Peaches and Cream Pie

I should have called this birthday pie, but in my house that doesn’t necessarily mean one specific pie. My birthday was yesterday and while I don’t have a birthday pie every year, I decided that this would be such a year. Here’s a cute photo of Jessica of yesteryear (I think I was around 10) having a birthday peach pie:

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It’s also photographic evidence that a certain little sister took it upon herself to help blow out candles. Having reached a decade, I doubt I needed the help. Then again, the candles look pretty intense. I wish I bought some like that for my birthday yesterday.

Instead, I decided to pick one of my other favorite peach pies to celebrate. Peaches and Cream Pie was always one of my favorites. It’s also much simpler to prep than any birthday cake (no need to bake in multiple pans, frost, decorate, etc).  Oh, before we go too far here’s a picture of it:

 Peaches and Cream Pie ~ www.caretakerskitchen.com

This pie speaks to how delicious a simple unfussy dessert can be at the end of summer. Fresh sliced peaches (which always taste best in August) are scattered over an unbaked pie shell. Then a basic vanilla custard is poured over top and baked. You really get the best flavor when it’s served at room temp or even chilled. Yes, Peaches and Cream Pie begs to be eaten for breakfast.

Peaches and Cream Pie ~ www.caretakerskitchen.com

-Not that I’ve ever needed encouragement to eat pie for breakfast, especially during my birthday week. Ooh, birthday idea for next year: have one new pie for breakfast each day of birthday week. You’re welcome future self.

Peaches and Cream Pie ~ www.caretakerskitchen.com

Peaches and Cream Pie
Author: 
yield: 1 9" pie
 
Ingredients
  • 1 unbaked 9" pie shell
  • 1½ pounds or 3½ cups peaches, peeled and sliced
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ¼ cup flour
  • dash salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup heavy cream
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375.
  2. Place sliced peaches in the unbaked shell. In a medium bowl, beat eggs till well beaten and pale in color. Whisk in the sugar, flour and salt till combined. Stir in the vanilla and cream.
  3. Pour the custard mixture over the peaches and bake for 45-50 minutes, or till center shakes only slightly when moved and top is golden.
  4. Let cool to room temp or chill before serving. Store any leftovers in the refrigerator for breakfast.
  5. *I usually cover the crusts with foil during the first 30 minutes of baking, then remove the foil for the last 15 to make sure they don't get too dark.

 

Flourless Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Flourless Peanut Butter Chocolate Cookies

This was supposed to be an amazing pizza post. Alas, the universe had other things in mind when I was distracted to the point of accidently broiling, yes, broiling my pizza. (It still turned out okay, just not terribly pretty).

So you get Flourless Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk Cookies -especially if you happen to be my good friend who’s also babysitting for us tomorrow night. Then you get them for real (spoilers!).

Flourless Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Why flourless, you might ask? Have I jumped on the gluten-free bandwagon? Nope, I just happened to stumble across a cookie shop that makes such a cookie and is right next to the library. It’s become a dangerous habit. One that’s easily justifiable when you consider I walk two miles round trip to the library pushing a 25 pound kid and probably another 10 in books. I deserve a cookie.

Flourless Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk Cookies ~www.caretakerskitchen.com

Then I realized that I didn’t want to walk two miles pushing a 25 pound kid every time I wanted one of these cookies. With a few changes, I’ve modified my childhood peanut butter cookie recipe. The result is a very tender, melt in your mouth intense peanut butter cookie with slightly crispy edges and a soft interior. I reduced the sugar and added bittersweet chocolate chunks. You’re welcome.

Flourless Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk Cookies ~ www.caretakerskitchen.com

These don’t make as many cookies as a normal recipe would, only about a dozen. But if you’re looking to reward yourself with a little something (maybe you correctly baked a pizza, or went on a challenging walk), these are the ticket.

Flourless Peanut Butter Chocolate Cookies
Author: 
yield: about a dozen
 
Ingredients
  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • ⅔ cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ⅔ cup bittersweet chocolate chunks
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl, beat peanut butter till well combined (if using a natural peanut butter). Stir in brown sugar, salt, and baking powder. Add egg and stir till combined. Mix in chocolate chunks.
  2. Chill dough for at least 15 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350.
  3. Scoop cookies into 1" balls, then flatten with the tines of a fork and place a few inches apart on a baking sheet. Bake 9-12 minutes, or till starting to set and possibly crack. Do not overbake. Let cool on sheet a few minutes before transferring to a wire rack.

 

Chocolate Whipped Cream

Chocolate Whipped Cream Shortcake

We had a rather unpleasant encounter with some local shortcakes recently. I bought them from a bakery that I love and they looked promising. Sprinkled with coarse sugar and slightly sweet, they reminded me of scones (I remembered trying one last summer). Last week, I bit the bullet and bought a package. I frequently have trouble buying baked goods that I know I could make at home (for example, I refuse to pay $9 for an angel food cake).

Chocolate Whipped Cream

I’d planned on making traditional strawberry shortcake with them. More traditional than the version I grew up with, which was angel food cake with strawberries and whipped cream. I’d also just made some strawberry jam and figured I could sneak a shortcake to snack on. As I sliced through a shortcake, I saw the knife come out doughy. Super doughy. As in big old pocket of uncooked shortcake in my shortcake. I managed to keep Patrick from nibbling all the edges off them and returned to the store for an exchange.

Ever try to get or make something where you’re thwarted at every turn? We got our second batch home and Patrick started eating one for breakfast when he found baked plastic in the center of his. Having completely given up on these shortcakes, I returned them to the store where I assured them I didn’t want to try again.

Chocolate Whipped Cream

Instead, I fell back on my family’s standard strawberry shortbread dessert. There is something about the light angel food cake that soaks up the sugared strawberry juice better than any good/doughy/plasticy shortcake could. Though I really did want to do something a  little different. So I made chocolate whipped cream, figuring I could always eat it alone with strawberries if the universe really didn’t want me to have shortcakes.

The chocolate whipped cream isn’t overly sweet. It is a subtle chocolate flavor that would be fantastic on its own or with just the strawberries. When paired with angel food cake for this dessert, I suggest the chocolate sauce drizzle so you really do get that chocolate flavor.

Lesson learned: stick with what you know. Just make it chocolate.

Chocolate Whipped Cream

Chocolate Whipped Cream Shortcake
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • For the Chocolate Whipped Cream:
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • angel food cake
  • sliced strawberries tossed with a bit of sugar and allowed to sit a bit
  • chocolate sauce to drizzle, optional
Instructions
  1. Chill a bowl and beaters for 15 minutes before whipping cream.
  2. Place heavy cream, cocoa powder, sugar, and vanilla extract in chilled bowl and immediately beat on high for several minutes, till peaks form (it's personal preference if you want soft peaks or stiff peaks more like frosting).
  3. To assemble shortcake, slice angel food cake. Top with sliced and sugared strawberries. Dollop chocolate whipped cream and drizzle with chocolate sauce.