Tonawanda News — Sometimes being a Peach Festival recipe contestant requires a bit of fast thinking.
When Jeannie Green of Grand Island ran into some trouble in the kitchen, she changed up her recipe. It was supposed to be a peach pie, but when the crust didn’t set like she wanted she had to think quick.
“I broke up the crust part, added the custard that wasn’t set but it tasted good,” she said. “I crushed up more short bread cookies, added more coconut, whipped cream and peaches.”
“I made the best out of it.”
While she didn’t win, one judge told her “yours was one of the best,” and another asked if he could take a piece for his wife, she said with a chuckle.
Mary Smeal of Ransomville also didn’t win the event, but said that entering the contest was something she has wanted to do for a long time. The retired cook’s assistant from Mount St. Mary’s Hospital was pretty happy with her recipe for peach cream cheese Napoleon, which she invented from several different recipes and created for the first time for the festival.
“It was the first time I ever made it,” she said. “I thought it was delicious.”
Even though she didn’t win, she said that she received lots of compliments on her dessert, and plans to make it again. As for the contest, “I think I’ll try again next year,” she said.
The winner was a peach cobbler trifle, created by Dawn Siemucha of Lewiston, who is a three-time winner.
“It was a beautiful presentation,” Lynn Catalano, director of the peach recipe taste off, said of the winner, “but it was also absolutely delicious.”
The recipes of the winning dessert and just a few of the judges many favorites are presented below:
Peach cobbler triffle
2 small packages instant vanilla pudding
1 cup sour cream
11/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon orange zest
1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 cups heavy whipping cream
11/2 loaf pound cake
4 cups diced fresh peaches
For the crumb mixture (just bold, no chapter head)
1 cup graham cracker crumbs
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup quick oats
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
dash of clove
6 tablespoons melted butter
Stir ingredients for crumb mixture together well and spread on cookie sheet and bake at 350 until lightly golden. Remove from oven and let cool.
Cube cake into small bite-size squares, set aside.
Whip heavy whipping cream until it peaks. In a separate bowl whip milk, pudding, vanilla, powder sugar and orange zest together until thick, fold in sour cream and once smooth, fold in whipping cream.
Wash and slice peaches, stir in 1 tablespoon lemon juice and 1 tablespoon sugar to keep them from browning. Set aside.
In trifle dish, or in seperate serving dishes, layer cake, pudding, crumb mixture and peaches repeating until dish is full. Top with fresh peaches. Chill before serving. Peaches can brown easily so serve within a few hours of chilling. Garnish with cinnamon sticks if desired.
Serves approximately 12.
— Dawn Siemucha, Lewiston
Peach cream pie with coconut crust
1 5.3-ounce package shortbread cookies
2/3 cup packed shredded unsweetened coconut
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
11/2 cups fresh sliced peaches
3 large egg yolks beaten
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
1/4 cup cream cheese
confectioner’s sugar for topping
Using bowl or food processor, crush or grind shortbread cookies, add in coconut, add butter and mix to create shortbread crust.
Spoon into 8-inch pie plate and firmly press down.
Freeze for 15 minutes.
Press fresh peaches to make 1/3 cup juice.
Whisk peach juice with egg yolks, cornstarch and condensed milk in sauce pan and cook over medium heat stirring constantly, then simmer 8 minutes.
Remove from heat and beat in cream cheese and cool 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Pour filling into crust and refrigerate at least 2 hours.
Place fresh sliced peaches on top and sprinkle with confectioner’s sugar.
— Jeanne Green, Grand Island
Peach cream cheese Napoleon
1 cup of cold milk
1 small package of instant vanilla pudding
1 8-ounce package of cream cheese
1/4 cup peach preserves
2 cups of thawed Cool Whip
1 cup of chocolate candy, melted
1 box of frozen puff pastry sheets
1 tablespoon sugar and 1 teaspoon cinnamon mixed together
3-4 fresh peaches (peeled and sliced)
Heat oven to 400 degrees. Thaw pastry sheets at room temperature 40 minutes or until easy to handle.
Lightly grease two baking sheets. Unfold pastry sheets on lightly floured surface. Cut into three strips along fold marks. Place on baking sheets, sprinkle with the sugar and cinnamon mixture.
Bake 15 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from baking sheets and cool on wire racks.
Pour milk into a large mixing bowl. Add pudding mix. Beat at low speed with electric mixer for 2 minutes. Beat in cream cheese on medium speed until smooth. Gently stir in peach preserves. Gently stir in cool whip. Refrigerate until chilled, at least 1 hour.
Split each pastry into 2 layers, forming a total of 6 layers. Spread 3/4 cup of the cream cheese mixture on 1 pastry layer. Top with some of the sliced peaches. Repeat with another layer of puffed pastry, more cream cheese mixture and top with final puffed pastry. Repeat to make second dessert. Drizzle desserts with melted chocolate. Cut each pastry into six pieces. Serve Immediately or cover and refrigerate up to 4 hours. For easier slicing, refrigerate for at least 1 hour and use a wet, serrated knife.
— Mary Smeal, Ransomville