Sphere Magazine September 1978

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After completing this blog, I have finished writing about every single Sphere issue from the charter issue of January/February 1972 to the last issue in December 1978!  I’m working on a way to post all the links to every issue, so stay tuned.  Now I am moving onto every issue of vintage Cuisine magazine, which began in January of 1979 to December of 1984.  Cuisine has great recipes like Sphere.  I think you will enjoy them.

Look above at that gorgeous brioche on the cover!  I made it a long time ago and it’s fabulous.  The article titled “Bake Brioche” features recipes using classic brioche dough, all-purpose dough, sweet all-purpose dough, and even no-knead brioche dough.  The French have called brioche the queen of breads.  Brioche has a gossamer texture and melt-in-the-mouth goodness that many pastries lack.  It has a springy golden interior with a buttery burst.  It responds beautifully to shaping and stuffing, as the recipes included prove this point such as a braided cheese brioche; a ring marzipan; crescent shaped; wrapped into a log encasing an Italian sausage; salmon encased in brioche; and more delicacies.

The brioche article is followed by ‘The Flavors of Yugoslavia” with a party buffet menu that includes a pepper-eggplant relish, lamb with spinach, Dalmatian pot roast, a ricotta strudel, pears in red wine,  a cheesecake with ricotta and raisins, and a layered phyllo dessert with apples, walnuts, raisins, and poppy seeds.

Wok cooking is next with recipes for steaming trout, braised beef and mushrooms, almond-crusted fish rolls, chicken with vegetables, sweet-sour celery, and a lettuce omelet.  Did you know that wok in Cantonese means “cooking vessel?”  No wonder as so many meals can be made in a wok.

The article on a very gourmet picnic featured cold wild duck, cold salmon with a wild sorrel mayonnaise, and a paté made with ingredients like apple brandy and truffles!  I’ve never been on a picnic like that, but it also featured seasonal fruits in a peach-strawberry tart and a plum gateau, both which are easier (and less expensive!) to make.  I chose the plums which are in abundance now.

It was a beauty!

The gateau is baked upside down and cooled in the pan before flipping out, so it’s an easy dessert to make hours ahead.  It flipped out with all the plums intact.

As you can see it has a cake-like crust that is on the top before baking, with the plums beneath it.  When it is flipped out the beautiful plums are on top.  It is not overly sweet and would have been great with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or sweetened whipped, neither which I didn’t have at the time, but would definitely have next time.

Plum Gateau, Baked Upside Down
  • 1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • ⅓ cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon table salt
  • ¼ cup milk
  • 3 egg yolks, beaten
  • 1 Tablespoon butter, melted
  • About 5 to 6 purple plums, cut into quarters and pitted
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • ¼ cup red current jelly, melted over low heat and strained
  • ¼ cup packed brown sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 3 Tablespoons sliced almonds, for garnish
  1. Heat oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly butter an 8-by-3-inch round cake pan. Set aside.
  2. Mix flour, ⅓ cup brown sugar, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl. Stir in the milk, beaten egg yolks, and melted butter. Set aside.
  3. Place plums in a medium bowl and toss with the lemon juice and grated zest. Set aside.
  4. Spread the melted and strained jelly evenly in the prepared cake pan. Sprinkle the ¼ cup brown sugar evenly over the jelly. Dot the brown sugar evenly with the cold butter pieces.
  5. Arrange the plum wedges in circles, slightly overlapping, on top of the butter pieces covering the top. Spread the reserved flour and egg yolk batter evenly over the plums.
  6. Bake for 30-35 minutes until golden on top. Cool completely in the pan on a wire rack.
  7. To serve, unmold onto a serving plate. Let it sit for a couple minutes and tap the top gently to help release it. Serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or sweetened whipped cream.




7 Responses to Sphere Magazine September 1978

  1. October 2, 2023 at 11:39 am #

    I thought Sphere and Cuisine were published for much longer. Thank you for being the recipe and food historian of our times. And what a chef you are!

    The plum gateau looks delicious.

    • October 2, 2023 at 11:30 pm #

      Thank you for those kind words, Polly. It’s sad how short the lives were for Sphere and Cuisine. There is another Cuisine out now, but it’s called Cuisine at Home. It has great recipes too, but not the same format as the old Cuisine. Also, it’s very sweet to be called a chef, but I’m just a very enthusiastic home cook!

  2. October 2, 2023 at 3:11 pm #

    I’m excited to hear you will be working through all the Cuisine magazines. I’m hoping you find a chicken pot pie recipe that I have made for many years. I lost the original Cuisine magazine with the recipe during a move and would love to get another copy of the recipe.

    • October 2, 2023 at 11:35 pm #

      Hi Linda- Do you have any recollection of what year I might find the Chicken Pot Pie recipe? Or maybe what was on the cover? I’m sure I’ll come across it as I write about each issue, but if there are any hints you can give me of what you might remember, I could try to find it now.

      • October 3, 2023 at 10:30 am #

        I don’t recall the year but as I remember the recipe was part of a wedding buffet spread and was written for individual pies. I can’t recall what the cover looked like.

        • October 3, 2023 at 2:41 pm #

          Linda- I don’t know how long it will take, but I’ll keep my eyes open for the recipe and get back to you when I find it. Your hint about the wedding buffet spread is a big help!

  3. October 3, 2023 at 2:43 pm #

    Thank you so much!

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