The Cambrian’s Culinary Corner is proud to co-sponsor the annual Cambria Historical Society’s Harvest Festival Pie Contest with Robin’s Restaurant. The event began seven years ago when Shanny Covey hosted home bakers in her garden, and we at CHS recognized the value of her contribution and incorporated the tasting booth on the museum grounds during the festival.
The partnership served the Historical Society well, when the festival brought crowds to taste, and the contest attracted visitors to the festival. This year, we tried something new, a dessert social and family fun including old-fashioned games and hand-cranked ice cream. The weather was perfect, Marcus DiMaggio’s music was delightful, and everyone had a great time from 1 to 3 p.m.
Because this was a wonderful way to recognize the great bakers of Cambria, and also to raise funds for the Heirloom Gardens, it is likely that we will build on the experience and success of the past, and recommend a return of the contest to Harvest Festival Day. So plan now for your incredible entries!
That said, please join in congratulations to first place winner Cheryl Papert, for her scrumptious chocolate-covered peanut butter pie. Second place was garnered by Shelley Hurt, with a golden Southern peach and nectarine pie with lattice crust; and Caroline Hainer thrilled us with the third-place blueberry coconut pie.
Many thanks also to Kelly Johnson for her cinnamon whisky “punkin” pie, Tala Romero for the fresh blackberry pie, and Cathy Larsen for the peach apple pie. Voting was extremely close all around, and decisions not lightly made.
If you are a Facebook reader of “You know you grew up in Cambria if …” you already have benefited from former Cambrian Neva Hamlet’s posts in a running conversation about the memorable meals her dad and mother Maggie made up at their iconic restaurant. The prize winner was the secret recipe for their signature lemon ice cream, shared with only a few lucky friends, including Lucy Moreno, all of whom guarded the secret well.
A few years ago, Kathe Tanner and I failed to duplicate it, she with buttermilk, and I with half-and-half. It is exquisite in its simplicity, posted on Sept. 3 in Neva’s words, with enthusiastic permission to publish here.
“I have one last thing to share. It’s Maggie’s recipe for her famous lemon ice cream. So many people loved it and, although she didn’t want people to have her recipes when she was alive, next month she will have been gone for 21 years. I’m pretty sure now she wouldn’t mind. Just don’t call it sherbet. She used to get so mad at that. It’s a very simple recipe to make, so here goes.
Maggie’s Famous Lemon Ice Cream with Raspberries
Mix together thoroughly:
1 cup sugar
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons grated lemon rind (use hard lemons)
Gradually stir in:
1 pint light cream
2 drops yellow food coloring
Pour into a metal tray/pan, and freeze three hours without stirring. Serve thawed frozen raspberries on top.
“That’s it! Enjoy. Yes, you can share it, Consuelo. I know Maggie would have approved. If her recipe lives on then I’m all for it. I can see by all the nice comments that people are really happy I posted this. It really does touch me and I feel like I’m sharing a part of my mother forever. The original Hamlet Restaurant in Harmony opened in 1976 or 1977.”
Consuelo Macedo’s column is special to The Cambrian. Submit recipes and ideas to her at The Cambrian, 2068 Main St., Cambria, CA 93428, or email her at cambrian@thetribune news.com.