“LIFE IS UNCERTAIN. EAT DESSERT FIRST.”

recipes + photography SANDY GARSON  |  quote ERNESTINE ULMER

Cream Cheese Pie with Blueberry Topping

1 (9-inch) pie

1 (9-inch) pre-baked pie crust made of graham crackers or ginger snaps or regular pie dough or a combination of any of these
12 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon finely minced orange rind
½ cup granulated sugar
⅓ cup whipping cream
2 large eggs
1½ pints fresh high bush blueberries, washed and dried
½ cup red currant or apple jelly
Splash of orange flower water


Preheat oven to 350°F.

In or with an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese until it’s soft and smooth. While beating, add vanilla, orange rind and sugar. Beat in cream, then eggs, 1 at a time. Scrape the bowl sides with a rubber spatula and beat just enough to make the mixture smooth. Pour into the crust, level and bake 25 minutes. Remove from oven and cool. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour to use the same day, or overnight to use the next day.

Blueberry topping
Melt jelly in a small pan over medium heat until it boils. If using rose water, add now. Simmer 1 minute. Using a pastry brush, cover the cream cheese filling with a thin layer of jelly and set the rest of it aside to cool. It should slightly thicken. When it does, add the berries to it and with a rubber spatula carefully coat the berries with the jelly.

Pour the coated berries and jelly onto the pie and move the berries around to make 1 even layer of berries and jelly that reaches to the crust all the way around, totally covering the top of the pie. (You can to this with your fingers or a dull spreader.) Refrigerate for a few hours at least before serving. Overnight is OK, too.

. . .

Peach Crisp

1 (9 or 10-inch) pie

12 peaches, peeled and sliced
Juice of 1 lime
¼ cup turbinado or light brown sugar
1 tablespoon flour (use cornstarch if you need to be gluten free)
½ teaspoon rose water or vanilla
1 pinch ground nutmeg

Crust:
1½ cups old-fashioned oats
1½ chopped and whole pecans mixed
½ cup light brown sugar
1 pinch salt
1 stick (¼ pound) unsalted butter, cold and cut in pieces
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon


Heat oven to 350°F.

Arrange the peaches in a 9- or 10-inch pie plate. Squirt them with the lime juice. Drizzle on the rose water or vanilla. Sprinkle on the flour and stir it in. It’s there to keep the peach juice from overflowing. Stir in the brown sugar and sprinkle the nutmeg on top.

In a medium bowl, mix together the oats, pecans, sugar and salt. Using your hands, work in the butter until it is holding everything together in thick clumps.

Spread the clumps evenly over the peaches. If you have a few air spaces, that’s OK. This is not a pie. Sprinkle cinnamon evenly over the top.

Bake at 350° for 35–40 minutes, until the peach juice is bubbling and the topping is golden brown and crisp. Cool 10 minutes before serving with a large spoon.

Serve with ice cream, yogurt or whipped cream. Or just plain.

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