Thursday, July 31, 2008

Peaches, Part 1 (Pie, Baked Oatmeal & Canned Pie Filling)

This summer, Jamey works every other weekend, so his days off tend to be during the week. Today he was home and lucky for me (and the garden), it's been raining all day. This means he's not working on outside projects. He was in helping me. It took a little while for me to get used to another grown-up body in my kitchen while I was buzzing around, chanting numbers out loud so I wouldn't forget how much of what to put where. Soon, we found a rhythm and all was good.

We bought three bushels of peaches. Two of the bushels are Red Havens and not yet ripe. The third, was a bushel of Century (I don't know if I have the spelling right). I was thrilled to hear from the orchard man that it "needs to be dealt with now" and therefore was half off. Well. What I understood as 'they are very ripe' really meant, 'they are half unripe and half rotten'. My good friend, Mama JJ (check out her blog- it's my favorite), was pulling out as we were pulling in and was also "blessed" with a bushel of Century. After I got over my frustration with the situation, I did what everyone MUST do FIRST after getting peaches. I made a pie.

It makes your kitchen smell fabulous and no matter what happens during the course of your day, at least you will have dessert for dinner (either way you read that is fine).

Peach Pie (This is my mom's recipe and is very simple.)

6-8 peaches, peeled and sliced
1 cup flour
1 cup brown sugar
3 tbsp. butter, melted
9-inch deep dish pie crust

Slice the peaches directly into the pie crust, filling the crust to almost overflowing (the peaches will bake down). In a bowl, combine flour, brown sugar and melted butter with a fork to form crumbs. Spoon crumbs on top of peaches and into crevices. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes, then 350 degrees for another 20 minutes. Pie is done when crumbs and crust start to brown. Let sit for 20-30 minutes to allow the juices to absorb.


We eat baked oatmeal for breakfast every morning. In the winter, we eat it warmed-up and in the summer, we eat it cold. I always throw in some sort of fruit (diced apples, raisins, blueberries, red raspberries, etc.). We had just ran out this morning, so Jamey made the oatmeal with peaches.

Baked Oatmeal (Company Version)

For a Healthier, Daily Version: decrease sugar to 2 cups, baking powder to 2 tsp., omit the butter completely and add 2-3 tbsp. flax seed.

When fresh fruit is in season, top the oatmeal with the fruit instead of baking it in. Also, it's delicious with thawed crushed (previously frozen) strawberries (no sugar added) on top.

2 1/2 cup brown sugar
4 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 cup butter, melted
6 eggs
3 cups milk
9 cups rolled oats (NOT quick oats)
2 cups dried or fresh fruit- blueberries, raspberries, wineberries, ground cherries (increase sugar by 1/4 cup since these are a bit sour), chopped peaches, apples, raisins or any combination

Using a large bowl, combine ingredients in the order listed above, stirring after each addition or so. Spread into a greased 9 x 13 inch baking dish and bake at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes, until the edges begin to brown. Do not over bake. It is best right out of the oven, but reheats well in the microwave. Can be eaten cold or warmed, with or without milk poured over it.

Update 12/06/09: For a special breakfast, add 1 tsp. ground ginger, 1/3 cup cocoa powder and 1/2 cup chocolate chips. Oh, my. It's yummy and still good for you.


We then commenced to peel and chop up our bushel of half-unripe, half-rotten peaches. There's no way to let them ripen, unless you are looking for a fruit fly plague to descend upon your house. We started with jam (11 jars).


And then moved on to peach pie filling (7 pints). Those dark spots are raisins.

Peach Pie Filling (adapted slightly from Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving
Makes 6-7 pints.  For general canning instructions, read here.   While this filling is nice in pie, our favorite way to use it is in this cake.

1 cinnamon stick
2 tsp. whole cloves (I use ground cloves)
12 cups sliced, pitted, and peeled peaches, treated to prevent browning and drained
2 cups finely chopped and peeled apples, treated to prevent browning and drained
2 2/3 cups white sugar
1 cup golden raisins (I used regular raisins)
2 tbsp. lemon zest
1/2 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup white vinegar
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg

In a large stainless steel pot or saucepan, combine peaches, apples, sugar, raisins, lemon zest and juice, vinegar, nutmeg and cinnamon stick.  Bring to a boil over medium high heat, stirring frequently.  Reduce heat, cover and boil gently, stirring occasionally, until thickened.  

Meanwhile, prepare canner, jars and lids.  Ladle hot pie filling into hot jars leaving 1 inch of headspace.  Remove air bubbles with a knife.  Wipe rim, center hot lid on jar, screw on ring until finger-tip tight.  Place jars in canner, covering with water.  Bring to a boil and process for 15 minutes.  Remove canner lid and wait 5 minutes, then remove jars, cool and store.


Here are (most of) our Red Havens, waiting to ripen upstairs in the office. If they were downstairs, my children would soon be in hand-cuffs or have their hands tied behind their backs.

While I was finishing up with the pie filling, Jamey started and canned another
8 quarts of Sweet and Sour cucumber salad.

Did you know he's my hero?

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  1. ok....this is going to sound silly...BUT:

    WHERE do you buy your rolled oats? i use oats in baked oatmeal (of course) and in granola and probably go through about a zillion cups per month. from the grocery store, there's those 2 lb (ish) tubs, but I was wondering if you've found a bulk store or had any suggestions?????

  2. Christy, NOT silly:-). Our regular non-chain grocery store carries bulk bags of about 10-11 cups. Our discount grocery store actually carries 25 pound bags- those are what we get most often because we go through a lot as well.

    I'm not sure what you have access to, but I'd highly recommend trying to find the larger (25 pound) bags- we store it in a barrel in the pantry.

  3. this is a slightly different recipe for baked oatmeal from mine. I'm going to try yours sometime. I'm fascinated that you eat it every single day.

  4. Our new favorite way to eat oatmeal-maybe that's due to the 2C of sugar. I like the texture better than plain 'ole oatmeal, too. Thanks for sharing.


Just a friendly reminder, if you know me personally please try to refrain from using my name. There are those who may try to locate me, break into my pantry and steal my pickled beets. Thanks:-).

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