MAKE: No Bake Fresh Peach Pie

When I think life-changing, I think of people, words, books, phone calls, long nights, and now, Fresh Peach Pie.

I experienced this pie for the first time at my church small group potluck. I’m indebted to Star H. for the recipe. It’s unclear if there is a written version of this anywhere, or who originally invented this recipe. I like to imagine it’s been passed down at church potlucks from one Southern woman to the next for generations.
Once you try it, you’ll agree with it’s life-changing status. Why? First, this pie is not baked. No heating up the apartment, no running the risk of your hard work resulting in a singed mess. 
Secondly, the steps and ingredients are few and simple, belying the finesse of the finished product’s taste. So, you can look like a great baker, even when you’re not.
Thirdly, besides the peaches and cream, the main ingredient in this pie is butter. And sugar. But since it uses two fresh peaches, it tastes healthy. Southern magic!

Speaking of magic, I made you a gif of magically appearing ingredients:

You will need: 

  • Two fresh peaches
  • Half of one stick of butter (the original, as relayed to me, calls for one whole stick, but we found that was too much for us. Clearly, we’re not from the south.)
  • Confectioners sugar
  • One graham cracker crust (I bought mine)
  • Whipped cream (I used almost a full tub)

Start by melting the butter. Once the butter is completely melted, slowly add powdered sugar until the consistency is similar to chunky frosting.

Spread the butter and sugar mixture around the pie crust and up the sides. If you’re using half a stick of butter, yours won’t look as thick as it is in the photo, but trust me, it will be plenty. 

Layer on the sliced peaches, filling the pie crust. Add a final layer of whipped cream, and garnish. Star H. topped hers with blueberries, and I used the kiwi I had on hand. 
Refrigerate until you’re ready to serve.

So easy, and soooooo delicious.

Now I wonder, what else would taste good with this magic butter + sugar formula? Would it be as good with fresh strawberries? Bananas? Pears? Plums? So much fruit to try!

Just a word of caution – if you attempt to eat two pieces in one sitting, you may get a stomach ache. I may or may not have learned this from observation. 
How are you using your fall produce? Share with us in the comments below!

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Birthdays and Cornbread

My dad turned fifty last week. It’s a day I knew was coming, but it surprised me all the same. Fifty? For some reason I think he should be eternally forty-five.
When I think about my dad, the first memories that come to mind involve food. In our family, there were certain foods that only dad made. Cheese sandwiches, pancakes, and cornbread. 
Cheese sandwiches were a staple on Monday afternoons while Mom taught music classes at the Christian school. Since we were homeschooled and dad was a pastor, he oversaw our education on Mondays. That usually meant a trip to the library, and cheese sandwiches. This delicacy consisted of two slices of bread spread with mayo, or my favorite, miracle whip, with two slices of American cheese inside. 
Pancakes were a much bigger affair. This was not a breakfast food as you might suppose, in fact, I don’t remember ever having pancakes for breakfast. Dad usually made pancakes for dinner, and I always got to help. 
Donning aprons and wielding spatulas, we’d get creative with cloves, cinnamon, bananas, or chocolate chips. And the spatulas were perfect for practicing our racket ball serves. 

Pancakes were, and still are, my favorite food.

But a close second would be cornbread. Dad would make cornbread and baked beans, and with the addition of syrup, we had a balanced meal.

When I first began stocking my pantry as a newlywed, I bought a big bag of cornmeal, intending to continue the mealtime traditions. But then, every time I started craving the golden bread soaked in syrup, I chickened out. I’d tried to make cornbread once before when I still lived at home, and it was a colossal failure- full of tunnels, salty, and gross.

But last week, I made a second attempt. I used this basic recipe from culinaryarts.about.com:

1 cup all-purpose flour, sifted
1 cup yellow cornmeal
1 Tbsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup half and half
¼ cup melted butter or shortening
¼ cup honey
¼ cup sugar
Preparation:
Preheat oven to 400° F.
Sift together the flour, cornmeal, baking powder and salt.
Combine the half and half, eggs, fat, honey and sugar.
Thoroughly grease and flour a 9″ × 9″ baking pan (or use a nonstick baking pan or a flexible silicone pan).
Add the liquid ingredients to the dry ones and mix just until the flour is moistened, no more than ten seconds. The batter should be visibly lumpy — leave it that way! It’s extremely important not to overmix the batter.
Once the liquid and dry ingredients have been combined, pan and bake the cornbread immediately.
TIP: The dry and wet ingredients, respectively, can be mixed in advance, but as soon as the wet and dry ingredients have been combined with each other, the liquid will activate the baking powder and the batter must be baked right away.
Bake 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cornbread comes out clean and the edge of the bread starts to separate from the pan.

And I’d give this cornbread a four out of five star rating. It’s a little overcooked. But look dad, no tunnels!

Happy Birthday Dad! I love you!