Peaches in Pastry Nests

For a treat that tastes like old-fashioned fruit pie, wrap peach halves in this buttery pastry.
baking sheet, parchment paper, sieve, can opener, bowls, wooden spoon, measuring cups, measuring spoons, dinner knife, rolling pin, pastry brush
4 canned peach halves
¼ cup (60 mL) soft cream cheese (see “Cream Cheese”)
2 Tbsp (30 mL) soft unsalted butter (see “Butter”)
2 Tbsp (30 mL) white sugar
¼ tsp (1 mL) white vinegar
pinch of salt
½ cup (125 mL) all-purpose flour (spoon in, level)
2 Tbsp (30 mL) apricot or peach jam
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C).
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Also cut another two large pieces of parchment for use in a later step.
  3. Put the sieve over a big bowl. Open the can of peaches and pour the fruit into the sieve to drain. Set the peaches aside. Throw away the liquid.
  4. In another large bowl, use the back of a wooden spoon to cream together the cream cheese, butter, and sugar. Mix in the vinegar and salt.
  5. Gradually stir the flour into the cream cheese mixture to form a dough. Use your hands to press it into a disk. If it sticks to your hands, sprinkle on another small spoonful of flour and squeeze it into the dough.
  6. Use a dinner knife to cut the dough into four equal pieces. Roll each piece into a ball. Place each dough ball, one at a time, between the two pieces of parchment paper you cut in step 2. Place the rolling pin over the top sheet of parchment and roll the dough into a circle about 5 inches (12 cm) across and 3⁄16 inch (5 mm) thick (see “Three-Stacked-Quarters Rule”). Peel off each dough circle and set on the parchment-lined sheet. Roll out all four balls of dough.
  7. Place a peach half—rounded side facing up—in the center of each circle of dough. Scrunch the dough up and around the sides of the peach halves, leaving the tops peeking out.
  8. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the pastry is lightly golden. Cool until just warm.
  9. Place the jam in a microwave-safe bowl and heat in the microwave at 50% power until runny (about 30 seconds). Dip a pastry brush into the jam and brush it onto the four peach halves to make them shiny.
Makes 4 Peaches in Pastry Nests.

Apple Crisp

You’ll need a helper to peel and cut the apples, but you get to do the rest of the recipe! Your kitchen will smell so amazing!
bowls, wooden spoon, measuring cups, measuring spoons, dinner knife, knife (for helper), 8-inch (20 cm) square microwave-safe glass or ceramic baking dish, baking spatula
½ cup (125 mL) soft unsalted butter (see “Butter”)
½ cup (125 mL) firmly packed brown sugar
1 Tbsp (15 mL) white sugar
pinch of salt
1 cup (250 mL) rolled oats, traditional or quick-cooking (but not instant)
2/3 cup (160 mL) all-purpose flour (spoon in, level)
Apple Layer
3 baking apples
1 Tbsp (15 mL) unsalted butter
2 Tbsp (30 mL) white sugar
¼ tsp (1 mL) ground cinnamon
  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C).
  2. In a large bowl, use the back of a wooden spoon to cream together the ½ cup (125 mL) butter, brown sugar, 1 Tbsp (15 mL) white sugar, and salt.
  3. Add the rolled oats and flour to the butter mixture and stir until the mixture is crumbly and no dry flour can be seen. Use a dinner knife to scrape sticky ingredients from the wooden spoon. Don’t be afraid to use your hands to mix the ingredients together more quickly. Set aside.
  4. Ask a helper to peel and cut the apples into 1-inch (2.5 cm) chunks.
  5. Meanwhile, put the 1 Tbsp (15 mL) butter into the baking dish and heat in the microwave at 50% power until melted (about 30 seconds). Tilt the baking dish to roll the melted butter around the bottom, or use a baking spatula to spread the melted butter.
  6. Spread the apple chunks in the baking dish.
  7. In a small bowl, mix the 2 Tbsp (30 mL) white sugar and the cinnamon. Sprinkle over the apple.
  8. Sprinkle the rolled oats mixture evenly on the apples. Don’t worry if there are some lumps.
  9. Bake on the middle rack of the oven for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the rolled oats are golden.
Serves 6.

Fruit Fritters

First, you have to make a hard decision: do you want to make banana fritters or green apple fritters? They’re both good. The fruit turns soft and sweet in the oven, coated in a golden, crispy batter.
rimmed baking sheet, parchment paper, bowl, measuring cup, measuring spoons, pastry brush or plastic wrap, whisk, sifter, dinner knife (if using a banana) or knife (for helper) if using an apple, cooking spatula (for helper)
¼ cup (60 mL) unsalted butter
2 tsp (10 mL) white sugar
pinch of salt
½ cup (125 mL) cornstarch (spoon in, level)
¼ tsp (1 mL) baking soda
2 egg whites (see “Eggs”)
1 banana or 1 green apple
  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C).
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. In a large microwave-safe bowl, heat the butter at 50% power in the microwave until melted (about 1 minute). Drizzle 2 Tbsp (30 mL) of the butter on the parchment paper. Use a pastry brush or scrunched-up piece of plastic wrap to rub the butter all over the parchment, leaving about a 2-inch (5 cm) unbuttered border around the edges. Set aside.
  4. You will have 2 Tbsp (30 mL) melted butter left in the bowl. To make the batter, use a whisk to stir the white sugar and salt into the bowl of butter. Set the whisk aside. Carefully sift the cornstarch and baking soda into the same bowl. Then add the egg whites. Use the whisk to stir into a smooth batter.
  5. If you are using a banana, peel it and use a dinner knife to cut it into ½-inch (1 cm) rounds. If you are using an apple, get help peeling it and slicing into ½-inch (1 cm) thick wedges.
  6. Put three pieces of fruit into the batter at a time. Using your fingers, carefully roll them around to coat them in batter. Pick up one piece at a time, letting the extra batter drip back into the bowl. Put the fruit on the buttered parchment. Coat all the fruit in the same way. Don’t let the pieces touch as you fill up the baking sheet. You probably won’t use up all the batter.
  7. Bake the coated pieces of fruit for 6 minutes. Get help turning them over with a cooking spatula, then bake another 5 to 6 minutes, until the batter is golden. Cool slightly but eat while warm.
Makes 10 to 12 Fruit Fritters.

Warm Caramel Banana Sundaes

Serve this warm topping over your favorite ice cream. The bananas and chips soften as the cream and brown sugar cook into a caramel sauce.
baking spatula, measuring cups, 8-inch (20 cm) square—or similar size—glass or ceramic baking dish with lid (or foil), dinner knife, measuring spoons
1/3 cup (80 mL) half and half cream (10% milk fat)
¼ cup (60 mL) packed brown sugar
pinch of salt
2 firm bananas
2 Tbsp (30 mL) chocolate chips and/or butterscotch chips
2 Tbsp (30 mL) sliced or slivered almonds, if you wish
ice cream for serving
  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C).
  2. Using a baking spatula, mix the cream, brown sugar, and salt in the baking dish.
  3. Peel the bananas. Use a dinner knife to cut each banana in thirds. Then cut each third in half lengthwise. You will have twelve pieces. Use your fingers to roll the pieces in the cream mixture and spread them out in the baking dish. Don’t overlap them.
  4. Sprinkle the chocolate and/or butterscotch chips and almonds, if using, on top of the bananas and cream mixture. Cover the dish with the lid or foil.
  5. Bake on the middle rack of the oven for 15 to 18 minutes. Get help checking that the caramel sauce has thickened. Get help removing the dish from the oven. Uncover and cool until just warm.
  6. Scoop ice cream into four bowls or sundae cups. Spoon the warm topping over the ice cream. Eat right away while the bananas are soft.
Makes 4 Warm Caramel Banana Sundaes.


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