Peach Pie, Getting It Just Right

Peach Pie

Peach pie is one of those things that, done right, is quite likely the best pie you can make. Done badly, it can be pretty awful. How do you make it the right way? Surprisingly, it’s actually pretty easy, but does require a little care in getting everything ready.

So to start out, you need a couple of pie crusts. I use the special Perfect Pie Crust I’ve used for many years. If you have another recipe or even want to use a prepared crust, go for it. You can also make a lattice crust if you like. The secret is how to deal with peaches, which can be way too juicy or, on occasion, too  dry. To handle that, after the peaches are peeled, put them in a pan with brown and white sugars and let them sit for at least an hour. If you then lift out the peaches and take that wonderful peachy juice that’s left behind, add it to some starch (I use tapioca, you can use cornstarch or what ever else works), cinnamon, nutmeg and some salt. Heat it until everything is dissolved and it starts getting nice and thick, and add it back to the peaches. Add a little butter and you’re done.

You can then bake the pie and that’s all there is too it. And with a bit of luck, you’ve got a pie that’s moist and flavorful.

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A Simple Chocolate Pie

chocolate pie

Chocolate pie is what I would call one of the best things you can easily make, and win a few hearts along the way. Valentine’s Day is coming!! With a little bit of help from one of my grandma’s favorite recipes (and some upgraded chocolate), you can have the pie in a hurry, too. The recipe is very easy to make and the only thing that’s a downside is having to wait around for the pie to cool enough to eat it.

The pie you see in the picture is not the simplest nor the most extravagant pie you can do with this recipe. If you care, you can use a chocolate pie crust made up of Oreos or Graham crackers, or a simple pie crust from the refrigerated aisle at the grocery store. I use my own crust, but didn’t bother to make it look as pretty as you might have seen elsewhere at Discovery Cooking. I just wanted something quick and easy. I used some whipped cream and some chocolate chips to decorate mine, you can use fruit or have it just plain. Your call.

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Addictive Marshmallow Fudge

Marshmallow Fudge

There is something addictive about a really good fudge. And no, I’m not talking about something you picked up at the store, but something you’ve put a little of your soul into. OK, not a lot, but something, right? That’s where this marshmallow fudge shows up on my list. 

First, it’s something my mother used to make for my brother and me many moons ago, using a recipe that was printed on the side of the marshmallow package. And while I’ve updated it just a little, adding a little dark fudge to the semi-sweet version and skipping the nuts, otherwise, it’s the same, good ol’ fudge I remember from those days.

It’s rich and creamy, and just sort of melts in your mouth. And with a cover over the top, it tends to last awhile (though to be honest, it usually doesn’t last that long). And no, it’s not anywhere near healthy, but that’s one of those things you have to put up with here. It’s a real treat, after all. Give it a try anyway.

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Nifty Little Peach Crisp

Peach Crisp

Peaches are coming!! Yup. Won’t be long now and I’ve got the perfect peach crisp for a summer treat.  It’s warm, has the essence of very lightly spiced peaches and with a little ice cream, it really sizzles. 

For me, this is one of those deserts that just goes through the top — not because it requires anything really special, but because it actually doesn’t. The peaches stand almost largely alone and the little cinnamon and nutmeg are just enough to add to the desert but without overpowering it. The crisp is light and really doesn’t overwhelm the peaches.

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A Basic Cheesecake

Cheesecake

Sometimes, you just have to have a great cheesecake.  It doesn’t happen often, maybe, but especially, when you got company coming by for a weekend or maybe just to indulge yourself, there is really is nothing better than beautiful cheesecake, standing there and ready to go when dessert hits.

This cheesecake is relatively light and ready for almost any filling you might like to try. And, yes, it’s just perfect for that 4th of July weekend. It’s flavor  is a very light vanilla with a chocolate graham-cracker crust (you can use just about anything you like for a crust) and apart from have to wait overnight for it to get to peak condition, it is fairly easy to make. What I like about this version is that it really does go with just about any kind of filling you can imagine, from fresh fruit to chocolate. It pretty much works with anything.

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Fantastic Banana Cake

banana cake

Most of the recipes here at Discovery Cooking are either developed here or at least very heavily modified. There are notable exceptions, of course. This banana cake is one of them. It’s simply the best cake I’ve ever made and one of the best I’ve ever tasted. It’s moist, light, full of flavor and — depending on the thickness of the cream cheese icing — more than enough to satisfy any sweet tooth on the planet. It’s killer.

The recipe below I found on a refrigerator door in a beach house we rented a number of years back in North Carolina. There was nothing to indicate where it came from. We had one rainy day that vacation and so I decided to try it and it blew my family away. On searching the net, I found dozens of copies of the recipe on various food sites and blogs, none of which pointed to the original. So my guess — and it is just a guess — is that this banana cake was probably published by one of the ingredient makers (a flour company, cream cheese brand?) some years ago and has been passed around.

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Simple Vanilla Bean Panna Cotta

Vanilla Bean Panna Cotta

Desserts, Dinner, Recipes | December 14, 2015 | By

If you love fine dining or you’ve ever watched a TV show or documentary about great chefs, you’ve no doubt marveled at the intense care they apply to plating their dishes, especially dessert. Even the simplest dessert gets turned into a work of art, every component placed precisely on the plate. When I’m having guests for dinner — and even when I’m not — I love to try my hand at fancy plating and a simple panna cotta is perfect for that.

Panna cotta is easy to make — almost foolproof — and because you can use various molds to shape it, gives you a head start on the plating. The recipe below is for a basic version of the dessert, flavored only  with a little vanilla bean. It’s delicious and light, and not too sweet. Something like that will give you great leeway in terms of the garnishes and sauces you can use to create your own work of plate art.

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