Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Lazy Day Duff

My internet has been down. For about a week and a half. I had no idea how reliant I was on it for just about everything. I live thousands of miles away from most of my friends, and all of my family, so I need to email/facebook and generally annoy them. And apparently simple things that I know how to do (how long do you cook a chicken breast?), I second guess myself and think "but maybe 25 minutes won't be long enough and I will get Salmonella and die." Long story short, I'm happy to be back.

This weekend I had one of those weekends. I didn't go to the grocery store, I didn't even clean. I remember being busy but with what, I can not tell you. So it came as a bit of a surprise to me when I started thinking about what I could make with ingredients hanging around my (severely depleated) house/pantry.

Out of eggs? Have to scrape the bottom of the container to find sugar? You can still make a Lazy Day Duff. I'm convinced it's called "Lazy Day" Duff because even if you didn't do productive things like "grocery shopping" you still deserve some dessert, and can make this with whatever you have in the house. And some amount of canned/frozen fruit you have no current plans with.

Step one, melt butter in the bottom of an 8x8 pan. This can be done by just melting the butter in the microwave and adding it to the pan, or melting the butter right in the pan (as I have done here). I do this because... well... I hate doing dishes.

Step two, add brown sugar. As a note, when my mother would make this she would only put brown sugar (to make caramely goodness) on half of the pan. It was very disconcerting to me since that half would be gone in mere moments, leaving only the non-caramel side to have (for breakfast) the next day. I later learned that my father doesn't like the brown sugar in this dish (which is surprising to me since he likes so many other wonderful things in the world). So feel free to leave that part out if you feel so inclined. I'm not sure why you would... but it does make it healthier for breakfast... Anyway, sprinkle LIBERALLY brown sugar on the bottom. You might use 1/2 a cup for this dish. Do you think you've put enough on? Go ahead, add a little more. You'll thank me later.

Step three: make the batter. Just dump the rest of the ingredients (minus the fruit) into a small bowl, mix with a wisk until combined, and dump ontop of the butter/sugar goodness you've just created. Don't mix. Just level it out a little bit.

Step four: dump fruit over the top. If you're working with "halves" of fruit, cut them up on the way in to "sliver" sized amounts. Make sure most of the liquid from the can is drained... but if there is a small amount of liquid that makes it in, well that's just better for everyone. If you were to spoon the fruit from the can, the amount of moisture that gets caught in the middle is about right.

I made my dessert with canned peaches. (If you (or your mother/grandmother/friendly neighbor) can peaches, this is the moment to bring them out.) However, if you are like me and no longer have access to such wonderful food storage, you can use canned fruit. not pie filling. but canned fruit. (Because I've used pie filling and tried to take some sugar out of the batter, and drain all the goop, and it is still sweet enough to give you a cavity just by smelling it.) But, since you haven't been to the store in a while, if you just have frozen fruit... it's a really great plan B. Totally workable. A much better option than this pie filling idea. Just sharing my mistakes... Good fruit for this is peaches, plums, cherries. Or maybe what you have in the house? (those are things we've used... but I don't doubt what you are making sounds great.)

Just out of the oven.  And what you can't see here is that the layers are bubbling, and it smells like awesome.

Oh, and this recipe is easily doubled if you can't find your 8x8 pan and want to use a standard cake pan.  Or you just want to make enough to share.

Lazy Day Duff

4 tbs butter (melted)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup flour
1/2 cup sugar
3 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2/3 cup milk
1 large can of fruit (preferably something canned by your grandmother... it just tastes better)

1. Melt butter and put in the bottom of an 8x8 pan
2. Coat bottom of the pan with brown sugar
3. In a separate bowl wisk to combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, milk and vanilla
4. Dump mixture into prepared pan
5. Top by dumping fruit over the top
6. Bake 30 minutes at 350 degrees and test with toothpick for done-ness.
Serve warm with vanilla ice cream or whipping cream

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