peach bread

Peach Bread

Well ain’t this peachy!

I’m actually surprised that, at least at my local farmers’ market (the Inwood Greenmarket in northern Manhattan), I haven’t been seeing that many peaches or nectarines! This past Saturday, only one vendor out of the six regular farm stands had peaches! I was tempted to even look at other vendors, alas, the pickle vendor and the sausage vendors were low on peaches as well. (Haaaa.) Also, the vast majority of the peaches for sale at the vendor were rock hard! Like, if I threw one at someone’s head, I’d likely be charged with attempted murder. Rock. HARD. Admittedly, it was rather amusing to watch myself and my fellow peach purchasers feeling inside giant wooden crates, poking and squeezing peaches until we found passable ones. Eventually, I found two. It was quite the task!

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It would be so easy to throw these into a pie or a galette. Peach cake? I’ve seen it. Peach cupcakes? I’ve eaten a few in my time. However, I was hard pressed to think of a time when I had ever seen or eaten peach bread. I just struck me as I was imagining what to do with my fruits. I love banana bread and zucchini bread. Why wouldn’t a peach bread work? Imagine a nice cakey yet moist bread with luscious pieces of fresh peach speckled throughout.

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The road to this perfect bread was not without a few bumps.

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I based parts of this recipe off of a general one I found via Google, and I can’t figure out which web page I got it from! (If you stumble across this, Wonderful Peach Bread Person, shoot me a note so I can give proper credit.) Still, I tweaked small parts of this recipe. The original recipe ended up being very doughy, so much so that I couldn’t fold in the peaches! Also, the recipe that I based it off of called for 60 minutes in a 325°F oven. Oh, man, that was a near-disaster! After an hour, the bread was pale and slightly raw at the bottom still! An extra 20 minutes in the oven at 350 solved the problem, albeit making the bread a tad on the drier side.

Anyone that develops recipes knows it’s rarely perfect on the first go-round.

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After more tweaking, I got that bread I was looking for. Now I expect the popularity of peach break to rocket, thanks to me. (Ha! A gal can dream…)

peach bread

Peach Bread
(Makes one loaf)

Ingredients:

– 2 & 1/2 all-purpose flour
– 2 cups fresh peaches, chopped small
– 3 eggs
– 1 cup sugar
– 1/2 cup vegetable oil or 1/2 unsweetened apple sauce
– 1 tablespoon baking powder
– 1 teaspoon salt
– 1 tablespoon cinnamon
– 1 tablespoon vanilla

Before We Get Started…

– This recipe will will an standard loaf pan (8 & 1/2″ x 4 & 1/2″ x 2 1/2″).

– I have not experimented with any other flours besides all-purpose for this recipe, so test at your own risk!

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease bread pan or line with parchment paper. Set aside.

2.) In a large bowl, combine all dry ingredients; whisk until incorporated.

3.) In a separate large bowl, whisk eggs. Slowly add sugar to eggs while continuing to whisk. Slowly stream in oil while containing to whisk. Add vanilla and star to combine.

4.) Fold wet mixture into dry mixture until combined. Fold in peaches into batter until incorporated.

5.) Pour batter into prepared bread pan. Bake for 45 – 50 minutes or until the top is golden and a toothpick inserted into the center of the bread comes out clean.

6.) Move pan to cooling rack and cool for at least 20 minutes before removing and slicing; if not slicing, wrap in plastic wrap.

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Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

Oh, hey kids! It’s time to revisit this blog’s most common theme: let us continue the discussion of foods that confused, puzzled, and / or terrified Allison as a child! This week’s food is rhubarb. In my youth, I was both curious as to why and utterly disgusted by the fact that people would put a funky looking vegetable stalk into a fruit pie. I even recall my childhood friend, Amanda, having some growing on the property of their dairy farm. Though the term SMH certainly did not exist circa 1992, I literally shook my head at the notion that adding something such as rhubarb to a pie would make it delicious.

And here I am today, studiously examining stalks of rhubarb at my local farmers’ market and making pies.

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I do love the slightly tart bite of rhubarb; I regularly nibble on a few nubs of it in the pie making process. On its own, its absolutely a polarizing flavor, though it is one I truly enjoy. I like tart. I like sour. In 8th grade, I could totally eat a few WarHeads without making a face.

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Thanks to some of my favorite food blogs and Pinterest accounts, I’ve been falling in love with rhubarb lattices! My inspiration for putting one on one of my pies grew from Baking a Moment’s Rhubarb Tart. Because I made two pies while recipe testing, I didn’t end up having enough rhubarb to make a full and beautiful lattice such as hers, but I definitely have more chances to give this a shot.

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Even though I would have loved a few more strips, it’s definitely a nice visual touch. Plus, less dough equals fewer carbs, right? Isn’t that how it all works?

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Strawberry Rhubarb Pie
(Serves 8)

Ingredients:

– 1 pie crust or shell, pre-made or homemade
– 1 & 1/2 cups rhubarb, chopped into bite-sized pieces
– 1 & 1/2 cups strawberries, diced
– 1/2 – 2/3 cup sugar, to taste
– 2 tablespoons flour or 1 tablespoon cornstarch
– 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
– Dash of cinnamon

Before We Get Started…

– If you are interested in attempting a rhubarb lattice, please reference the directions from Baking a Moment.

– Be sure to have a baking sheet handy to bake the pie on top of; the baking process can release a lot of moisture from the strawberries and rhubarb, and it may or may not spill over the crust.

Directions:

1.) Preheat oven to 375°F. If you have a pre-made pie crust, set aside. If you are creating a homemade pie crust, prepare crust according to your directions.

2.) Mix rhubarb, strawberries, sugar, flour or cornstarch, vinegar, and cinnamon in a large bowl until thoroughly combined.

3.) Pour fruit mixture into pie crust; bake for 40 – 45 minutes or until edges of pie are golden brown. Remove from oven and cool on rack.

dark chocolate strawberry galette

Dark Chocolate Strawberry Galette

Chocolate and strawberries, like milk and cookies or Sprite and Chinese food (well, if you’re me), are a flavor match made in heaven. I still very fondly remember eating chocolate-covered strawberries at my grandmother’s house when I was little, a favorite dessert of mine and a real treat to eat. Being young and unable to understand most basic cooking concepts, I was quite unsure how Mamie actually got the chocolate on the strawberries. My only concept of melted chocolate as a tyke was the chocolate that I squirted into my milk from the Hershey’s squeeze bottle. How would that stick to a strawberry? Years later, I discovered the finer art of melting semi-sweet chocolate, perhaps with a splash of cream, to make a luscious dip worthy of dipping a juicy strawberry or two into.

chocolate ganache

However, as a gal that loves a good slice of pastry and as a gal that loves a chocolate-covered strawberry, why not marry both desserts into something satisfying, yet light, yet indulgent?

dark chocolate strawberry galette

I love a good galette. It’s quickly become one of my favorite go-to desserts. Occasionally, a vegetable-filled galette makes for an excellent quick dinner, as well. Admittedly, though I like making my own pastry crusts with simple ingredients, I can not lie: buying a pre-made pie crust is a godsend when it comes to my galette making. I am not ashamed! It saves so much time, especially when the end goal is getting it from creation to your mouth in as little time as possible.

dark chocolate strawberry galette

Could I eat one of these a day? More than likely. Don’t tempt me.

dark chocolate strawberry galette

Dark Chocolate Strawberry Galette
(Serves 4 – 6)

Ingredients:

– 1 pre-made pie crust, rolled out
– 3 cups strawberries, hulled and sliced
– 3 ounces dark chocolate, roughly chopped (I prefer Ghirardelli 60% Cacao Bittersweet baking chocolate)
– 1/4 cup heavy cream
– 2 tablespoons sugar
– 2 teaspoons cornstarch

Before We Get Started…

– If a pre-made pie crust is simply not your jam, substitute with your favorite pie crust recipe. Roll the crust to roughly 1/8″ thickness, uniformly, and to about 11″ – 12″ inches in diameter.

Directions:

1.) Preheat oven to 425 °F.

2.) In a heavy-bottomed medium sauce pan, bring heavy cream to a boil over medium heat. Remove from heat and add chocolate. Wait approximately 1 minute before whisking; whisk until combined.

3.) Lightly grease baking sheet or place parchment paper on baking sheet. Place pie crust on baking sheet. On pie crust, spread chocolate in a uniform layer, leaving approximately 1″ around the outside of the dough; this will eventually be folded over to form the galette’s crust.

4.) Spoon strawberries on top of the chocolate layer, leaving approximately 1/2″ between the strawberries and the edge of the chocolate layer.

5.) Fold edges of the dough decoratively into the galette. Use water to moisten and seal the folds of the dough, if necessary. Lightly moisten edges of dough and sprinkle with sugar, if preferred.

6.) Bake for approximately 20 minutes. Remove from oven to cool slightly. Serve hot or at room temperature.