What qualifies as a vintage dessert? Must it have originated in the 1950’s when homemakers wore frilly aprons and heals to bake three-layer-cakes? Should it have fluffy white frosting? Was it always served on a pastel cake stand?
“A vintage dessert is anything that reminds us of sweeter, simpler times…and it must be homemade,” said Cheryl Day on a recent episode of The Splendid Table. As the author of Back in the Day Bakery Cookbook and owner of the Bakery with the same name, she knows a thing or two about vintage desserts – and cake stands. Maybe even more convincing, her marvelous sense of fashion looks like this.
So, whew! …according to Cheryl’s definition, my Pink Meringue Pie can be categorized as “vintage” – even though it’s from my own childhood cooking in the 1980’s.
This pink pie reminds me of simpler times when my mom (who didn’t care to cook for the family every single night of the week) allowed me free reign in the kitchen as long as I produced a meal – and then she would clean up. Talk about sweeter times! Cooking with no pots, cutting boards, knives or dishes to clean.
The Pink Meringue Pie I created below is actually quite different from the pie off the pages of Betty Crocker’s Cookbook for Boys & Girls. The original used canned cherry pie filling and food coloring in the meringue. Instead I cooked up a pink cherry-vanilla pudding filling and used natural coloring to tint the pudding and meringue. (I really don’t have a huge problem with the little bottles of food coloring, but I wanted to discover how the beet juice seen on the ingredient labels of ‘natural’ pink yogurts would work as a coloring. Answer: It worked great and the pickled beet juice also added a tiny sparkle to the pudding – rather like acidic lemon juice would do.) Obviously, this would be a pink-alicious Valentine treat for little girls – or lovers of cherry-vanilla deliciousness.