Frozen Lemonade Pie

Frozen Lemonade Pie

Holy cow, is it hot out there today! I was looking through my old recipes and came across Frozen Lemonade Pie, a delicious dessert I haven’t made in ages. It’s just perfect for a blazing summer day like this one. While the lemonade flavor  is my favorite, I’ve also tested this using orange juice concentrate and limeade concentrate — both are fantastic as well! Hope a slice of this will help keep you cool.

Frozen Lemonade Pie

1 12-oz. container of frozen lemonade concentrate, thawed
1 14-oz. can of sweetened condensed milk
1 8-oz. tub of whipped topping
1 prepared graham cracker or shortbread pie crust

In a large bowl, mix the lemonade concentrate and condensed milk. Carefully fold in the whipped topping. Pour the filling into the pie crust being careful not to overfill.
Freeze the pie for at least 6 hours before serving.

5 Easy Last-Minute Thanksgiving Dishes

5 Easy Last-Minute Thanksgiving Dishes | puresugar.net

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving and if you’re still agonizing over the menu, don’t fret! I’m sharing 5 easy recipes — 3 for side dishes and 2 for desserts. I’m actually making up the sweet potatoes today and bringing them to my in-laws’ house tomorrow!

Maple Baked Sweet Potatoes
maplebakedsweetpotatoes

Green Beans with Lemon
greenbeanswithlemon

Roasted Brussels Sprouts
sprouts

Peanut Butter Pie
peanut butter pie

Flourless Chocolate Torte
flourless chocolate torte

 

From our house to yours… Happy Thanksgiving!

{Recipe} Old-fashioned Apple Crisp

Old-fashioned Apple Crisp

It seems that pumpkin (or pumpkin spice) gets all the attention as the featured fall flavor. But you know what? As much as I love pumpkin, I still adore apple. Apple cider, apple pie, and of course… apple crisp all top my “must make” list for autumn. 

I think this was another recipe I started making while in college (thinking back, I did a lot of cooking in that Amherst apartment). Sure there are more exciting variations on apple crisp. They might call for oats or walnuts or something fancy. But I love the simplicity of this recipe. It never lasts long in my house, and is especially delicious warm and topped with a little vanilla ice cream. Enjoy!

 

Old-fashioned Apple Crisp
A simple dessert recipe the entire family will enjoy
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Ingredients
  1. 4 c. sliced apples
  2. 1 tsp. cinnamon
  3. 1/4 c. water
  4. 1/3 c. butter, softened
  5. 1/2 tsp. salt
  6. 3/4 c. flour
  7. 1 c. sugar
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Spread the sliced apples evenly in an 8x8 baking dish. Sprinkle the apples with a mixture of water, cinnamon, and salt. Stir together the sugar and flour and then work the butter in, using a fork or a pastry blender. Spread the crumb mixture over the apples and bake uncovered for 40 minutes.
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{Recipe} Skillet Sour Cherry Cobbler

Skillet Sour Cherry Cobbler | www.puresuresugar.net

Sometimes I just feel so blessed to live where we live! Sure, once in a while I get homesick and think about moving back to Massachusetts, or feel like exploring a completely new area of the country. But by and large, my adopted home of the Hudson Valley suits me very well. One of the things I like best is all the pick-your-own farms. A favorite is Fraleigh’s Rose Hill Farm just a few minutes away in Red Hook. Yesterday we took advantage of some free time to head over and pick a real summertime treat: sour cherries.

Sour Cherries | www.puresugar.net

Contrary to the name, I don’t find sour cherries to really be all that sour. But certainly they are not as cloying as the sweet cherries. They are also infinitely easier to pit, which makes them my preferred cherry for baking, jam, canning, and so forth. The kids were begging me to bake a cherry pie, but I didn’t have all the ingredients for the crust so we went with a cobbler instead.

I was very excited to use my Lodge cast iron skillet for something besides steak!

Skillet Sour Cherry Cobbler | www.puresuresugar.net

Skillet Sour Cherry Cobbler
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Filling
  1. 4 cups pitted sour cherries
  2. 2 Tbsp. cornstarch
  3. 1/2 cup sugar
  4. 2 Tbsp. lemon juice
  5. 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
Biscuits
  1. 1 cup unbleached flour
  2. 1 tsp. baking powder
  3. 1/2 tsp. salt
  4. 2 Tbsp. sugar
  5. 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  6. 6 Tbsp. cold butter, cut into pieces
  7. 1/4 c. boiling water
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Combine cherries, cornstarch, 2/3 cup sugar, lemon juice and vanilla in a bowl. Set aside and let everything come together.
  2. Combine the dry ingredients in a second bowl, adding the butter pieces last. Using a pastry tool or a fork, cut in the butter until the mixture becomes crumbly In another bowl, combine the dry ingredients, cutting in the butter until crumbly. Carefully add the boiling water, a little bit at a time, and stir until the mixture forms a soft dough.
  3. Add the cherry mixture to a cold cast iron skillet and gently bring to a boil. Turn off the heat and drop spoonfuls of the biscuit mixture on top of the cherries. If desired, sprinkle extra sugar on top of the biscuits. Bake for 45 minutes until the biscuits turn golden.
Notes
  1. * You can probably use regular old AP flour -- I just prefer the unbleached flour and that's what I had.
  2. * You are probably supposed to use unsalted butter for this. I didn't have it and used regular butter. Tasted a-okay to me!
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 All three kids oohed and ahhed as I took this delicious dish out of the oven. And Mean Mommy made everyone wait until supper was finished (and vegetables had all been eaten) before anyone could have a taste. But it was worth it!  Everyone savored this yummy dessert. It might have been better if I’d had whipped cream or vanilla ice cream, but I didn’t hear any complaints so I’m not sure anyone even noticed.

Skillet Sour Cherry Cobbler | www.puresuresugar.net

{Recipe} Flourless Chocolate Torte

flourless chocolate torte

Last weekend I needed to make a flourless chocolate torte for a church event. It seemed simple enough (even though I broke the first one), and goodness knows I love chocolate so, even a broken torte is a-okay in my book! Anyway, I of course had to make a second one for the event and it came out so delicious I just had to share it here.

This is gluten-free, but certainly not sugar-free. I bet you could play around with various sweeteners to improve upon that, though.

But here’s what I think makes this torte so great — the butter is completely optional! Yes, that’s right. The instructions on the recipe print-out were unclear. It called for a stick of butter, but didn’t explicitly state what to do with it. So I didn’t use any in the first torte I made (aside from using it on the pan and parchment). As I mixed the sugar and eggs into the melted chocolate, I was concerned because the mixture was so thick and grainy, but it really turned out fine in the end. The resulting dessert featured a texture that is a little drier, a little more brownie-like.

I actually brought leftovers of both tortes to library story hour this week so I could have some “taste testers” and get their thoughts. The consensus was that both were delicious, and could be considered two different desserts due to texture and richness.

So here you go! A yummy (and super easy) gluten-free dessert. (If you want to make it completely butter-free, use another type of fat to grease the pan and parchment — coconut oil would work well here.) Oh, one more thing. I did not have any sort of pan that my springform would fit into to use as a water bath, so I just filled a 9×13 Pyrex casserole dish with boiling water and set it on the rack underneath my torte. It worked fine for me, your mileage may vary.

Flourless Chocolate Torte

flourless chocolate torte

    • 4 oz. (1/2 cup) bittersweet chocolate (*I just used semi-sweet chips — I think dark chocolate would be amazing)
    • 1/2 cup butter, cut into pieces (*optional, read above for my experience making it both ways)
    • 3/4 c. sugar
    • 3 large eggs, beaten
    • 1/2 c. unsweetened cocoa powder, plus additional for garnish

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Start water boiling for the water bath.

Butter the inside of an 8-inch springform pan. Line the bottom with a round of parchment or wax paper and then butter the paper.

If you are not using chocolate chips, chop your chocolate into small pieces. Melt the chocolate along with the butter in a double boiler and stir until smooth.

Remove the melted chocolate from the double boiler and whisk in the sugar. Add the eggs and whisk well to combine.

Sift 1/2 cup of cocoa powder over the chocolate mixture and whisk to incorporate the cocoa (this may take a few minutes and require scraping down the sides of the bowl).

Pour the mixture into your springform pan and place into the 9×13 pan (*see my note above if your pan will not fit). Place in oven and add boiling water to the 9×13 pan, filling it about halfway up the side of your springform pan. Bake for 25 minutes.

Remove the springform pan and cool on a rack for 5 minutes. Carefully (carefully!remove the sides (you might want to use a knife and just go around the sides first to make sure nothing sticks. Gently turn the cake out onto a serving plate and remove the paper from the top.

When the cake is completely cool, garnish with sprinkled cocoa or powdered sugar. Or if you’re feeling crazy and motivated, a ganache topping would put this dessert over the top!

I made these last Saturday and was writing about it on Facebook. My brother actually made the recipe that night too and was very pleased with how his turned out! He suggested adding peanut butter chips. I think that is an excellent idea.

Linking up with…

Cooking Thursday
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{Recipe} Crock Pot Hot Fudge Cake

valentine's day

I hope you all had a lovely Valentine’s Day! Aren’t my roses gorgeous? Drew surprised me with a bunch this year — such a sweetie! I know so many people who are down on Valentine’s Day and true, you shouldn’t need a single day to express your love for someone (I know that’s certainly not the case with me and my amazing hubby), but I enjoy being a little extra smoochy and making things a little extra special. But that’s just me.

We had a delicious home-cooked dinner. I made surf & turf (filet mignon and sizzling shrimp scampi), steamed broccoli, a chopped salad, and baked potatoes. For dessert I made this decadent Hot Fudge Cake!

Oh, there is nothing like an ooey, gooey chocolate dessert… especially on Valentine’s Day! This is one of my favorite recipes, and best of all, you cook it in the Crock Pot so you can leave your oven free to bake up some other delicious dishes.

Hot Fudge Cake (in the Crock Pot)
hot fudge cake

Cake:
1 cup AP flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup sugar
2 Tbsp cocoa powder
1/2 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla
2 Tbsp coconut oil (feel free to use butter, vegetable oil or whatever you prefer)
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Hot fudge sauce:
3/4 cup brown sugar
3 Tbsp cocoa powder
1 3/4 cups boiling water

Combine the dry ingredients and then add the milk, vanilla, and oil. Combine well. Fold in the chocolate chips and nuts. Spread the batter in a well-greased 2-quart slow cooker.
hot fudge cake

Add the brown sugar and additional cocoa to the boiling water and stir well. Pour this mixture over batter in your Crock Pot. Do not stir. Just leave it alone — trust me.
hot fudge cake

Cook on HIGH for 2 to 3 hours or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. See how it rises and all comes together?
hot fudge cake

* This recipe makes more of a traditional thick “pudding” — it’s not going to be firm like bakery cake. The water settles to the bottom and makes a chocolatey sauce, and the cake batter kind of rises to the top and gets baked, yet still kind of mushy. Just so you know what to expect. Here’s a photo after we dug into it.
hot fudge cake

** Correct: there are NO EGGS in this recipe.

*** If there are leftovers, they are not great cold — definitely warm extras up in the microwave or in the toaster oven.

I have never cooked this on the LOW setting, so I can’t recommend that. Serve it with ice cream or whipped cream — it is just heaven in a bowl!

Linking up with…

Whatever You Want Wednesday!

{Recipe} Peanut Butter Pie

peanut butter pie

There are two desserts that stick out when I think about my childhood: Lemon Lush Pie and Peanut Butter Pie. I’m not even sure if my mom made either of these very often, but I loved them both. One day last week, when things weren’t going the greatest, I joked on Facebook about “stressed” just being “desserts” spelled backwards, and suggested pie was in order. My brother mentioned peanut butter pie and I could not get the idea out of my head.

My dad e-mailed me what what on mom’s recipe card and I put it all together for dessert on Sunday night. It was almost as good as I remembered… but mom’s is still better :-) It’s simple to throw together, and you could probably freeze it, too.

Peanut Butter Pie

1/3 c. peanut butter
8 oz. cream cheese, room temp.
1 c. powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
2 c. Cool Whip
graham cracker pie crust

Beat together  peanut butter and cream cheese until combined. Stir in powdered sugar. Fold in vanilla and Cool Whip. Empty into pre-baked graham cracker pie crust, smooth the top, and refrigerate for at least 3 hours.

This pie also kicks if you use one of those Oreo pie crusts. But all I had was the regular graham cracker one, so I guess I will just have to make it again!