Category Archives: Fruit

Peach Hand Pies

What tastes like a pie, but fits into a hand?  A “Hand Pie”!  Hand pies are perfect for those who don’t want to make an entire pie, or those who just like the compact, individualized size.  Hand Pies can be made with any pie filling and are perfect for picnics, road trips, or (dare I say it?) the kids lunch boxes.

 

I chose peaches for this blog since a dear friend gave me a peck of tree-ripe peaches fresh off the farm!  You don’t need a peck of peaches for this recipe as 4 medium sized peaches will make 6 hand pies.

 

In a strainer place and allow to drain for 15 minutes:
4 medium – large Peaches, peeled and diced
 
To drained peaches add:
3 Tabl. Brown Sugar
2 Tabl. AP Flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 drop of Almond Extract (optional)
 
     
Thaw and roll out 1 sheet of frozen puff dough.  Cut into 6″ circles (re-roll the dough if necessary).  Place a large spoonful of peaches on 1/2 of the circle of pastry.  Brush egg wash* on the edges of one half.  Fold the dough over and use a fork to seal the edge.  Place these on a parchment lined baking sheet and place the baking sheet in the freezer until firm.

      

   

Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees.

Remove frozen pastries from the freezer.  Brush each with egg wash and sprinkle with granulated sugar.  Using a sharp knife, cut slits in each.  Bake for 20-25 minutes until crisp and lightly browned.

*Egg wash – 1 egg and 1 Tabl. water

Peach Cobbler

It’s peach season!!  The peaches this year are juicy and delicious – not like some of the dry, no-taste peaches of years past.  When it comes to peach cobbler there are two basic types:  one with juicy peaches and a drier, biscuit-like topping and, my preference, the one with juicy peaches and a moist, cake-like topping.

This recipe makes a 9″ X 11″ pan.  You can easily 1/2 or double the recipe. Also, if you have the grill on, regulate the heat to 350 degrees and bake on the grill to keep the heat out of the house.

In a bowl, combine:
8 cups of Peaches, peeled, sliced
1/2 tsp. Cinnamon, ground
4 Tabl. Brown Sugar
 
In the bottom of your pan, pour:
1 cup of Butter, melted
 
In a bowl, mix:
2-1/2 cups AP Flour
2 cups Sugar
2 Tabl. Baking Powder
1/2 tsp. Salt
 
Stir in to dry ingredients:
2 cups Milk, whole
1 tsp. Vanilla Extract

Pour this batter over the butter in pan, without stirring.  Spread the peaches out on top of the batter.  Bake in a 350 degree oven for 40 minutes or until golden brown and tests done.  Serve warm.

         

Fresh Strawberry Pie

Often found in diners and family restaurants, this fresh strawberry pie is quick and easy to make.  Calling for a pre-baked pie shell, you can make your own crust or purchase one, it’s the only baking required.  On these hot days, bake your shell early in the morning, while it is still cool.

Ten short minutes standing over the stove and you’ll be putting this baby in the refrigerator to serve up on a hot summer night. Serve a slice of pie with fresh whipped cream, and enjoy!

This recipe is based on Sarah’s from “Short Stop”.

 
1 pre-baked pie crust
 
   
 
2 Qts. Fresh Strawberries, washed, hulled, divided in half
 
In a food processor, pulse 1 Qt. of Strawberries to small chunks
    
 
Place the processed berries in a pan and add:
3/4 cup sugar 
3 Tabl. Cornstarch
1/2 tsp. Salt
 
Stir to incorporate and add:
1/2 Lemon, squeezed

   

Cook for approx. 10 minutes until it is very thick.  You’ll notice that initially the berry mixture is whitish.  Once the cornstarch has cooked, the mixture will turn red and glossy.

   

Remove the sauce from the heat and cool for 20 minutes.  Stir in the remaining berries, sliced.  Place  the filling in the baked pie shell and smooth.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate it for 4 hours before serving.

   

Frozen Fruit

Too.hot.to. eat. – No recipe here today, just suggestions.  As the heatwave continues in the US, and definitely here on the east coast, with a heat index of 110 degrees, let’s talk fruit.  Frozen fruit – Grapes, Strawberries, Raspberries, Pitted Cherries, Oranges, Grapefruit and more!

Fresh fruit is delicious and refreshing enough, but for that extra bit of refreshment to help cool you down, freeze it!  Seedless grapes, raspberries, blueberries, pitted cherries and strawberries can be frozen whole.  Wash fruit and place on paper towels to dry.  Put the fruit in a ziplock bag and place in freezer.

For a twist, segment an orange or grapefruit to freeze.  To segment, peel the skin with a sharp knife, cutting all of the exterior off and the white “pith”.  Holding the fruit in your hand, slice through each segment on the inside of the membrane to release the slice. Place the orange or grapefruit slices on a piece of parchment (or wax) paper on a cookie sheet and freeze until solid.  When they are frozen, place in a ziplock bag to enjoy.

     

Use your frozen fruit in place of ice cubes in cold drinks to add flavor and color.

Write and tell me how you are staying cool.

Frozen Fruit

Too.hot.to. eat. – No recipe here today, just suggestions.  As the heatwave continues in the US, and definitely here on the east coast, with a heat index of 110 degrees, let’s talk fruit.  Frozen fruit – Grapes, Strawberries, Raspberries, Pitted Cherries, Oranges, Grapefruit and more!

Fresh fruit is delicious and refreshing enough, but for that extra bit of refreshment to help cool you down, freeze it!  Seedless grapes, raspberries, blueberries, pitted cherries and strawberries can be frozen whole.  Wash fruit and place on paper towels to dry.  Put the fruit in a ziplock bag and place in freezer.

For a twist, segment an orange or grapefruit to freeze.  To segment, peel the skin with a sharp knife, cutting all of the exterior off and the white “pith”.  Holding the fruit in your hand, slice through each segment on the inside of the membrane to release the slice. Place the orange or grapefruit slices on a piece of parchment (or wax) paper on a cookie sheet and freeze until solid.  When they are frozen, place in a ziplock bag to enjoy.

     

Use your frozen fruit in place of ice cubes in cold drinks to add flavor and color.

Write and tell me how you are staying cool.

Blueberry Crumb Muffins

These muffins are packed with delicious, fresh blueberries (you may also use frozen) and topped with buttery crumbs.  In the bakery, before leaving for the day, I would prep out the dry ingredients in plastic containers. When I arrived in the early a.m., I just added the liquid ingredients to the dry, scooped them into muffin tins, made the crumbs and had baked fresh muffins in no time at all.  You can do the same, by prepping out the dry ingredients in a bowl the night before and cover with plastic wrap.  In the morning, half of the “work” is done.

I just returned from Ocean City,MD, where I met my daughter’s family for a brief vacation.  I wanted to be able to help out a bit so, I packed the dry ingredients in one ziplock bag, and the egg and half and half in another, threw a stick of butter in the cooler with the liquid ingredients bag and off I went!  In the morning, in less time than it took the oven to heat, I had mixed up the ingredients and we were enjoying hot muffins 30 minutes later.

This recipe makes 12 muffins.

 
In a bowl, measure:
2 cups AP Flour
1/2 cup Sugar
1 Tabl. Baking Powder
1/2 tsp. Salt
1 Tabl. Fresh Orange Zest
 
Combine and stir into the above dry ingredients:
1/3 cup Butter, melted, cooled
1 cup Half and Half
1 Egg, whole
 
Stir in:
1 pint Blueberries
 
         
 
CRUMB TOPPING:
Combine in bowl and mix with fork or fingers until crumbs form:
1/2 cup flour
2/3 cup Sugar
3 Tabl. Butter, softened

Scoop the batter into muffin papers and sprinkle tops with crumb mixture.  Bake in a 350 degree oven for 25 minutes or until test done in center.

Sparkling Strawberry Lemonade

I had intended to give you this recipe before July 4th, but got busy.  You’ll find this combination of sweet/sour is extremely refreshing in what promises to be a very hot summer.  I use sparkling water because it adds an extra little “zip”.

Prepare the sugar syrup ahead of time, add the strawberries and refrigerate.  Just at serving, add the sparkling water, give it a stir and enjoy!  This makes enough for 6-8 large servings.

In pan, bring to a boil:
4 cups (filtered) tap water
2 cups Sugar
 
Remove from pan and add:
2 cups Lemon Juice
 
In a food processor, blend until fine:
1 Quart Fresh Strawberries, washed, hulled, cut
 
Stir in to cooled lemonade:
Strawberries
2 Tabl. Lemon Zest
 
Refrigerate.  When ready to serve, pour the strawberry/lemon mixture into a pitcher and add:
1 Bottle of Sparkling Water – (1 liter)
 

Garnish with Lemon and serve ice cold.  Give the lemonade a stir when the strawberries rise to the top.

            

Fresh Blueberry Tart

It’s blueberry season!!  Blueberries are so delicious – rich in antioxidants and  many health benefits have been attributed to them.  In my opinion, all fruit (and vegetables) should be enjoyed while fresh and in season.  Just in time for the abundance of juicy blueberries, I bring you this easy, no-bake fresh blueberry tart.  This tart features the blueberry two ways: cooked and fresh to provide smoothness and a little “crunch”.

I used a graham cracker crust in my tart pan, because it is way too hot to heat the oven just to bake a crust for a few minutes.  You can use a tart crust if you choose.  The blueberry filling in this tart is all prepared on the stove top in just a matter of minutes.  You’ll find this much more tasty than store-bought canned filling and it is quite refreshing on a hot day – not to mention it’s easier than baking a pie!

This recipe is for a 10″ tart which will serve 8-10.  If you desire to skip the tart shell altogether, serve the filling with vanilla ice cream or frozen yogurt.

Combine in a saucepan:
1/4 cup water
1 pint of Blueberries, washed and checked for stems, paper towel patted dry
1/2 cup Sugar
2 tsp. Fresh Lemon Zest
3 Tabl. Fresh Lemon Juice
dash Salt
 
      
Allow the above to come to a boil and then cook down for 4 minutes.  The filling will appear too juicy at this point.
 
Make a slurry (thickening) of:
2 Tabl. Cornstarch
2 Tabl. Water, cold
 
Stir the slurry into the cooked berries and stir constantly for 3 minutes to thicken.  It will continue to thicken as it cools.
 
Remove the filling from the stove and stir in:
1-1/2 pints Blueberries, washed, and checked for stems, paper towel patted dry
 
      

Immediately pour the filling into your tart crust.  Spread the filling around.  Press plastic wrap down on top of the filling and refrigerate until cold.  Serve with whipped cream and garnish if desired.

Mixed Berry Crumble

It’s hard to believe but, after what seemed like a VERY snowy winter and then a single day at 80 degrees, we’ve been fooled – the SNOW is BACK!!  There are two ways to look at it: either this is a cruel trick of nature or the 80’s temp. day was a gift.  I prefer to think of the break in the weather as a gift to remind us Spring weather is coming soon.

In the meantime, how about a nice, comforting warm, mixed berry crumble?  Yea, that’s what I thought…YUM!  This recipe makes at least 4 ramekins but you really could make 5 not as stuffed ramekins. (if you don’t have ramekins, make this recipe in an 8″ X 8″ pan.)


In a bowl mix:
1 pound bag of Mixed Berries, frozen (I cut the strawberries in 1/2)
2 Tabl. Brown Sugar
1 Tabl. Cornstarch
1/2 tsp. Orange Zest
pinch of Salt

Allow the berries to slightly thaw slightly for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

 

In a small bowl combine the crumble ingredients:
1/4 cup AP Flour
1/3 cup Oatmeal, Quick (NOT INSTANT)
1/3 cup Brown Sugar
1/2 tsp. Cinnamon
1/2 tsp. Vanilla Extract

With fork or fingers work to from crumbs:
in 3 Tabl. Butter, soft

Spray 4 ramekins and fill with berry mixture.  Top with crumble.  Bake in 350 degree oven for 35 minutes or until juices run over. Serve warm.

Roasted Pears

Occasionally after a satisfying dinner you want a piece of fruit. Fruit is perfect served and eaten as it is, without any embellishments.  There are times, however, when you would like to serve fruit in a more sophisticated way.  In the summer, I like to grill peaches, pineapples and lemon wedges.  In the middle of winter, roasting pears in the oven will only serve to elevate their deliciousness.  This recipe is quick, easy and low in fat and sugar – how much better can it get?!

Use firm pears of any variety.  Peel, halve and core pears (one whole pear per serving).  Place pear halves upside down in a casserole dish.

Place in cored out center of each pear:
1/2 tsp. Butter

Sprinkle each with:
1 tsp. Brown Sugar
Dash of Cinnamon

Top each pear half with 1 thin slice of lemon (this will help them to not turn brown and keep in the moistness).  Roast in 425 degree oven for 20 minutes or until they test done to your liking.  Remove the lemon from the top of each – use it to garnish.   Serve warm with Vanilla Yogurt or a scoop of Frozen Vanilla Yogurt.

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