Ring Out the Old Year, Ring In the New With a Cool Velvet Turtle Pie

Times Staff Writer

Dear SOS: Recently we dined at the Pasadena Velvet Turtle, where we tried the new Velvet Turtle Pie, which was to die for. Could you?


Dear Gay: The perfect New Year's Eve dessert. It's big and beautiful and can be made ahead to freeze until needed.


2 quarts almond praline ice cream

Crumb Crust

2 ounces Caramel Fudge Sauce

Hazelnut Meringue

Soften praline ice cream in refrigerator. Pack 1 quart evenly into Crumb Crust. Drizzle with Caramel Fudge Sauce. Top with Hazelnut Meringue layer, trimming, if necessary, to leave 1/2-inch border between pie and meringue.

Pack remaining quart ice cream into pan, filling in space between pan and meringue. Don't press hard or meringue will break. Cover with plastic wrap or wax paper and freeze at least 8 to 10 hours before serving. Swirl additional Caramel Fudge Sauce over top, if desired, or serve on side. Makes 1 (9-inch) pie.

Crumb Crust

6 ounces ground pecan cookies (about 11 cookies)

1/2 cup ground hazelnuts

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 cup melted butter

Mix cookies, nuts and cinnamon. Mix butter into crumb mixture to incorporate evenly. Pack into 9-inch springform pan, bringing crust 1 1/2 inches up sides. Chill until firm. Bake at 375 degrees 10 to 15 minutes. Cool, then freeze 2 hours.

Hazelnut Meringue

4 egg whites

Dash cream of tartar

3/4 cup sugar

1/2 cup ground plus 1 tablespoon hazelnuts

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Whisk egg whites until they foam slightly. Add cream of tartar and continue to whip until whites are glossy. Gradually add sugar until well incorporated. Whip until whites are glossy and hold stiff peaks.

Sprinkle in ground nuts and cinnamon until well blended. Do not overmix. Pipe onto parchment paper 8 inches round and 1/2 inch thick. Bake at 250 degrees 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Let stand in oven overnight with pilot on. Peel off parchment and lift meringue off carefully. Makes 1 meringue layer.

Caramel Fudge Sauce

3 cups sugar

1 1/4 cups water

3 cups whipping cream

1 cup unsalted butter

Heat sugar in heavy saucepan over high heat. Stir with wooden spoon constantly until sugar caramelizes, about 8 to 10 minutes. Be careful not to overbrown. Whisk in water.

Boil whipping cream until reduced to 1 3/4 cups. Add 1 1/2 cups caramel mixture. Bring to boil. Stir in butter until melted. Boil until caramelized sugar dissolves completely, about 4 to 5 minutes. Use sauce as directed and reserve remaining sauce for topping. Store in covered jar for use as desired. Makes 2 1/2 cups sauce.

Dear SOS: Would you be so kind as to print Mahalia Jackson's Monkey Bread?


Dear Ella: We're happy to share what was shared with us by a great and generous entertainer.


2 cups milk

2 tablespoons sugar

2 to 3 teaspoons salt

1 tablespoon shortening

2 packages dry yeast

1/2 cup lukewarm water

6 to 7 cups flour, about

Melted butter or margarine

Scald milk and add sugar, salt and shortening. Cool mixture to lukewarm. Sprinkle or crumble yeast into lukewarm water and stir until dissolved. Stir yeast into cooled milk mixture.

Gradually add flour to milk mixture, mixing well. Add enough flour to make dough stiff enough to handle easily. Turn dough onto floured surface and knead until smooth and satiny.

Shape dough into 18x3-inch-long loaf. Brush surface lightly with a little melted butter. Cover and let rise in warm place free from draft until doubled, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

Cut loaf crosswise into 32 slices and dip slices in 1 cup melted butter. Place 8 slices each in bottoms of 2 (9-inch) tube pans. Top bottom layer, covering cracks, with 8 more slices each. Let rise again until doubled, about 1 hour. Bake at 350 degrees 50 to 60 minutes or until golden and crusty. Makes 2 loaves.

Dear SOS: How about the reuben salad from Bullock's Tea Room?


Dear Carol: This recipe goes back to 1970 when Bullock's shared it with our readers.



2 (3-ounce) packages lemon gelatin

1 cup boiling tomato juice

1 cup cold water

2 cups sauerkraut, drained and chopped

1 teaspoon caraway seeds

1 cup shredded Swiss cheese

1 cup boiling water

3 tablespoons Thousand Island dressing

1 (12-ounce) can corned beef, chopped

1/4 cup minced green onions

Salad greens


Dissolve 1 package lemon gelatin in tomato juice. Stir in 1/2 cup cold water. Chill until slightly thickened, then fold in sauerkraut and caraway seeds. Turn mixture into 13x9-inch pan. Sprinkle cheese evenly over gelatin. Refrigerate.

Dissolve remaining package gelatin in boiling water, then stir in remaining 1/2 cup cold water. Chill until slightly thickened. Blend in Thousand Island dressing, corned beef and green onions.

Spread mixture over cheese and chill salad until firm. To serve, cut in 3-inch squares and serve on greens. Garnish with pickles and additional dressing, if desired. Serve with crackers. Makes 12 servings.

Dear SOS: Now that the new walnut crop is in, how about a recipe for Hunan walnuts that you printed several years ago?


Dear Terry: Just in the nick of time for last-minute New Year treats.



1 pound walnut halves

1 cup water

3/4 cup sugar

Oil for deep-frying

Wash walnuts to remove excess flaky coating. Combine water and sugar in saucepan and cook 5 minutes to make syrup.

Place walnuts in jar with cover. Pour sugar syrup over walnuts. Cool, cover and let stand overnight to marinate in syrup.

Heat oil to 350 degrees. Deep-fry nuts, a batch at a time, 2 to 3 minutes. Drain on paper towels and serve at once. Makes 4 cups.

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