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Welcome to my Blog 'In The Kitchen With Don'! Thank you for your visit and come back soon!

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Browned Butter Peach Bars

 I love peaches and grew up eating lots of peaches.  We lived not too far from Campbell, MO, which grows some the absolute best peaches you ever tasted.   During peach season we would make the trek over there and buy 3-4 bushels of over ripes.   I think the variety was Elbertas.   They were big, dead ripe, juicy freestones.   They would be canned (my dad loved home canned peaches), frozen and Grandma Casey still dried some.   And there would be lots of home made peach cobblers too.    So we all grew up eating and loving peaches in any form.   We all still do.   In the past couple of years I have rekindled a love affair with dried peaches.  I love to simmer until tender, using water and a couple tbsp. of cider vinegar.   Then mash with a potato masher, as some cinnamon, not too much, just enough for a bit of fragrance, some brown sugar and some white sugar, tasting so they aren't too sweet.   Then allow to simmer uncovered until thickened.   It is a good substitute for peach butter on toast, used as a pie or cobbler filling or in this case, used in peach bars. 

I have a liking for peach bars, but too many of them are most just sweet than having any real peach flavor.  The shortbread also tends to be a bit bland and boring.   I decided I wanted some thing that was neither bland nor boring.   Also having a good peach flavor.   I decided to try using my cooked dried peaches for the filling and they were perfect, peachy, but not too sweet.   For the shortbread, I decided to kick things up a bit using browned butter, a bit of almond extract and some almond flour.  It was a hit!   If you don't have almond flour or choose not to use it, just use an extra cup of all purpose flour.  

2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup almond flour
1/2 cup softened butter
1/2 cup browned butter, cooled
1 cup white sugar
1 egg
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract

Crumb topping:
1/2 cup browned buttter
3/4 cup flour
1/2 cup almond flour (or another 1/2 cup of all purpose)
1 1/2 cup sugar

 2 cups of cooked dried peaches as above, or a can of peach pie filling or a jar of peach jam

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9x13 inch cake pan.    Make the crust by mixing all of the crust ingredients until well blended and no lumps.  Press evenly over the bottom of the cake pan and about half way up the sides.   Spread the peaches evenly over the crust.   Mix together all the crumb topping ingredients until they are crumbly.   Sprinkle the crumbs evenly over the top of the peaches, then bake at 350 degrees about 40 minutes, until the bottom and the crumb topping are both golden brown.    Cook completely before cutting into serving sized pieces.    

No reason you can't use other types of fruits for the topping.   They just need to be cooked and not too runny or two sweet.    You could also add some chopped nuts to the  crumb topping as well. 

Monday, September 24, 2018

Grandma Casey's Dried Peach Pie Filling

My Grandma Casey was an old timey Ozark farm wife.   She had little formal education, but she knew about making do with next to nothing.   She also knew her way around the kitchen.   Like most poor farm women of her era, she knew all about preserving foods.    She still dried apples apples in my time, but most of her foods were either canned in jars or frozen.   I loved her fruit butters and canned peaches.   We still enjoyed a lot of old time stuff, but she also had no trouble adapting to new ways of preserving them.    She no longer dried peaches, that I remember, but we all loved the old time fried dried peach pies.    Instead of cooking dried peaches, she would prepare this from fresh peaches and either can or freeze it for fried pies.   Good stuff, too.  She added no spices to it, so if you want to add cinnamon or a pinch of cloves, go right ahead. 

1 gallon sliced over ripe peaches with peel
1 cup cider vinegar
4 cups sugar

Mix together and allow to sit overnight.    Then simmer until cooked down very thick.   Either use at once or freeze or can.     Good stuff!

If you want spices, I would say 2 tsp high quality cinnamon,  if you like cloves, add about 1/4 tsp or less.   Cloves can easily overpower foods if you aren't careful. 

Monday, September 3, 2018

Miracle Cheese Cake

Miracle Cheese Cake

Until I was grown, this was pretty much the only kind of cheesecake that I knew. My mom found the recipe somewhere and made it often. It uses a can of Milnot, a type of evaporated milk that had the butterfat removed and replaced with vegetable oil. It was cheaper than regular canned milk for that reason. Mama used it a lot. If you have an aversion to that sort of thing, you can used regular evaporated milk instead. The taste will be pretty much the same.

1 3-oz package of lemon flavored gelatin
1 cup boiling water
1 8-oz package of cream cheese or 3 3-oz packages, softened
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 cup sugar
1 13-oz can of Milnot or evaporated milk, whipped
3 cups graham cracker crumbs
½ cup (1 stick) butter, melted
1 can cherry pie filling (or other fruit pie filling or just leave it bare)

Dissolve the gelatin in the boiling water, chill until slightly thickened. Mix the graham cracker crumbes with the butter and mix well, then press into the bottom or a 9x13 inch pan and set aside. Beat the cream cheese, suar and lemon juice until fluffy. Next stir in the thickened gelatin and blend well. Finally, fold in the whipped Milnot. Spoon this into the prepared crust and chill for at least 3-4 hours. When firm spread the top with cherry pie filled. Cut into squares to serve. You could also place the filling mixture into pre-made graham cracker crusts. This stuff is addictive!

Imperial Cake

Imperial Cake

This is another recipe that Bea Drury gave to my mom.  It was found on the box of Imperial Margarine and still may be as far as I know.   It was a favorite that my mom didn't bake all that often.  It is a very good one too.

Imperial Cake

1 lb softened Imperial stick margarine
1 lb. Sifted powdered sugar
6 eggs
3 cups cake flour
2 tsp vanilla

Beat the powdered sugar and Imperial margarine together until light and fluffy, then beat the eggs in one at a time, carefully fold in the flour and vanilla. Grease and flour a large tube pan and spoon the batter into the pan. Sprinkle the top of the cake batter with some powdered sugar and chopped pecans if you wish. Bake in preheated oven at 325 degrees for 1 ½ hours. When done, place the pan on a rack and cool completely before removing from the pan.

Bea Drury's Orange Cake

As I have posted before, growing up we had some wonderful neighbors, the Sielerts and the Drurys.   Bea Drury was a Sielert before she married Bill Drury.   (Bill also happened to be my godfather!). Bea worked for the phone company and was always sharing the best recipes with my mom.  The only banana bread recipe that I will ever use comes from Bea.   This is another recipe that she shared with my mom and I consider it the best orange cake I have ever tasted.   Like many recipes from the 60's and 70's it uses a boxed cake mix, it also uses a box of orange gelatin too.   For the glaze you can either used thawed orange juice concentrate or freshly squeezed orange juice.  I like to use the orange juice concentrate for two reasons, you get more orange flavor and it was what my mom always used.  As always, enjoy!

Bea Drury's Orange Cake

1 box orange cake mix
1 small box orange gelatin
¾ cup of vegetable oil
¾ cup water
4 eggs
1/2 can of thawed orange juice concentrate boiled with ½ cup white sugar
(or juice of three oranges boiled with 1 cup white sugar)

Beat the cake mix, gelatin, water and oil together, then beat in the eggs one at a time. Grease a 9x13 inch cake pan and spoon batter into pan. Bake in preheated oven at 350 degrees for about 30-40 minutes or until a toothpick stuck in the center comes out clean. When cake is done, poke holes all over the top with a toothpick and then drizzle the hot orange syrup over the baked cake and allow to cool completely before cutting.