Monday, January 26, 2009

Peach Pie, Peach Cake, Chocolate Cake

I made a peach pie day before yesterday, using frozen pie filling I made last summer from this very peach, and several dozen others much like it. Our peach trees, like our sour cherries, come on a few at a time--too asynchronous for canning. Instead, I save them up until I have about a quart of fruit, and then I make filling for one pie and freeze it. Pie filling is very easy--prepare a quart of fruit, add a cup of sugar, and 1/4 cup of flour. Stir it up, and pour it into either a pie shell or a gallon freezer bag.

This time, I played around with the pie crust recipe--I substituted half a cup of whole wheat flour for half a cup of white flour. The little bit of whole wheat gave the pie a vaguely "nutty" taste, without making it into unappealing "health food." I believe I'll make the next pie crust the same way.

Not everyone in this household is a fan of pies, so I've experimented a bit with adding my frozen pie fillings to cakes. I usually try to bake "from scratch," but lately, commercial cake mixes have been on sale for $.66 each, and my inherent love of a bargain can't pass that by. I've had good results using a quart of frozen pie filling in a tube cake pan, following directions from Baking with Cake Mixes: Tips for Jazzing-Up Your Cakes:

If changing from a scratch poundcake recipe to one using a cake mix, be sure to add 1- 3/4 ounce package of instant pudding (in a coordinating flavor). Up the eggs necessary to 4. Also be sure to include a total of 1 cup of liquid and 1/2 cup of oil or melted butter.

I mix together four beaten eggs, 1/2 cup vegetable oil, a box of vanilla or butterscotch instant pudding, a box of yellow or white cake mix, and the thawed pie filling. There is usually enough juice in the pie filling to make a reasonable batter, but if the batter should be very dry, add a little water. I bake it at 350 degrees F for 50 to 60 minutes. If you cool it in the pan for half an hour, it usually will turn out more or less in one piece. If it looks ragged, add frosting!

In the interest of keeping track of another favorite pudding cake made in a tube pan, here's another recipe that I like when cake mixes and instant pudding are on sale:

Devil's Food Pound Cake

1 pkg Chocolate Cake mix
1 pkg (4 serving size) instant chocolate pudding mix
4 eggs
1.25 c water
0.5 c vegetable oil

Beat at medium speed for 2 min. Pour into greased tube pan.
Bake at 350 degrees F for 50 to 60 minutes or until toothpick
inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan 25 min, then
invert onto plate to cool completely.

Glaze or frost.


Reya Mellicker said...

Some people like pie, some like cake. I like both! And I also believe both cake and pie make excellent breakfasts.

Probably shouldn't admit that in public!

Larry said...

Loved your fuzzy immature peach photo, Rebecca!

Do people in your area grow those come-true-from-seed small white-fleshed peaches? In Northern Missouri I've heard people call them Indian Peaches. I've grown them and they are just wonderfully sweet and tasty.

Around here peach trees are short-lived, due to the depredations of the peach-tree borer, so it's always good have some young seedlings in the wings, so to speak!