It is September (oy!) and I have already pumped out a few pumpkin desserts. It doesn’t seem right. A pumpkin freakazoid, I am not. I am not one of those chicks just waiting for Starbucks to roll out their limited edition Pumpkin Spice latte (it is like Disney releasing Beauty and the Beast or The Lion King out of ‘the Disney vault’ every year around Christmas, real limited there Walt) – it is pumpkin flavored syrup, and I am a bit leery of flavored syrups, plus I prefer my coffee black. But I am one of those chicks waiting for pumpkin doughnuts (or donuts, I am never quite sure how to spell something so delicious) at Dunkin’. Because, seriously, they may not have an ounce of real pumpkin in them, however they are freaking amazeballs. Especially if you are eating them along with a hot cup of joe.
That past paragraph just proves I prefer to eat my calories versus drinking them…
But does flipping the calendar from August to September truly mean it is pumpkin season? Perhaps, in some corners of this world it does, or corners of our brains. Brains that are a tad bit fried from summer. Brains that have been deprived of cinnamon and sugar and bodies craving sweatshirts and chunky sweaters. However, I never crave pumpkin until about November.
Which means…It is still summer fruit season in this house – and I just got peaches in my CSA this week and it isn’t officially fall (and therefore time to break out all things pumpkin) until next week sometime. So, peaches it is. But don’t count these out as a summer only dessert…the browned butter adds a hint of fall, but doesn’t shout it from the roof tops. It is like the smell of the crisp morning air this week that made it feel almost like fall, but then you have the warm (seriously, downright hot) sunshine of the afternoon that makes you dream of sweet juicy peaches.
Oh, September, how you mess with my brain …
Who cares if you have fully swung into fall or grasping to the last rays of warm summer sunshine…find peaches, brown butter, and bake these bars…They are all sorts of loveliness.
Brown Butter Peach Raspberry Bars
Makes a 9x13in pan (12-16 bars)
- 1 cup White sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 2 3/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 sticks (1 cup) cold unsalted butter
- 1 large egg
- 2 peaches, pitted and thinly sliced (between 1/8 and 1/4-inch thick)
- 1/2 to 3/4 cup Raspberry Jam
Brown your butter: Over medium heat, place butter into a small/medium saucepan. Melt. Once melted, the butter will foam and then it will turn clear/golden, and finally begin to brown and smell nutty. Stir frequently, scraping the bits off the bottom of the pan. Keep a close eye on the pan, it will go from browned to burnt in a blink of an eye. Once brown, remove from heat and place in a small bowl. Set it in the freezer until solid (about 30 minutes).
Preheat oven to 375F. Butter a 9×13 inch pan (or line it with parchment paper). Set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk together sugar, baking powder, flour, cinnamon, and salt. Using a pastry blender or a mixer with paddle attachment, cut chilled browned butter and egg into mixture. It will be crumbly, but will come together when pressed between thumb and pointer finger.
Press 3/4 of the mixture into the bottom of the prepared 9x13inch pan. Evenly spread raspberry jam over crust, leaving about a 1/2 inch border without jam. In a single layer, tile peach slices over raspberry jam.
Scatter remaining crumbs over top of the peaches. Place bars in preheated oven and bake for about 30 to 35 minutes, until the jam is bubbly around the edges and the crumb becomes golden brown. Remove from oven and cool completely before cutting into squares.
Yo! I have a cake for you today.
And if you bake this cake…you will have cake tomorrow.
It goes along the lines of the proverb … give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day, but teach a man to fish…
Proverbs don’t just pop into everyone’s brains randomly?
It happens to me all day long…well, not proverbs, but thoughts that have no purpose for being there.
Such as, when you walk down a wide hallway (i.e a hospital hallway) and you pass someone going the opposite way, you both keep to the right, same is said for bike paths, and sidewalks. We go to the right. So, in England and other parts of Great Britain (all of Great Britain drives on the wrong side…err the left side of the road, no? I need to wikipedia this…), do they then keep to the left? I don’t remember encountering this situation when I was there years ago…but I was in a large group and we just took up the whole damn sidewalk. Suppose I go back … I need to figure this out…don’t want to look like a silly American or get run-over on a bike path.
And I wonder this in all seriousness.
Also, we are getting purple scrubs for the pharmacy department. They are considered lilac in color. Or Barney-esque. I am super pumped to wear scrubs when I roll out of bed 20 minutes late (or later…let’s be honest) and every pair of dress pants I own are scattered about the floor and wrinkled and the rest of my clothes are in the laundry room half in/half out of the dryer…and did I mention that I still need to jump in the shower? And they call me a grown adult! Ha! These mornings I will gladly darn my purple scrubs. However, this week I thought it great if the whole department could wear the purple scrubs, take a group photo, and title it ‘What a Grape Bunch’. Even right now, this makes me giggle uncontrollably. Do you get the pun?? Hilarious. Picture the fruit of the loom grape dude (minus the horse).
Seriously. Puns. Funny.
No one found it as funny as I.
And if they did laugh, they were probably just laughing at the mere sight of me doubled over in laughter.
The picture has to happen.
Randomness just pops in. And has a habit of staying awhile.
But this cake…not so random. This was 100% premeditated cake baking. My CSA two weeks ago provided me with fresh yogurt, peaches, and blueberries. The yogurt, while I am sure would have been excellent eaten alone, in a parfait, blended into a smoothie, etc…but when I get fresh yogurt I prefer to bake with it. Nothing adds moisture like yogurt. If a cake calls for sour-cream or buttermilk (anything with a bit of an acidic bite) – I substitute with yogurt, if available.
And the peaches and blueberries…well I refrained from just eating them, straight up. It was tough. I LOVE BLUEBERRIES. And there is nothing better than eating a peach while perched over the kitchen sink while juice runs down your chin and forearm, eventually finding its way to the tip of your elbow. That my friends, is summer.
The yogurt cake I have for you today is amazingly simple…and quick. I almost guarantee that you have all the ingredients. And the pan…well, I recommend using a springform pan because it does rise, but I think a regular round cake pan (with high sides) would do the trick. I think. But don’t shout if things go a-rye…I confessed that I truly had no clue. So if you are worried and are cursing me that you don’t have a springform pan, I am sure your neighbor does…or perhaps your sister or that weird aunt across town. Just ask. It is totally worth it.
And the compote. Seriously easy. Seriously delicious. And the leftovers (if you are lucky enough to have them) can totally be eaten by the spoonful or swirled into your morning oatmeal, morning parfait, or atop your waffles and pancakes. Oh! and don’t forget about ice cream or perhaps lemon sorbet…holy smokes. DO THIS. NOW! It is a total summer must.
Also another summer must…blowing a bicycle tire and walking the remaining 3-ish miles home…Total summer must. I think I am about to learn how to fix a bicycle tire…
- 1+1/2 Cups Full Fat Yogurt
- ⅔ Cup Olive Oil – use best quality you can get your hands on
- 1 +1/4 Cup Granulated Sugar
- 3 Eggs
- 1 Teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract
- 2+1/2 Cups All-Purpose Flour
- 2+1/2 Teaspoon Baking Soda
- ½ Teaspoon Salt
- Peach and Blueberry Compote
- 2 Peaches, peeled and diced (large)
- 1 Cups Blueberries
- 2 Tablespoons Brown Sugar mixed with 1 Tablespoon cornstarch (so there is no clumping)
- ¼ Cup Water
- Juice of ½ Lemon
- Preheat oven to 350F. Line the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan with parchment paper ( or grease with butter).
- In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt – set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together yogurt, olive oil, sugar, eggs, and vanilla. Whisk in dry ingredients and mix until batter is smooth and no bumps remain.
- Pour cake batter into prepared springform pan and place in preheated oven and bake for 50 to 60 minutes until toothpick comes out clean. Place tinfoil over cake towards the end of the baking time if the top begins to brown.
- Remove from oven and let cool on wire rack for about 10 minutes before releasing the sides of the pan.
- While cake is cooling, prepare compote.
- In a medium sized saucepan, combine all ingredients for compote and set over medium heat. Bring contents to a boil and then reduce heat and let cook for about 10 to 15 minutes, until mixture thickens. Stir occasionally.
- Remove from heat and let cool before spooning over cake.
- Store in refrigerator in a sealed container and use as you like. Can be reheated in microwave (about 30 seconds, stir).
Cake recipe is slightly adapted from The Kitchn
Note: This cake would be great with any kind of citrus zest. Lemon, lime, or orange zest, grated and rubbed into the sugar and then go on with baking as you would have otherwise. Oh! and no peaches? Try some plums. Or straight up berries. I’m not sure you could screw this up.
What do you do with peaches that won’t make it through the weekend? A weekend in which you won’t be around to enjoy a big ole’ juicy peach with breakfast or post weekend morning run? You know … with the juice running down your chin and also down your forearm until it drips off your elbow. Peaches that are best eaten over the sink or in the back yard with your head pitched forward, which causes your butt to kinda stick out as well…all so the juice doesn’t drip down your chin and down your frontside. And the slurping…peach eating is always accompanied by slurping, which kinda drives me bonkers, but is totally necessary. Peaches should be served with bibs…kinda like lobster dinners.
What does a girl do when she finds herself, ready for a weekend away, with 2lbs of ripe peaches on her counter, late Friday afternoon? Oh, and she is me?
Well, you take the pint of blueberries that were meant for your roadtrip snack ( yeah, I am that girl eating fruits and veggies on road trips…along with beef jerky. Always beef jerky.) and you slice the peaches, foregoing any peeling ( and then hours later, you will find yourself telling your brother to suck it up when he mentions he doesn’t like the texture of peach skin in his desserts, because I could have just left the peaches to rot or simply given the dessert away, and it must not have bothered him too much seeing how he had several servings…brothers can be such buttheads. He is also the brother that doesn’t like too much chocolate…how are we even related?!?!?) Anywho…you take said blueberries and perfectly ripe peaches, toss ‘em in a deep dish pie plate, smother ‘em with a hefty dose of coconut crumble, throw it in a preheated oven, squeeze in a quick workout (because we all know that workouts do not happen on weekends spent at home home. I always have good intentions but sleeping in, motorcycle rides, rocketering – totally a thing, socializing, and playing with the niece and nephew always takes precedent…) … snap a few quick pictures and load up the piping hot crumble in the car and hit the road…all the while praying that there are no quick stops along the way, because hot peach blueberry crumble would not be pretty inside my Jeep.
hands down…i am the best influence these kids have…
because where else would they learn illegal moves on a playground?
I know this might be my 1,986th recipe for peaches this summer, but I don’t think there has been a week that I haven’t been overloaded (in the best possible way) with peaches…and since I post what I am eating…peaches it is!
This crumble is very similar to my peach pie from a few weeks ago…so(ooo) if you were wondering if could just forgo the crust and make it a crumble, by golly you can!
- 1 Cup Old Fashioned Oats ( do not use instant)
- ¾ Cup All-Purpose Flour
- ½ Cup Dark Brown Sugar
- ½ Cup Sweetened Shredded Coconut
- ¼ Teaspoon Salt
- ½ Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
- 1 Stick Unsalted Butter, melted and slightly cooled
- 5 Large Peaches, pitted and sliced evenly (peeling is optional)
- 1 Pint Fresh Blueberries, picked over for stems
- 3 to 4 Tablespoons Cornstarch (use more if peaches are overly juicy)
- ½ Cup White Granulated Sugar
- ½ Teaspoon Almond Extract
- ½ Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
- pinch of salt
- Preheat oven to 375F.
- In a medium size mixing bowl, combine all topping ingredients ( oats, flour, dark brown sugar, coconut, salt, cinnamon, and melted butter) and mix with a fork until well incorporated. Place in fridge until ready to use.
- In a large mixing bowl, gently toss together peaches, blueberries, cornstarch, sugar, almond extract, cinnamon, and salt. Pour mixture into a deep dish pie plate or any oven safe dish that is at least 2 to 3 inches deep.
- Remove crumble topping from fridge and evenly top the fruit with the mixture.
- Place dish on a cookie sheet ( to prevent your oven from getting coated in fruit drippings). Place in preheated oven for 45 to 60 minutes (check in on it every 20 minutes or so) until topping is golden brown and the juices around the edge are bubbling. If the topping is getting too brown, just tent the dish with a piece of tinfoil for the remainder of the baking time.
- Remove from oven and let cool before serving.
- Best served with a scoop of vanilla or lemon ice cream!
I need to open a bed and breakfast. Or work in one. Or live near one. Or run one. Some how or some way, a bed and breakfast needs to enter my life.
Have I watched too many episodes of the Gilmore Girls? Probably. With out a doubt. Because I also have a romantic notion about diners and ruggedly sarcastic, slightly bitter diner owners. And diners in general. And quaint towns? Do NOT even get me started. Stars Hollow…the ideal small town.
Small towns get me. Or I get them. Or we get each other. I feel right at home in small towns, with tree lined streets, and familiar faces strolling by. A town with a few restaurants. A coffee shop or two. A pizza parlor for Friday night date nights for the young and old. A park with ball fields and swings. Lord, there must be swings. An ice cream shop next to a used book store. Oh, and a movie theater, where classics are played along with the new summer blockbuster. And of course a bed and breakfast, all within walking distance to this quaint little downtown.
I haven’t a clue what would be near by to draw people to this town…maybe we would be nestled along the seaside, an old fishing village, with ragged cliffs and foamy, crashing waves. Or maybe someone famous will call the place home or called it home decades ago. Or perhaps we are located near a national treasure. Or maybe smack-dab in the middle of wine country.
Yeah, I have watched too many episodes of Gilmore Girls. And Dawson’s Creek. It is cool. Promise.
But the bed and breakfast is what is important. It is where I would fit in. It would be my contribution to the sleepy small town appeal. And for breakfast, during the summer…peach butter breakfast rolls would be served. Served alongside a hot cup of coffee and enjoyed over light morning conversation. Days would be planned and destinations mapped out, while yeasty rolls filled with peaches and cinnamon were savored. Children with sticky hands and mouths would be delighted and adults would take pause and slowly enjoy the morning meal.
I have a bit of a romantic side to my thoughts. A vivid imagination. But those peach butter breakfast rolls are as real as you and I. Swear. I just ate one. Light and fluffy interior, lined with sticky peach butter and warm cinnamon. The tops brown and crusty and the bottoms are sticky sweet. With a touch of glaze, which isn’t necessary, but a nice touch, is just the cherry on top. With or without a bed and breakfast. With or without a weekend away in a sleepy little town. With or without the sound of waves crashing on the nearby waves or the sun rising over the hills of wine country…these peach butter breakfast rolls are totally doable in your own home.
No peach butter? Try apple butter. Personally, I am dying to try pumpkin butter with toasted pecans. Wowza.
- 4 + ½ to 5 Cups All – Purpose Flour
- 1 Cup Whole Milk
- 1 Stick Unsalted Butter, room temperature
- 3 Eggs
- ½ Cup White Granulated Sugar
- 1 + ½ Tablespoons Active Dry Yeast
- ½ Teaspoon Salt
- 1 + ½ Cups Peach Butter
- ¾ Cup Light Brown Sugar, packed
- 2 Teaspoons Ground Cinnamon
- 1 peach, sliced thinly ( no need to peel)
- 3 Ounces Cream Cheese, room temperature
- ¼ Cup Unsalted Butter, room temperature
- 1 + ½ Cups Powdered Sugar (confectioner’s sugar)
- 1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- 5-6 Tablespoons Milk ( adjust to desired icing consistency)
- Warm milk to about 95F. Mix in Sugar and yeast and let sit for 5 to 7 minutes. The mixture should be foamy and frothy – if it isn’t, your yeast is not alive and you will need to start over.
- Using a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, mix in butter, eggs, and salt.
- With mixer on low, add 4 + ¼ Cups of flour. Mix until combined. Turn mixer off, scrape down sides of the bowl, and switch to the dough hook. Beat dough with dough hook for another 7 to 10 minutes.
- Dust a clean work surface with flour. Transfer dough from mixing bowl to floured surface.
- Sprinkle dough with ½ Cup of flour and knead the flour into the dough. Continue to knead the dough until a soft, smooth, ball of dough forms. About 2 to 3 minutes of kneading. ( It will be ready, when you gently press it, the dough bounces back quickly…elastic like.)
- Transfer dough to a lightly greased bowl. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and a tea towel. Place in a dry, warm place and let dough rise for about 1 – 1½ hours until the dough has doubled in size.
- While the dough is rising grease a 9 x 13 inch pan, mix together brown sugar and cinnamon, and slice the peach. Set it all aside.
- Once the dough has doubled in size, turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and roll dough out into a 10 inch x 20 inch rectangle.
- Evenly spread peach butter over the dough and sprinkle the cinnamon and brown sugar mixture over the peach butter.
- Finally, scatter peach slices in a single layer over the whole shabang.
- Roll dough into a 20 inch log, keep it as tight as possible. ( you might find that the filling starts to squeeze out and that is fine, just keep rolling)
- Using a very sharp knife, cut the dough into 12 equal pieces ( cut the roll into quarters, and then cut each quarter into 3 equal pieces)
- Quickly transfer each roll into the prepared pan. Squeeze them all into fit. Loosely cover rolls with a tea towel and place in a dry, warm place to rise. Let rise for 1 hour.
- Preheat oven to 400F. Bake rolls for 20 to 30 minutes until golden brown and the filling is bubbling. ( when you press on the top of a roll, there will be very little give)
- Remove from oven and let rest for 30 minutes. Make the icing.
- Beat together softened cream cheese and butter. Add salt and vanilla. With mixer on low, slowly add powdered sugar and beat until well combined. Add milk, tablespoon by tablespoon, until desired consistency is reached.
- Drizzle icing onto warm rolls or upon serving.
My Aunt Sue, a true peach lover, traipsed out into the peach orchards of Ohio…wait, Ohio has peach orchards? Georgia be darned…we Ohioians know how to grow some peaches. And peaches, my aunt did pick. My aunt ended up picking some 1 + 1/2 to 2 bushels of peaches. For herself. One women. 2 bushels of peaches. Why and how were my first questions.
Why did she pick so many? She is just one woman.( I do not think my uncle shares in her fanatical love for peaches – however, if she had been picking from chocolate trees, he would have had her pick 3 bushels!) Her love for fresh, juicy, ripe peaches mixed with a decent drive to the peach orchard lead her to picking so many. I have fallen into this trap with apples and strawberries…so I will not poke fun. It happens to the best of us.
And how was she going to eat 2 bushels of peaches. By herself? She chuckled at this as she explained how she was eating a peach with each meal and in-between meals (that is 6+ peaches per day if you were counting) and that she was sharing them with every soul she encountered. And yet, she would still need to slice and freeze what remained before they invariably became overripe, mealy, and well…rotten. And lucky enough for me, I was one of those fortunate souls to score a large bag of Ohio peaches. Well my mom was the actual recipient, but I was able to steal a few from her grasp…And by a few, I had 5lbs. of peaches when it was said and done.
And finally, the what landed square on my shoulders. What was I going to do with 5lbs. of peaches? I, too, was only one woman and I am not a 6 per day peach eater…But, I do love a good fruit butter. Probably more so than the normal human being. I, mean, yeah I could have made a pie or crumble or ice cream, but peach butter would allow me to enjoy the peaches for weeks to come (OK, days…lets be serious, I have been eating it by the spoonful). I like it best slathered on english muffins, toast, pb sandwiches, or my favorite…saltines.
There are a gazillion different methods for making a fruit butter. Crockpot, stove-top, oven…if it conducts heat, you can make a fruit butter in it or on it. I chose the stove top, since I was making a rather small batch and didn’t have the patience to wait 6+ hours for the final product (crockpot) nor did I feel comfortable sticking it in the oven. This is a rather time consuming project, but doesn’t need to be watched constantly, just checked in on every ten or so minutes and more often towards the end….however, I found it quite satisfying and worth the time when it finally thickened and the flavor and texture matched what was in my minds eye. Moments like this are what keep me coming back for more.
- 3 pounds Fresh Peaches (about 12-14 medium peaches), peeled and pitted
- ¾ Cup Water
- 1 + ½ Cups White Granulated Sugar
- Juice of 1 Lemon
- ½ Teaspoon Cinnamon
- Slice peeled and pitted peaches into uniform slices/chunks.
- Add peaches and water to a large pot over medium heat. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Simmer until peaches have softened, about 10-15 minutes.
- Remove from heat and place peaches in a food processor and process mixture until smooth. An immersion blender or regular blender would also get the job done. ( I like a smooth butter, but feel free to make it chunky!)
- Return peach pulp to the pan and stir in sugar, lemon juice, and cinnamon.
- Place over medium heat and bring mixture to a slight boil and continue to cook for an additional 60-75 minutes (this time may vary depending on the weather, level of humidity, amount of water in peaches, etc…so be prepared for this to take more or less time), stirring every ten or so minutes and more often towards the end to prevent scorching. The butter will be done when a heaping teaspoonful keeps its shape and remains rounded.
- Allow peach butter to cool before placing in jars with tight fitting lids. Store in fridge. It will keep in fridge for upto 2 weeks. You are more than welcome to can this peach butter, however I am not a canning expert.