I was looking in the pantry this evening and noticed we’ve got a wealth of canned peaches courtesy of TEFAP. Yum, peaches! I grew up on canned fruit because in Alaska in the 70’s we didn’t get the freshest produce unless it was grown in-state, and tree fruit doesn’t do very well here.
Now, when you’re on a budget something you should consider is how many mouths you can feed with your food. A can of peaches (if you believe the label) is 3 1/2 servings. Doesn’t go very far. Here’s two recipes for turning canned peaches into yummy deserts that serve well more than three people!
The trick here is to make the syrup from the cans into something thicker so you have pie filling instead of nasty dried-out peaches. The original recipe is for and old fashioned deep dish pie with only a top crust; I use a top and bottom crust. I’d guess you’d use 3 – 15 ounce cans for a regular pie pan.
2 – 29 ounce cans or 4 – 15 ounce cans of peaches
2 cups juice from the canned peaches
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
Drain the juice from the canned peaches into a measuring cup. You need two cups; just add some water if you’re short.
In a very large saucepan, combine the cornstarch, sugar and nutmeg. Gradually stir in the peach liquid, and the lemon juice. Stir to dissolve the cornstarch. Heat the mixture over medium heat, stirring very frequently. Bring the mixture to a boil and boil for at least a minute, or until the mixture is very thick. Remove the pan from the heat and gently stir in the canned peaches. The mixture will thin out some.
Line a pie pan with an uncooked pie crust. Turn the thick peach filling into the pie crust and top with a second pie crust. Crimp the edges together (a fork works well, though some people like to pinch it to make fluting). Pierce the top crust a few times to let steam out.
Bake it at 425° for about an hour. The top will be golden brown, the filling will be bubbly, and it will be very hot. Allow it to cool for a little bit before serving.
I overfilled this pie – it bubbled over and got filling juice everywhere. Fortunately I was thinking ahead and baked it on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper! You could probably reduce the recipe to 3 to 3 1/2 cans of peaches easily.
This works just as well with canned apricots, nectarines, and other pit fruit. You really don’t need peach halves, slices can also be arranged prettily. I’ve never bothered with the maraschino cherries as I never have them in the house. You can also pass on the orange zest if you don’t have a fresh orange to grate, but the flavor of the cake is brighter with it. And I think it makes a good breakfast too!
1/4 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1 1/2 cups canned peach slices, drained
6 maraschino cherries, halved
1/3 cup shortening
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/4 cups sifted cake flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon grated orange peel
1/2 cup orange juice
Spread butter in bottom of 8-inch round cake pan and sprinkle with brown sugar. Arrange peaches and cherries on brown sugar. Cream the shortening and sugar in a mixing bowl. Add the egg and beat well. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt together; add to creamed mixture alternately with mixture of the orange peel and juice. Pour batter over peaches, taking care not to disturb fruit. Bake at 350° for 45 to 50 minutes, or until a wooden pick or cake tester inserted in center comes out clean.. Cool for 10 minutes. Invert over serving plate and remove cake pan
Okay, by now everyone knows that I’m lazy and use pre-made pie crust whenever I can afford it. I do make my own crust, I swear. I found a wonderful guide on everything you ever wanted to know about pie crust (and then some) that you might like to read if you’d like to make your own or have a fear of pie crust. Making the Perfect Crust.