one sitting, then it will keep in the fridge in an airtight jar for about 2 weeks


Red Velvet Whoopie Pies
(recipe from Jane Twose via The Food Network)

900g plain flour
1 tbsp bicarbonate of soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp salt
6 tbsps unsweetened cocoa powder
340g buttermilk, at room temperature
60ml red food colouring
1 tbsp vanilla extract
675g caster sugar
1 1/2 tbsps orange zest, finely grated
350g unsalted butter, softened
3 large eggs


  • Preheat the oven to 180°C (gas mark 4).
  • Line two baking sheets with baking parchment.
  • Whisk together the flour, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder, salt and cocoa in a medium bowl.
  • Pour the buttermilk into a large glass measuring jug then add the food colouring and vanilla. With a fork or small whisk , mix together the liquids until the colour is consistent.
  • Place the sugar and orange zest in the bowl of an electric mixer. With the paddle attachment and set on low speed, combine the sugar and zest until very fragrant and the zest gets pulverized. (As you grind the zest you are releasing oil and flavouring the sugar. This will yield a better flavour than if you just dumped the zest into the batter.)
  • Slowly add the butter and, on medium-high speed, cream until light and fluffy, about 5 to 6 minutes.
  • Turn the speed down a notch and mix in the eggs one at a time, beating thoroughly before adding the next egg.
  • Lower the speed again and add the flour-cocoa mixture, alternating with the buttermilk mixture in 3 to 4 additions.
  • Scrape the sides of the bowl to ensure complete mixing of all the ingredients and that the colour is consistent throughout the batter.
  • With a large ice-cream scoop, place scoops of batter on the prepared sheets about 3 inches/7.5cm apart.
  • You can bake these whoopies into heart shapes by shaping the dough by hand once placed on the tray. We used the dough to make one obscenely large heart shaped whoopie.
  • Bake for 15 to 16 minutes or until the whoopies spring back when poked.
  • Cool on the sheets for about 10 minutes before removing them to cool completely on wire racks.
  • If you are making the obscenely large whoopie, bake for 20-25 minutes or until the centre of the heart springs back.


American Strawberry Shortcake

Shortcake mixture ingredients
227g flour
3 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 Tbsp sugar
56-85g butter, softened
2 lightly beaten egg yolks
118ml milk

Berry mixture ingredients
Fresh strawberries
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Softened butter
236ml cream


  • Preheat oven to 220C.
  • Sift flour with baking powder, salt and sugar.
  • Work in softened butter with a fork.
  • Add milk and eggs little by little, stirring continuously, until mixture holds together but is still soft.
  • Turn out onto a floured board.
  • Roll out or pat into 4 rounds.
  • Place on a greased baking sheet and bake 10-15 minutes.
  • Halve strawberries and add sugar and lemon juice.
  • To serve, split carefully with a fork, spread with softened butter and spoon strawberry mixture between layers and on top. Serve warm with cream.


Cheese Ball
(recipe from friends at the Fort Jefferson United Church, Greenville, Ohio)

312g Philadelphia cream cheese
A selection of other cheese such as: 100-140g blue cheese, chopped, and 140g cheddar cheese, grated
2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
109g pecans, chopped
Fresh parsley, chopped


  • Blend cheese and Worcestershire sauce in an electric mixer.
  • Add half the chopped pecans.
  • Roll into a ball, cover with cling film and chill overnight.
  • One hour before serving, roll in the remainder of chopped pecans and parsley.
  • This is delicious with a variety of crackers and is a good way to use up odd bits and pieces of cheese.


Home, Mom and Apple Pie …
(recipe from Kathy Merrett via Serious Eats)

1.8 – 2 kg Golden Delicious or Braeburn apples, peeled, cored and sliced into 1/4″ slices
2.8 litres boiling water or cider
125g granulated sugar, plus 1 Tbsp for sprinkling over crust
1/4 tsp cinnamon (or more to taste)
1/4 tsp salt
2 Tbsp corn flour
Pastry (use your own recipe or buy pre-made)
1 egg white, lightly beaten


  • Adjust oven rack to lower middle position and place a heavy rimmed baking sheet on it.
  • Preheat the oven to 220°C.
  • Place apple slices in a large bowl or pot. Pour boiling water or cider directly over top. Cover and set aside at room temperature for ten minutes.
  • Drain apples well and let sit in a colander in the sink, tossing occasionally until completely dry, about 10 minutes.
  • Transfer to a large bowl and add the sugar, cinnamon, salt and corn flour, and toss until apples are evenly coated. Set mixture aside.
  • Roll one disk of pie dough into a circle roughly 12-inches in diameter.
  • Transfer to a 9-inch pie plate.
  • Add filling.
  • Roll remaining disk of pie dough into a circle roughly 12-inches in diameter. Transfer to top of pie.
  • Using a pair of kitchen shears, trim the edges of both pie crusts until they overhang the edge of the pie plate by 1/2 an inch all the way around.
  • Fold edges of both pie crusts down together, tucking them in between the bottom crust and the pie plate and working your way all the way around the pie plate until everything is well tucked. Use the forefinger on your left hand and the thumb and forefinger on your right hand to crimp the edges.
  • Cut 5 slits in the top with a sharp knife for ventilation.
  • Use a pastry brush to brush an even coat of lightly beaten egg white all over the top surface of the pie. Sprinkle evenly with a tablespoon of sugar.
  • Transfer pie to sheet tray in the oven and bake until light golden brown, about 20 minutes.
  • Reduce heat to190°C and continue baking until deep golden brown, about 25 minutes longer.
  • Remove from oven and allow to cool at room temperature for at least 2 hours before serving.


New York Cheesecake
(recipe from BBC Food)

150g digestive biscuits
75g butter, plus extra for greasing
900g full-fat cream cheese
200g caster sugar
200ml soured cream
3 tbsp plain flour
3 free-range eggs, plus 1 egg yolk, lightly beaten
2 tsp vanilla extract


  • Preheat the oven to 180C (gas mark 4). Grease and line the base of a 23cm/9in spring form cake tin.
  • Place the biscuits in a plastic bag and crush with a rolling pin to fine crumbs.
  • Melt the butter and add the biscuit crumbs, stir to combine. Place in the base of the cake tin and spread in an even layer, then flatten (use your fingers or a potato masher).
  • Bake in the oven for 10 minutes until golden. Remove and leave to cool while you prepare the filling.
  • Reduce the oven to 160C (gas mark 2).
  • In a large bowl, beat together the cream cheese and sugar until smooth then add the sour cream and flour and beat again. Gradually add the eggs and vanilla essence beating well between each addition (beat in rather than whisk as you don’t want to incorporate too much air as this will affect the smooth surface of the cheesecake).
  • Pour the cream cheese mix on to the biscuit base then bake in the oven for 45 minutes. The cheesecake should be just set with a slight wobble and should still be cream on top with just a slight golden hint around the edges.
  • Once the cheesecake is cooked, turn off the oven and prop open the door so that it is slightly ajar and leave the cheesecake to cool in the oven – this prevents the top from cracking.
  • Once the oven is cool you can remove the cheesecake to cool completely before removing from the tin.

If we’ve missed your recipe or if you have any other American favourites you’d like to share, just drop us an email on and we’ll be happy to add them to our blog.

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