Tuesday, July 13, 2010
Friendship, Foundation, and a Funky Fruit Dessert
I don't know if many of you know about The Vera Bradley Foundation for Breast Cancer. Since Kelly's diagnosis, I have contributed to this foundation in honor of Kelly, but now I will contribute in her memory. My hope is that no other family should ever have to go through losing a daughter, a sister, a mother, an aunt, or even a friend to this disease, but sadly, nearly 200,000 Americans will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year alone, according to The American Cancer Society. My optimism stays strong that one day we will beat this. I promised Kelly that I would continue to support research in what ever way I can...yes, another promise.
A few weeks ago, I noticed on Facebook.com that Dana commented on doing chores in her beautiful Vera Bradley apron. When I asked if they were in the store, her comment back to me was, "one is on it's way to you." And, as promised, I received a beautiful apron in the mail almost the next day! I think it's only appropriate to show off this beautiful gift. After all, my blog is so named for the apron string my mother cut and gave to me when I was married...almost 42 years ago.
So, today I donned my Vera Bradley apron and made a "Stone Fruit Slab Pie." If you look back to a post in April for my father's birthday, I made Apple Slab Pie. It's my portable pie idea for dessert when my husband attends ball games. I had some peaches left over, but since I needed 8 cups of fruit, I ended up adding some dried apricots and even cherries to complete the measure. Therefore, the idea of a Funky Fruit Dessert.
Stone Fruit Slab Pie
8 cups of fruit (I used 4 cups peaches, 2 cups dried apricots, 2 cups cherries)
1 cup sugar
2 T Instant Clear Jel or all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 tsp. almond flavoring
Make the pie dough, as directed, cover with plastic and refrigerate as you prepare the fruit. Peel and slice peaches and rough chop the dried apricots.
I added cherries and combined the fruit to come up with 8 cups. Add the sugar, instant clearjel or flour, nutmeg and almond extract. Stir to combine.
Meanwhile, divide the dough into 2 (two) pieces. Using a non-stick oil spray, spray a 10" x 15" sheet pan. Roll out the bottom dough to fit the pan. Arrange fruit on the dough evenly.
Roll out the top crust and place on top of the fruit. Crimp the edges and make slits in the top to release steam and place in a preheated 375F-degree/convection oven.
Bake 35 to 40 minutes until golden brown and the juices are flowing. During the last 7 minutes, place a small baking sheet with 1 cup of sliced almonds, in the oven to toast. Let pie and almonds cool 15-20. While the pie is cooling, mix up glaze: 2 cups confectioners' sugar and 2T unsalted butter, softened. Add 2-3 T milk until you have a pourable consistency. Pour on top of the pie, then sprinkle with toasted almonds. Enjoy!
Before closing, I want to add a quote that Dana shared on Facebook: "People will not always remember what you said. They will not always remember what you did. But they will always remember how you made them feel." Dana, you gave me such memories of my mom and Kelly today while I baked. Thank you dear friend for that feeling and the beautiful apron. xoxo