Tuesday, July 12, 2011
Is there anything better than fruit pies in the summer? Well, cookies and cake are certainly way up there, too! But I haven't made a pie in awhile and my hubby requested peach pie. I was happy to oblige, especially since peaches are soooo good right now! I used a recipe from my sister Amy's first cookbook and it looks divine, don't you think? If you'd like the recipe but don't have the book, just let me know and I'll send it to you! Everything, including the crust, is from scratch. I wouldn't have it any other way!
Here it is just before going into the oven. I gave the top crust a light wash with cream (makes it brown nicely and get a nice crispiness) and then sprinkled it with cinnamon sugar, a little addition my mother-in-law uses with her apple pie. (That apple pie, by the way, is the best and I know I'll be making that come fall and apple season!) I know you are all impressed with my crimping on this one! I think it's honestly the best I've ever done, so that must mean I'm learning something, right? You can see it a lot better on the pre-baked pie. I'll have to make the crimps a little deeper next time so they don't expand into themselves and each other when baked.
Then, with the scraps, I made some pie crust cookies for the kiddos. Just roll and cut the leftover pie dough, then sprinkle with cinnamon sugar and pop in the oven with the pie. I think they baked for about 10 minutes (until lightly browned). My Mom used to make these for us with her pie dough scraps, so I have fond memories of them. Now my kids can have those memories too!
I also made some homemade vanilla ice cream, which is hardening up in the freezer right now. I can't wait to dive into that pie with a huge scoop of ice cream! No, literally, I want to dive right in and swim around for awhile. That's how good it looks and smells! I wonder if it's acceptable to skip dinner and go right to pie and ice cream. If not, it should be!
Here is my super easy, no-cook ice cream recipe. It is really good - trust me! This recipe is courtesy of my fabulous mother-in-law and has been tweaked a little bit by yours truly.
Easy Vanilla Ice Cream
2 cups milk (I use 1% organic milk, skim will freeze a little harder)
2 cups heavy cream
3/4 cup agave (or 1 cup granulated sugar)
1 Tablespoon pure vanilla extract (I use vanilla paste to get the little flecks of bean)
1/4 teaspoon pure almond extract (for a flavor boost, you don't really taste it that much)
Stir all the ingredients together, then pour into the frozen bowl of your ice cream maker and mix according to your maker's directions. When finished, transfer to a freezer-safe air-tight container and freeze for a few hours or until firm.
You can substitute other flavorings, too, or probably even mix in a puree of some sort. I will have to try that next time! Also, I've read a tip that adding a little bit of vodka (1 Tablespoon) to the mixture will help homemade ice cream stay scoopable right out of the freezer. You know how homemade ice cream sometimes is such a pain to scoop out? Well, supposedly the tiny bit of alcohol keeps it from freezing all the way, so it firms up but isn't rock hard. I think the added fat from the 1% milk and the heavy cream (as opposed to light cream) helps too. I did try the vodka tip this time because I now have vodka in the house for my cake decorating. I'll let you know if it works!
Enjoy your summer evening and happy baking!!