Honey Bourbon Peach Pie, Fried Banana Balls, Blueberry Cream Cheese tart

Alright. This post is going to be forever long because I have yet again failed to keep up with the blog on a regular basis.  We just got back from visiting grandma in Georgia, and then I worked 3 nights in a row, and well yeah, I've just been busy.  So, on to the food.  We'll start out with a few recipes from grandma's house.  First up is sweet potato casserole.  Anne made a comment and said that this looked more like a dessert than a side dish.  This is very true.  But it's so good.

I used one of grandma's forever old recipe cards to make it.
There were pieces missing, so I had to guesstimate.  Also I used butter instead of Olemargine (huh?).  the result:
Next thing from grandma's house is peach bourbon pie.

I love making pies, so I made this one to take to our barbeque that we had one night with some family.  Everyone loved it!
(recipe to follow)
The other thing that we made to take to the barbeque is fried pickles.  I had made some pickles at home before we left and brought them with us for grandma to try.  The pickles first get put into a batter that consists of bisquick and cayenne pepper, then they are dredged in cornmeal/flour and fried.

Not quite as good as Hooters (our favorite place to get fried pickles), but very delicious!  And that concludes the recipes from grandmas.  We also made spaghetti and meatballs and cubed deer while we were there, but I didn't think they were blog-worthy.
On to the Banana Balls.  These little guys are just wonderful.
A dough that is sweet and contains mashed banana, fried up and dipped in chocolate and/or cinnamon sugar.
I was a little worried at how they would turn out, because I'm pretty bad at frying stuff.  I always fill our house with smoke and end up burning myself.  But these turned out quite well.  After the frying and dipping in cinnamon and sugar, I melted chocolate and dipped the banana ball in.  

And finally (I know you are probably completely ready for this blog to be over with already right?), blueberry-cream cheese tart.  I got my first tart pan the other day, and my first tart was a success.
I used some frozen blueberries that we brought home from grandma's, where we picked them fresh off the bushes.

The crust is the best part (I thought).  It is made with both graham cracker (cinnamon flavored) and almonds!  Next is the filling.  It's pretty much just like a cheese cake filling.
And the finished product...
LOTS of blueberries!  mmm.

It is almost 1 am.  I am exhausted.  I am training for 2 half marathons that are coming up quite quickly.  Not only am I running 2 half marathons, but they are a week apart!  The first one is an all woman's race here in Nashville. The second is a night race (starts at 10pm) that is in Disney World!  I am pumped to run through the park at night.  It will be awesome.  So tonight I ran at night, and I ran for 8 miles.  I can't feel my legs to well, which means I still have a long way to go on my training!  Enough rambling.  Here are the recipes:

Honey-Bourbon Peach Pie

Pie Filling Ingredients:
3 lb ripe peaches
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 1/2 tablespoons flour
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
Honey Bourbon Caramel Ingredients:
1/4 cup honey
2 tbsp bourbon
2 tablespoons water
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
All-butter pastry dough (recipe below)
1 tablespoon whole milk
Pie Preparation:
1. Cut an X in bottom of each peach, then blanch peaches in batches in boiling water 15 seconds. Transfer with a slotted spoon to an ice bath to stop cooking. Peel peaches and cut into 1-inch-thick wedges.  (If you are short on time, you can skip this step.)
2. Toss peaches well with cornstarch, flour, lemon juice, cinnamon, and salt in a large bowl.
3. Put a baking sheet in lower third of oven and preheat oven to 425°F.
4. Bring 1/2 cup sugar, honey, and bourbon and water to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring until sugar has dissolved. Boil without stirring, swirling pan occasionally until dark amber, about 5 minutes.
5.Remove from heat and add butter, swirling pan until butter is melted. Pour over fruit and toss.
6. Roll out 1 piece of dough (keep remaining piece chilled) into a 13-inch round on a floured surface with a floured rolling pin. Fit into a 9-inch pie plate. Chill shell while rolling out remaining dough.
7. Roll out the other piece of dough.
8. Transfer filling to pie shell.  Cover pie with pastry round. Press edges together, then crimp decoratively. Brush top all over with some of milk, then sprinkle with remaining Tbsp sugar. Cut 3 steam vents in top crust with a paring knife.
9. Bake pie on hot baking sheet 20 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 375°F. Continue to bake until crust is golden-brown and filling is bubbling, about 50 minutes more. Cool pie to room temperature, 3 to 4 hours.

All-Butter Pastry Dough
Makes enough for a double-crust 9-inch pie
Crust Ingredients:
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 sticks cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1/3 cup plus 1 to 4 Tbsp ice water
Crust Preparation:
1. Whisk together flour, sugar, and salt in a bowl (or pulse in a food processor). Blend in butter with your fingertips or a pastry blender (or pulse) just until most of mixture resembles coarse meal with some roughly pea-size butter lumps. Drizzle 1/3 cup ice water over mixture and gently stir with a fork (or pulse) until incorporated.
2. Squeeze a small handful of dough: If it doesn’t hold together, add more ice water 1 Tbsp at a time, stirring (or pulsing) until just incorporated, then test again. Do not overwork dough, or pastry will be tough.
3. Turn out dough onto a floured surface and divide into 8 portions. With heel of your hand, smear each portion once or twice in a forward motion to help distribute fat. Gather dough together, with a pastry scraper if you have one, and press into a ball. Divide in half and form into 2 disks. Wrap each disk in plastic wrap and chill until firm, at least 1 hour.
Banana Balls
2 Tbs vegetable oil, and more for frying
1 1/2 cups cake flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 salt
1 1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/3 cup plus 1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup mashed banana
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Heat oil in a skillet over med-hi heat.  Whisk the flour, baking powder, salt, 1/4 tsp cinnamon and 1/3 cup sugar in a bowl.

Whisk the egg, milk, mashed naner, and 2 T veggie oil in another bowl.  Add the vanilla extract also.

Combine the other 1/2 cup sugar and 1 tsp cinnamon in a shallow bowl.

Whisk the banana mixture into the dry ingredients until just moistened.  Drop rounded teaspoonfuls of dough into the oil and fry until golden brown on each side.  Drain and roll in cinnamon-sugar mixture while still warm. (and roll in melted chocolate if you want)

Blueberry Cream Cheese Tart

  • 6 graham crackers (2 1/2 by 5 inches each) (I used cinnamon flavored)
  • 1/3 cup whole almonds
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 bars (8 ounces each) reduced-fat cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup reduced-fat sour cream
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Pinch salt
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 pint (2 cups) blueberries

  1. Make crust: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a food processor, grind graham crackers, almonds, and 1/4 cup sugar until finely ground; add butter, and process until moistened. Transfer to a 9-inch removable-bottom tart pan. Using the base of a dry measuring cup (or fingers), press mixture firmly into the bottom and up sides of pan. Freeze at least 15 minutes.
  2. Make filling and bake: blend together cream cheese, sour cream, 1/2 cup sugar, egg, vanilla, and salt just until smooth. Place tart pan on a rimmed baking sheet; fill with cheesecake mixture. Bake until filling is just set, 30 to 35 minutes. Transfer tart pan to a wire rack to cool completely.
  3. Meanwhile, make topping: In a medium saucepan, combine blueberries, 1/2 cup sugar, and lemon juice. Cook through until sugar is dissolved. 
  4. Assemble tart: Leaving a 1-inch border, spread cooled fruit mixture over tart.  Chill until ready to serve, at least 2 hours and up to 1 day. Remove from pan before serving.
Done!  Going to sleep now.  I have an interview in the NICU tomorrow!

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