Easy Asian supper.Posted: February 25, 2012
This week’s Sunday Supper was so easy, it didn’t feel like one of my typical Sunday meals. I didn’t spend all day in the kitchen, I barely got a speck of flour on my apron, and I had plenty of time to relax on my favorite day of the week.
You’d never know it by looking at my table, though. It was layered and lovely, just like I like it.
I especially liked the centerpiece — three faded roses in one of my favorite vases.
The roses were leftover from my cake topper the week before. They had seen better days, but there was something about their ruffled edges and faded color that I found too beautiful to throw out.
My menu was straight from one of my favorite cooks — Rebecca of Foodie with Family. Her Slow-Cooker Honey Sesame Chicken is the perfect balance of easy and yummy. As Rebecca recommended, I paired it with steamed rice. But I went one step farther: I topped it with her Spicy Asian Broccoli.
It was the best Asian meal I’d ever experienced that didn’t involve stir-frying. I had no idea I could be this satisfied by Asian food without using a wok.
I only made two alterations to Rebecca’s recipe. I topped my dish with an extra sprinkle of sesame seeds and added chopped peanuts. And, instead of taking the time for the sauce to thicken in the Crock-Pot, I poured it in a saucepan on the stove top, added a cornstarch/water mixture, and gave it a good boil. Rebecca has five sons, so she must have the patience of Job. Me? I’m so impatient I rush my slow cooker.
My desert this week wasn’t cake, shock of shocks. I picked up a new dessert magazine at the grocery store and was itching to make a Brown Butter Peach Pie.
If there’s anything in this world that makes a dessert more luscious than brown butter, I don’t know what it is. I make a Brown Butter Pumpkin Spice Cake that causes me to melt with contentment. When I saw that some clever cook had thought of adding brown butter to a peach pie — well, I just had to get right on it.
You’ll want to make this, too. Right away.
Brown Butter Peach Pie
(From “Our Best Desserts” by Better Homes & Gardens)
1 recipe Pastry for a single crust pie (at bottom)
For the crumble topping:
1/3 cup flour
1/3 cup rolled oats
1/4 cup sliced almonds
1/4 cup butter
2 TBLS sugar
2 TBLS packed brown sugar
1.5 tsp cinnamon
3/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp salt
For the brown butter sauce:
3/4 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup flour
2 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp salt
For the filling:
2 cups peeled and sliced peaches (2 medium)
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1 tsp finely shredded lemon peel
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Prepare pastry for single crust pie.
On a lightly floured surface, use your hands to slightly flatten dough. Roll dough from center to edge into a 12″ circle. Wrap pastry circle around rolling pin; unroll into a 9″ pie plate. Ease pastry into pie plate without stretching it. Trim pastry to 1/2 inch beyond edge of pie plate. Fold under extra pastry. Crimp edge as desired. Prick bottom and side of pastry with a fork. Line pastry with a double thickness of foil and add pie weights or a cup of beans. Bake for 8 minutes. Remove weights/beans and foil and bake for 5-6 minutes more or until pastry is lightly golden. Cool on a wire rack. Reduce oven to 350 degrees.
To make crumble topping: In a food processor, combine flour, oats, almonds, butter, sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Cover and process until mixture resembles course crumbs. Set topping aside.
To make brown butter filling: In small saucepan, heat the butter over medium-low heat until melted. Continue heating, swirling pan occasionally, until butter turns a light golden brown. Remove from heat and let cool slightly. In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, sugar, flour, vanilla and salt. Whisk in butter and set aside.
To make peach filling: In a large bowl, toss together peaches, almonds, lemon peel and nutmeg.
Transfer peach filling to cooled pastry shell. Pour brown butter mixture over peach mixture. Top with crumble mixture, a spoonful at a time, spreading evenly. To prevent overbrowning, cover edge of pie with foil.
Place pie on a baking sheet. Bake for 50 minutes or until filling is set and golden. Cool on a wire rack. Store covered, on the counter top for 48 hours or in the fridge for several days. Makes 8 servings.
For my favorite pastry recipe, click here. I found this in Better Homes & Gardens Magazine a couple of years ago, and have used it ever since.
Preparation and tasting notes: This pie is absolutely delicious, especially served warm with vanilla ice cream. Kate thought this pie tasted like cobbler, which she loves. I thought it was reminiscent of pecan pie because of the brown butter sauce.
By the way, I couldn’t find fresh peaches this time of year, so I used two cans of sliced peaches in light syrup (drained first).
I don’t know about you, but I have trouble getting my pastry to keep its fluted edge during the blind baking process. The foil and the weights keep the crust from shrinking or puffing with air bubbles, but they also put a little too much pressure on my delicate flutes. I know some people use parchment paper instead of foil during the blind baking process, so I’ll try that next time. By the way, if you use beans as weights, don’t try to reuse them in a recipe. Put them in a bag or jar and label them as “Pie Weights.”