Thursday, January 13, 2011

After Soup & Cornbread...Dessert!

Sometimes it's difficult to stay warm when there's a cold wind with  freezing temps, unless you're willing to bundle up very well and eat hot, heat-producing foods. And so far, it looks as if you've managed to find a way to do just that. So at this point, it's fairly easy to finish off your meal with a scrumptious dessert.

This first recipe came from Paula a long time ago through one of Jim's aunts. It is probably the best chocolate pie I've ever eaten, and is made tastier with the addition of vanilla ice cream. Also, if you're especially fond of chocolate with nuts, you could add chopped pecans or walnuts. I used to make this pie when I wanted a fabulous dessert with very little extra effort!
Crustless Chocolate Fudge Pie                                                               
Beat 2 eggs.                                                                                              
Sift together 1 cup sugar, 1/4 cup flour, and 1/4 cup cocoa.
Melt one stick butter.
Mix all ingredients with butter.
Add 1 teaspoon vanilla.
Pour into a greased 8-inch dish.
Put into a cold oven.
Turn oven to 350 degrees.
Bake for 25-30 minutes.
Let cool before cutting.
This peach cobbler recipe is from Food Network's Paula Deen. Again she uses self-rising flour, which I don't have in the house, but you can simple use all-purpose flour with 2 teaspoons of baking powder and one-half teaspoon of salt. And if you'd like to simplify your life, get some self-rising flour!

Peach Cobbler
8 to 10 servings
4 cups peeled, sliced peaches
2 cups sugar, divided
1/2 cup water
8 tablespoons butter
1 1/2 cups self-rising flour
1 1/2 cups milk
Ground cinnamon, optional
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Combine the peaches, 1 cup sugar, and water in a saucepan and mix well. Bring to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat.
Put the butter in a 3-quart baking dish and place in oven to melt.
Mix remaining 1 cup sugar, flour, and milk slowly to prevent clumping. Pour mixture over melted butter. Do not stir. Spoon fruit on top, gently pouring in syrup. Sprinkle top with ground cinnamon, if using. Batter will rise to top during baking. Bake for 30 to 45 minutes.
To serve, scoop onto a plate and serve with your choice of whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.
Now I know that Paula--my Paula, not Paula Deen--has a delicious recipe for an apple crisp, but she's out of town and wouldn't have her recipe with her. But this one sounds good and is from Martha Stewart. Some of these recipes could be simpler, in my opinion, but why would you need a top chef if it were all that easy?
Apple Crisp
Serves 8                                                                                                              
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, cold, cut into small cubes
1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats (not quick-cooking)
3 pounds apples, peeled, cored, and cut into 1/2 inch chunks (Empire, Gala, or Braeburn)
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
In a large bowl, mix together flour, brown sugar, salt, and 2 tablespoons granulated sugar.
Cut butter into flour, using a pastry blender or two knives, until mixture is the texture of coarse meal.
Add oats, and use your hands to toss and squeeze mixture until large, moist clumps form. Transfer to
freezer to chill while you prepare apples.
2. In another large bowl, toss apples with lemon juice, cinnamon, and remaining 1/2 cup granulated sugar. Transfer to a shallow 2-quart baking dish, and sprinkle with topping mixture. Place baking dish on a rimmed baking sheet, and bake until golden and bubbling, 55 to 65 minutes. Let cool 10 minutes before serving.
I have made chocolate pudding many times with an old recipe from the Pillsbury Cookbook way back in the 1960s. I gave my cookbook to Lisa (who knew I'd have a blog), and so I'm giving you this version from Tyler Florence of Food Network. I confess that Ina Garten also has a pudding recipe, but it is a double chocolate with six egg yolks, and I didn't know how many of you would even think about making it. I will probably give it to you at another time in any case.

Chocolate Pudding
Serves 6
2 cups whole milk
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup natural cocoa powder
4 teaspoons cornstarch
3 large egg yolks
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon fine salt
3/4 cup whipping cream

Put 1 1/2 cups of the milk, the sugar, and the cocoa in a nonreactive saucepan. Bring to a simmer, over medium-high heat. Remove from the heat.
Meanwhile, whisk the remaining 1/2 cup of the milk, cornstarch, salt, egg yolks, and vanilla in a bowl. Grandually whisk the hot milk into the egg mixture. Return to the saucepan and cook over medium-high heat whisking constantly, until the pudding comes to a full boil. Reduce the heat to maintain a simmer, and continue whisking until thick, about 2 to 3 minutes more.
Pour the pudding into 6 small cups. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or ideally overnight until set.

Just before serving, pour the cream into a chilled bowl. Whip the cream with a whisk or a hand-held mixer, and continue beating until soft peaks form. Take care not to over-beat or it will be grainy. Serve each pudding with a dollop of whipped cream on top.
So stay warm and think good thoughts to get through another winter's day. The South has been hit uncharacteristically hard this year, and the East is yearning for relief! So I'm thinking of all of you and hoping the warmer temps will soon get everyone back to a more normal life.




  1. That Fudge Pie sounds so easy and looks very youngest daughter would love that.Will try it for sure.Thanks for sharing it Mimi,,, TY Sherrie

  2. Thanks, Sherrie. I mailed the magazine to you yesterday. Magazines don't qualify for Media Mail, so it went First Class and should arrive shortly. Hope you enjoy it!

  3. Those recipes look familiar! The apple crisp topping that I use sounds like the one you posted. Enough flour to hold the oats together & you can use honey, succanat or maple syrup instead of sugar& don't forget plenty of cinnamon on the apples & in the topping. My friend from Germany, Yette, said this was the best & easiest apple crisp she had ever had! The fudge pie is a classic. You can't go wrong with vanilla ice cream & that pie-served warm.

  4. I'm glad the apple crisp reminds you of your recipe because I remember that it was so good. And I remember Yette as well. And I agree that the fudge pie can't be beat!