Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Blackberry Almond Coffee Cake

I made this coffee cake this past weekend for a breakfast I hosted for our amazing, faithful Sunday School teachers at church.  Oh wow, was it fantastic! 






The cake is buttery and pound-cake-like.  The filling is tart and sweet and crunchy and soft.   The drizzle on top brings it all together into a delicious breakfast or brunch treat.  Perfect with a cup of your favorite coffee or tea!


Begin by thawing a cup and a quarter of frozen blackberries, allowing them to drain well.  Gently stir together with toasted sliced almonds and some granulated sugar.




Prepare the batter, which is thick and luscious.




Butter and flour a ten inch tube pan, and spread 1/3 of the batter.  Then layer half of the berry mixture, followed by another third of the batter.  Repeat---berries then batter.





Bake for about an hour, then cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes, in the pan.





Remove the outer portion of the pan, then cool for another 10 minutes on a wire rack.
 




Carefully remove the inner portion of the pan, cool the cake completely, and prepare the glaze.  (My secret ingredient?   A smidgen of buttermilk powder!)






Drizzle the glaze over the cooled cake, then slice yourself a big piece.   Enjoy!!






Blackberry Almond Coffee Cake
(adapted from a Betty Crocker recipe entitled Blackberry Coffee Cake)


Filling

1 1/4 cups frozen blackberries, thawed and well drained
1/2 cup toasted sliced almonds
3 Tablespoons sugar

Batter

2 1/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 cup butter, softened
1 teaspoon almond extract
2 eggs
1 cup sour cream

Glaze

1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon buttermilk powder
3-4 teaspoons water


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Butter and flour a 10 inch tube pan (otherwise known as angel food cake pan).

In a small bowl, gently stir together thawed blackberries, sugar, and almonds.  Set aside.

In a medium sized mixing bowl, beat together butter and sugar until fluffy.  Add vanilla and eggs, one at a time, beating well.  Scrape down sides of bowl.   Stir together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a small bowl.  Alternately add flour mixture and sour cream to the egg and sugar mixture, beating on low just until incorporated.  Scrape down sides of bowl occasionally. 

Spread 1/3 of batter in the bottom of the prepared pan.  Spoon half of the berry mixture over batter.  Gently spread another 1/3 of batter over berries.  Top with remaining berries.  Spread remaining batter over berries, carefully smoothing to the sides of the pan.

Bake for 55 to 65 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out with moist crumbs.  Cool for 10 minutes on wire rack.  Remove outer sides of pan.  Cool 10 minutes.  Carefully remove center of pan.  Cool completely.

In a small bowl whisk together powdered sugar, buttermilk powder, and water.  Drizzle over cooled cake.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Reese's Peanut Butter Cup Cupcakes

The combination of chocolate and peanut butter is indescribable perfection!  Truly, is there a more perfect duo?





Our lucky kindergarten center staff are enjoying these treats today!  Welcome back teachers, instructional assistants, nurse, secretary, custodians, and principal!  We are thankful for you!



Reeses Peanut Butter Cup Cupcakes
(recipe adapted from Kraft)


Cupcake Batter

4 squares semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
6 Tbsp. butter sliced
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
2 eggs
1 1/4 cups flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
3/4 cup water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a microwavable bowl,  microwave butter and chocolate on High for 2 minutes, or until butter is melted.  Stir until chocolate is completely melted.  Add sugar and vanilla;  beat with a mixer until well blended.  Add eggs, one and a time, beating well after each.  Stir in baking soda and a cup of the flour.  Alternately add water and flour, beating well after each addition.

Scoop into paper-lined muffin cups.  Top with 2-3 Reeses Mini Peanut Butter Cup pieces and push them down into the batter.

Bake 18 to 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out with moist crumbs.  Cool in the pan for several minutes, then remove to cool completely on a wire rack.   Prepare frosting.



Peanut Butter Buttercream

1 stick butter, softened
1/2 cup peanut butter (regular stuff, not all natural or sugar free)
4 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup milk or heavy cream

Beat together butter and peanut butter until smooth.  Scrape down sides of bowl and add powdered sugar, vanilla, salt, and milk.  Beat on low until combined, scraping down sides as needed.  Increase mixer speed to medium and beat for 1-2 minutes until fluffy.  If frosting is too thick, add a drizzle of milk as needed to reach desired consistency.


Pipe swirls of frosting on cooled cupcakes with a 1M or 2D tip.  Top with a Reeses Mini Peanut Butter Cup.     Yield:  15 standard sized cupcakes




Giant Pencil Cookies

It's Back To School time!!  Are you sad?  Are you excited?  Are you like that dad in the Office Max commercial who dances around the store singing, "It's the most wonderful time of the year!"??

I have mixed emotions.  My youngest child, my BABY, is starting kindergarten this fall.  My entire life is changing!  I've been a stay at home mom for 12 years now, always have a "little one" at home with me.  Now she is starting kindergarten full day, and things will be so different.  Quiet. 

*sigh*

Anyhoo, I made these adorable and HUGE pencil cookies for the incredible kindergarten teachers at my baby's school!   (I have the privilege of being on the PTO Board this year, so we're spoiling the teachers with treats today as they prepare for classrooms full of 5 years olds on Monday.)






Did you know that even experienced bakers get distracted and mess up recipes that they've made a zillion times before??   Yup.  It happened to me.  I've made this sugar cookie recipe for years and years with wonderful results.   This time, however, my brain was likely dwelling on the fact that my BABY is starting kindergarten that I grabbed baking soda instead of baking powder from my baking cabinet.  I realized my error right *after* I'd measured and poured the soda into the batter.  Whoops.  I could have scrapped the entire batch, but alas, there were 2 cups of kinda-expensive butter whipping around in that bowl, so I didn't want to waste.  I decided if the cookies totally turned out horrible, I'd pitch them and start again.  It was worth the risk.

I proceeded and recognized the dough was softer than usual.   After I'd chilled the dough and began rolling and cutting out the cookies, I had a hunch I was in for something different.  Instead of keeping their nice crisp shape without spreading, this time the cookies poofed and spread out.  The pencils grew by at least 3/4 of an inch!  I let the first batch cool a little bit, then bit into a cookie.  It was definitely more cake-like.  But yummy!  

Instead of wasting, I proceeded and am quite happy with the results.  I can't say I'll keep the substitution of baking soda for baking powder, but it's good to know I have a back up recipe for sugar cookies.  ;)

I think the kindergarten teachers will enjoy their treats, and I know for sure my littlest one will enjoy being a Big Girl in school this fall.  :)







Tuesday, August 21, 2012

TWD: Popovers

Can you believe I've never had a popover before??   I don't know why, but I thought these light, custardy, hollow rolls would be hard to bake.  Was I ever wrong!




According to Wikipedia, Popovers are an American version of Yorkshire Puddings, made in England since the 17th century.   The author says, "the name popover comes from the fact that the batter swells or "pops" over the top of the muffin tin while baking."

Yup!  That's exactly what happened during baking.  

The batter is thin, and made with very simple ingredients---flour, milk, eggs, salt, and melted butter.  Then its poured into buttered muffins tins or custard cups.

After baking at a high temperature for about 25 minutes, the oven temp is lowered and the popovers are baked for 15 additional minutes to dry out the custardy center.   (Next time I will take them from the oven a minute or two sooner.  They were slightly over-browned on the edges.)  These are best served immediately, with plenty of butter.   The recipe, submitted to Baking With Julia by Marion Cunningham, also suggests serving the popovers with a drizzle of honey.  Oh yes, this would be perfect!   (Alas, my jar of honey was empty last night, so we just enjoyed them with butter.)






I will most definitely make these again and again.  So simple!

For the recipe, please visit Paula at Vintage Kitchen Notes, or Amy of Bake With Amy.   They have beautiful pictures, too!


Thursday, August 16, 2012

Cream Cheese Cinnamon Rolls




I'm not even sure these Cream Cheese Cinnamon Rolls need an introduction!  The picture says it all.

What is it about cinnamon rolls?   Warm, gooey, cinnamony, sugary......I honestly haven't met anyone who doesn't drool at the thought of a cinnamon roll for breakfast.  Am I right??

This recipe come from Joy The Baker.  Please take a moment to visit her blog.  Joy is clearly a wonderful baker, but she's also witty and down to earth. 

This is the first time I've made this recipe, and to be honest, I didn't even get to eat one!  Hubby brought the cinnamon rolls to work today.......lucky coworkers.  ;)

I will definitely be making these again, and SOON! 

The recipe is lengthy, with many steps, but it's not difficult.  If you've ever made cinnamon rolls from scratch before, this recipe isn't much different.  

You mix up a yeast dough and let it rise for an hour and a half or so in a warm place.   Typically I'll preheat my oven to 200, then turn the oven off.  I then bring some water to a boil in my tea kettle and pour an inch or so into a glass 9 x 13 baking dish which is on the bottom shelf of my oven.  I place my dough in its covered bowl on the top rack of my oven, and happy things happen.  The moist warmth of the oven is my perfect solution for yeast doughs which otherwise struggle to rise on my countertops.  It only took me three years to figure this out?!





Roll it into a 10 inch square, and spread 4 ounces of softened cream cheese over the dough.




Fold the bottom third of the dough up, then fold the top third of the dough down, envelope style.





Fold one side over, then the other side.  Now you have nine layers, essentially, of cream cheese and dough!  Think about all those yummy, flakey layers you've just made!





Next, roll the dough into a 10 by 20 inch rectangle. 




Spread melted butter over the dough, and sprinkle the filling over top.  The filling is brown sugar, white sugar, finely chopped nuts, and cinnamon.  (I adapted the filling to suit our tastes---the original recipe called for raisins.)




Roll up the dough, beginning with the short end.




Slice the dough into eight pieces.   I use my electric knife, and it's a breeze!




Place the rolls into a buttered 9 x 13 baking dish.




Cover loosely with a tea towel and allow to rise for 2 hours or so.  See how puffy and yummy they look already?!  Things are looking promising!




Bake for about 30 minutes, or until the cinnamon rolls are golden brown.




Sinfully, brush with additional melted butter, and allow to cool while you prepare the glaze.  Resist the urge to dig your fork right in at this point.




Prepare a glaze of powdered sugar and buttermilk.  I keep buttermilk powder in my fridge for baking, and this worked perfectly for the glaze!  The tanginess from the buttermilk was a perfect balance with the super sweet powdered sugar.  

Drizzle the glaze over the cinnamon rolls while they're still warm.  This would be the perfect time to scoop one out and dig in!

If you are bringing the cinnamon rolls to work such as my lucky husband, allow the pan to cool completely, then cover lightly with a piece of wax paper, followed by plastic wrap. 

If you would like to delay the baking of the rolls, say for breakfast the next morning, you can follow all the steps up until the second rising.  Cover the rolls loosely with plastic wrap and place the pan in your fridge overnight.  Give the pan at least 15 minutes to come to room temperature before baking the next morning.   They ought to have risen in the fridge.  If not, give them a little time to warm up and rise before baking.





Here's the recipe as I baked it!  I made a few changed to suit my family's tastes, but if you'd like to see the original recipe, visit Joy's blog here to see. 

Please make these for your family!  They'll be so grateful!



Cream Cheese Cinnamon Rolls
(Adapted from a recipe found on joythebaker.com)

For the Dough:
1 – 1/4oz package active dry yeast
1/2 teaspoon, plus 1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup milk at room temperature
2 Tablespoons light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg
1 egg yolk
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, sifted, plus more for kneading
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 stick butter, softened

For the Filling:
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup finely chopped pecans
1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 stick butter, melted, divided

For the Icing:
2 cups powdered sugar
1 Tablespoon buttermilk powder
1/4 cup water

To prepare the dough:
In the bowl of a stand mixer combine yeast, 1/2 teaspoon sugar and 1/4 cup water heated to 115 degrees F.  Stir to combine and let sit until frothy and foamy, about 10 minutes.
Add remaining sugar, milk, brown sugar, vanilla, egg, and egg yolk.  Beat until well combined.  Add the flour and salt and mix on medium speed until the dough just begins to come together.  Turn the machine on medium-high and knead the dough for 4 minutes.
Add the butter and continue to knead for about 6 minutes.  The dough will the wet and sticky.  Place the dough on a well floured work surface, and knead about 1/3 cup all-purpose flour into the dough.  The dough still may still be a little sticky.  Place the dough in a large, greased bowl.  Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and a kitchen towel and allow to rise in a warm place for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, or until doubled in size.

While the dough rises, make the filling.  Combine the sugar,  brown sugar, pecans, cinnamon, salt and cloves in a large bowl.  Stir to combine.  Set aside.

When the dough has doubled in size, dump if from the bowl onto a heavily floured work surface.  Gently knead the dough until it is no longer sticky, adding more flour as needed, just a little at a time.  Work the dough for about 1 or 2 minutes.  Once it’s no longer sticky, place a kitchen towel over the dough and let rest for 5 minutes before you roll it out.

Using a floured rolling pin, roll the dough into a 10 x 10-inch square.
In a small bowl, stir the cream cheese with a spoon until it’s smooth and spreadable.
Spread the cream cheese evenly over the dough square.  Fold the square into thirds like you would fold a letter to fit into an envelope.  Take the open ends of the rectangle and fold into thirds again, to make a smaller dough square.

Invert the dough so that the seam is face down and, using the rolling pin, gently roll it into a 10 x 20-inch rectangle.  You make find that some cream cheese sneaks through.  Be as gently as possible with the dough, but continue to work it until you reach the size you need.
of the dough.  Brush the top of the dough with half of the melted butter.  We’ll use the rest of the butter after the rolls are baked.  Pour all of the filling onto the dough.  Spread evenly, leaving a 1-inch boarder at one of the short edges of the dough so the roll can be properly sealed.  Lightly press the filling into the dough.

Using your hands, lift up the bottom edge of the dough (on the 10 inch side)and roll it forward into a tight cylinder.  Place dough cylinder seam side down on a cutting board.  Cut cylinder into 8 equal slices.  Place the slices, cut side up and evenly spaced, in a buttered 9 x 13-inch baking dish.  Cover pan with plastic wrap and set aside in a warm place to let rise for 2 hours.  You may also refrigerate rolls overnight.

Heat the oven to 375 degrees F.  Uncover the rolls.  If you refrigerated the rolls, let them sit at room temperature for 15 minutes before baking.  Bake until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 30 minutes.  Remove to a wire rack and brush with remaining melted butter. 

To prepare the icing:  
Whisk together the powdered sugar, buttermilk powder, and water in a small bowl until smooth.  Drizzle icing over cinnamon rolls.  Serve!  Enjoy!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Crock Pot Apple Butter

The weather is beginning to turn a little bit cooler here in western PA.  School begins in less than two weeks, and with the chillier temperatures, I'm feeling ready for Autumn!

A gentleman from my church gave us a huge bag of home grown apples on Sunday, so along with the cooler temperatures, I immediately began thinking of my favorite fall treats made with apples.  Sunday afternoon my 11 year old daughter and I peeled and chopped 12 cups of apples and made chunky applesauce in our crock pot.  Oh wow, was it awesome.  I served it with a dollop of whipped cream on top and we all thought it tasted like an apple pie minus the crust.  It was excellent served hot, but we also enjoyed the leftovers served cold.  Sadly, it's gone now, and I didn't get a picture.  I'll share the recipe below in case you want to try!

After the applesauce making, I still had a half of a grocery bag filled with apples, so I made Crock Pot Apple Butter.  I combined and tweeked several different recipes found in my Fix It And Forget It cookbook.   The entire recipe takes well over 12 hours, so I began the recipe last night after dinner, and finished it this morning.  The apple butter magic happened overnight while I was sleeping.  :)






Have you ever had apple butter?  It's like apple jam, really.  Fresh apples are cooked down slowly with spices and the result is a thick, spicy jam, perfect for buttermilk biscuits slathered with butter.  Mmmmmm!  One bite and I'm instantly reminded of the Apple Festival we visited every fall when we lived in Virginia.

Get yourself a bushel of apples this fall and try making homemade applesauce and apple butter!   If you have leftover apples, try your hand at apple pie, apple muffins, apple strudel, apple cake......gosh, I love apple desserts. 



Crock Pot Apple Butter
(adapted from several recipes found in Fix It And Forget It)

4 pounds tart apples
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon ginger
1/8 teaspoon salt

Peel, core, and chop apples.  Place in crock pot.  Sprinkle sugar and spices over apples and stir with a long-handled spoon.  Cover and cook on high for 2-3 hours.  Reduce heat to low and cook for 8 hours.  Remove the lid and stir apples, which should be cooked down by half, and a rich dark brown color.  Increase temperature to high and cook for another 1-2 hours.  Stir until smooth.  (I used my hand held blender to make the apple butter ultra smooth.)  Pour into sterilized jars and seal, or into freezer containers and freeze.  Yield:  2 pints apple butter. 

This recipe can easily be doubled or tripled for larger quantities.  Cooking time may need to be adjusted.




Spiced Crock Pot Applesauce
(recipe by Judi Manos, found in Fix It And Forget It)

12 cups pared, cored, thinly sliced, cooking apples
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon (I used 1 teaspoon)
1 cup water
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
freshly grated nutmeg, optional (I added 1/4 teaspoon dry nutmeg)

Place apples in slow cooker.  Combine sugar and spices.  Mix with apples.  Stir in water and lemon juice.  Cover.  Cook on low 5 to 7 hours, or on high 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 hours.  Stir for a chunky sauce.  Serve hot or cold.





We had "breakfast for supper" tonight and enjoyed our apple butter with buttermilk biscuits, fresh berries, fried eggs, and crispy bacon.  SO good!  Comfort food at it's finest. 

Enjoy!




Thursday, August 9, 2012

Homemade Pop-Tart Pastries



If you Google "homemade pop-tarts" you'll find tons of great recipes!  I've been wanting to try making them for a while now, and decided today would be the day.  I had some leftover pie crust dough in my fridge from the Blueberry Nectarine Pie I made last weekend for Tuesdays With Dorie. 

You can begin with your own pie crust recipe, or with store-bought refrigerated pie crust.   Roll out your dough to about 1/8 inch thickness.  If you'd like to make rectangular or square pastries use a ruler as your guide to make straight cuts.  I didn't have a large portion of leftover pie dough, so I cut circles instead, using a round biscuit cutter.  You'll need two pieces of dough per pop-tart. 

Place the circles of dough on a parchment paper covered cookie sheet.  Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.

Spoon the filling of your choice in the center of the dough.  I used storebought strawberry jam in some of my pop-tarts, but how good would homemade jam be?!




For the others I made a quick apple filling by peeling and chopping up an apple and cooking it down with about 3 tablespoons of sugar, a dash or two of cinnamon, a dash of salt, a teeny pat of butter, and a drizzle of water.  I let it bubble on medium low for a few minutes until the apples were cooked.




Place the crust on top and crimp with a fork, all the way around. 





Pierce the top crust with a fork several times to allow the pastry to vent, and bake for 20 minutes or so until lightly golden on top.




Cool on a wire rack and try your hardest not to bite into one just yet.  The glaze!  You must add the glaze!!





In a small bowl, stir together some powdered sugar, a drizzle of milk, and a few drops of vanilla extract.   Spoon over the pop tarts and spread around a bit with the back of the spoon.




Resist.   You can do it!   Allow the glaze to set.  Shoo away your children who claim to be starving.  These pop-tarts are worth the wait!




Finally, pour glasses of cold milk for yourself and your fainting-with-hunger children, sit down together at the kitchen table, serve pop-tarts to your children and yourself, savor each bite of the flaky, sweet pastry, and enjoy the Mmmmmmm's you'll hear.   As my 5 year old said, "You're the best mom EVER!"


Tuesday, August 7, 2012

TWD: Berry Galette

Today's TWD recipe is a Berry Galette.  I opted for an Apple Galette since we were still finishing off the Blueberry Nectarine Pie (also a TWD recipe) as I played catch-up in my baking this week.   (Who's complaining??  Not my family, that's for sure!)





The galette dough was beautiful to work with!    Once chilled for several hours, it rolled perfectly. 





I accidentally misread the recipe, however.  In my initial read-through of the recipe I realized the recipe made enough dough for two galettes.   What I didn't pick up on was that that the filling was intended for one galette. I should have doubled the filling recipe to make two!   Alas, our galettes simply had extra crust----but I think that was the best part!! 






The crust was flaky and tender, the filling was sweet and juicy.  Just perfect!  I will definitely make this recipe again (with more filling!) and try berries and other fruits.    I'm thinking peach will be perfect.


For the complete recipe, please visit Lisa of Tomato Thymes in the Kitchen and Andrea (a TWD member from Germany) of The Kitchen Lioness.   They have gorgeous photos to go along with the recipe!



Monday, August 6, 2012

Easy Double Chocolate Chip Brownies

Brownies. 

Is there a more perfect treat?  Chocolately.  Easy.  Quick.  Perfection!





I must have at least two dozen brownie recipes.  Some are basic, some are fancy.  This recipe will definitely fall in the basic category, but WOW, are they amazing!

They can be made in one pot, stirred with one spoon, and measured with one measuring cup and one measuring spoon.  Only four things get dirty in the making of these!  Okay, five, if you count the pan.

Teach your children to bake!  Teach your children to do the dishes!  Teach your children to serve others!

In other words.....you can have brownies any time you want.  Ha!  ;)


Easy Double Chocolate Chip Brownies
(from 100 Best Chocolate Recipes cookbook)

2 cups Nestle semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup butter, cut into pieces
3 large eggs
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease a 9 x 13 baking pan.

Melt 1 cup chocolate chips and butter in a large heavy duty saucepan over low heat.  Stir until smooth.  Remove from heat.  Stir in eggs.  Stir in flour, sugar, vanilla, and baking soda.  Stir in remaining chocolate chips and nuts.  Spread in prepared baking pan.

Bake for 18 to 22 minutes or until wooden toothpick inserted in center comes out slightly sticky.  Cool completely on wire rack.   Yield:  2 dozen brownies.


(Who are they kidding?!?!   Cool completely?!  Half the pan is gone around here before they're cooled completely!)

I doubled the recipe and baked in a 10 inch square pan, thus having thicker brownies.  These are totally customizable.  Instead of two cups of chocolate chips, use 1 cup of peanut butter or other flavored chip instead.  Or add a swirl of peanut butter before baking.  Or top with ice cream and hot fudge sauce!  The possibilities are endless!  Having a basic, simple recipe like this on hand is wonderful.

Oh!  Here's a tip for you.  Use a plastic knife to cut cooled brownies.  They won't tear!   Try it---it really works.

Enjoy!!!



Cheesy Cowboy Cornbread (a la Matthew)




My son brought me a children's magazine (an October 2009 issue--haha) the other day and said, "Can we make this mom?"  

I added it to our dinner menu for that night, gathered the ingredients for him, and we got to work.




Meet Matthew, my almost 10 year old, Lego-loving, baseball-playing, knows-what-buttons-to-push-to-make-his-sisters-scream son.  :)

The cornbread was simple and amazing!  We all enjoyed it with dinner the other night.  Even this sisters.  ;)




Cheesy Cowboy Cornbread

1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup cornmeal
1/2 cup sugar
2 cups grated cheese
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 1/4 cups milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees, and spray an 8 or 9 inch square pan with baking spray.  In a large bowl, stir together the dry ingredients----flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, and salt.  Add the cheese.  In a small bowl, beat the eggs with a fork, then add the milk and oil.  (We actually used melted butter because I didn't realize I was out of vegetable oil.  I thought olive oil would be too strong.)  Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir with a wooden spoon until everything is moistened.  Pour into prepared pan.  Bake for 35 minutes or until the edges are light brown. 

TWD: Blueberry Nectarine Pie

I'm a few weeks late with this beautiful pie!  We were travelling for a few weeks (I *heart* summer) and now I'm playing a little catch-up with my Tuesday's With Dorie baking and treat making.   I missed baking while away, and my family is enjoying the results this week!






I will confess.  I'm 99% sure I've never made pie crust from scratch.  Yes, I've made pies and quiches, but always bought refrigerated pie crusts.  You're familiar with the red box, perhaps?   Anyway, I wasn't TOO intimidated to try pie crust from scratch.  I feel like I have a good base of knowledge of working with pastry, so I was excited to try, and was thankful for the "push" that TWD gave me!

Lo and behold, a beautiful dough!!




The filling is fresh blueberries and nectarines.  Half are cooked down with sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice, and flour.  The remaining fruit is added, then the filling is cooled to room temperature and poured into the crust.





I wanted a decorative crust on top, so I used a mini star cutter to make some cut outs.  Cute!




The top crust is brushed with an egg washed, then sprinkled with turbinado sugar.





After about 50 minutes in the oven, the pie was gorgeous and golden.




I love my new robin's egg blue pie plate!

The pie cooled while we were out for a few hours, but it was still slightly warm when we cut into it last night.  Oh my. 





The crust -- oh my heavens-- was so flaky and tender.  Far, far, far better than that red-boxed stuff!  The fruit filling was the perfect balance of tart and sweet.  Seriously, this might be the best fruit combination I've had in a pie.

If only we'd had some vanilla ice cream.....



The Baking With Julia hosts for this pie were Liz of That Skinny Chick Can Bake, and Hilary of Manchego's Kitchen.  Please take a peek at their blogs!!  For other TWD blog posts with this recipe, visit Tuesday's With Dorie.