Tag Archive | Holidays

Creamy Peanut Butter Pie

Peanut butter. What a lovely thing. A roasted, ground nut (technically a legume) full of good fats and is a good source of plant-based protein. Even better, according to the local news, as the price of other proteins continue to rise the price of peanut butter is dropping.

So this lead me to thinking about all the things I like peanut butter in. It’s great in a sandwich with one of Cornaby’s Low Sugar jams, or as the base for a lot of cookies. And, peanut butter bars with chocolate frosting is one of my favorite guilty pleasure. Thai food wouldn’t be the same without the peanut butter sauce. However, perhaps the pinnacle of peanut butter buttery is the peanut butter pie…or maybe that’s just the fall weather talking. It gets cold and crisp out there and I think pies. I can’t help myself and peanut butter pie is a decadent treat slightly off the beaten pie path.

When it comes to a Cornaby’s peanut butter pie we are referring to a pie with a chocolate cookie crust (can be homemade or purchased) and a very light and creamy center topped with chocolate pieces. I’ve also drizzled a peanut butter pie with peanut butter sauce in the past, but I found that was too much peanut butter to my chocolate. A chocolate drizzle works much better. The recipe here is for a 9 inch pie pan, but you can also very effectively make this pie in a 9×13 inch dripper pan. The biggest difference that makes is that the filling to crust ratio is more in favor of the crust and less to the filling. Either way it’s really yummy, fun for any seasonal party from Halloween, to Thanksgiving and Christmas! Choose a gluten-free crust, or omit the crust and you have a gluten-free dessert.

Remember to top with Ultra Gel Whipping Cream for the best stability in the fridge or on the counter!

peanut butter pie

Cornaby’s Creamy Peanut Butter Pie

1 (9 inch) chocolate cookie pie crust

1 (8 oz) pkg light cream cheese, softened

½ cup creamy peanut butter

½ cup powdered sugar

1 tsp salt

2 Tbsp Ultra Gel

2 tsp vanilla

2 cups whipped cream (Ultra Gel recipe below)

Chocolate shavings or sauce

In a stand mixer, or with an electric mixer, combine cream cheese and peanut butter until thoroughly combined. Add powdered sugar, salt, Ultra Gel and vanilla and beat until smooth. Fold in whipped cream and pour filling into prepared pie crust. Top with additional cream and chocolate shavings. Refrigerate for at least an hour before serving.

Ultra Gel Whipping Cream

1 pint whipping cream

1/2 cup powdered sugar

1 tsp vanilla

2 tsp Ultra Gel

Combine all ingredients and whip until thick and creamy. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Cornaby’s Apple Pie Bars and Perfect Pie Crust

When it comes to fruit filled pies there are many opinions about how much pie crust there should be in relationship to how much fruit filling. My sweet husband is a filling man. He wants a thick layer of fruit filling and enough crust to carry it along. I’m more of a middle ground girl. I want enough pie filling to be interesting but I hate it when all my fruit filling spills out of my crust because there’s not enough crust or the pie crust is too weak.

This is where apple pie bars, or other slab pies really, enter in. This recipe takes advantage of the Apple Pie Filling recipe we gave you a bit ago for a wonderful pie filling that bakes up perfectly, and uses Ultra Gel to help give tenderness and hold to a flaky, buttery crust. This recipe cooks very evenly and the resulting pieces keep the apple pie filling in place and are the perfect eat with one hand breakfast! For a lovely compliment try a little caramel ice cream or a poof of Ultra Gel Whipping Cream.

apple pie bars

Cornaby Apple Pie Bars

6 cups all purpose flour

1/2 tsp baking powder

2 tsp salt

2 Tablespoons Ultra Gel

1 cup cold butter, cut into cubes

1 cup shortening

3/4 cup water, + a little as needed

2 quarts (4 -4.5 cups) apple pie filling

egg white

Combine flour, baking powder, salt and Ultra Gel, mix well. Add butter and shortening and cut into dry ingredients until the consistency of coarse meal. Add 3/4 cups ice water and toss until water is incorporated. Add additional water if necessary to bring dough together. Turn out and knead 5-10 times. Do not over knead. Split into two pieces and refrigerate for 15 minutes.

When cooled roll out the first piece of pie crust large enough to form to the bottom and sides of an 11×17 inch jelly roll pan. Transfer dough to pan and trim sides. Prepare top pie crust as bottom crust. Fill bottom with prepared apple pie filling, add top crust and crimp edges to seal (use a little water or milk if needed, but generally the dough sticks together really well). Whip egg whites to a froth and brush pastry surface. If desired sprinkle with coarse sugar or cinnamon sugar. Vent top crust by making decorative holes with a sharp knife. Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes until top begins to brown. Lower temperature to 350 degrees and bake another 30 minutes. Remove from oven and let sit 10 minutes before serving. Refrigerate anything that doesn’t get eaten the first night and serve cold for breakfast!

Brown Sugar Peach Pie Filling

This last weekend I was lucky enough to find some beautiful peaches at one of the local farms up here. I bought a half bushel (abt 22 pounds) and brought it home to a happy household. Naturally we had to do some taste testing so several of the peaches were immediately devoured, they were scrumptious, then I got down to some serious canning.

My first goal was some peach jam as I was all out from last year, but I wanted something a little different. So I made my jam with Jam in a Jiffy, but I added 2 tsp vanilla and 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice to each 2 pound batch. OH MY GOODNESS, so much yum! It’s a perfect fall flavor and delicious on toast, or waffles, or french toast, or crepes, or cake or on a spoon. So if you like peach, make sure you pick up a bag or three of Jam in a Jiffy and get your peaches jammed! (This is a particularly good way to save your fruit if you have peaches that have a little bruising or are a little old.)

Now, the rest of the box I turned into bottled Peach Pie Filling, but again I wanted something a little…richer, because really how can pie filling ever be too much? Don’t answer that question please. But I used our Thick Gel thickened Peach Pie Filling, which is approved for canning, and swapped out part of the regular sugar for brown sugar. Oh my holy pie! This stuff is gonna make me very very popular come Thanksgiving! For one bottle I was a little short on fruit, so I added some thawed blueberries and adjusted my thickness a little. So I’m thinking a peach blueberry tart is on the schedule too.

I use Thick Gel in my pie fillings, even though both Thick Gel and Ultra Gel WILL work. Thick Gel has a little bit smoother final set, which I prefer for pies and by the pound it’s a little cheaper. Since my pie filling is done in large batches and must be cooked anyway this means it’s a little more economical to use Thick Gel as well. Just remember that the two are not always interchangeable. Thick Gel MUST be cooked and Ultra Gel CAN be cooked, but will also thicken cold liquids.

So what’s your peachy delight?

Brown Sugar Peach Pie Filling

For seven quarts:

6 qts. (24-26 cups) peeled sliced fresh peaches/apricots or nectarines

1 c. lemon juice (Do not use fresh lemons. Bottled lemon juice has a consistent pH which is what we are looking for here)

water as needed

3 cups brown sugar

3 cups white sugar

1 1/2 c. Thick Gel (2-2 1/2 c Ultra Gel)

2 t. nutmeg (opt)

Combine peaches and lemon juice in large bowl. Sprinkle 3 cups sugar over peaches and let stand for 30 minutes. Drain accumulated juice, reserving peaches, and add water to equal 5 cups. Combine remaining sugar with Thick Gel. Add to juice and stir well. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Stir in nutmeg and gelatin. Fold in reserved peach slices and continue to cook until thick and bubbly. Immediately fill jars with mixture, leaving 1/2″ headspace. Adjust lids and process immediately in water bath canner for 35 minutes (sea level).

Cornaby Texas Sheetcake

If you look around there are a lot of versions of Texas Sheetcake floating around in family recipe books and on various cooking blogs. The similarity here is that the title refers to a rich, but tender from scratch chocolate sheetcake with chocolate frosting which has traditionally been served at many events from weddings to school lunch.

I have long loved this recipe, but I find that I love it even more after adding Ultra Gel to the mix. Because of altitude issue I previously always had to muck just a little with the flour to liquid ratio trying to get things right so the very center of this cake didn’t fall, but with the Ultra Gel to balance the liquid issues it comes out lovely every time! I topped my cake with the traditional chocolate frosting, then did some decorating with a little bit of left over raspberry mango buttercream which was a really fun contrast flavor. I’ve also baked the cake and topped it with raspberry jam and served it up with ice cream and that was a killer application too!

Keep an eye on this spot this weekend as we’ll be bringing our Labor Day edition of Canning secrets with Ultra Gel and Thick Gel, including replacing Clear Gel in your recipes and our killer apple pie filling recipe!

Cornaby Texas Sheetcake

2 cups flour

2 cups sugar

1 tsp baking soda

2 Tbl Ultra Gel

2 cup butter

1 cup water

1/4 cup baking cocoa

2 eggs

1/2 cup buttermilk

1 tsp vanilla

Mix flour, sugar, baking soda and Ultra Gel together and set aside. Combine butter, cocoa and water together in a small saucepan and bring to a boil (This can also be done in the microwave). Add butter mixture to the dry mixture and mix well. Add eggs, vanilla and butter milk and stir to combine. Pour into greased and floured jelly roll pan. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes or until tests done. Cool and frost with your choice of toppings.

If you want to use this batter for cupcakes or a 9×13 dripper pan increase the baking soda to 2 tsp and the buttermilk to 3/4 cups.

Using Ultra Gel in Marinades and Rubs

I don’t know about you, but around here we’re firmly in the middle of grilling season. I love this time of year when we start seeing wonderful fresh vegetables and have a chance to move the cooking outside and keep my kitchen cool!

One of the things I hear from people a lot when it comes to grilling is questions about improving marinades and rubs that can be used on various meats and veggies before putting them to the heat. This is another one of those odd places where Ultra Gel rides to the rescue, let me explain.

Marinades. A marinade is a sauce usually containing oil, an acid, spice and herbs that meat or large pieces of fruit or vegetable are soaked in before cooking. There are two big keys to a great marinade. The first is the balance of flavors, enough acid, enough oil and the right herbs and spices. The second is getting as much contact with the food as possible. This is where Ultra Gel and good ziptop bags come in. Adding a little Ultra Gel, about 1 Tbl per cup of marinade, thickens the marinade just a little and creates an emulsification which holds the spices in solution instead of just having them drop to the bottom of the bag. This thickness and emulsification helps to make the marinade stick to the meat or veg and gives you superior flavor and results! Give it a try with your favorite mix. You can even just add a little Ultra Gel to a store purchased marinade.

Rubs. A rub is a combination of salt, spices and dried herbs which is applied to meats and vegetables before grilling. Sometimes the dish is allowed to sit after receiving the rub as the salt helps to get enzymes in the meat going, sometimes it’s a sprinkle and grill thing. This is another place where Ultra Gel steps in to keep your rub from clumping, naturally, and to keep the rub sticking to the surface of your meat or veg enhancing the flavors. I use about 1 tsp of Ultra Gel per cup of rub and just stir it in well.

One other suggestion when it comes to your grilling. Take a look at Cornaby’s Cooking Sauces! Available in Raspberry Jalapeno, Raspberry Chipotle and Peach Habenero these sauce are great as part of a marinade, as a basting sauce, or a pour on after your meal has left the grill. As well serve up any of these sauces over a block of cream cheese with chips or crackers and you’ve got a party with pop!

So what grilling is happening at your house?  Inquiring minds want to know!

Oh! And check out our Bavarian Cream contest on Facebook!

Jam in a Jiffy – Raspberry Brownie Ice Cream Pie!

It’s Memorial Day weekend, which is a lovely time for us. An unofficial kick off to summer and a chance to spend a few days together, as well as the very important duty of remembering those who have gone before us. One of the nice things about the long weekend is the chance to do some special cooking. My Bunneh has been as busy as can be making ham and chicken stock, steaks and rotisserie chicken. My job was to come up with the sides and the dessert.

The dessert I settled on was a brownie ice cream pie with raspberry topping. Raspberry prices are dropping but I wanted something even easier. Going to my freezer I spied my containers of jam in a jiffy raspberry jam and decided that would make easy and yummy topping. When it all came together I was happy with the results. I think we could have added a little whipping cream for the lightness and pretty factor, but without it it was pretty darn good too.

So there you have it…jam in a jiffy freezer jam, not just for sandwiches!

raspberry brownie pie

Raspberry Brownie Ice Cream Pie

1 large brownie mix

2 cups vanilla ice cream, softened

1 cup raspberry jam in a jiffy freezer jam

Make brownie mix according to the box directions, adding 2 Tablespoons of Ultra Gel to the mix for extra moisture and tenderness. Pour into two 9 inch pie plates and bake for 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool completely.

Layer softened ice cream on brownie pie and remove to freezer for a minimum of four hours.

Cut and top with freezer jam, serve immediately.  Add whipping cream as desired.

Peach Crumble

Traditional cobblers were an English invention which come in both sweet and savory formats. Generally a cobbler is defined as a filling topped with a bread or cake topping.  At one point one of the most popular cobblers was a suet pudding with a puff type pastry lid.  Many places in England still serve these puddings often in individual servings.  I had them a million years ago at a place called the Ale House in Scotland and they were one of the best things I ate.  The cobbler took on a different form when the English colonists settled in the Americas and didn’t have access to all the ingredients usually in an English pudding, so they would take fruit and cover it with biscuits or other breads.  Light cakes became popular over the years, particularly once boxed cake mixes gained popularity. The term cobbler has come to encompass these covered fruit sauces, buckles, grumps, crisps, crumbles and several other fruit desserts.  In Utah these cobblers were a staple of early settlers as they could be easily cooked off in large pots and were a great place for scrap dough and fruit which might be a little bruised or over cooked.

A crumble is a sub-type of cobbler where the topping is a crumbly and, when well cooked, crunchy combination of flours, sugar and butter, sometimes with oats or nuts. This is broken up over the filling and remains as the name would have you believe, crumbled.

I love crumbles, particularly when the filling is apple or peach. I like cakey cobblers better with berry fillings, but each to their own.  In the following recipe you can slice peaches fresh, or drain preserved peach slices and use those instead. Either is fantastic!

Utah Peach Crumble

Utah Peach Crumble

2-3 pounds sliced peaches

1/2 cup vanilla sugar (this is easy to make by putting scraped out vanilla beans in a container of sugar and just letting it sit, regular granulated sugar will work as well)

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

2-3 Tablespoons Ultra Gel

Crumble Topping

1/2 cup whole wheat flour

1/2 cup all purpose flour

1 cup sugar

1/2 tsp kosher salt

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1 large egg

1/2 cup butter, melted

Combine fruit, sugar, nutmeg and vanilla and allow to sit for 5-10 minutes to pull the juices.  Add Ultra Gel and stir to combine.  Set aside.

Form the crumble by combining flours, sugar, salt, cinnamon and Ultra Gel.  Add the beaten egg, stirring lightly with a fork until the mixture is crumbly and moist.  Set aside.

Place fruit mixture in a 9×13 inch pan.  Cover with crumble.  Top everything with the melted butter.  Bake for 40-45 minutes in a 375 degree oven.  Serve warm. (Or eat the next morning for breakfast.  It’s pretty darn good cold too.)

Alternatively divide the fruit mixture into individual ramekins, cover with crumble and drizzle with butter.  Cook at 375 until tops just begin to brown.