Grandma’s kitchen stirs memories and the senses. Remember her kitchen smelling of fresh-baked berry pies or berry jams simmering on the stove?
She never failed to “put” up jams so the family could enjoy the fruits of summer all year long. Those that have a great cooking grandma still with them are blessed indeed. Get her to write down her recipes now. Some cooks must rely on their memories to make grandma’s creations.
Since berries are still in season, let’s take a stroll down recipe lane and try to recreate some of her goodies. Grandma’s desserts did not have to be ooey-gooey. She used whatever ingredients were available. Recipes were simpler, like the times. Summer desserts had sugar, flour, rising agents, milk, fruits and maybe vanilla extract or cinnamon.
A favorite is a cool strawberry-banana pie. No, this does not have a cream filling, but a thickened fresh strawberry filling with a layer of fresh, not-too-ripe bananas.
Yes, grandma made pie crusts from scratch, but today, grab a good store-bought pie crust. The rolled crusts in a box in the refrigerator case are good and sprinkled with flour taste almost homemade. The only baking required for this pie is the crust; let it cool before adding fruit. A dollop of whipped cream or Cool Whip is a great finisher for this dessert.
Another berry-delicious recipe is a berry cobbler. With this, any favorite berry or berries will do. Blackberries or dewberries are good choices, as are fresh blueberries, which are abundant in south Mississippi.
Of course, the cobbler is baked, but it’s ready in less than an hour from start to finish. Peaches also work well in this recipe. A scoop of ice cream on top is one way to serve. Of course, whipped cream or Cool Whip work well, too.
Grandmas often poured a little evaporated milk on individual dishes of cobbler to add a richer flavor.
These recipes are not hard and guaranteed to bring back memories of the good, old summertime with grandma.
BERRY GOOD COBBLER
- 1 cup flour
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 stick butter
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- Pinch of salt
- 1 cup milk
- 2-3 cups berries, blackberries, blueberries, dewberries, strawberries and even peaches
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
Combine flour, 1 cup sugar, baking powder, salt and milk. Stir thoroughly. Set aside.
Put berries in saucepan with 1 cup brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. Cook on high heat until sugar dissolves and mixture is thickened somewhat.
In 9-by-13-inch pan, melt butter in oven at 375 degrees for a couple of minutes. Remove from oven and add flour mixture. Do not stir. Add berries all over flour mixture. Do not stir. Sprinkle more cinnamon on top. Bake at 375 degrees for 45 minutes.
Note: If using fresh peaches, place six peaches in a large pot of water and bring to a boil. Let rest in water until cool enough to peel. Peels will remove easily, and peaches will break apart easily, too.
SUPER EASY STRAWBERRY-BANANA PIE
- 1 prebaked pie crust
- 1 quart strawberries
- 2 medium bananas, not too ripe or too green
- 1 large package strawberry gelatin
- 2 cups water
- Lemon juice
Press rolled pie crust into a 9-inch pie plate. Bake according to package directions. Remove from oven and let cool.
Heat 1 cup of water to almost boiling. Stir in dry gelatin. Add remaining cup of cool water. Refrigerate until cool.
Slice strawberries about 1/4-inch thick so they will lay in the crust tightly and have more fruit and less gelatin. Slice bananas.
Arrange fruit inside cooled pie shell. Be sure to sprinkle lemon juice on layer of bananas so they keep their color.
Pour gelatin over the top and place back in the refrigerator. Chill until well set, about two hours.
Andrea Yeager is a freelance writer who lives in Gulfport with her daughter, granddaughter, three cats and two dogs.