Aug 9, 2016

Fresh Peach Pie

My daughter has this fabulous peach tree. The peaches come on early and are juicy and sweet year after year. When you eat a peach the juice just runs down your hand, so good. I have an Alberta peach tree which I have only had for three years and the fruit is also good but not like hers. My tree won't have fruit that is ready until the middle of September so she gave me some peaches for a pie because I just love peach pie and waiting is not my strong suit.  If you're not into making your own pie crust by all means use a store bought ready to bake crust. 

For the pie crust:
1 1/4 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 cup cold butter
1/4 cup ice water

Put all ingredients except water into a food processor. Process for 10 seconds or so until crumbly. You can mix by hand if you don't have a processor.  Add water in a slow stream until the dough holds together, not more that 30 seconds.  Make two balls of dough, flatten each into a disc and wrap with plastic wrap. Chill in the fridge of at least 1/2 an hour.

*Tip - you can keep pie dough in the fridge for a week, or freeze for one month.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

After the dough is chilled, take one disk and roll it out on floured surface and place in a 9 to 10 inch pie plate, then make filling.

For the pie filling:
8 good size peaches
2/3 cup sugar, add 1/8 cup more if you need it sweeter (all peaches are different)
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 Tablespoons cornstarch

Peel and slice peaches into bowl. Stir sugar, lemon juice, salt, and cornstarch into peaches. Pour mixture into pie crust, (sometimes if there is too much juice I don't use it all). Roll out second disk of dough for the top crust. If you want a design on top with tiny cookie cutters etc. this is the time to do that. Lift top crust onto the pie filling and crimp edges to the lower crust.

Whisk an egg and brush crust with egg wash and sprinkle sugar on top crust. This will make your crust shiny and delicious.

Bake in 375 degree oven until crust is golden brown, about 1 hour to 1 hour 10 minutes.

*Tip - I use a metal pie ring to protect the edges of the pie crust so they don't get too brown. If you don't have one of these you can use steps of tin foil if the edges start to get too brown.

Jun 24, 2016

Red, White and Blue Trifle

July is one of my favorite months.  I guess that's because it's our wedding anniversary and my birthday month and best of all it's SUMMER.  This is a recipe that every time I serve it I get rave reviews.  It's a great summer dessert that is cool and refreshing and perfect for the 4th of July.  This recipe is for a trifle bowl but can also be made into individual servings, as pictured. 
Have a happy and safe 4th of July.

Red, White and Blue Trifle

1 angel food cake
1 small package fresh blueberries
1 16 oz. package fresh strawberries (add sugar and crush a little to make juice)
1 small bag fresh frozen raspberries (thaw and add sugar to taste and make juice)
1 pint whipping cream (whip and sweeten)
1 small package instant vanilla pudding (make as package directs)

Tear cake into small chunks as you go along.  Layer, for example:  pieces of cake, several spoonfuls of raspberries, several spoonfuls of pudding,  sprinkle some blueberries, pieces of cake, several spoonfuls of strawberries, several spoonfuls of whipped cream, sprinkle some blueberries.  Keep layering until trifle bowl is full or all ingredients are gone.  Chill for at least one hour.

TIPS:  Use the juice when you are spooning on the fruit, you want your cake to have a little juice soak in.  Also don't forget to make the top pretty.  Serve cold.

Jun 8, 2016

Sugar Cookies W/Cream Cheese Frosting

I hosted a bridal shower this month and thought I would make my favorite sugar cookie recipe and this time instead of my usual glaze I thought I would fancy them up with a cream cheese frosting rose. The combination was really delicious. You can make these a day or two ahead of time and they just seem to taste better day by day. I store them in a big rectangle container with a lid that way they won't be touched. The wonderful thing about this dough is that it doesn't need to be refrigerated first.  I did use a little flour when I rolled them out and it made all the difference in the world because my dough is always a little sticky.

Cookie Ingredients:
1/2 cup butter
1 cup sugar
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon milk
2 1/2 cups flour

With mixer cream butter and sugar.

Add eggs and mix well.  Add milk and vanilla and blend.

Add salt, baking powder, and flour, 1/2 cup at a time, until the dough is soft and blended

Flour your rolling surface and rolling pin.  Roll out half of the dough 1/4 inch thick, cut into shapes with cookie cutter. Place on parchment paper lined cookie sheet. Use all the dough, it doesn't matter if you handle it a lot.

Bake for 8-9 minutes at 375 degrees. Yep that's the right time, any longer and your cookies will not be soft. I know they look under baked but trust me on this. Let them sit on the cookie sheet for 5 minutes before putting them on a cooling rack.

Make sure cookies are really cool before you frost them.

Makes 20 2 inch round.

Frosting Ingredients:
1 8 oz. bar cream cheese
3/4 cup butter
4 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

In bowl of electric mixer cream together the cream cheese and butter until creamy. Mix in the vanilla, then gradually add in powdered sugar, on cup at a time. Blend until creamy with no lumps. Color if using food coloring. I always use gel food coloring. Remember a drop at a time until you have the desired color.

If you want to make the rose design use a 1M Wilton tip and start in the middle of the cookie and swirl it clockwise.