Once again, while looking for one thing I found something completely different….
Back in college, I got a little recipe booklet from the Imperial Sugar company which was full of recipes from around the state of Texas. One of the recipes apparently used to be served back in the day at the Sylvan Beach Pavilion in my hometown of La Porte, Texas.
By the time we moved to La Porte, they weren’t serving fancy luncheons there any more, but the pavilion was the site of many functions while I was growing up, including parties after high school graduations. Whenever we go back to La Porte to visit friends and family, I still enjoy going to Sylvan Beach and revisiting one of my favorite old hangouts.
The pavilion was damaged during Hurricane Ike, but in October, 2013, it reopened after a big renovation which restored the pavilion to its former glory. I hope that many, many more generations of South Texans are able to have as much fun at the restored pavilion as past generations did at the original pavilion.
This is a perfect soup for those hot and humid Houston summers – no cooking required! In doing some research on this recipe, I discovered that it is based on a Scandinavian dish called Koldskål (Danish for ‘coldbowl’).
This cold buttermilk soup with vanilla and lemon is really good – sweet, creamy and a bit tangy and perfect for summer. Scandinavians often serve it with either strawberries or small biscuits called “kammerjunker” – although not part of the recipe in my booklet, I thought it would be fun to include the recipe for them as well (if you don’t want to make the biscuits, you can crumble pieces of biscotti on top of soup).
(The original recipe for this didn’t call for any type of heating of the ingredients – I’m a little skittish about raw eggs, so I’ve adapted the recipe to hopefully remove any danger of contamination. If you don’t have a problem with raw eggs, by all means just mix everything together and chill it – the end result will be the same)
Sylvan Beach Summer Soup
(Serves 4 people lavishly or 8-10 dieters 😛 )
1/2 cup sugar
2 egg yolks
1 tsp. lemon juice
1/2 tsp. grated lemon rind
1 tsp. vanilla
1 qt. buttermilk
1/2 c. whipping cream
1/2 tsp. grated lemon rind, for garnish
In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the egg yolks until they lighten in color. Gradually add sugar, lemon juice, 1/2 tsp. lemon rind, and vanilla. Beat until very smooth and light yellow in color. Set aside.
In a medium saucepan, over high heat, bring the buttermilk just to a boil, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat and gradually temper the hot mixture into the egg and sugar mixture. Then return everything to the pot and cook until the mixture reaches 160 degrees F. Remove from the heat, pour into a medium mixing bowl, and set in the refrigerator to chill.
When ready to serve, beat whipping cream until firm.
Pour soup into chilled cups; top with whipped cream and grated lemon rind.
Serve bowl of cold soup with a handful of kammerjunker biscuits on top.
2 1/2 c. flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/3 tsp. vanilla
1 stick butter
1/3 c. sugar
1 egg, beaten
Heat the oven to 350 °C.
Mix flour, baking powder, and vanilla together in a bowl. Crumble butter into the flour mixture, add sugar and beaten egg, and knead until a firm dough forms.
Form dough into rolls and cut into small cubes. Place cubes on the baking sheets and flatten with a finger (use 2 baking sheets; recipe makes about 100 small pieces).
Bake for 10 minutes, turn off the heat and leave the oven door open another 10 minutes.
Let biscuits cool off on a rack. Store in an airtight container.