Southern Peach Pie

84DA80A9-BFD4-4756-8E4C-C9D29EAF50A9.jpeg

  • 6 cups about 1½–2 pounds, sweet, ripe peaches, halved, pitted, sliced and chopped
  • ¼–½ cup sugar; to taste
  • A pinch of fresh ground nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon lemon juice
  • ⅓ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup flour
  • 2 tablespoons quick-cooking tapioca
  • 1 double-crust pie
  • ½ tablespoon butter
  • 1–2 teaspoons sugar, for on top of the pie
  • Egg Wash: 1 egg white plus 1 tablespoon water

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

Place the peaches, sugar, nutmeg, lemon juice, salt, flour, and quick-cooking tapioca in a big bowl. Mix lightly until the fruit is coated.

Roll out the bottom dough and place it in a pie pan.

Spoon in the fruit filling and dot with butter cut into little pieces.

Roll out the remaining dough, lay it over the fruit, and cut 5 to 6 vents on top. Trim excess dough from the edges and crimp.

Lightly brush some of the egg white wash over the entire pie, including the edges.

Bake for 20 minutes at 425 degrees. Reduce the heat to 375 degrees and bake for 40 to 45 minutes. When there are 10 to 15 minutes of bake time left, open the oven, pull the pie out, and quickly and evenly sprinkle the top of the pie with sugar. Close the oven and continue baking for final 10 to 15 minutes, or until you see steady bubbling in the filling coming through the vents.

Remove the pie from the oven and cool completely before serving so the filling can set up, warm peach pie is delicious too.

 

Quintessential Boiled Peanuts

South Louisianans boil peanuts with Tabasco mash, others throw in crab boil. Some fans prefer them warm, others demand that they be chilled.  People eating boiled peanuts are usually engaged in other tasks—driving, chatting, fishing, watching a ball game.

Peanuts came to North America from Africa and the Caribbean with the slave trade, sometime before the American Revolution. African Americans grew and popularized the peanut both boiled and roasted.

For many the quintessential experience is purchasing them by the side of the road or in a gas station, in soggy brown kraft-paper bags.

Here is the simplest recipe from which a thousand variations can be made:

  • 3 quarts water
  • 3 pounds (8 cups) freshly dug green peanuts in shell
  • 3 tablespoons salt

Bring the water and salt to a low boil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the peanuts and cook to taste, usually 1 to 2 hours. Some like the shell to become soft enough almost to be edible. Let the peanuts sit in the water off the heat until the desired degree of saltiness is reached.

Sorghum Glazed Baby Carrots

1 cup hard apple cider
½ cup sorghum
Juice of 1 lemon
Juice of 1 orange
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 bunches baby carrots (about 1 pound)
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Combine the cider, sorghum, lemon juice, orange juice, and butter in a skillet. Bring to a simmer, then add the carrots in a single layer. You may need to cook them in batches, depending on the size of your pan.

Lightly season the carrots with salt and pepper and cook until tender, approximately 10 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and continue to simmer the sauce until it is reduced to a thin glaze.

Before serving, put the carrots back in the pan and reheat them in the glaze.

 

Fancy Crab Hush Puppies

3 cups White Lily buttermilk cornmeal mix
1 cup White Lily self-rising flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons kosher salt
4 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1 cup chopped scallions
2½ cups buttermilk
1 pound lump crab-meat
1 large egg, lightly beaten

Tartar sauce for dipping

Fill a deep-sided cast-iron skillet or Dutch oven with 1 inch of oil. Place over medium-high heat, and bring the oil to 375 degrees. Monitor and keep the temperature between 350 and 375 degrees while you are frying.

In a large bowl, whisk all the ingredients together. Working in batches, drop a tablespoons into the oil and fry until golden and crisp, usually 3 to 4 minutes, turning occasionally.  Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.

Serve with a bowl of tartar sauce for dipping

Pickled Lemon Asparagus

DB44DD97-CEA3-4F8E-8105-59762F0E6B61.jpeg

1⁄2 pound asparagus
3⁄4 cup distilled white vinegar
3⁄4 cup water
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
1 (3-inch) strip lemon zest
2 garlic cloves
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
1 teaspoon pickling salt

Trim the woody ends from the asparagus. Cut the asparagus into 2-inch lengths.

Combine the white vinegar, water, and sugar in a saucepan and heat to boiling, stirring to dissolve the sugar.

Pack the lemon zest, garlic, coriander seeds, and salt into a hot 1-pint canning jar. Fill with the asparagus. Pour in the hot vinegar mixture, leaving 1⁄2 inch headspace. Seal.

Process in a boiling-water bath for 10 minutes.  Let cool undisturbed for 12 hours. Store in a cool, dry place. Do not open for 6 weeks to allow the flavors to develop.

 

“Red Truck Bakery” Inspired Country Ham Scones with Cheddar and Scallions

000BD5E7-264F-4101-A255-52ADACB651C7.jpeg

3½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2½ teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1 cup unsalted butter, chilled and cubed, plus 2 tablespoons, melted
1 cup buttermilk
1½ cups coarsely chopped (1-inch pieces) country ham
8 scallions, sliced into ¼-inch-wide pieces
2 cups grated Cheddar cheese

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and sugar. Cut the chilled cubed butter into the flour mixture with your fingers until broken down into pea-sized pieces.

Pour the buttermilk into the dry mixture all at once and, using a spoon, fold in the buttermilk quickly and as gently as possible. Add the ham, scallions, and cheese and gently mix until completely incorporated.

Flour your hands and reach into the bowl and under the dough and combine, flipping it around. Mix it up as gently as possible without being too tough on the dough. The dough will be sticky, but manageable. Add more flour if needed.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and, working lightly, use your hands to pat the dough into a roughly 8 x 10-inch rectangle about ¾ inch thick.

Dip a 3-inch biscuit cutter into flour and cut as many scones as you can from the dough.  Place the scones on the prepared baking sheet and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, turning the pan after halfway through the cooking time, until the tops are light golden brown.

Meanwhile mix the 2 tablespoons melted butter with a pinch of salt.

Transfer the scones to a wire rack and brush their tops with the melted butter. The scones will keep in a tightly sealed plastic bag at room temperature for up to a day or so for best results.

Candied Bacon & Bourbon Ice Cream

3C3599FC-3A9F-4DB5-A473-FEFCDD8F0AEF.jpeg

Ice Cream
3 tablespoons butter cubed
¾ cup brown sugar or maple sugar
¼ teaspoon kosher or sea salt
1⅔ cups heavy cream
1¼ cups whole milk
6 large egg yolks
½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Pinch of ground cinnamon
3 tablespoons bourbon

Candied Bacon
12 strips bacon
⅓ cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon bourbon
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper

Melt the butter in a  saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir in the brown sugar and salt. Let the mixture come to a low boil and cook for 1½ minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from the heat and add ⅔ cup of the cream, stirring until smooth. Transfer the mixture into a large bowl.

In the same saucepan, warm the remaining 1 cup cream and the milk. In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg yolks. Slowly pour the warm cream and milk mixture into the egg yolks, whisking constantly, then add the mixture into the saucepan. Stir the mixture constantly over medium heat, make sure you scrape the bottom as you stir, until the mixture thickens and coats a spatula.

Pour the custard through a mesh strainer and stir it into the butter-cream mixture over an ice bath until cool. Add the vanilla and cinnamon.  Chill the mixture thoroughly in the refrigerator.

To make the candied bacon, preheat the oven to 325 degrees.  Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and set a wire cooling rack on top.

In a  bowl, combine the bacon with the brown sugar, bourbon, cayenne, and several generous turns of black pepper. place the bacon strips on the wire rack and put in the oven.

Cook the bacon for about 12 minutes. Turn the bacon strips over and bake for about another 6 minutes. Turn again and continue to bake until the strips are a dark mahogany color but are not burnt.  Cooking time greatly depends upon the thickness of your bacon, so watch carefully as the bacon nears near the end of the recommended baking time.

Remove the bacon from the oven, wait 30 seconds or so before removing the strips from the wire rack.

Add  3 tablespoons bourbon to the chilled ice cream custard, then freeze the mixture in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Chop the cooled bacon into bite size or smaller pieces. When the ice cream has finished churning, fold in the pieces of candied bacon.

Transfer to a container and place in freezer until ice cream achieves desired consistency.