Some of the recipes I post result from lots of thought and planning. Then, there are some recipes that are born from hunger and exhaustion where I look in the fridge and realize I have nothing to eat.
This recipe is definitely falls under the latter category. I got home on Sunday after spending most of the weekend helping at a country fair and I was beat. I drug myself out the door to take Boomer for a short walk, but that was the extent of my productivity for the rest of the day. Driving 25 minutes into town to get groceries definitely wasn’t on the agenda so I had to get a little creative with the few groceries I had in the house. I have to say for something that I just threw together, this crisp turned out really, really well!
I used less sugar than most crisp recipes call for. Partially this was because I was making myself blueberry-peach crisp for dinner and I felt guilty about putting in too much sugar, but it was also because peaches are so good and sweet this time of year, a bunch of extra sugar seems unnecessary. Don’t worry though, I still went all out with the crispy goodness on top- that part is way too important to skimp on! If you decide to eat this for dinner and want to pretend it’s healthy, I thought it was pretty good with a spoonful of vanilla Greek yogurt on top, but, topping your crisp with some whipped cream or ice cream certainly wouldn’t be a bad choice either.
This recipe just makes one large-ish serving, but of course you could easily increase the recipe to feed more people.
- 1 peach, pealed and sliced into bite-sized pieces
- 2/3 cup blueberries
- 1 tbl. flour
- 1 1/2 tsp. granulated sugar
- 1/4 tsp. lemon juice
- 1 1/2 tbl. butter, melted
- 2 tbl. flour
- 1 tbl. brown sugar
- 2 tbl. oats
- 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
- pinch salt
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Combine the chopped peach, blueberries, flour, sugar and lemon juice in a bowl. Stir to combine then pour into a small oven-safe ramekin.
- Combine the melted butter, flour, brown sugar, oats, cinnamon and salt. Crumble over the top of the fruit mixture. Bake for approximately 25 minutes* until the fruit is bubbling and the topping is light brown.
* Disclaimer: the oven at this house is… not great. Both times I made this it took about 25 minutes to finish, but you might check it a little earlier just in case.
I’ve been on a big blueberry kick for the last month or so and have been buying a fresh carton nearly every time I visit the grocery store. Mostly I eat them on my cereal in the morning, or mixed with some vanilla Greek yogurt for a snack in the afternoon. Last week though, I realized I had way more berries in my fridge than I was going to be able to eat in a timely fashion so naturally I decided they needed to be baked into something!
This blueberry bread is one of my favorite recipes, it’s moist and the blueberry flavor really shines through. There are two flavor options with this bread- a lemon version that has lemon extract and zest baked into the bread and a lemony glaze that goes on after baking, or the brown sugar streusel option that has almond extract in the bread and a tasty streusel topping. I have to say that I ever so slightly prefer the streusel version. Partially because I’m a little bit addicted to anything that has a streusel, but also because I love the nutmeg and almond extract, they sound a little unusual to pair with blueberries, but the end result is delicious. Both options are fantastic though, you really can’t go wrong!
Blueberry Bread (or Muffins!)
- 2 cups flour
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp. almond extract (or 1 tsp. lemon extract for lemon version)
- 1 heaping tbl. lemon zest (for lemon version)
- 2 cups blueberries
- 1/2 cup blueberries, mashed
- 1/2 cup milk
Topping for Streusel Version (goes on before baking)
- 2 tbl. brown sugar
- 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
- 1 tbl. oats (traditional or quick cook)
Topping for Lemon Version (goes on after baking)
- 3 tbl. lemon juice
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees for muffins, or 350 degrees for bread.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt, then set aside.
- Use a mixer to beat the butter until creamy then add the sugars and beat until pale and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time followed by the extract and lemon zest (if using). Stir in the mashed blueberries.
- Fold in half the flour, then half the milk. Add the remaining blueberries then the rest of the flour and milk. Stir until just combined.
- Pour into bread pans or muffin tins.
- Streusel Version- mix the nutmeg, oats and sugar together and sprinkle on top of the batter. Press down gently.
- Bake muffins for 25-30 minutes and the bread for 35-40.
- Lemon Version- heat the lemon juice in the microwave for a few seconds then add the powdered sugar. Drizzle over the cooled bread/muffins.
Admittedly, this isn’t a beautiful or colorful dish. But what it might lack in the appearances category, it more than makes up for in taste. This pineapple casserole is a family recipe from Kentucky, and it’s one of my favorite side dishes to have around the holidays. It sounds like an unusual mix of flavors, but they combine for a wonderful mixture of savory and sweet.
Thoughts about this recipe
- A total of 40 oz. of pineapple is necessary for this recipe. I like to use 20 oz. of pineapple chunks, and 20 oz. of pineapple tidbits for some variety in size and texture, feel free to use all chunks or tidbits if you’d prefer.
- You can modify the amount of sugar, from 3/4 to 1 cup, depending on the level of sweetness you like.
- 40 oz. pineapple tidbits, chunks, or a combination; drained, reserve the juice
- 3/4-1 cup sugar
- 5 tbl. flour
- 1/4 cup butter, melted
- 1/4 cup pineapple juice
- 1 1/4 cups cheddar cheese, shredded
- 1 1/2 cups Ritz crackers, coarsely crushed
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees
- Pour pineapple in a 9 x 12 pan
- In a small bowl, combine the flour and sugar. Add to the fruit and stir together.
- Combine the melted butter and 1/4 cup pineapple juice, pour over the fruit.
- Sprinkle cheese over the pineapple, and then top with the crushed crackers
- Cover with foil and bake for 25 minutes. Uncover and bake for an additional 5-10 minutes until lightly browned on top.
Source: Aunt Beth
This was my first time making jam or canning and despite being fairly intimidated but the process, it turned out well and wasn’t nearly as difficult as I expected. The jam is delicious and the bright peach flavor partners wonderfully with vanilla beans. I’m sure it’ll taste even better in the middle of winter when fresh peaches are hard to come by!
There are a number of great resources online about canning, this one from the USDA is hugely informative if you want lots of nitty gritty details. If you’d like something a little more simple, the jar company Ball has a great guide too. I’ll include the canning process I used in the directions, but I’m far from a pro, so feel free to check out other guides too!
I cut back on the sugar in the recipe by a little over a half cup. The taste of my jam is still great, but the consistency is just a little on the watery side, so I’m guessing the sugar is important for the jam’s texture and I wouldn’t recommend you cut back on it (unless of course you’re fine with the jam not being as thick as normal!). Do make sure your peaches are fully ripe, if they are under-ripe the peach flavor won’t be nearly as strong.
Peach Vanilla Bean Jam
- 3 lbs. ripe peaches, peeled, pitted and chopped prior to weighing
- 3 1/2 cups sugar
- 1-2 vanilla beans, sliced in half with the seeds scraped out
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- To peel the peaches, bring a pot of water to a boil. Cut a small ‘x’ in the bottom of each peach and put it in the pot of boiling water for approximately 45 seconds. Use a slotted spoon to remove the peach and put it in a bowl with ice water until it cools off enough to handle. At that point you should be able to slide the peel off easily.
- Mix the chopped peaches, sugar, lemon juice and vanilla bean seeds and pods in a large pot over medium heat and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat a to simmer and stir frequently until the fruit has started to caramelize, which will take about an hour and a half.
- Remove the vanilla bean pods. If the fruit mixture is too chunky, briefly pulse it in a food processor. Can the fruit using the method of your choice, or store it in the fridge or freezer.
- Wash your jars, lids and cans in hot soapy water.
- If you have a canning rack, place it in the bottom of a large pot filled with water. I didn’t have a canning rack and instead placed some small, smooth rocks in the bottom of the pot. You just need to put something in there to keep the jars from sitting directly on the bottom of the pot and to allow water to circulate around the jars. Place the clean jars in the pot of water and bring it to a boil.
- When the fruit mixture is ready, remove the jars from the boiling water and fill them with the jam, leaving about 1/2 inch of space at the top. Use a clean, damp paper towel to clean the rim of the jar before putting on the lid and twisting the band. You don’t want to the band to be super tight, just tight enough that water won’t get in.
- Place the jars in a pot of boiling water on top of the canning rack (or rocks) making sure there is at least one inch of water above each jar. If your altitude is less than 1,000 feet, boil the cans for 15 minutes, if you’re above 1,000 feet, check page 6 of the Ball Canning Guide to see how much to increase the boiling time.
- After the appropriate amount of cooking time, use tongs to carefully remove the jars from the boiling water and place them on a kitchen towel to cool. As they cool, the tops should pop and there will be a slight indentation in the lid which indicates the canning process was a success!
Makes about 8 cups
My mom’s side of the family has some amazing recipes that have been passed down through the generations and they are some of my favorite things to make. If you haven’t had pear butter before, it tastes like a significantly improved variety of apple butter. This goes together very easily and tastes great on rolls, biscuits and toast.
Thoughts About this Recipe
- You can decide how much sugar to include, I like it on the less-sweet side, but if you prefer sweeter jams then add the full amount of sugar.
- There are two different ways to cook this, it’s lower maintenance if you make it in a crock-pot, but it can also be cooked on the stove
- After you finish the butter, it can be canned or stored in the freezer
- 15 cups pears, washed and sliced (peeling is optional)
- 3-5 cups sugar
- 1 tsp. ground cloves
- 1 tsp. ground ginger
- 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
- In small batches, place the fruit in a food processor and reduce to pulp or puree
- If using the stove top method, place the fruit puree in a large pan and add the sugar and spices. Simmer, stirring frequently, until it thickens (1-2 hours)
- If using a crock-pot, pour the fruit puree into the crock-pot and add the sugar and spices. Cover until the mixture begins to simmer, then remove the lid and allow it to cook slowly while thickening using the 4 to 6 hour setting.
- Can be canned using your preferred canning method, or stored in the freezer
Makes: About 13 cups