Peach Tapioca Pudding & A Goodbye

This will be my last blog post.  No, it’s not because I’m getting married, it’s because when I get back from the honeymoon, I will be posting at only.  I’ve been posting on both sites to give you guys a sort of transition period, but now the time has come.

Eventually this site will no longer be a blog, and will simply forward you on to the new site.  But I’m going to wait to do that until I get back.

I shall reiterate what I said in my first post about the blog move.  If you want to continue following me through my culinary crusades (and I truly hope you do) you will have to re-subscribe on the new site.  I made nifty little buttons for you to do so.

It took me a while to think about what recipe/photos/mood to leave you all with for the next week.  I tried to stay away from peaches, I really did, but I have like 8 more recipes involving them to share and it’s already creeping into September, so I need to unload these babies…ahem.

So I picked my favorite.  I love peaches.  I love tapioca pudding.  Bam, heaven in a jar.  Did I mention I drenched mine in the caramel sauce I used in this recipe?  Did I say heaven in a jar already?

You get the idea.  And now I must prepare for this wedding thing.  Wish me luck!

Peach Tapioca Pudding

Adapted from Sunita’s World

Makes about 6 individual servings

½ cup tapioca pearls
2 cups milk
2 large, ripe peaches, peeled, stoned and cut into small pieces
5 Tbsp honey, divided use

2 Tbsp brown sugar
½ tsp cinnamon

¼ tsp nutmeg

1 cinnamon stick

In a medium saucepan, soak the tapioca pearls in the milk for one hour.

In a small saucepan, heat the peaches, cinnamon and 2 Tbsp of the honey over low heat. Stir well, cover and cook until the fruit softens, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

Place the pan with the tapioca soaked in milk over medium low heat along with the cinnamon stick, remaining 3 Tbsp honey and brown sugar. Bring everything to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for about 5-7 minutes, stirring constantly.

Add 3/4 of the cooked peaches and continue to cook until the tapioca pearls are completely done and the mixture has thickened, about 5-10 minutes. Keep stirring frequently.

Once the mixture has thickened, discard the cinnamon stick and spoon into bowls, jars or ramekins.  Let the pudding come to room temperature, then cool in the fridge for at least 2 hours.  Serve with remaining cooked peaches and caramel sauce.


Peach Brown Butter Scones

Going through the process of transferring this blog to another domain and host has made me feel like I know absolutely nothing about computers or the way the Internet works.  And here I was thinking I was an informed individual.

I feel like I find myself Google troubleshooting (i.e. typing how to….into Google) way too many times a day.  I guess this stuff’s not common knowledge, but geeez, it certainly is time consuming.

Especially since I have to go through every post I’ve made in the last 10 months.  Do you know how many that is?!?!  A lot.  I have to go through them all because I’m reformatting them using a WordPress plug-in called Easy Recipe.  Easy Recipe frames the recipe portion of each post, delineating it from everything else, and giving it a print page link.  That way, you can print out the recipe without having to print out the entire post and pictures/copy and paste the recipe into a word document to print it.  Nifty, eh?

So it’s for you guys that I do this.  I stare at my computer screen until my contacts stick to my dried-out eyeballs, meticulously reformatting every post.  It’s all for you.  But then I did something for me.  I made scones.  Wonderful, fluffy, peachy, brown buttery scones.  Yep, you heard me. Brown butter in a scone.  Perfection, I’m telling you.

Brown Butter Peach Scones

Adapted from Tutti Dolce

Makes 10-12 scones

5 Tbsp unsalted butter

2 cups all-purpose flour

1/3 cup sugar

2 tsp baking powder

½ tsp baking soda

¼ tsp salt

½ tsp cinnamon

1 cup peeled and diced peaches

2/3 cup buttermilk or heavy cream

1 large egg

½ tsp vanilla extract

1 Tbsp turbinado sugar, for topping

Cook butter in a heavy saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly until it foams, turns clear, and then turns a deep brown, about 6 minutes.

Pour browned butter into a glass measuring cup and chill in the freezer until solid and chilled, about 1 ½ hours.

Preheat oven to 400°F and line a baking sheet with a silicone mat or parchment paper. Whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon in a large bowl.

Dice chilled brown butter into 1/2-inch pieces; sprinkle over flour mixture and use your fingers to mush the butter until the mixture resembles coarse meal.

Place peaches between layers of paper towels and press gently to remove moisture; add to flour mixture, folding in gently.

Whisk together buttermilk, egg, and vanilla extract in a small bowl; add to flour mixture and fold in just until moist.

Scrape the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and pat into a circle about 1” thick.  Add flour if the dough is too tacky to handle.  Cut the dough into wedges or use a biscuit cutter to cut out rounds.  Place wedges or rounds onto prepared baking sheet and sprinkle with turbinado sugar.  Bake 20 minutes or until golden.

Cool 2 minutes on baking sheet, then carefully transfer to wire rack to cool.

Honey Cinnamon Peach Ice Cream

Today’s post will be short and sweet.  It might have something to with the fact that I only have two useable photos for this ice cream.  I know, what kind of food blogger am I?  Will you accept a gratuitous picture of a grooming bunny as recompense?

This is one flexible bunny

In my defense, shooting ice cream on the non-air conditioned porch has its limitations.  I had about 10 seconds to take as many photos as possible before everything turned into a puddle of liquid.

And only two came out.  But I think you get the idea of this ice cream.  You take a honey cinnamon custard base and stir in pieces of chopped up peaches.  We actually had to go out and buy alcohol for this recipe since you need to macerate the peaches in vodka before adding them to the ice cream so they don’t freeze solid in the freezer.

The end result is an amazingly refreshing summer treat that perfectly blends the flavors of peach, honey and cinnamon.  I loved the contrast of the smooth ice cream custard and the bright, sweet peach pieces.  This has definitely been my favorite ice cream this summer.

Honey Cinnamon Peach Ice Cream

Adapted from The Merry Gourmet

Makes about 1 quart

1 ½ cups 2% or whole milk
¾ cup granulated sugar, divided
pinch of salt
1 cup heavy cream
1 cinnamon stick
5 large egg yolks
2 large peaches, peeled, pitted, and chopped into 1/2 pieces
2 Tbsp honey
1 ½ tsp vodka

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, heat the milk, ¼ cup sugar, salt and cinnamon stick, stirring occasionally to dissolve sugar. Heat for approximately 5 minutes, or until the temperature is 175 degrees.  Meanwhile, put cream in a large bowl and set a mesh strainer over it.

In a separate bowl, whisk together ¼ cup sugar with the egg yolks. When the milk mixture is hot, slowly add about 1 cup of the hot milk mixture into the yolks, whisking constantly.  Then, slowly whisk the warmed egg yolks back into the remaining milk mixture in the saucepan. Continue to stir until the mixture thickens and coats the back of the spoon and reaches 180 to 185 degrees.

Strain the custard into the bowl of cream, stir to combine, and return the cinnamon stick to the custard.  Let the custard come to room temperature, then cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate 8 hours, or overnight.

Next, prepare the peaches.  Combine the chopped peaches with the honey and the remaining ¼ cup sugar in a small saucepan set over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes, until the peaches have released their juices. Pour into a bowl, cover, and refrigerate until ready to use.

When the custard has chilled sufficiently, freeze it in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. In the meantime, pour the peaches through a strainer set over a bowl to catch the juices. Reserve the juice for another time or discard it. In a small bowl, toss the peach solids with the vodka. About 5 minutes before the ice cream churning is complete, add the peaches to the ice cream maker.

Transfer the ice cream to another container and freeze until the ice cream is firm, about 3 hours, and enjoy!


Salted Caramel Peach Pie

Without further ado, I return us to the summer fruit frenzy.  August is the month for peaches, and if you find yourself in possession of a few extra, I think I have an idea of how to use them.

Ok, I have another confession.  You all know I love pie.  What you may not know is that I love pie filling just a little bit more than the crust.  Yes, I’m one of those people that scoop the filling out of the crust or leave the crimped edges for the crust-lovers to eat (I’m the same way with pizza).

Though I am getting better at appreciating a good crust.  Especially since whenever I make pie, I always make my own crust.  I now finish my entire piece of pie almost every time!  However, one thing I really am not ready for is double-crust pie.  Nope, can’t do it.  I need an open-top pie or a crumble pie; baby steps here people.

I am all about this crumble pie.  Fresh peaches, salted caramel, crumb topping…yeah, this is practically my perfect pie.  It could be your perfect pie too.  Do me a favor and make this pie.  Make sure to drizzle each piece with extra caramel.

Ohhhh yes.  Summer just got slightly more tolerable.

Salted Caramel Peach Pie

Adapted from Evil Shenanigans

Makes one 9” pie, 10-12 servings

For the dough:

1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp packed light brown sugar
½ tsp salt
8 Tbsp (1 stick) butter, cubed and chilled
3-5 Tbsp ice water

For the crumble:
½ cup all-purpose flour
½ cup sugar
¼ tsp salt
¼ cup (half a stick) butter, cubed and chilled

For the filling:
6 medium peaches, peeled, stone removed, and sliced
¼ cup cornstarch
¼ cup salted caramel (I used this brand)
½ tsp vanilla
¼ tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp nutmeg

salted caramel sauce, for garnish

First make the crust.  In a large bowl combine the flour, brown sugar, and salt. Whisk to combine then add the cubed butter and, using your fingers, rub it in until the mixture looks like coarse sand and no large pieces of butter remain.

Add the water, a tablespoon at a time, until the mixture forms a shaggy ball. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and press the dough into a disk. Flatten the dough, fold it in half, and flatten it again. Repeat this process 4 times, then wrap the dough in plastic and chill for 1 hour.

Once chilled, pull the dough out of the refrigerator and let stand for 5-10 minutes to warm up. Roll out on a lightly floured surface to 1/8-inch thick, about a 12-inch circle, turning the dough often to make sure it does not stick. Dust the surface with additional flour if needed.

Press the dough into a greased 9” pie plate and trim the dough so that ½” of dough hangs over the plate’s edge. Tuck the dough under and crimp the edges. Cover with plastic wrap and chill until ready to fill and bake.

Next, prepare the crumble.  In a medium bowl combine the flour, sugar, and salt. Add the butter and rub it into the flour mixture with your fingers until the mixture resembles coarse sand. Cover and chill for 30 minutes before using.

Lastly, prepare the peach filling.  In a medium bowl combine the sliced peaches, cornstarch, salted caramel sauce, vanilla, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Gently toss to coat, then allow to stand for at least 10 minutes at room temperature.

Preheat oven to 425 F.  To assemble the pie, fill the pastry crust with the peach filling, then evenly spread the crumble over the top. Bake for 12 minutes, then reduce the heat to 350 F and bake for 45 to 55 more minutes, or until the crumble is deeply golden brown and the filling is bubbling all over. Allow to cool to room temperature before serving.  Garnish with extra caramel sauce and enjoy!




Peach Poppy Seed Muffins

These muffins and I go wayyyyy back.  Like, back before I knew how to operate an oven and my “baking experience” was licking the brownie batter covered spoon.  This is a recipe passed down to me by my darling mother.

I know you’ve heard of lemon poppy seed muffins.  I’ve even posted about them.  But peach poppy seed?  Yes, friends, OH YES.

I’m not sure where the idea for these muffins originated (I guess I should ask my mom) but I am sure about how much my brother and I loved them.  I recall eating them straight from the freezer once or twice because I was worried that the monstrous black hole that was my growing teenage brother would eat them all before I had managed a single taste.

They taste better thawed out for the record, though they do freeze beautifully.  I love the tops of these muffins.  Such a deep golden brown, and crispy on the edges.  It pairs so wonderfully with the moist, tender interior that contains subtle undertones of peachy goodness.

My mom’s original recipe calls for peach baby food.  I decided to use pureed peaches instead, and they tasted exactly the same.  If you’re looking for a way to use up a summer peach or two, might I proffer these muffins as a solution?

Peach Poppy Seed Muffins

Adapted from my mom’s recipe

Makes 12 muffins

½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened

1 cup sugar

2 large eggs

½ tsp vanilla extract

1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour

1 tsp baking soda

¼ tsp salt

3 Tbsp poppy seeds

¾ cup (6 oz) pureed peaches

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease a 12-cup muffin tin and set aside.

In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar.  Add in the eggs, one at a time, stirring after each addition.  Finally stir in the vanilla.

Add the flour, baking soda and salt to the mixture and stir to combine.  Fold in the poppy seeds and peach puree.  Scoop the batter into the prepared muffin cups, filling until about 2/3 full.  Bake for 20-25 mins, or until the tops are golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.  Transfer the pan to a wire rack to cool completely.  Enjoy!

Peaches n’ Cream Cupcakes & A Move

Well, it was a process, but we made it.  Sorry for my absence from this blog, but moving was quite tiring.  The movers came in at 8am Saturday morning, and left the new house at noon.  My dad came up that day to bring me some goodies and help us move things around, install air conditioners, etc.  Then we went out to dinner at a local Chinese restaurant that I wanted to try.  I’m always looking to seek out authentic restaurants that either disregard the Chinese American food staples, or combine the authentic with the American.  I had scallion pancakes, steamed dumplings and tea smoked duck with steamed buns.  Amazing.  I can’t wait until I have an iPhone and can take pictures of restaurant food.  Ugh.

Anyway, before I continue, I wanted to share some pics of the new house with you all.  Check out this kitchen.  There’s so much space, and I love it.  I’m incredibly excited to start baking, and figuring out the best place for taking food photos.

Check out that pot rack and sweet storage table the previous owners left us.

And there’s an island.

Did I mention the gas stove?

Dining room into the living room where Luke is relaxing

Also, we think we have successfully converted Izzy into a true-r version of a house bunny.  When we first moved in, we had to keep her in her pen in different parts of the house.

First on the porch…

Then in the dining room…

But now, we have the dining and living rooms sectioned off via baby gates, and Izzy has access to the foyer and kitchen.  I have a kitchen buddy!  And she’s adorable!!!

OMG House bunny!!

Relaxing in the foyer.

I think that’s enough about the new house for now, and I know you’re all pardoning my excitement.  I am pretty excited about these cupcakes though.

I made a pledge to myself back at the apartment to make more cupcakes.  They’re just so great and I don’t make enough of them.  I opened a 29oz can of peaches to make these pancakes, so I had to find other ways to use them.

And so, when I saw these cupcakes, well, it was a done deal.

A light vanilla cupcake with peach pieces baked inside, covered with vanilla buttercream and milk crumbs.  Yeah, it has summer written all over it.  I’d love to make these again with fresh peaches, and if any of you try, please let me know how it goes.

Now excuse me, I have a kitchen to cover in flour and sugar!

Peaches n’ Cream Cupcakes

Adapted from Hummingbird on High

Makes 12 cupcakes

For the cupcakes:

1 cup all-purpose flour

¾ cup sugar

1 ½ tsp baking powder

pinch of salt

3 Tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature

½ cup whole milk

1 egg, at room temperature

¼ teaspoon pure vanilla extract

8 oz fresh (or canned) peaches, sliced

For the vanilla buttercream frosting:

2 cups powdered sugar, sifted

5 Tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature

2 Tbsp whole milk

¼ tsp vanilla extract

For the milk crumb topping:

(makes more than you’ll need, feel free to halve)

¾ cup milk powder

¼ cup all-purpose flour

2 Tbsp cornstarch

2 Tbsp sugar

½ tsp salt

4 Tbsp (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted

3 oz white chocolate, melted

Preheat oven 325 F and line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners; set aside. Put flour, sugar, baking powder, butter, and a pinch of salt in a large bowl and beat on slow speed with a hand mixer until you get a sandy consistency and everything is combined.  You could also use a wooden spoon or your fingers.  Your choice.  Gradually pour in half of the milk and beat until the milk is just incorporated.

Whisk egg, vanilla, and remaining milk together in a separate small bowl for a few seconds, then pour into the flour mixture and continue beating until just incorporated.

Scrape any unmixed ingredients from the side of the bowl with a rubber spatula, and continue mixing for a couple more minutes until the batter is smooth, but do not overmix.

Divide the sliced peaches between the lined muffin cups so that the base of each is covered. Spoon the cupcake batter on top until two-thirds full and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until light golden and the cake bounces back when touched. A toothpick inserted in the center should come out clean.

Let the cupcakes cool slightly in the pan before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Next, make the frosting.  Beat together the powdered sugar and butter in a large bowl until the mixture comes together.  Combine the milk and vanilla in a separate bowl. Then, add the milk-vanilla mixture to the powdered sugar-butter mixture a couple of teaspoons at a time, stirring carefully.  Once all the milk has been incorporated, continue beating until the frosting is light and fluffy, at least 5 minutes.  Once the cupcakes have cooled completely, frost as desired.

Lastly, make the milk crumb topping.  Preheat oven to 250 degrees F.  Divide your milk powder into two portions — one ½ cup portion, and one ¼ cup portion.  Combine the first ½ cup portion of milk powder with the flour, cornstarch, sugar, and salt in a medium bowl. Whisk together until combined.  Add the melted butter and toss, using a rubber spatula, until the mixture starts to come together and form small clusters.

Spread the clusters on a parchment or Silpat-lined cookie sheet and bake for 20 minutes. The crumbs should be sandy at that point, and your kitchen should smell like buttery heaven. Cool the crumbs completely.

Crumble any milk crumb clusters that are larger than 1/2 inch in diameter, and put the crumbs in a medium bowl. Add the second ¼ cup portion of milk crumbs and whisk together until it is evenly distributed throughout the mixture.

Pour the 3 oz melted white chocolate over the crumbs and toss until your clusters are enrobed. Continue tossing every 5 minutes until the white chocolate hardens and the clusters are no longer sticky. The crumbs will keep in an airtight container in the fridge or freezer for up to 1 month.  Top the frosted cupcakes with milk crumbs and enjoy!

Strawberry Peach Pancakes

This whole gradual move process is interesting, but let me say that I’ll be incredibly happy once Saturday rolls around and we are officially of one residence.  Even though we technically won’t be until the end of the month when our lease is up.

But we’ll only have possessions in one place, which is the important part.  Realizing I couldn’t make muffins this morning because my muffin pan is already at the house was very upsetting.  So I made pancakes instead.

Happy, happy pancakes.  Pancakes full of fresh summer fruit.  I may have mentioned it before, but summer produce is the only thing the season has going for it in my eyes.  I mean, I got a sunburn yesterday down my left arm from sitting in traffic.  How does that happen?! Do car windows magnify the sun’s rays or something?  This sunburn is so awkward, not to mention uncomfortable.

Damn you summer.  Damn you and your hot sun.  The only thing it’s good for is feeding peach trees and strawberry plants.  And blueberry bushes, and cherry, nectarine, plum and apricot trees.  Ok, time to stop thinking about fruit and how I want to plant like 8 different fruit trees/bushes in our new backyard.

My griddle and I had a disagreement…..

That wouldn’t look weird, and the plants totally wouldn’t strangle each other as they vie for sunlight.  It’s definitely happening at the next house though.

Then all my delicious home-grown fresh fruit can be baked into pancakes.  Until that day, these will suffice.  These pancakes are like a bright, albeit non-burning ray of sunshine.  I swear pancakes just make mornings better.

Strawberry Peach Pancakes

Adapted from The Pastry Affair

Makes 12-16 pancakes

1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
Pinch of salt
1 large egg
1 cup milk
3 Tbsp honey
2 Tbsp butter, melted
1 cup sliced strawberries

1 medium peach or 1 cup canned peaches, chopped into bits

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Whisk the egg, milk, honey and butter together in a small bowl.  Make a well in the flour with a spatula and pour in the wet ingredients. Mix until just combined. Fold in the strawberries and peaches.

Pour about ¼ cup of batter onto a heated griddle and cook each side until lightly browned. The batter may look slightly “doughy” when fully cooked; this is just a result of the moisture in the fruit.  Serve with your favorite pancake toppings.