fruit

Peaches and Cream Crepes

Peaches and Cream Crepes

Peaches are such a natural addition to any summer dessert. I decided to use some of my fresh peaches in crepes. Crepes are a nice dessert any time of the year. I think especially nice in summer, using fresh, seasonal fruit.

 

The crepes were filled with peeled, sliced peaches that had been tossed with sugar ahead of time. The sugar softens the peaches a little.  I also added some sweetened cream cheese and a little strawberry jam to the filling. My friends loved them.

 

They can be assembled ahead of time, and just kept chilled until ready to serve.  Serve as is, with a dusting of powdered sugar or even a vanilla caramel drizzle- recipe follows.

 

Peaches and Cream Crepes

1 recipe basic crepes- recipe follows
2-3 peaches, pitted and sliced thin
¼ c. sugar
1 t. vanilla
1 t. cinnamon
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
¼ c. powdered sugar
Strawberry jam, optional

Make a batch of basic crepes and set aside until ready to use. Place sliced peaches in a bowl with sugar, vanilla and cinnamon and stir until sugar is dissolved. Best to do this at least a couple of hours before you want to use them. This softens the peaches and allows juices to come out of the peaches. You need the juices for the cream cheese. You can do this the day before, then just finish the cream cheese and assemble.
Place cream cheese in a bowl and start beating with an electric mixer. Drain juices off the peaches and add the juice to the cream cheese. Add the powdered sugar, too. Beat until cream cheese is fluffy.

To assemble the crepes: Place a crepe on work surface. Spread with some of the cream cheese. Along one side of the crepe place a small amount of strawberry jam, like a stripe. Place several slices of peach in a row, on top of the strawberry jam. Starting on the side of the crepe with the peaches gently roll up the crepe. Repeat with remaining ingredients. You will have 12. Serve as is, or you can top with powdered sugar, peach slices, warm jam, whipped or caramel sauce.

Basic Crepes

3/4 c. flour
1/8 t. salt
3 eggs, beaten
2 T. melted butter
3/4 c. milk, approximately
Butter or oil for pan

Beat together flour, salt and eggs until smooth. Stir in melted butter and then stir in milk until batter consistency is that of cream. Let stand for 30 minutes before using, or can be refrigerated, covered, overnight. Beat again, just before using.
Heat 6 or 7 inch skillet. Brush with butter or oil and pour in about 2 teaspoons of batter, tipping pan to cover bottom of pan completely with batter. Cook until edges start to brown, turn over and cook until lightly browned (about 2 minutes per side.)
Crepes can be made day ahead or even frozen between sheets of waxed paper and frozen. Makes 12.

 

Crepes with a vanilla caramel drizzle

Crepes with a vanilla caramel drizzle

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Vanilla Caramel

I made a light caramel sauce for the crepes. I just put 1/4 cup of water in a small saucepan with a cup of sugar. Boiled it all together for about 3 minutes. Removed from the heat and added a teaspoon of vanilla, 4 tablespoons of butter and a 1/4 cup of half and half. Stirred until smooth, then added a pinch of salt, for extra flavor.

Fresh Blackberry Scones

Fresh Blackberry Scones

I was recently given some beautiful blackberries. I decided to make scones with some of them. Warm from the oven, with a cup of coffee, these are hard to beat.

While scones are traditionally served for breakfast or brunch, I often use them in a dessert. These scones make a great shortcake.

For dinner with a friend, I split the scones and filled them with some sliced peaches. I had tossed the peaches with a little sugar and some vanilla.  We topped them off with a scoop of ice cream. Blackberry and peach shortcakes- bliss. 🙂

For shortcakes, just split scones add fill with some seasonal fruit, sweetened, if you like. Top with ice cream or whipped cream. Easy dessert and very tasty.

Here is the recipe for the scones.

Fresh Blackberry Scones

 2 c. flour

1/3 c. sugar

1 T. baking powder

¾ t.  salt

6 T. chilled butter

2 c. blackberries, fresh preferred, but you could use frozen

1 t. orange zest

2 large eggs

1/3 c. heavy cream or half and half

Mix dry ingredients together in bowl and cut in butter to resemble coarse crumbs. Toss in berries and zest. Beat together eggs and cream and stir into flour mixture. Mix very gently to avoid bruising berries. Use 1/2 cup ice cream scoop to scoop batter onto a baking sheet.  Sprinkle with a little extra sugar, if you like. Bake in a preheated 375-degree oven for 22-24 minutes. Makes 10-12.

Amaretto Pear Blintzes with Candied Almonds

Amaretto Pear Blintz with Candied Almonds

Amaretto Pear Blintz with Candied Almonds

I have a dear friend visiting from out of town. I wanted to make her a special dish for brunch today. I had some beautiful fresh pears and some tortillas, so I used them together. Since she likes all things almonds, I included them in the dish, too. I also added some Amaretto to the pears. Martha gave them two thumbs up. She would have said how much she liked them, but her mouth was full.

When she was able to speak, she said they reminded her of apple pie. In fact, she didn’t believe me at first, when I said they were pears. If you like the taste of homemade fruit pie, but don’t have the time to bake, these are a nice option. Because they are barely cooked, the pears retain some shape. In a pie, they tend to fall apart.

Since we had them for brunch, I left them plain, but these would make a great dessert topped with whipped cream or ice cream. Even a dusting of powdered sugar, would be nice. Simple and quite flavorful.

 

 

Amaretto Pear Blintzes with Candied Almonds

 

Blintzes:

4 (8-inch) flour tortillas, I used whole wheat

2 oz. milk

2 T. butter

Filling:

4 pears, peeled, cored and sliced

½ c. brown sugar

2 T. butter

2 T. Amaretto

1 t. cinnamon

1 t. vanilla

Pinch of salt

Almonds:

¾ c. sliced almonds

½ c. sugar

¼ c. water

½ t. cinnamon

 

Place tortillas in shallow dish and drizzle the milk over them. Try to get some milk on each of the tortillas to soften them. While the tortillas are softening, prepare the filling. In medium skillet, combine pears with the rest of the filling ingredients and bring to a simmer. Cook on low heat for 3-4 minutes. Set aside. Combine almonds with the sugar, water and cinnamon in medium skillet. Bring mixture to a boil, stirring often. Cook until liquid is evaporated, about 5 minutes. Pour almonds onto a baking sheet lined with a silicone baking sheet or foil. Spread out and allow nuts to cool.

 

Place butter in skillet and start to heat up the pan. While pan is heating, divide pear filling among the 4 tortillas. Place filling along center of tortilla and fold up edges over, to cover the filling. Heat the tortillas, seam side down, in the pan until golden, turning to toast evenly on both sides. Remove from pan and place on serving plate. Top with some of the candied almonds. Serves 4.

 

 

Feed the Birds- Fruit!!!

Robin eating grapes

Robin eating grapes

I have always  fed the birds in Winter. It is a family tradition that I keep up. I know black oil sunflower seeds are the preferred food for many birds so that is what I fill the feeders with. Other things are good for them, too. I noticed a sweet robin hanging out under the bird feeder a few days ago. I know robins like fruit so I tossed out a couple of slightly shriveled apples that were going to go to the compost heap. The robin began eating them almost right away. Today she was out there pecking at an apple so I brought out some grapes. She started eating the grapes right away. It was sweet. As I shoveled the walkway she’d give me a look but never flew away. She just kept eating her unlikely Winter treat.

It brought to mind a robin from years ago. My Mother always  fed the birds and one snowy day she saw a robin sitting under the feeder. She wanted to give her something she would really like so she sent my Father out to the bait store to get worms. She would toss a few out the window whenever she saw the robin. It was not lost on my Father that while he was NEVER allowed to bring bait into the house there was now a box of worms in the fridge. Mom read up in one of her bird books and discovered that robins are also fruit eaters so she switched to feeding the robin raisins. Eventually the robin would chirp under the kitchen window and my Mother would toss out some raisins. Over time the robin would flutter by the window if the raisins weren’t tossed out when she first arrive. You have to understand that my Mom had a special gift with all animals. They sense something in her that  was gentle. Mom decided to hold the raisins in her palm rather than toss them one day. Sure enough the robin landed in her hand to eat them. The ritual continued for several winters. The robin would chirp, Mom would open the window and hold out a hand of raisins and the little bird would sit on her hand and eat them. I got a chance to feed her as well on several occasions.

So if you have some extra fruit around the house consider sharing with our feathered friends. They will be a welcome change. Who knows? You might even get a chance to hold a robin.