Saturday, June 21, 2008

Peaches N' Cream Dessert

June 21 - National Peaches n' Cream Day

I've been tossing around an idea for this since the beginning of the week. I didn't end up doing it exactly as I had planned, because we've had a somewhat busy day and I never got around to doing the time-consuming stuff I originally had up my sleeve. But I came up with something similar, and still quite tasty.

Since I came up with this as I was going, I will give more of a "concept recipe" than an actual recipe - telling what I did, but with no real amounts or official directions or anything. It's just a basic concept that can be changed around or played with in countless ways. This was just one of those recipes where that works better.

Step 1: Make a crust.

I had thought about doing a graham cracker crust, but we had a bag of drying-out peanut butter cookies on the counter, so I just crushed them up instead. I added a little butter to some of the crumbs, and pressed about 2 tablespoons each into two 4-ounce ramekins.

Possible variations: You could use graham cracker crumbs, or Nilla wafers, or whatever cookie crumbs appeal to you. You could even bake up a pastry crust. Instead of ramekins, you could use a paper-lined muffin tin, or a pie plate.

Step 2: Make a filling.

My original plan involved the custard filling from my Peaches n' Cream Pie a while back. It is creamy, holds up well, and is absolutely delicious with peaches. But it happens to be a little bit time-consuming, and involves heating up the stove. Today was busy and hot, and neither time-consuming nor heating the stove was going to happen. So instead I whipped up a box of vanilla pudding. I used a 6-serving box and 2 cups of milk, to make it nice and thick. After mixing, I spooned a bit into each ramekin (we now have lots of leftover thick pudding). Then I let it set in the refrigerator for one hour.

Possible variations: Use the custard filling for the pie I mentioned. Or make a cheesecake filling using a Jell-O cheesecake or your favorite no-bake recipe. Or use a different flavor of pudding. Just make sure you let it set up before moving on to the next step.

Step 3: Add the fruit.

I topped each ramekin with 3 slices of canned peaches. I didn't rinse off the syrup they came in, and it all pooled up on top of the pudding. That was unexpected, but turned out okay.

Possible variations: This is a simple one. Use fresh fruit instead of canned, or use a different type of fruit. Arrange it prettily.

Step 4: Top it with a sauce.

I was going to do some fabulously fancy and delicious sauce for this, but my imagination broke. I poured about a tablespoon of evaporated milk over the peaches in each ramekin.

Possible variations: Just about anything! I considered using sweetened condensed milk. I think that would have turned out better, but I only had one can of that, versus three or four of evaporated milk. So I used the latter. You could also try heating the syrup from the canned fruit with some corn starch to thicken it up, and pour that on. Or melt some jam or preserves and spoon it over the fruit. Or use sweetened cream, whipped or plain (this is, after all, supposed to be "peaches n' cream"). Get creative!

Step 5: Serve and enjoy!

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