A huge part of being prepared is knowing what to do with nothing, or what seems like nothing. I have mentioned before about thinking on the fly, and this is an example of that. My husband would call it strategic planning!
One time you need to use this is when you are faced with a bunch of ingredients in the pantry, but you aren’t sure what to make from the strange menagerie you find. It is comforting to have ideas on the back burner that are versatile and flexible. Even better if they are very creative and taste great! I have a file folder of these to use when my brain is stumped or foggy.
Here is an example.
The Galette. It is a neat little free-form pastry, sort of like a pizza, but the crust-edge is folded up over the fillings. It can be a meal, a side dish, OR even a dessert! You can stuff it with whatever you want and can imagine. A galette can be made with pie crust or a yeast crust, like pizza. I have made them stuffed with carmelized onions, feta and tomato, sausage and cheese, and now even as a dessert.
Running out of time preparing dinner for the first night of Sukkot the other day, I hadn’t put much thought into a dessert. I normally make a pumpkin roll with cream cheese filling, crust-free pumpkin pie or a plain old fashioned pie with crust – but I had forgotten to buy whip cream to go on top! Ooops….
I knew we were having our traditional meal of chicken pot pie. And, as we have downsized our meal portions quite a bit, individual pot pies baked in cast iron skillets was my plan. This would leave pie crust dough leftover and I was stilled befuddled at what to make for dessert.
I looked into the refrigerator to grab the onion for the potpie filling, and realized the peaches were going south. They were very soft, bruised and about to be tossed. Waste not want not, right? So, I decided dessert MUST incorporate peaches!
As I closed the door I spotted an open package of cream cheese with half a pack left! And that was ALL I needed for my brain to kick into high gear – dessert was going to be a cinnamon-peach dessert galette with cream cheese filling! A simple treat that would use these items that were almost ready for the trash, and the leftover pie crust from the recipe used in making chicken potpies! A win-win situation. No waste!
After making the pot pies, I rolled out the rest of the pie crust into a nice circle. Then sprinkled cinnamon-sugar mixture lightly on the crust-center, leaving about 1 inch undusted around the perimeter. Next, I mixed together a scant Tbsp of sugar, 1/2 tsp of vanilla extract, and the cream cheese (approx. 4 oz). I spread this over the cinnamon sugar sprinkle, then sliced the peaches and arranged them on top of the cream cheese.
For a filling more like that in a cheese danish, you would need to use 8 oz of cream cheese, the vanilla, sugar, and add 1 egg yolk. Then mix that well and bake in the 400 F degree oven for 25-30 minutes.
I sprinkled a little more cinnamon-sugar on top of the peaches, then folded the edges on the peaches in typical galette style. It turned out to be about 6 inches in diameter. I baked this at 400 F degrees on parchment covered baking sheet for about 25-30 minutes, until the peaches were soft. After removing from the oven, I placed it on a cooling rack to cool. I stuck it in the refrigerator for a bit, too, after it was cool - just to chill it a bit. So simple!
You could do this also with apricots, cherries, apples, pears, or even store bought pie filling. It can be changed-up by serving with or without ice cream or whip cream, or even baking with or without cream cheese. If desired, you can drizzle powdered sugar icing over it, or even a little maple syrup! This one was 2 medium servings, or 4 small. Perfect for the two of us!
How did it taste? It was DELICIOUS! I wish I had made two - one for the next morning!
Print the PDF for your home storage plan - starting using the flexible recipe now or set it aside in a notebook or file folder for those times when you are stumped like I was. Just remember to make it a part of YOUR Strategic Planning for days when YOU are making much ado about nothing!
Judith has over 20 years experience in food storage, herbs, essential oils, and prepping. She was a captain in the USAF-AUX, FEMA trained, Community Emergency Response Team member and NRA marksmanship award recipient. She shares her experiences with her readers offering tips and recipes.
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