There is a little bit of “Southerner” in all of us! You don’t have to be from the South to embrace the food―especially the sweets. There is just something about Southern treats that appeal to the hearts, souls, and stomachs of everyone! Just think of decadent, sweet delights filled with lots of sugar, butter, nuts, and fruit, or dripping with chocolate, caramel, whipped cream, and yes, even bourbon! Let Southern Sugar transport you back to your “Southern” roots by reintroducing you to some of the favorites that you may have forgotten and fresh takes on Southern classics. From modest afternoon Tea Cakes and Triple Chocolate Chip Cookies to “can’t push back from the table” Coconut Sweet Potato Pie and Mississippi Mud Cake.
With 100 satisfying recipes, the cookbook is divided up into chapters that focus on cakes, pound cakes, cheesecakes, pies, ice creams, candies, cookies and brownies, and cocktails and mocktails.
Inspired by my friend Denise Vivaldo, co-host of the podcast Women Beyond a Certain Age, in the mist of this involuntary confinement, I decided to tackle the one thing that I never managed to fully grasp in culinary school…the art of making bread!!
A few days ago, Mark Bittman of the NYT, featured a recipe by Jim Lahey of Sullivan Street Bakery in NYC for no-knead artisan bread. After watching the video, I thought: “I can do this!” (Although, between you and me, I really didn’t think I could.) But after being housebound for several days, I was willing to try anything to regain some sense of normalcy…if such a thing truly exists anymore. And, I just happen to have a ceramic bread baker that I purchased over 15 years ago, and have been desperately wanting to use.
The verdict…I am pleased enough that I will continue to work on nailing this technique!! The recipe is easy to follow, and you will not be disappointed with the result! You can’t mess this up—it is good the first time around!! And it will improve with practice…
In honor of National Ice Cream Month, enjoy this recipe. It's easy and egg-free! Peaches are ripe for the picking and cherries are abundant and affordable. No excuses!!
Peach-Cherry Ice Cream (Egg-Free) Recipe
Makes 1 quart (approx.)
1-1/2 pounds peaches, peeled and chopped into small pieces (about 4 medium)
1 cup cherries, pitted and chopped
¾ cups sugar
1 tablespoon Kirsch liqueur or Grand Marnier
1 teaspoon fresh-squeezed lemon juice
Pinch kosher salt
2 cups heavy whipping cream
1 teaspoon peach schnapps or vanilla extract
Place ice cream maker bowl into the freezer until fully frozen, about 24 hours. In a large bowl, combine peaches, cherries, half of sugar, liqueur, lemon juice and salt and allow to sit for 30 minutes.
In a medium saucepan, over medium heat, add cream with remaining sugar, Schnapps or vanilla. Stir to dissolve sugar, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat. Pour the cream mixture over the peaches and stir until combined. Cover with plastic wrap, making sure plastic is touching the top of the mixture. This prevents a skim from forming. Refrigerate
Once chilled, pour prepared mixture into chilled freezer bowl and prepare according to ice cream maker’s instructions. Pack into a freezer-safe container, place in freezer and allow to harden before serving. Consume within a few days.
After a while you learn to have a few "go-to" dishes that you can count on to save the day!! When it comes to last minute dessert, cakes and pies take too much time. But crisps and crumbles are perfect--so easy your fifth-graders can make them in very little time. Of course it always helps to have a few basic ingredients on hand. During the summer we always have peaches and strawberries in the fridge. During the fall and winter months substitute with apple or pears and cranberries.
Peach Strawberry Crisp Recipe
4-5 cups peaches, peeled and sliced
1-2 cups strawberries, hulled and quartered
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons lemon juice, fresh-squeezed
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
Pinch, kosher salt
3/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon Chef Belinda Turkish Coffee Spice Mix
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
Preheat oven to 350F. Spray baking dish with cooking spray.
In a large bowl combine peaches, strawberries, cornstarch, sugar, lemon juice, extract and salt. Toss thoroughly to combine and spoon into prepared dish.
Make the topping by combining all ingredients until crumbly and sprinkle, evenly, over the top of the fruit mixture. Bake for 40-45 minutes until top is golden brown and filling is bubbly. Remove from oven and cool slightly before serving. (Thanks to Lodge Cast Iron for the perfect baking and serving dish!)