COOKING FOR CROWDS Fyrste Kake

Listen to the interview.

COOKING FOR CROWDS was original published in 1974 to huge acclaim and  was among the first to introduce international flavors into the American recipe box. Merry “Corky” White became interested in international foods as a result of her travels as a student anthropologist.

Adapting recipes for larger groups isn’t always as simple as doubling or tripling the ingredients. The recipes in the book have all been carefully calibrated for crowds of 6, 12, 20, and 50.

Prepping and cooking food for larger crowds requires inventive procedures. Corky and her daughter used clean sheets to dry lettuce, for example, and she has also cited a very clean kitchen floor as a good tool.

Don’t try to please everyone all the time. If you try to cook “what your guests will eat,” you will end up with fairly bland, traditional fare. Trust that your guests will be open to good food, no matter what the source! Switch it up from time to time by introducing a new, international dish into the mix.

Directions

Fyrste Kake

This is a Norwegian cake, which is very rich and almondy. Serve it in very thin wedges, with fresh strawberries or blueberries. Add whipped cream if you like.

Preheat the oven to 350°.

Cream together the butter and ¾ cup [1½ cups, 2¾ cups, 4½ cups] of the sugar. Add the yolks of the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in the 2½ cups [5 cups; 2 pounds, 13 ounces; 5 pounds] flour and the baking powder. Add 1 teaspoon [2 teaspoons, 3½ teaspoons, 5 teaspoons] of the almond extract. Reserve ½ cup [1 cup, 1¾ cup, 3 cups] of the dough for the topping and spread the remaining dough over the bottom of a greased 9-inch cake pan [2 pans, 4 pans, 6 pans].

Beat the egg whites until frothy and gradually add the remaining cup [2 cups, 4¼ cups, 6 cups] sugar, beating constantly until stiff.

[For large amounts, use a hand-held beater in a large kettle.] Fold in the almonds and the remaining ½ teaspoon [1 teaspoon, 1½ teaspoons, 3 teaspoons] almond extract. Spread this filling over the lined cake pans.

Add the remaining 2 tablespoons [4 tablespoons, 7 tablespoons, ¾ cup] flour to the reserved dough. Roll out on a floured board, cut into strips, and lay the strips in a crisscross pattern on top of the almond mixture. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes, then cool and serve in thin slices with berries and cream.

Note: Keep in a cool place, tightly covered.

Ingredient 6 12 20 50
unsalted butter ¾ c 1½ c 1½ lbs 3 lbs
granulated sugar 1¾ c 3½ c 2? lbs 5 lbs, 4 oz
eggs, separated 3 6 10 18
all-purpose flour 2 ½ c 5 c 2 lbs, 13 oz 5 lbs
plus 2 tbs plus 4 tbs plus 7 tbs plus ¾ c
baking powder 3 tsp 6 tsp 10 tsp 6 tbs
almond extract 1½ tsp 3 tsp 5 tsp 8 tsp
ground, blanched almonds 1 c 2 c 3½ c 6 c

 

 


What's Needed:

 
Ingredients
unsalted butter
granulated sugar
eggs, separated
all-purpose flour
baking powder
almond extract
ground, blanched almonds
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