Category Archives: Dessert

You Asked And You Shall Receive: Local Yocal White Peach And Honey Ice Cream

Thank you, thank you, thank you to everyone who voted in my most recent poll.  I have a hope that I will be able to keep anyone awesome enough to read about my food adventures, interested and entertained for a very long time.  In order to do that, I like to get your input every once in awhile.  But honestly, I was pretty surprised by the results.  I thought breakfast would be the winner, being that I don’t have a single post dedicated to the most important meal of the day.  Much to my surprise, it came in dead last, by a lot.  Nevertheless, I was pretty delighted that I had to come up with a sweet treat.  It didn’t take long for me to decide to make ice cream.  I love ice cream, and would eat it every single day of summer if I could, and ever since getting an ice cream maker as a wedding gift, almost three years ago, I have truly enjoyed experimenting with homemade creations.  I’ve made vanilla, almond chocolate, strawberry, cookies and cream, sweet cream, lemon ginger, and even cranberry sorbet.  I love it…it’s just fun!  So, inspired by my poll and the memory of some unbelievably sweet and juicy local peaches I set out to reinvent a classic summertime favorite…peach ice cream.


White Peaches (yellow are fine, too but the flavor is slightly different)

Honey ( mine came from Long Branch, NJ)

Heavy Cream


Eggs (Vineland, NJ…yay for Jersey Fresh!)



First, I want to remind you that if you are using an electric ice cream maker, you need to freeze the bowl at least 24 hours in advance.  Now, of course you’ll want to peel your peaches (4-5 small to medium peaches).


This can be a trying and wasteful task, but if you drop the peaches in boiling water for a couple of minutes the skin will come right off.  So, grab a pot fill it with hot water and bring it to a rolling boil.

005Gently drop each peach into the water and return to a boil.


While the peaches boil, gather the rest of your ingredients.


After about a minute or two (the skin will lose some of its vibrancy), drain the peaches into a colander.

010Run some cold water over the peaches to cool them off before you handle them.

012Then, with a pairing knife or just your hands (in the end, I ended up using my hands, it’s considerably easier), rub off the skin.

013Repeat the process until all of the peaches are skin-free.

014Next, cut the flesh off of each peach.  I did this by scoring a grid pattern into them with my knife.

015Then, scrape the segments back into the colander ( I recommend you place a couple paper towels under the bowl so the juices don’t run all over your counter).

017Pour the cut peaches into your blender.

019Pulse on high until the peaches are about the texture of a smoothie.

020Pour into a bowl and place in the refrigerator.  Now you are over the hump.  This may seem like a long process, but it really only takes minutes.  Next, you are going to make the ice cream base.  For this recipe, I used a sweet cream custard base, you could use vanilla, but I didn’t want it to overpower the main flavors of peach and honey.  Start by cracking two eggs into a bowl.

022With a whisk and some elbow grease, beat the eggs until they are frothy and lighter in color.

024Now whisk in a little less than half a cup of sugar.

026Next add a little less than half a cup of honey (you want about 3/4 cup of sweeteners total, but taste it and see how you like it).

028Whisk well to incorporate the honey.

029Add one and a half cups of heavy cream.

031Now, add one and a half cups of milk.

033Stir until everything is well blended and homogenous.  Assemble your ice cream maker, plug it in and add the base to the bowl.

035Freeze according to the manufacturer’s instructions, when the base is semi-frozen, add the pureed peaches to the bowl and continue to freeze for about five more minutes.


Yours may be a little firmer than this, before putting it in the freezer depending on your ice cream maker.  Mine usually takes about 25-30 minutes to reach this texture at which point I cover it and pop it in the freezer for about an hour or two before serving.

040Please take a moment to relish in the sweet deliciousness of fresh summer peaches, local honey, and cream…ENJOY, with a cherry on top!



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Perfectly Simple Hot Cocoa

Like most people, DH and I are super-excited for the holidays this year and we’ve been talking about drinking cocoa while writing Christmas cards, since the weekend.  We didn’t actually get to it until yesterday but, the cocoa was all the better on a cold night, after a long day at work.  Here’s what I did:


Hershey’s Unsweetened Cocoa






Heavy Whipping Cream


Combine the first four ingredients in a small saucepan (I used 1/8 cup of cocoa, 1/4 cup of sugar, a dash of cinnamon and a pinch of salt).

009Then mix in the water (1/4 cup, here), and stir until mixture is smooth and shiny.

0101Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally.  Then add the milk (I use the mug I’m serving in to measure the milk, two servings=two mugfuls plus a couple sips).

0121Stir to combine well and allow to return to a simmer over medium heat.  While the cocoa heats, you can use a small amount of the cream to make some fresh whipped cream.

011With your hand mixer on high, whip the cream to form stiff peaks.

0131Add in just a touch of sugar to lightly sweeten.

0141Serve up the cocoa with a dollop of whipped cream and a sprinkle of cinnamon.

015Lastly, be sure to ENJOY with someone you love.

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Pick My Thanksgiving Dessert!

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Apple Pie Cupcakes, UM…I Mean Cake

After seeing these cupcakes on the web, I had been planning to make them for almost a week, and when I finally found the time and had all of the ingredients, I discovered that I couldn’t find my muffin tin anywhere.  I already had my butter softened and some of the ingredients measured out, so I decided to wing it and turn it into a cake.  I’m not sure where I originally found the recipe but, this one comes from  I halfed both the cupcake and vanilla buttercream recipes and made a single layer, 9-inch round cake.  Of course I didn’t have proper timing for this size and type of pan, so I approximated.  Cakes usually take a little longer than cupcakes, so when it had been in the oven for the amount of time that the cupcake recipe calls for, I peeked in to see how brown it was.  I estimated that it needed another five or so minutes and I was right.  So, here’s Annie’s recipe, with my adaptations inserted:

Annie's Cupcakes

Annie's Cupcakes

Apple Pie Cupcakes

Yield: 24 cupcakes


For the cupcakes:

3 cups sifted cake flour

1 tbsp. baking powder

½ tsp. salt

1 cup butter, at room temperature

2 cups sugar

4 eggs

1 ½ tsp. vanilla extract

1 cup milk

For the apple filling:

2 tbsp. butter

2 tsp. cinnamon

2-3 tbsp. sugar

3 large Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and diced (I used Cortland)

For decorating:

vanilla buttercream's ok to drink wine while you bake.

(I prepared this before the batter and kept it in the refrigerator until 1/2 an hour before I was ready to frost the cake)


To make the cupcakes, preheat the oven to 350°. Line two cupcake pans with paper liners.

(Instead of lining the cupcake pans, I lightly buttered and floured my cake pan)

In a medium bowl, sift together the cake flour, baking powder and salt.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar together on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.

Beat in the eggs one at a time, mixing well and scraping down the sides of the bowl after each addition. Add the vanilla extract and mix well to combine.

Add in the dry ingredients alternately with the milk, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. Stir until just combined.

(By the way, my collection of baking equipment is non-existent and most of what I do have is terrible.  So, I often have to improvise when it comes to this, as well.  I use a whisk and a rubber spatula for all of the mixing and believe it or not, I measure all of my ingredients, wet and dry, in the same cup.  Anything that calls for tsp. or tbsp., I measure in my hand.  Please note that for my version I added some cinnamon to the dry ingredients, just because we love it.)

Divide the batter evenly among the cupcake liners, filling them about 2/3-3/4 full.

(I filled my prepared cake pan about 2/3 of the way up.)

my garage sale cake pan

Bake until golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 18 to 22 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes in the pans. Transfer to wire racks to cool completely.

To make the apple filling, heat the butter in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add the cinnamon and sugar and cook for a minute, until the mixture begins to bubble. Lower the heat to medium and stir in the apples.

Mix well. Cook until the apples are somewhat tender, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool.

While the apple mixture is cooling, use the cone method to remove a chunk from the center of each cupcake, making sure to leave a rim around the top of the cupcake. Fill the holes with the cooled apple mixture. To decorate, top each cupcake with a swirl of vanilla buttercream.

(Sorry.  Initially, I wasn’t sure if the cone method would work on the cake so, I wasn’t going to do it but, at the last minute I decided to go for it, and forgot to get a pic.  It worked.  Just be sure not to cut too deep.)

Dan and I were both very impressed with the apple filling and the buttercream.  I wasn’t totally pleased with the texture of the cake but, that was probably because I had to improvise on the measurements.  Dan didn’t even notice anything about the texture so, it was probably just me picking it apart.  Overall it was a really delicious fall treat…enjoy!

*Winn:  I’m still gonna make you some cupcakes soon…don’t give up on me.*

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Quick Apple Crumble For Two

So, DH (dear husband) and I are addicted to the show Pushing Daisies, and in honor of the pie maker, I’ve been making tasty pie-like desserts for us to have while we watch the show.  After a trip to the orchard over the weekend, I knew I would be making apple crumble this week, and to simplify it, I decided to make them in individual ramekins.  This worked out especially well, since we didn’t get home until after 8p.m. tonight.  I threw these together in 15 minutes.  They came out really well, the filling was fragrant, and the apples were cooked to perfection.  The crumble itself added a wonderful crunchiness without too much sweetness.  I thought I would post this recipe to show people that you don’t always have to follow an exact recipe to bake a wonderful dessert.



JonaMac Apples

Fresh Lemon Juice


Granulated Sugar



Chilled Butter

Quick Oats


Granulated Sugar



Start by pre-heating your oven to 400 degrees and lightly buttering your ramekins.  Quickly peel and quarter your apples (3 small/medium apples filled two ramekins).

Then thinly slice each quarter and toss into a large pot.  To the pot add about a tablespoon of lemon juice (to slow the oxidation of the apples), sugar and cinnamon to taste, and about a tablespoon of butter.  DH and I don’t like things too sweet so, I only use a few tablespoons of sugar and lots of cinnamon.

Allow apple mixture to slowly simmer until all sugar is dissolved, ingredients are well incorporated, apples are slightly softened, and a light caramel has formed.

While your filling is coming together, use your fingers to combine the crumble mixture.  Again, I didn’t actually use measurements, but, in general, you should have more oats than any other ingredient.  I used about a tablespoon of butter that I cut into small cubes, a couple tablespoons of flour and sugar both, and cinnamon to taste.  Work with your fingers until a coarse crumble is formed.  If your mixture is too wet, add a little more flour.  Taste a bit of the mixture to test your sugar and cinnamon.

By now, your filling should be ready.  Spoon the filling into the buttered ramekins.

Now, generously top with the crumble (if your filling is not ready, refrigerate the crumble until ready to use).

Place centered, on middle rack of your oven and bake for about 25 minutes or until filling is bubbly and topping is lightly browned and crisp.  When ready, remove from oven and allow to cool for at least 15-20 minutes.  And finally, Enjoy!

Cobblers, Crumbles, and Crisps Adventure


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