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Old Fashioned Peach Cobbler.

Is there nothing more summery (or delicious) than enjoying a fresh, sweet peach with juice dribbling down your chin and all over your fingers. Nothing in my book.

Sister Dean, one of our neighbors and a close family friend dropped off a bag of very fresh peaches last week. After a few of them had been devoured (cause, you know, we’ve got to test them out, right 😉 ), I put a sign on them letting everyone know that the rest were off limits cause I’d be using them for something special. Alright, I didn’t go quite that far (I actually have had to resort to putting signs on pies and cakes in the past), but I did hide put them behind something in the refrigerator.

So, yesterday, after watching a Devious Maids marathon and catching up on the episodes I’ve missed lately (I love that show, don’t you? I’m dying to know who Flora’s killer is), I set out to make one of my favorites, old fashioned peach cobbler.

While I love the easier version of peach cobbler (you know, where the recipe calls for a stick of melted butter, a cup of flour, a cup of sugar, a cup of milk, and peaches, and you kind of dump them all together), having a crust made from scratch just makes cobbler so much more special.

Peach cobbler with fresh whipped cream.

Ingredients
Crust:
2 1/2 c all purpose flour
1 tsp sugar*
pinch of kosher salt
2 sticks of cold butter (cut into small pieces)
3/4 c of ice cold water (or slightly more if you need it)
* I don’t really like overly sweet pie crust, but if you do add a little more sugar to it.

Filling:
5-6 fresh peaches, peeled and cut into slices
3/4 c sugar
6 Tbsp butter
1/2 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp ground cinnamon
fresh ground nutmeg, to taste*
* I buy fresh nutmeg from Publix, then keep it in the freezer til I need it. Not completely sure how much was used in this recipe, but I would definitely say it was less than a 1/4 teaspoon.

Crust:
1) Start by stirring together the dry ingredients for the crust (flour, sugar, and kosher salt) in a medium sized bowl. Then, cut in the butter by using a pastry cutter, your hands, or a food processor. Once that’s done, add the water and stir just until combined. You may need more or less water than called for, depending upon how dry the dough is. If you need more, add it a very small amount at a time.

2) Form the dough into a nice ball and cover with saran wrap and refrigerate for at least 15 minutes.

Peach Filling:
1) In a large saucepan on medium heat, combine the butter, peaches, sugar, lemon juice. Cook, stirring occasionally, just until the sugar has dissolved and the liquid begins to become syrupy. Remove from heat and allow to cool.

Grating the nutmeg into the filling.
 

Assembling & baking the cobbler:
1) Divide the dough into two balls: one for the bottom crust and one for the top. Roll out the ball of dough for the bottom crust to about  an 1/8 inch thickness. Place in a small glass baking dish (I used a 9×9) so that it covers the bottom and up the sides. Trim off any excess dough.

2) Pour the cooled peaches and juice in the baking dish, making sure they’re evenly spread out.

3) Roll out the ball of dough for the top crust to about the same thickness. Cut into several one inch wide strips. Place on top of the peaches criss-crossed to form a lattice crust (see how to make a lattice crust here). Brush with the crust with melted butter and sprinkle with sugar.

4) Bake in a 375F degree preheated oven for about 30-45 minutes (give or take) or until the top crust is golden brown.

 

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Blueberry Cheesecake Ice Cream.

With how hot and humid this summer has started out, there isn’t anything more refreshing than a bowl of homemade ice cream. When our cousin, Eleanor, stopped by the other week and gave us a big bag of fresh blueberries, I just had to try out a recipe for Blueberry Cheesecake Ice Cream.

And it was the perfect treat! Cold, refreshing, and addictively delicious.

Ingredients:
Blueberry Filling:
2 cups of fresh blueberries
3/4 c granulated sugar
1/2 Tbsp corn starch
1/2 c water

Graham Cracker Crumbles:
2 c Graham Cracker Crumbs
1 Tbsp granulated sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 c butter, melted

Ice Cream:
2 c heavy cream
4 c whole milk
1 1/2 c granulated sugar
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 pkg cheesecake or vanilla instant pudding

Blueberry Filling:
1) Combine the sugar and corn starch in a small saucepan. Gradually add the water, stirring until combined. Add the fresh blueberries and bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat to low and allow the mixture to simmer until it begins to thicken. Refrigerate until completely cooled.

Graham Cracker Crumbles:
1) Preheat oven to 350F degrees.

2) In a bowl, combine graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and cinnamon. Add the melted butter and use a fork to combine completely. Using your hands, pat the graham cracker mixture into a 9×9 glass pan (or really any glass pan of a similar size). Bake until lightly browned (about 15-20 minutes – give or take). Once out of the oven, allow to cool completely, then crumble and set aside.

Ice Cream:
1) Combine the sugar, whole milk, and heavy cream in a large saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium low heat until the sugar is completely dissolved. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla extract and cinnamon. Refrigerate the mixture and allow it to cool. Once cooled, whisk in the dry pudding mixture. Freeze in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s directions.

2) In a large sealable container, layer the ice cream, graham cracker crumbles, and blueberry filling (in that order) at least two or three times. Use a spoon or rubber spatula to swirl the ingredients. Freeze until you’re ready to serve it.

Enjoy!

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Lemon Blueberry Mini Trifles.

I love these mini trifles, so delicious, wonderfully tart, and they were a perfect dessert for Mother’s Day. And easy, which is the best part of course 🙂

Ingredients:
1 Pound Cake (store bought or homemade), cut into bite sized pieces
1 jar of lemon curd*
1 (8 oz) package of cream cheese, softened
2 cups of fresh whipped cream, give or take
5 Tbsp powdered sugar, give or take
Blueberries, washed
1/4 cup of lemon juice, give or take
*Our town’s grocery store unfortunately didn’t have any lemon curd, so I made my own using the recipe for lemon cheese cake frosting, but cut in half. The recipe for it is below.

1) In a medium sized mixing bowl, combine the softened cream cheese and the lemon curd. Fold in about half of the whipped cream. Set aside.

2) In a small bowl, stir together the lemon juice and about 5 Tbsp of powdered sugar. Set aside.

To assemble:
Place a layer of pound cake into the bottom of a clear glass container of your choice. Drizzle a small spoonful of the lemon juice/powdered sugar mixture on top of the pound cake (this step can be optional, but to me it makes this dessert even better by making the dense pound cake a little moister and giving it a tarter taster). Then top with a large dollop of the cream cheese mixture. On top of that place several blueberries. Top with a dollop of fresh whipped cream.

This recipe made 4 mini trifles for us plus one larger sized one for later. For a patriotic look, you could easily use raspberries in addition to the blueberries.

Lemon Cheese Cake Frosting (halved)
Ingredients:
4 egg yolks
3/4 c sugar
1 1/2 sticks of butter
Juice of 2-3 lemons
Zest from 1 of those lemons

1) Mix all of the ingredients together and cook in a double boiler until the mixture thickens (takes about 25 minutes or slightly longer). Make sure to stir constantly. Allow the frosting to cool before using (it will thicken even more after cooling).

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Apple Crisp with Caramel.

I love this recipe, it’s perfect for cool weather, stormy Spring days like we’ve had today, and especially good when the lights go out during those stormy days. As I’m currently sitting here waiting for the electricity to come back on (thank goodness the Hopper recorded Farm Kings earlier – don’t you just love that show. . . or better yet the guys on it?), I’m seriously considering grabbing another bowl 🙂

The original recipe is here, but you know me, I just had to change it around a little 😉

Ingredients:
Apple Filling
3 Granny Smith apples (or whichever apple you prefer), peeled and cut into large bite sized pieces
A dash of lemon juice
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/3 c Caramel (recipe here)*
*I halve the caramel recipe, and of course, exclude the part where you dip apples into it 🙂

Topping
1/3 cup of butter, softened
1/2 c brown sugar
1/4 c granulated sugar
1/2 c wheat flour
1/2 c old fashioned oats
1 Tbsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg*
*I freeze nutmeg, and then take it out and grate when I need it, so 1/8th of a teaspoon is a guesstimate. 

The Filling:
1) Preheat the oven to 350F. Then, toss the peeled and cut up apples in a dash of lemon juice. Add a teaspoon of ground cinnamon and the cooled caramel sauce, and stir to make sure the apples are completely coated. Pour into a baking dish (I use an 8×8 square casserole dish).

2) In a medium sized bowl, combine the softened butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar, wheat flour, oats, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Combine using a fork, until the mixture is crumb-like in texture.

 
Just before going in the oven.
 

3) Spoon the topping on top of the apple filling, covering completely. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the apples become tender.

Serve with ice cream, fresh whipped cream, or how I like it, just plain 🙂 And enjoy!

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Presidential Cookies

I’m a week late posting these cookies, but oh well, they’re just as good no matter when you make them 🙂

I’ve been wanting to try out the recipe for Laura Bush’s Cowboy Cookies for a while after seeing it repeatedly in cookbooks and online. What better day to make them than Presidents’ Day? So, that’s what I set out to do last Monday.

It was such an easy recipe, and one that I may just have to share with my mom (who is a complete non-baker). But first let me say that I’m not much of a chocolate chip cookie baker as they just never seem to turn out like the yummy ones you can get in the mall, but these turned out amazingly well. Soft, melt in your mouth, and just how I like them.

You can see the original recipe here. The only things I changed when making them was: to cut the recipe in half to make a smaller batch, used wheat flour, and I made each cookie a little smaller than called for.

 
Hope everyone is having a great start to your week! For us, it’s rainy and altogether a little too soggy outside, and I may just have to make another batch of these cookies 😉