Tag: Peaches

Parfait Parfait: Peach Parfait with Graham Cracker Crumbs

Peach Parfait | Serious Crust by Annie Fassler

Peach Parfait | Serious Crust by Annie Fassler
Peach Parfait | Serious Crust by Annie Fassler

We give each other a hard time in my family. Really. Nothing is off limits, and boy do we know how to push each others’ buttons. My sisters, for example, can get me more angry than anyone in the world. But the other side of this is that when we give each other compliments, it really is the most heartwarming thing. Getting a sincere compliment from my sisters or my parents is one of those things that gives me the warm and fuzzies. But back to the giving each other a hard time thing. My dad has all these -isms. These things he says and we give him quite a hard time for. I won’t share all of them here because he might kill me (if he happens to read this post), but one of my favorites that is relevant to this story is when he says, “You know, it wasn’t actually that hard.” This is almost always in reference to some intricate, fantastic dish he has cooked. It goes like this: either we are on the phone or sitting down to dinner, and he tells me all of the steps it took to make the dish in front of me or that he made for dinner last week. And then, no matter what I say, he follows it up with, “You know, it wasn’t actually that hard.”

When I was in Seattle last month, he and I were at the store shopping for dinner, and he mentioned he wanted to pick up whipping cream for leftovers of a dessert he had made a couple days before that, you guessed it, “wasn’t actually that hard.” I, of course, did not believe him. Especially when he claimed it was called a parfait parfait, which in his often jumbled speech, became farpait farpait. Imagine the two of us, wheeling our cart up and down the aisles of the store, giggling and spouting “farpait farpait” at each other – it was a sight. But we got home, ate dinner, and then were treated to this dessert. The sautéed fruit topped with salty, sweet, buttery graham cracker crumbles, and freshly whipped cream convinced me quickly that this dessert was worth whatever effort it required. It was so tasty that I made it for a dinner party last week to find that he was right: it really was one of the simplest desserts I’ve ever made. Did you hear that Dad? YOU WERE RIGHT.

The beauties of this recipe are two-fold. First, it can be easily adapted with whatever seasonal fruit you have on hand. In the coming weeks, I’ll be making it with plums, then apples, then maybe even some grapefruit wedges, rhubarb, berries, you get the idea. Second, having this graham cracker crumb on hand, I’ve found is both tempting and useful. Being able to just sauté some fruit and whip some cream and voila, dessert, is pretty great. Plus it isn’t so bad sprinkling a tiny bit on my morning yogurt, fruit, and granola either.

Continue reading “Parfait Parfait: Peach Parfait with Graham Cracker Crumbs”

Peach Pie with Rye Crust

Peach Pie with Rye Crust | Serious Crust by Annie Fassler
Peach Pie with Rye Crust | Serious Crust by Annie Fassler
Peach Pie with Rye Crust | Serious Crust by Annie Fassler
Peach Pie with Rye Crust | Serious Crust by Annie Fassler
Peach Pie with Rye Crust | Serious Crust by Annie Fassler
Peach Pie with Rye Crust | Serious Crust by Annie Fassler
Peach Pie with Rye Crust | Serious Crust by Annie Fassler

Breaking your routine every once in a while is a good thing. Shake it up. I thought after returning from our journey this spring that I would want routine forever and ever. But routine has gone out the window these last months. It might have something to do with the total eclipse, or the cast of characters streaming through our guest room. Some days I love this. A touch of the unknown – What will our guests want to do today? When are they coming and going? – is mixed with feelings of comfort and pride as we show people our home, our city, our community.

One routine I have missed is baking. Granted, between the lack of air conditioning in our apartment (I’m working on it, Mom) and our big west and south facing windows, I don’t often want to turn on the oven. But something inspired me. Something big, the size of softballs. Skin the mottled colors of sunsets. A scent you could smell wafting through the air as we strolled through the farmers market one cloudy Saturday morning. How can you go a whole summer without making a peach pie? I was feeling the same pangs of guilt as last summer when I made only one strawberry-rhubarb pie. I had barely even eaten a perfect peach this summer, much less baked it in between layers of buttery crust.

Another routine that has been finding its footing again is my go-to pie dough. I used to stick with the one I had been making for years, then I switched to the one out of The New Best Recipe. But this summer has been the summer of The Four and Twenty Blackbirds Pie Book, a cookbook that has been reawakening my love of pie. This is a take on their all butter crust, but I’ve subbed some of the all purpose flour with rye for a darker, earthier flavor. I would recommend trying it, but if you don’t have rye flour and don’t want to purchase some, you can just replace it with all purpose flour and still get a perfectly crumbly, wonderful crust.

Continue reading “Peach Pie with Rye Crust”

Weekend Finds 7:1:16: 4th of July Edition

Let’s be honest. The 4th of July has become an occasion for day drinking, barbecues, water balloons, and fireworks. But I’m not complaining. For the past few years we have spent the day in our friends Dylan and Caitlyn’s back yard, lounging, snacking, drinking good Portland brews, and eventually having a summery BBQ feast. And Monday will be no different. Here are the recipes I’m looking to cook this 4th of July.

Green Rice Salad with Nectarines

Green Rice Salad with Nectarines from Not Without Salt

This salad has been a summer gathering go-to for years now, and it never fails. People always love it, it’s summery and colorful with a little bit of spice and plenty of bold flavors.

Tomato-Peach Salad with Tofu Cream

Tomato-Peach Salad with Tofu Cream

Don’t let the tofu cream weird you out and keep you from making this refreshing salad. I promise, it’s delicious.

Barbecue Chicken (Rub and Sauce)

Smitten Kitchen's Barbecue Chicken

If my memory doesn’t fail me – and it’s been a year so it might – Dylan and Caitlyn make this amazing dry rubbed chicken every year, throw it on the grill, and coat it in this homemade barbecue sauce. It is always the hit of the party, no matter how much I up my game.

Strawberry Pistachio Crumble Pie

Strawberry Pistachio Crumble Pie from Bon Appetit

I haven’t made this pie (YET!) but it has been haunting my dreams. The layer of cream cheese at the bottom? The mountain of strawberries? The crumble of pistachio and poppy seeds and cardamom? I mean, come on.

Zero Proof Beverages

The thing about spending all day in the sun eating and drinking is you have to be smart. It’s always good to have a NA drink option around, and I’m having trouble deciding which of these two I should make; saffron and cardamom lemonade or tea thyme soda.

Ottolenghi’s Basic Hummus

Ottolenghi and Tamimi's Hummus

This is my extremely reliable hummus recipe that I starting making regularly after returning from Israel last summer. With a few tweaks, it is rich and healthy and makes a perfect all day snack when paired with pita, carrots, bell peppers, and whatever other crunchy vegetables you like. (What tweaks, you ask? I do 1 cup tahini, 6T lemon juice, 6 cloves of garlic, and 4T ice water.)

Peach Shortbread and changes

Peach Shortbread // Serious Crust by Annie FasslerPeach Shortbread // Serious Crust by Annie Fassler

It has been a week since I last posted, and oh what a week it has been. The past month has been a time of change for me. We moved into a new house in NE Portland, which has been really great. While at first I was not happy to be leaving SE, our new location has surprised me.

Also, I have changed jobs. They company where I worked is undergoing some big changes, and while I am still going to be doing some contracting work creating Prezis for them, I am an account manager no more! At first, this was scary, and I wasn’t sure what to do next. I applied to some administrative and management jobs, but what I kept coming back to was food. I knew I was not easily going to get a job in a restaurant, as I have no experience whatsoever. But I sure as hell was gonna try. Within about a week and a half, I had a new job, hostessing at a restaurant in NE Portland. I won’t tell you which one yet, as I’m still kind of in my training period, but so far, I am really enjoying it. The people are great, the food is awesome, and it’s a completely different kind of job. I needed that change in my life.

Peach Shortbread // Serious Crust by Annie Fassler
Peach Shortbread // Serious Crust by Annie Fassler

Anyway, in the midst of all this, I went to what will probably be one of my last commune dinners for a while. Sadly, my new schedule has me working on Monday nights. I’m hoping to make it to dinner whenever I can, because I’ll miss all that craziness, all that good food, and all that company.

For my last dinner, I was asked to make something with the peaches I had recently picked. North of Portland, there’s a small island in the middle of the river called Sauvie Island. To make sure the island doesn’t get all developed and covered with mansions, in order to live there, a certain amount of your income has to come from the land you own. This means lots of farms, cattle, sheep, etc. One of Portland’s most popular summer activities is going to pick berries, peaches, veggies, and flowers on the island. While our friend Emilie was in town, Jonah, Carmelle, and I took her to Sauvie Island Farms to go picking! We picked 6 ears of corn, 2 tubs of blueberries, a tub of raspberries, and 14 or so peaches, and got them all for $30. It was so fun! Anyway, I had posted photos of our fruit picking adventures, so a fruity dessert was requested. I found this recipe for peach shortbread on Smitten Kitchen, and did a little adjusting (mostly, we didn’t have nutmeg, so I used cloves and did half the amount). It was a big hit, and they were so dang easy to make.

Peach Shortbread


1 cup sugar
1 tsp baking powder
3 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
a generous pinch of ground clove
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter
1 egg
2 peaches, pitted and thinly sliced


Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Butter (or somehow otherwise grease) a 9×13 pan or baking dish. In an electric mixer, or a good sized bowl, mix the sugar, baking powder, flour, cinnamon, clove, and salt. Using the paddle attachment, a pastry knife, a fork, or those finger things at the ends of your hands, cut and blend the butter and egg into the dry ingredients. It’s going to be dry and very crumbly, but that’s ok! Take 3/4 of the dough and pour them into the baking dish, pressing down so they’re firmly and evenly packing into the dish. Now, lay the peach slices on top. You want them to be evenly distributed, so make sure every edge and corner is covered. spread the remaining dough crumbs over the top of the peaches and bake for 30 minutes. The top should be slightly browned, and the edges should be golden. Remove from the oven and allow to cool before slicing up and serving. Enjoy!