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Archive for the ‘Pie’ Category

I dare say there’s nothing more beautiful than a gorgeous ruby ripe peach bursting with nectar that runs down your arm when you take that first bite. The pure, natural sweetness bursts on your tongue and you taste that distinctive flavour of a just picked, Ontario peach.

The only thing better … may be a peach pie.

My husband’s favourite pie is peach and whenever I make peach pie, I can pretty much bet that I’ll have one happy guy around the house.

All things considered, you’d think I’d make peach pie a weekly event.  But I don’t. I always wait until August. August is when we make peach preserves, peach jam, peach chutney, peach crisp, peach salsa and yes, peach pie.

Ontario peaches are ripe for picking in August and every year my husband’s parents drive to Niagara and purchase bushels of freshly picked peaches and bring them home in the trunk of the car.

We haul those peaches into the house and for days we wash, peel, pit, chop, sweeten, mash, can and bake the most delicious golden ripe peaches this side of heaven.

I’m not gonna lie.  It is a lot of work.  But it’s a labor of love and whenever we spread the sweet jam across our toast, pop open the lid on a jar of canned peaches, dip our chips into a jar of homemade peach salsa on a cold, winter-y weekend, we are always reminded of our love for fresh Ontario peaches and all of the reasons why we just know, that next August, we’re pretty much guaranteed to do it all over again.

This particular pie has a crunchy pecan streusel topping but quite honestly around here, pastry topping is loved just as much. Either way, it disappears in short order.

Here’s the recipe for this simple peach pie filling for either an 8-inch pastry or a 9-inch pastry, along with the optional pecan streusel topping.

8-Inch Peach Pie Recipe

8-inch single crust pastry

4 cups peeled and sliced fresh peaches

1 1/2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

2/3  cup granulated sugar

3 tablespoons flour

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)

9-Inch Peach Pie Recipe

9″ single crust pastry

5 cups peeled and sliced fresh peaches

2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

3/4 cup granulated sugar

1/4 cup flour

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)

Method

1.  Heat oven to 425 degrees F.

2.  In a large bowl, combine peaches with the lemon juice.  Add sugar, flour and cinnamon; toss lightly to mix.  Turn into the appropriate sized pastry shell.

3. Cover with pecan streusel topping (see recipe below) and bake at 425 degrees F. for 35 to 40 minutes or until thick juice begins to bubble through the streusel.

Note:  Keep an eye on the pie as it’s baking. If the streusel is browning too much, cover it loosely with aluminum foil.  Even though it may be difficult – it’s best to allow the pie to cool before cutting and serving.

Pecan Streusel Topping

1/3 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 cup quick-cooking rolled oats

1/4 cup each granulated and packed brown sugar

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)

1/3 cup butter, just slightly firm

1/4 cup chopped pecan halves

Method

1. In a medium bowl, toss together flour, oats, granulated and brown sugars, and cinnamon.  With a pastry blender or a fork, blend in the butter until crumbly.  Mix in pecans.

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Surprised?

I’ll bet you didn’t expect to hear from me this soon.

I’m making up for lost time.

If that’s even possible.

But I’m determined to try, so you can expect to hear a lot more from me this week as I try to fill these pages with some of the most delicious home baking and cooking recipes I’ve made while I was away.

Yes, even though I wasn’t here, I was still heating up the oven and cleaning up the mess.  Our plates were pretty and our tummies were full. Too full, sometimes.  Good food is hard to resist.  Like this blueberry apple cream cheese pie for instance.

It’s a pie I made a while back that I’ve been wanting to share.  It’s scrumptious. Apples and blueberries are covered in a luscious thick layer of cream cheese topping and  a sprinkle of walnuts.  It really is as good as it looks and it takes the humble pie to soaring heights of deliciousness.

Because I love to use fresh, seasonal fruit whenever I bake, Thanksgiving makes the perfect holiday to pass this around the family table, but you really can make and share it any time of the year and you’ll be sure to get some ooohh’s and awwwh’s.

Sprinkled with your favourite nuts, the rich and creamy, cream cheese topping nestles right into the tart apples and sweet blueberries for a beautiful, dramatic and rustic presentation that will impress even your most discerning of guests.

Cream Cheese Apple Blueberry Pie

Adapted from Pillsbury Kitchens’ Family Cookbook

Serves 10

Ingredients

Your favourite single-crust pastry

Apple Filling

6 cups (6 medium) peeled, sliced apples

1 cup fresh blueberries

1 cup brown sugar

1/3 cup all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons grated lemon zest

2 tablespoons lemon juice

Cream Cheese Topping

8-ounce package cream cheese, room temperature

1/3 cup granulated sugar

1 egg

1/3 cup chopped nuts (I used walnuts, but feel free to use your favourite)

Method

1. Heat oven to 375 degrees F.

2. In a large bowl, combine apples, blueberries, sugar, flour, lemon zest and lemon juice. Toss lightly.

3. Spoon into your prepared pastry-lined pie pan.

4. Combine all cream cheese topping ingredients except the nuts and beat until smooth.

5. Spoon cream cheese topping over the apples and blueberries.  Sprinkle with nuts. Bake at 375 degrees F for 30 to 35 minutes or until lightly browned.  Refrigerate any leftovers.

Note: There is a caramel sauce option for this pie that I didn’t try; but it does sound delicious so I’m adding it, just in case you’d like to give it a try.

For this caramel version, omit the blueberries, using just the apples, and make a caramel sauce that gets poured over the apples just before you add the cream cheese topping.

Caramel Sauce

8-ounces (about 28) of caramels

1/2 cup half-and-half or evaporated milk

In a small saucepan, melt caramels in half-and-half on low heat, stirring occasionally, until smooth.  While warm, drizzle over the apples before adding the cream cheese topping.

 

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It’s that time of year again when we’re looking to serve up some cool summer treats as we enjoy warm temperatures and backyard barbeques with friends and family.

This no-fuss dessert is a cool summer treat.  It’s creamy sweetness is balanced by a zesty lime flavour and perfectly complimented with a salty pretzel crust.

And the best part is  …  it’s no-bake.

As our house heats up without anything to cool it except ceiling fans, oven-free meals and desserts are at the top of my list for all of June, July and August.  

With a prep time of just 15 minutes, this is something I like to make in the morning while it’s still cool.  I pop it in the freezer and then it’s there when my guys finally come home from a long day outside. It can be made days ahead of any entertaining you might be doing so it’s also a great desert idea for a backyard summer celebration.

The ingredients are somewhat unusual, but not so unusual that you may not already have them on hand. I hope you give it a try this summer, the tart, sweet and salty flavours are sure to be a hit with kids and adults alike.

 

 

Cool Lime Pie

1 1/4 cups crushed pretzels

1/4 cup sugar

6 tablespoons butter, melted

1 can (14 oz.) sweetened condensed milk

1/2 cup freshly squeezed lime juice

2 tablespoons lime zest

1 envelope (6g) unsweetened KOOL-AID, lemon lime flavour

2 1/2 cups whipping cream (35%), whipped

1. Mix pretzel crumbs, sugar and butter together and press into a 9-inch pie plate.  Refrigerate until ready to use.

2. Mix sweetened condensed milk, lime juice, zest and kool-aid together in a large bowl.  Whisk in whipped cream and pour into crust.

3. Place in freezer for 6 hours before serving.

You can jazz this up with a dollop of whipped cream and some grated lime zest before serving.

Quick, easy and delicious!

Serves 10

 

 

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