What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? Equal Measures: Zwieback Crust Peach Pie! Icebox dessert pies conjure up sweet memories of dog-day afternoons, sun-burned shoulders, and aluminum tumblers of cherry Kool-Aid that left a bright red mustache stain. Following a stifling afternoon of playing in the yard that made sweaty bangs plaster to my sticky forehead, my brothers and I would run inside, slamming the screen door for what probably seemed like the umpteenth time to Mother who rang the dinner bell. “Wash your hands before you sit down,” she coaxed. “Dessert is something special, if you clean your plate.” Those words alone were enough to turn youthful minds into obedient offspring. Dessert defined those adolescent years. Everyone enjoyed them, guilt-free. Ah, the good old days.
ZWIEBACK CRUST PEACH PIE
1 1/2 cups zwieback cracker crumbs
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup butter, melted
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 cup water
3 ounce-package orange gelatin
3 cups ripe peaches, peeled and sliced; stone removed
Preheat oven to 350°. Combine zwieback crumbs, 1/3 cup sugar, and melted butter. Stir well. Reserve one tablespoon for crumb garnish. Press remaining crumbs firmly over the bottom and up the sides of a 9”-inch pie plate. Bake 10 minutes. Cool. In a saucepan over medium heat, combine 1 cup sugar, cornstarch, and water until smooth. Cook until thick and bubbly, 5-7 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in flavored gelatin until dissolved. Cool. Arrange sliced peaches in crust. Pour filling over peaches. Sprinkle reserve crumbs on top. Chill for 2 hours, or until set. Serve cold.
What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? Front-Runner Favs: Icebox Lemon-Lavender Pie! Are you ready for a decadent dessert that is light, luscious, and requires no baking? Take a trip with me down South, where the summers are balmy and the desserts are as cool and refreshing as a glass of southern iced tea. The dessert begins with a foolproof graham cracker crust, store-bought is fine. The filling is a blend of tart lemon and flowery lavender swaddled in a lush sweet creamy texture that literally melts in your mouth. Mix it all together and pop it in the freezer, although it won’t stay there for long.
ICEBOX LEMON-LAVENDER PIE
1 graham cracker crust
2 cans sweetened condensed milk
1 teaspoon lemon extract
1 teaspoon lavender extract
3/4 cup lemon juice
1 teaspoon citrus peel, granulated
1 tablespoon organic lavender buds, dried
Lavender sprigs for garnish
Chill prepared pie crust, stand mixer bowl, and beater beforehand. Mix sweetened condensed milk, lemon extract, and lavender extract on Low setting until blended. Add lemon juice and citrus peel, mixing until filling thickens and is smooth. Fold in lavender buds. Pour into chilled pie crust. Cover and freeze overnight. Remove from freezer, cut, and serve. Garnish with fresh lavender sprigs. Store leftovers in the freezer.
Eating My Way Through the Holidays! Special Edition: Butterscotch Icebox Cookies! Here’s an old-time favorite from the North Pole. Imagine Mrs. Claus, with her crew of kitchen elves up to their elbows in flour as the aroma of bakery items fill the air. Repeat after me: “Never substitute the butter with another oil.” It will completely change the outcome. Think about it for a minute. If you remove the “butter” from butterscotch, what will that leave? Trust me, you don’t want to find out. Go for the gold instead and reap the reward. Catch the spirit and watch your little helpers share the excitement, too.
BUTTERSCOTCH ICEBOX COOKIES
3/4 cup butter
2 cups brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon sea salt
3 1/2 cups flour
1 cup walnuts, chopped
Melt the butter. Stir in brown sugar. Add eggs and vanilla. Mix well. In a medium bowl combine baking powder, sea salt, and flour. Pour the flour mixture into the sugar mixture, stirring to form a solid dough. Fold in walnuts. Shape dough into two long rolls. Wrap each log in wax paper. Refrigerate 8 hours or overnight. To bake, preheat oven to 375°. Slice dough thinly. Bake 10-12 minutes until lightly browned.