Archive for the ‘Fruit’ Category

Blueberry Buckle

August 10, 2011

Blueberry Buckle

Today, Wednesday August 10, 2011 there will be a guest post by me on Cookie Madness.

For the story and the recipe, click on the link.  And check out the previous post here at Basically Baked for a peach and mixed berry crisp that was one of the contenders for my guest post at Cookie Madness.

Peach and Mixed Berry Crisp

August 9, 2011

Peach and Mixed Berry Crisp

On Wednesday August 10, 2011 there will be a post written by yours truly on Cookie Madness! I couldn’t be any more excited about the opportunity to do a guest post for Anna while she’s on vacation. The inspiration for the post is the Ginsberg’s Alaskan cruise.

When Anna and I chatted we talked about ice cream desserts but as I did my research and thought about Alaska I kept coming back to berries. One of the recipes I was really excited about is this crisp recipe I found on Epicurious. Apparently it is on the menu at a place in Anchorage called Marx Bros. Cafe. A google search for Marx Bros. Cafe told me that if I ever get to Anchorage I will make time for a meal there.

The peach berry crisp is excellent. It didn’t make the cut for my Cookie Madness post because it was the slightest bit runny and I didn’t think the photos were very appealing. That said, it’s a very tasty dessert and one I would make again. I loved the flavors of all the fruits and the topping was nice and crisp.

My husband enjoyed this with vanilla ice cream. I ate mine straight up.

Peach and Mixed Berry Crisp (adapted by Sue at Basically Baked)


3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup (packed) light brown sugar
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons unsalted butter

Fruit layer

2 large peaches, peeled, pitted, chopped (about 2 1/2 cups)
1 1/3 cups blueberries (about 6 ounces)
1 1/3 cups raspberries (about 6 ounces)
1 1/3 cups blackberries (about 5.6 ounces)
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons flour

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter an 8×8 inch baking dish.

In a small bowl whisk together the dry ingredients for the topping, then add the butter and rub all of the ingredients together with the back of a spoon until the crumbs are very fine. You can also do this with your fingers but I prefer to use a spoon. Set the mixture aside.

Put all of the fruit in a separate bowl and toss it with the sugar and flour.

Place the mixture in the prepared baking dish and bake for 40 minutes stirring every ten minutes until the juices are bubbling. Bake another five minutes.

Remove from the oven. Increase the oven temperature to 400 degrees.

Top with the reserved topping mixture and bake for another 20 minutes, until the topping is golden.

Remove from the oven and cool slightly. Serve slightly warm.

Apricot-Orange Shortbread Bars

March 7, 2011

Apricot Orange Shortbread Bars

If I could only have one cookie for the rest of my life this might be the one. Statements like that are so melodramatic but it manages to convey how much I love these bars. Prior to eating one of these I might have told you I don’t like apricots. Ha! That’s obviously not true! I would have said yes, I like shortbread, and I adore anything almond. What I’ve learned is that the three together are a heavenly combination.

I used to use only Hero brand apricot preserves for these, but I’ve discovered that there is something different about those preserves and they aren’t as good as they used to be. My recommendation for preserves is to choose a brand with the least number of ingredients on the label, and more fruit than sugar if possible. These bars were made with Bonne Maman French preserves. Next fall when the apricots are plentiful I’m hoping I can find the time to make my own. The Bonne Maman preserves are wonderful, but as much as I like them I’d like to figure out a less expensive alternative.

This recipe can be found at Epicurious.

Apple Pie

November 29, 2009

If you read my previous post you know that I planned to serve Pumpkin Cheesecake, and Apple Pie for dessert on Thanksgiving Day. Guess what? When my son asked if I was making Graham Cracker Cream Pie and I told him no I was going to try something else, he looked so sad that I changed my mind on the spot and made the Graham Cracker Cream. Sigh. He loved it, I loved it, everyone loved it. I think I will be making that pie for the rest of my life. Sigh.

Today my son, daughter, and our daughter’s boyfriend headed back to the cities. I got up early and made the Apple Pie that I intended to make on Thanksgiving day and sent half the pie down the road with them. Mmmm I bet that car smelled good! This is a variation on the pie that Anna at Cookie Madness posted about. I didn’t have time to make the crust that goes with that pie, and I had to make some adjustments to the filling as well. Even so we are very happy with this pie. My husband said, “I can’t imagine that Apple Pie could be any better than this.” I don’t think I’ll ever feel the need to mess with this recipe. It is excellent apple pie. I can only imagine how much better it would be following the original recipe exactly as written.

To see the recipe the way that it’s meant to be made click here.

Here is the way I made it when I was short on time and a few ingredients.

Two Crust Shortening Based Pastry

2c. all purpose flour
1 tsp. salt
3/4 c. plus 1 T. shortening
5-6 T. ice cold water

Whisk together the flour and the salt. Using a pastry blender, cut in the shortening just until the clumps are about the size of peas. Use a fork to incorporate the ice water 1 Tablespoon at a time, until the dough clings together when pinched. Turn this out onto a piece of plastic wrap and press it together with your hands. Divide the dough in half. Set one half aside. Pat the remaining piece into a disk and cover with a second piece of plastic wrap. Use a rolling pin to roll the dough into a large enough circle to line your pie dish. I like to make this kind of pie in a Pyrex 9.5″ inch pie plate. Remove one piece of plastic wrap and line the pie dish. Remove the second piece of plastic wrap. Roll out the second piece of dough in a similar manner, but leave the plastic wrap on for now and lay it over the piece of dough and set it all aside while you make the filling.

Apple Pie Filling

3 pounds Granny Smith apples (for me this was six very large apples)
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 c. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1/4 c. flour
1 t. salt
1/2. c. apple juice
1 T. heavy cream
1/4 c. butter

Egg Wash
1 egg
1 T. cream

Preheat the broiler. Toss together the apples, sugar, cinnamon, and vanilla in a 13 x 9 inch cake pan. Broil until the apples start to brown. Stir them and repeat this until the apples are caramelized but not completely cooked. Remove from the oven and stir in the flour and the salt. When the flour and salt are incorporated stir in the apple juice and the cream.

Remove the plastic wrapped dough from the pie dish and pour the apple mixture into the pastry lined dish. Cut up 1/4 c. butter and distribute it over the filling. Remove the plastic from one side of the second piece of rolled out dough and position it over the filling. Remove the other piece of plastic wrap. Crimp the edges of the pie. Make one inch slits in the top of the pie.

Whisk together the egg and the cream. Brush the top of the pie with this mixture and sprinkle with sugar.

Place a cookie sheet on the bottom rack of your oven to catch drips. Bake the pie at 400 degrees for 30 minutes in the center of the oven, rotating the pie half way through the cooking time. Cover the edges with aluminum foil if they’re browning too quickly. (My whole pie was looking sort of toasty at this point so I loosely placed a piece of foil over the whole thing. After 30 minutes place the pie directly on the cookie sheet and bake for another 15 minutes, until the bottom crust starts to turn golden.

Allow the pie to cool for at least 2 hours before serving. (Mine hadn’t cooled nearly that long before we sliced it, but as you can see in the picture it wasn’t completely set yet.)

Peach Kuchen

August 24, 2009
Peach Kuchen

Peach Kuchen

This dessert is from the archives, and is a recipe I grew up with. I’ve never understood why it’s called peach kuchen. I think that kuchen literally translated means cake, and this definitely isn’t cake. It’s not a particularly attractive dessert but it’s so good. So often the simplest things are. I make this in a 10″ tart pan but all of my relatives use a pie pan.

The original recipe is very vague regarding details such as oven temperature, baking time, amounts of some ingredients and mixing technique, so I’ll fill in some of those details for you. I have a tendency to over do it with the peaches so keep that in mind as you prepare your peaches. The season is so short and I’m usually pretty excited once the tasty peaches start to show up at my grocery store.

Peach Kuchen

2 c. flour

1/4 t. baking powder

1/2 t. salt

2 T. sugar

1/2 c. butter

5-6 peaches, skinned and sliced

1 c. sugar

1/2 t. cinnamon

2 egg yolks

1 c. cream

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a pie pan or tart pan with non stick spray. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar. Use a pastry blender to cut in butter until about the size of small peas. The mixture will look very dry. Dump this into the pastry dish and press evenly onto the bottom and up the sides of the pastry dish.

Lay the sliced peaches on top of the pastry. Whisk together 1 c. of sugar and 1/2 t. cinnamon. Sprinkle this on top of the peaches and bake for 15 min.

While the peaches are baking whisk together 2 egg yolks and with 1 c. cream.

Pour this mixture over the peaches and bake for an additional 45 min. or until set.

Lemon Meringue Pie

August 22, 2009
Lemon Meringue Pie

Lemon Meringue Pie

This lemon meringue pie is almost everything I want a lemon meringue pie to be. The lemon flavor is pronounced and is sweetened with just the right amount of sugar,  the meringue didn’t separate,  and is tall, light, and not too sweet. The filling is firm without being gummy, the crust is flaky, and there is no sogginess. I would give it five stars out five, but for one thing, and it is my fault, not the fault of the recipe. I”m not sure exactly what happened. When I completed beating the egg whites they seemed just right, and then I let them sit while I reheated the filling to make sure it was really hot before putting it in the pie shell. When I put the meringue on top of the filling the texture had changed and I couldn’t make nice peaks with it anymore. I went ahead and used it anyway.

I would definitely make this pie again. It is far, far better than other lemon meringue pies that I’ve made. I have never been happy with my lemon meringue pies. If it weren’t for Anna at Cookie Madness I probably wouldn’t have even bothered to try to make lemon meringue pie again due to previous disappointments, but I’m so glad I tried this. Check out Cookie Madness to see Anna’s recent lemon meringue pie recipes. We’ve been chatting and she’s going to try this version too. I hope she likes it as much as I do!

I found the filling to be slightly tart, but just the right amount of tart. There were extra steps to the meringue, and I think they were worth it. I’m going to make it again sometime to reevaluate that part of the recipe since I mucked it up this time. But, since there is no puddling, and almost no beading to speak of, the extra steps were worth it to me.

The recipe for this pie can be found in The Dessert Bible by Chris Kimball. If you don’t have the book, the recipe is temporarily posted here. Get it while you can, or buy the book.