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Super Easy: Crispy Fruit “Pudding”

Crispy Peach "Pudding"

Once in a while, you come across a recipe that is not only easy, it is versatile and so tasty that it always garners compliments. I found this in a Family Circle magazine about a zillion years ago… Originally called “Crispy Berry Pudding,” it was made with strawberries, raspberries and blueberries, but I soon discovered that just about any fruit combination would work well in this dessert. Click on the highlighted text for the recipe. Some of the fruits I’ve tried: apples and cranberries, rhubarb (with and without another fruit) and peaches – pictured here. The only fruit that I didn’t care for was plums – and maybe it was because we had “prune” plums. I also can’t imagine it would work with citrus fruits, but if you try it and it works, let me know! I have no idea why it is referred to as a “pudding” – perhaps it is a British thing…?

A Few Tips:

  • If you are using orchard fruits – such as peaches, apples or pears – be sure to peel them as a part of the preparation.

    Ready to bake! See? Not stirred!

  • Melt the butter in your baking dish while preparing the fruit, but keep an eye on it! You want it to be just melted, not browned.
  • The most important thing to remember when assembling the pudding is Do Not Stir. You will pour batter (which, yes, you have stirred, but that is a different step!) over the melted butter and then pour the fruit over the batter. No stirring!
  • I use a 3 qt. dish so there is plenty of room for juices to bubble without boiling over. This is probably my most used baking dish! If you wish, you can put it on a baking sheet or some foil to avoid a nasty boiled fruit clean up in your oven until you are sure of the recipe.
  • Watch the baking time the first few times you try the recipe. I recently got a different oven and find that I don’t have to bake it the whole hour as I did in my old oven. The pudding pictured at the top of this post was baked for 40 minutes.
  • Optional Ingredients: Add a dash of cinnamon and/or nutmeg to the fruit, along with the sugar. You could also sprinkle with chopped nuts before baking.

As Autumn blows wildly in, I am looking forward to making this dessert with apples and cranberries!

 
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Posted by on September 26, 2011 in Recipe

 

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Peach-N-Ginger Pie: Tastes Like Summer!

Eating Pie in front, Auction Pie in back - fresh from the oven!

Yesterday, I submitted pies to a local fundraiser in our community called, “Pie in the Park.” This event raises money for a new community center by throwing a pie tasting party and auctioning off donated pies. The pie tasting is free. Free pie? What’s not to like?!?! Those who donated pies were asked to bring one for tasting and one for auction. I hadn’t participated before, but I modestly (?) believe I make a pretty darn good pie, so off I went to get some peaches for pie! Purchasing peaches can be an unpredictable endeavor. If the grocer keeps them too cold, they are mealy and unappetizing, but you don’t know that until you cut them open – or worse, bite them. Most of the time, they are too green, so last minute shopping can prove to be disappointing. Luckily, I was able to get some good peaches a few days ahead and only one was bad when I cut it open. >whew!< I decided to kick it up a notch by adding crystallized ginger to the pie mixture  – which turned out to be a good choice! There were quite a few pies at the auction – tons of apple, pumpkin, berry – but only 2 peach/ginger concoctions. One was mine and the other from a professional baker. I don’t recall what the other one went for, but I was pleased to see that mine was sold for $80 – the winner out-bid my husband for the honor!

Ready for the oven!

The Pie Crust  Last winter, I found a new pie crust recipe in Better Homes & Gardens magazine that I fell in love with. It makes a goodly amount of dough – enough for 3 deep dish single crust pies, or, for my needs, 2 smaller sized (9 inch) pies. The recipe calls for sour cream, real butter and vinegar – among other things! – and is refrigerated before rolling out. It has a small amount of sugar in the recipe and I used extra-fine baker’s sugar in which I have stored a vanilla bean. This gives the sugar a mild vanilla flavor and is actually how “vanilla powder” is made. As a finishing touch on my pies, I brush them with milk and sprinkle sugar on them to give them a shiny, crisp crust. I also like to use tiny cookie cutters to decorate my pies instead of the usual slashes. This crust recipe bakes up really flaky so the cut-outs look almost like puff pastry after baking.

See the ginger bits? Next step: Top crust!

The Filling  I sliced the peaches fairly thin, tossed them with lemon juice and added some nutmeg and the vanilla sugar mentioned before. This takes a while because peaches are so slippery to peel! I know there is a way to quickly blanch them so that their skins slip right off, but I just didn’t want to go there on a warm summer day! I have found that when peaches are “just right” the skins will peel off nicely when I start at the stem end with hardly any “peach gouging.” To fill two 9 inch pie plates, I used 8 medium sized peaches. The ginger bits were not added in with the rest of the filling, but instead were sprinkled on top of the filling before putting the top crust in place. I used crystallized ginger bits for bakers by

Crystallized Ginger Chips by The Ginger People

The Ginger People. They are about the same size as chocolate chips. I think I got these at either Central Market  or World Market – I’ve seen them both places.

You may click here to view/print a pdf of the recipe – including the lovely crust recipe! Here is a an up close shot of my $80 pie!

Fresh from the oven -Peach-N-Ginger Pie!

 
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Posted by on August 26, 2011 in Information, Recipe

 

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