There's Nothing Sweeter Than Junior League Cookbooks and Citrus Desserts
Florida Orange Grove Pie
The Gasparilla CookbookTampa, Florida
This is a great old-timey angel pie with a crust made of baked meringue instead of pastry. In a state where orange groves still cover miles of farmland, of course a cook would turn to citrus to pile atop the crisp candy-like crust. Originally published in 1961, The Gasparilla Cookbook exhibits the melding of Spanish, Italian, Greek, Cuban, and Southern influences on the recipes of the region. It appears in the McIlhenny Hall of Fame for community cookbooks that sell more than 100,000 copies.
Recipe: Florida Orange Grove Pie
Lemon-Orange Pound Cake
Stop and Smell the RosemaryHouston, Texas
Stop and Smell the Rosemary was a sea change in community cookbooks, even among Junior League versions, raising the bar for self-published titles across the nation. Since it first appeared in 1996, it has received numerous awards and accolades for being one of the best community cookbooks in the country. It includes a recipe for Lemon-Orange Pound Cake, which is sublime in its simplicity, but we decided to fancy it up a bit with a Bundt pan and two contrasting icings.
Recipe: Lemon-Orange Pound Cake
Cold Lemon Soufflés with Wine Sauce
A Sterling CollectionMemphis, Tennessee
Soufflés have always been an expression of elegant entertaining, but this one is chilled and held in place with a bit of gelatin, which means the hostess doesn't have to rush the quivering creation to the table before it collapses. A Sterling Collection is a compilation of favorite recipes gleaned from a number of cookbooks produced by the Memphis chapter. This soufflé also appeared in an anthology of best Junior League recipes in the country, so it's a keeper for sure.
Grand Marnier Cakes
Tea-Time at the MastersAugusta, Georgia
Layer cakes might be the cover girls, but a pound cake holds sway in our kitchens. This recipe reflects the Southern practice of adding a bit of liqueur or other spirits to a cake to ensure it stays moist and delicious. Many cookbook collectors swear by this beloved book that debuted in 1977, suggesting that an Augusta tee time is prestigious but an Augusta teatime is priceless. While the original recipe called for the cake to be baked in a tube pan, we opted for mini Bundt pans for a tea party-worthy presentation.
Recipe: Grand Marnier Cakes
Shaker Lemon Pie
Mountain MeasuresCharleston, West Virginia
This old-fashioned pie is made with thinly sliced whole lemons—peels and all. The recipe originated in Shaker communities in areas where the South meets New England and the Midwest. Shaker cooks considered lemons an important part of a healthy diet, even though they were expensive and hard to come by, so they devised this pie to make use of every bit of the fruit. The Charleston, West Virginia, Junior League included this Shaker Lemon Pie in its 1974 Mountain Measures cookbook, and it's been a favorite of bakers ever since.