When I was in high school, without my mother’s knowledge, I submitted her recipe for Peach Torte to a cooking contest our local newspaper was having. Boy, was she surprised when they called to tell her she had won a contest she had never entered! I informed her that I was the one at fault, and you’re welcome. Because now we were going to be famous! The newspaper was sending a photographer to our house to take a picture and everything!
On the appointed day, my mother was at work, so I was left in charge of meeting the newspaper man and facilitating the shoot. I made sure to look my best. I wore my favorite shirt and had my hair and makeup done nicely. When the photographer showed up, I was shocked and dismayed that he only wanted a picture of the dessert–not me. I don’t know what I was thinking. I probably had visions of grandeur, imagining those pictures of people standing next to their giant pumpkins, thinking I would join their ranks as I proudly demonstrated our family’s favorite dessert. But no. Only the Peach Torte made it into the newspaper.
It’s probably just as well. You see, I had horse lips. When I looked in the mirror, I did not have horse lips. But every time a picture was taken of me, horse lips would miraculously appear. I could not understand this phenomenon. It took me many years to discover the cause of this mystery. Many painful years of horrible school pictures.
Every year I would practice my smile. In fact, I would start practicing during the summer before school ever started. One year I timed myself in front of the mirror for 2 1/2 hours practicing my smile. I had to really get the “feel” of my perfect smile, because as you know, you cannot see yourself while your picture is being taken. I had to smile over and over again and memorize the placement of my facial muscles so I could replicate that feeling in front of the camera. But every year, I got it wrong.
Never was this so apparent as the year I was 16. My lips were highly glossed with “Kissing Potion” (which did not work, by the way), my hair was appropriately tall, and I was wearing my favorite green sweater. It had to be a great picture. But I was horrified at what I saw. Horse lips! Horse lips again, despite all my efforts!
After years of intense study, I figured out what caused the horse lips phenomenon. It was simple. My bottom lip was so big that it cast a shadow underneath itself. After making this discovery, I went back and looked at all my other pictures. Big shadows on my chin every time. No wonder my pictures never turned out! No wonder it looked like my bottom lip was the size of a hot dog!
So I dodged a bullet on that day when only the Peach Torte received the glory that I felt was rightfully mine. All the readers of the newspaper were unknowingly thankful they were spared my horse lips, too. I’m sorry you are not so lucky 🙂
Without further ado, here is the glorious recipe that deserves all the accolades it can get. Graham crackers are crushed and then topped with a marvelous buttery, sugary mixture that seeps into the cracker crumbs and turns them into something magical. Top that with juicy, ripe peaches (the juicier, the better) and finish it all off with some whipped topping. It’s fresh, it’s easy, and it’s amazing. Here’s a hint: When you slice your peaches, do it over a bowl to catch all the juices, or right over the top of the graham cracker crumbs and that marvelous buttery, sugary mixture. You actually want the crumbs to get soggy. It really helps to bring out their flavor. So save all that peach juice and put it right in! You can also easily peel peaches by following my tutorial, How to Blanch and Peel Peaches.
- 12 graham crackers, crushed
- 10-12 ripe, juicy peaches, peeled
- 1/2 cup (one cube) butter, melted
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 3 Tbsp. milk or cream
- 1 (8 oz.) container whipped topping
- 1/4 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
- Pour the crushed graham crackers into a 9x13 pan and spread evenly over the bottom.
- Mix the melted butter, powdered sugar, and milk or cream and pour over the graham crackers. Sprinkle with walnuts if desired.
- Slice the peaches and put in the pan, making sure to add all the juices.
- Spread whipped topping over the top.
- Garnish with extra crushed graham cracker or chopped nuts if desired.
- Refrigerate until ready to eat.