Showing posts with label whipped cream. Show all posts
Showing posts with label whipped cream. Show all posts

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Easy, Elegant Drunken Peaches with Ginger Whipped Cream by Cleo Coyle

Drunken Peaches with
Ginger-Infused Whipped Cream

As a little girl, growing up in a large Italian-American family, I remember some of the "old timers" (as my pop used to call them) making good use of the peaches that came in during the last days of summer. Whether perfectly sun-kissed or overripe and bruised, all were welcomed at their tables.

They would peel the skins and cut the flesh into bite-sized pieces, taking care to remove any darkened or rotted areas from the imperfect fruits. Then they would place the pieces in a bowl, cover them with red wine, and chill the bowl for a few hours or even overnight. 

Cleo Coyle has a partner in
crime-writing—her husband.
Learn about their books
by clicking here and here.

After dinner, they would serve the fruit with whipped cream, ice cream, or a dollop of sweetened mascarpone or ricotta cheese. And there you have it, an easy end-of-summer recipe—except for one thing...

Although I absolutely love this dessert, my husband, who is not a big wine drinker, does not. So while I’m getting my peaches good and drunk, I treat my honey’s peaches with...(yes) honey! 

Orange blossom honey to be exact. And that’s my alternate recipe suggestion for you today. Toss those bite-sized peach pieces with a bit of honey, spoon them into a wine goblet, chill and serve with ginger-infused whipped cream.

Both of these simple but delicious recipes are below if you’d like them while the sun is still warm and the peaches are still cheap. La dolce vita!

Cleo Coyle’s Easy
Drunken Peaches

Serves 4


4 ripe yellow peaches  
1 cup red wine * (see my note)

Directions: Peel the peaches and cut the flesh into bite-sized pieces. Place in a shallow bowl or plastic container and cover with wine. Toss to coat. Chill for several hours or overnight. Loosely strain the peaches of excess wine, and serve in glass goblets with dollops of whipped cream, or scoops of ice cream, or generous helpings of sweetened mascarpone or ricotta cheese. For my Ginger-Infused Whipped Cream recipe, scroll down.

*Note on the wine. My pop used to cover his peaches with a fairly dry, red table wine, one he made himself. I don’t make my own wine. For this recipe, I like a nice (cherry, oaky) Merlot. You should choose a red wine that you’d enjoy drinking.

Cleo's Honey-Kissed Peaches
with Ginger-Infused Whipped Cream

Serves 4


4 ripe yellow peaches
4 tablespoons honey (I use orange blossom)
1 cup very cold heavy cream
3-4 tablespoons granulated sugar (to your taste)
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

Directions: Peel the peaches and cut the flesh into bite-sized pieces. Toss with honey to coat. Spoon into glass goblets and chill for 30 minutes to an hour (no more). Serve with a dollop of ginger-infused whipped cream. 

To make the whipped cream, simply place the very cold heavy cream, sugar, and ginger into a chilled bowl* and beat with an electric mixer. The cream will thicken as you beat it. When it forms stiff peaks, you're done. Do not over-beat or you will begin to break the whipped cream down and (eventually) make butter!

*Tips: Using very cold cream along with a chilled bowl and beaters will give you the best results. Use a metal or Pyrex glass bowl (never plastic) and place it, along with your mixer's beaters, into the refrigerator for 15 to 30 minutes before whipping the cream.

* * * *


If you'd like another easy yet elegant dessert idea, check out my past recipe for a simple Italian Honey-Glazed Peach Crostata. To see the above recipe with a free, downloadable PDF, click on the photo or here And may you...

Eat (and read) with joy!

Cub and...

~ Cleo Coyle
New York Times bestselling author of
The Coffeehouse Mysteries

Friend me on facebook here.
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Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Dairy-Free Pumpkin Pie Cupcakes for our Hero Cat Punkin from author Cleo Coyle

It's True. These cupcakes actually taste like a slice of pumpkin pie. They also make a relatively healthy dessert for the fall holidays. They’re low in fat and packed with nutritious, fiber-rich pumpkin. My version of the recipe is also dairy free, and I'm happy to share the details. But first...

Because we're celebrating our love of cats this week on the blog, I'm dedicating this post to my hero cat Punkin. His rescue story is one my husband and I will never forget...

Brave Little Kitten

One stormy October night, three kittens huddled together in a flimsy cardboard box. Their mother had been gone far too long and they were hungry, cold, and scared.

The oldest of the three brothers, a little pumpkin-colored tabby, took it upon himself to leave their hiding place, where their mother had stashed them. He squeezed through the edge of a fence and onto our porch.

When we heard Punkin's desperate mewing for his missing mother and saw his bedraggled little form shivering on our back yard patio, we hurried outside. But Punkin didn't know us, and he disappeared through the fence, racing back to his brothers. 

I grabbed a flashlight, leaped over the neighbor's fence, and quickly located Punkin and his littermates. One by one, I handed each of the quivering fur-bundles to Marc. One of the kittens (the cream-colored one) chomped down on Marc's thumb so hard he had to grit his teeth to keep from crying out, but he never let go. Marc got all three kittens inside our warm home. 

Happily, Punkin and his two brothers (Nougat and Spunky) were saved, and when their mother finally returned, we were able to reunite her with her kittens.

Punkin and his family are now beloved in our house, but we never would have rescued their shivering forms that night if that little ball of orange fur hadn't been brave enough to search for help.

Punkin (as a brave little kitten)
and his mother, Chicklet.

Punkin and his mom today, enjoying some
time together on our small sun porch.

No surprise, Punkin still acts like the "big brother" cat, looking out for his mom and littermates as well as our other New York rescue cats, who are now part of his colony. 

If anyone in the colony makes so much as a meep, let alone a meow, Punkin is first on the scene to investigate. For our readers, he's the feline equivalent of Detective Mike Quinn. Needless to say, Marc and I feel much safer knowing that a cat like Punkin is on Watch at our house. And so...

In honor of Punkin, I give you...

Cleo Coyle has a partner in 
crime-writing—her husband.
Learn about their books
by clicking here or here.

Cleo Coyle's
Pumpkin Pie

While our hero cat Punkin inspired this post, I have to give a hearty shout-out to Nancy Phillips, who is our hero, too.

I've mentioned Nancy before on the blog. She's a breast cancer survivor, a loving wife, and dedicated mother of two wonderful children. She's also a great supporter of mystery authors, and we love her dearly.

A few months ago, Nancy e-mailed me a Pinterest photo of Pumpkin Pie Cupcakes making the rounds on the Net. (I'm not sure of the original source, but it's been duplicated many times.) Nancy sighed, wishing she could bake and eat them, but the recipe used evaporated milk, and Nancy is allergic to dairy (specifically casein). Most recipes for this style of cupcake use either evaporated milk or sweetened condensed milk.

Inspired by Nancy's predicament, I experimented with the recipe she sent me, coming up with a diary-free version. I think I nailed it. Marc flipped for these (and so did I). Frankly, it was hard to stop eating them!

This recipe will give you a cupcake with good structure, so it will look pretty when served on a dessert tray. Yet when you bite into it, you'll be tasting pumpkin-and-brown-sugar goodness with a texture that will make you think you're eating a slice of pumpkin pie.

If you're not allergic to dairy, try topping it with my Pumpkin Spiced Whipped Cream. If you are, then you must try Nancy's favorite dairy-free topping--Whipped Coconut Milk. Either way, Marc and I certainly hope you will eat with pumpkin spice joy!

~ Cleo

To download this recipe in a PDF document that you can print, save, or share, click here

Click here for the recipe.

Makes 11 Pumpkin Pie Cupcakes

1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)

1/2 cup dark (or light) brown sugar, packed*

1/3 cup granulated white sugar

3 large eggs, lightly beaten with fork

1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/2 cup almond milk (or another nut milk)*

2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt (or 1/4 teaspoon table salt)

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

3/4 cup all-purpose flour 

(*Notes: Almond milk will keep this recipe dairy free. It also brings nice flavor to the cupcakes. If you don't wish to create a diary-free recipe, simply substitute cow's milk in an equal amount. On the brown sugar, I prefer dark brown for the complexity of flavor. If you'd like a lighter-colored cupcake, then use light brown sugar.)


Step 1 - Make batter: First preheat your oven to 350° F. Into a large mixing bowl, combine pumpkin puree, sugars, eggs, vanilla, almond milk, pumpkin pie spice, and salt. Whisk until blended. Whisk in the baking powder and baking soda. Finally, whisk in the flour and mix until completely incorporated, but do not over-mix. Batter should be smooth but loose. 

To fill the cupcake pans, you will be pouring the batter, which is why I suggest transferring the batter to a container with a spout. (I like to use a large, glass measuring cup.)

Step 2 - Bake: Line 11 of the cups in your pan(s) with good-quality paper liners and coat the papers very generously with non-stick spray. You must do this to keep the baked cupcakes from sticking to the papers (or you can use silicone molds).

Divide the batter evenly among 11 cups in your pans. Batter should nearly fill each cup. One cup will not be used. Fill that cup halfway with water to prevent scorching in the oven. 

Bake at 350° F for about 30 minutes. Pumpkin Pie Cupcakes are done when the batter is set. The baked top will feel slightly spongy yet firm (not liquid) when lightly touched. 

Step 3 - Chill: Remove the pan from the oven, allow it to cool, and then chill it in the refrigerator for an hour or two. If you’re in a hurry, let the pan cool down enough to be handled (about 10 to 15 minutes) and pop it in the freezer for 20 to 30 minutes. 
At that point, they should be chilled enough to serve topped with my Pumpkin Spice Whipped Cream (if you're able to eat dairy) or (for a dairy-free option) Whipped Coconut Cream. See both recipe below...

To download this
recipe PDF,
click here.

How to Make 

Dairy-Free Whipped 

Coconut Cream

To read the entire recipe
post, click here.

To download the
recipe in a keeper
PDF document,
click here.

Cleo's Pumpkin Spiced Whipped Cream


1 cup very cold heavy (whipping) cream
3 tablespoons granulated white sugar
1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

Directions: For best results, chill your bowl and mixer's beaters in your refrigerator or freezer before starting. Place the cold heavy cream into the chilled bowl. Add the sugar and spice and mix on low just enough to blend it into the cream. Now beat on high until stiff peaks form. Do not over-beat or the whipped cream will begin to break down. If not serving immediately, you can store the Pumpkin Spice Whipped Cream in a covered plastic container for 3 or so days in your refrigerator. If the cream becomes loose or deflates after a day or two, simply re-whip it using a pre-chilled bowl and beaters. This will easily restore it to a beautifully whipped state.

*Sugar note: You can substitute powdered sugar for the granulated white sugar; simply increase the amount to 4 tablespoons.

Click here to downnload
this recipe in PDF form, and...


Punkin Season!

~ Cleo Coyle

New York Times bestselling author of
The Coffeehouse Mysteries

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