Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Peach Pie Part 2

As promised here is the recipe that I used for peach pie. I found this one online and changed it quite a bit. It was the first time I've ever made peach pie and I was really happy with the way it turned out. My only problem was trying to peal them. I tried to just peal them by hand but that didn't work. So then I tried the method of submerging them in boiling water for 30 seconds then peeling them. That didn't work either. I got mad. It's just a peach, it shouldn't be difficult right? It was kind of a mess so I decided to just cut them up and leave the skin on. I was pleasantly surprised when I took my first bite and realized that the skins softened up quite a bit. I would still prefer them to be peeled so if anyone has any suggestions I would much appreciate them!


1/4 cup white sugar + 1 tbs sugar
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp salt
3 tbs fresh lemon juice
1 tbs pure vanilla extract
7 cups sliced peaches
2 tbs butter


Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Combine sugar, flour, nutmeg and salt. Add lemon juice and vanilla to mixture. It will be kind of like a paste at this point. Stir into the sliced peaches.

To save time I used a pre-made pie crust. The Pillsbury® pie crust comes in two circular sheets. Unroll the first sheet and lay in the bottom of a pie pan. Pour the coated peaches in then cut up the butter into even chunks and spread over the peaches.

Cover with the other half of the pie crust. Tuck the excess dough down around the inside of the pie pan. Slightly pinch the dough all the way around the edge. Bake for 25 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 degrees F and bake for another 20 minutes. Now carefully sprinkle the remaining tablespoon of sugar over the pie. Bake for an additional 20 minutes. You should have a delightfully delicious peach pie that looks like this:


Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Peach Pie

With a WHOPPING 4 votes Peach Pie is the latest winning recipe in the baking poll. Which is great timing considering I have so many peaches because of this. I swear it's complete coincidence that peach pie won and that I have pounds and pounds of peaches. Just like me, people must love peach pie this time of year. I will be posting the recipe tomorrow since I left my recipe at home and cannot remember the exact measurements. This song was in my head while I was making the pie:
Sing along for fun.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

How to Extract Vanilla Bean Seeds

If you're going to use vanilla bean seeds for the recipe that I previously posted-and you've never extracted them before-take a look at this video. It's a simple 'How To' for extracting the seeds.

Lemon Cupcakes with Vanilla Bean Icing

This recipe is really great for the summer. It's light and refreshing. The vanilla flavor compliments the lemon really well. This is one of my favorites!


1 cup butter softened
1 cup white sugar
1 cup light brown sugar
3 eggs
2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups non-fat vanilla yogurt


3 tablespoons butter softened
2 1/4 cups confectioners' sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
vanilla bean seeds from one whole vanilla bean
(for instructions how to scrape a vanilla bean go here)
1 tablespoon milk


In a large mixing bowl cream the butter and sugar then beat in the eggs one at a time.

Add the lemon peel and vanilla and mix together. Combine all dry ingredients well in a separate bowl and add to creamed mixture alternately with yogurt. Fill greased or paper-lined muffin cups with 1/4 cup of batter. Bake at 350 degrees F for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean and happy.

Happy cupcakes baking
Cool for about 10 minutes then place on wire racks to cool completely.

For frosting, cream butter and sugar in a small mixing bowl. Add the vanilla, vanilla bean seeds and milk. If necessary add more milk until you reach the desired consistency. Now frost the cupcakes and EAT 'EM UP!

Also, don't forget to vote ya'll!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Peach Picking

Rob and I took a little trip up to Michigan this past weekend. We went to a "You Pick" farm where you can hand pick your own fruit. Living in Chicago, the closest thing you get to really good fresh fruits and veggies are the farmer's markets that they set up throughout the city on the weekends. They always have a really good selection and great tasting fruit but there's nothing like picking your own. We found a brochure for a place called Fruit Acres Farm and decided to go there. On the way through Michigan we saw a lot of signs for other "You Pick" farms. So there is a plethora to chose from. The only option for fruit this past weekend was peaches so we put on our peach pickin' hats and off we went. When we got there the very nice girl who weighed the fruit informed us that we were going to be taking a HAY RIDE to the peach orchard. Yes, I said hay ride. We were so excited. We are definitely city boys. Here I am on the hay ride:

Can't you see, I'm beaming with happiness!

When we got there the driver told us to go ahead and eat some peaches while we picked. So we did! It was like Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory except we were scrambling to eat peaches. I felt like a kid, running around, eating as much as I wanted. But then we got down to business. It really pays to be tall in situations like this because we were able to pick the big fat juicy peaces way up at the tops of the trees that no one else could reach. Here is a picture of Rob, umm, not staged AT ALL:

Also, beaming with happiness! Here are some of the yummy peaches we picked:

Now we have a whole lot of peaches to eat. I think I see some peach pie in my future.