Monday, November 2, 2015

delicious desserts: summer peach cobbler

Quick confession: I've had this post queued up, half-written for months now...

I'll never forget taking a trip one summer to pick peaches when I was a kid. It might sound like a lot to have to "take a trip" to pick peaches, but when you grow up on an island, almost everything other than the grocery store and the post office require a little adventure. We traveled by ferry to Knott's Island and picked the biggest, ripest, juiciest peaches. My cousin and I spent a good part of the afternoon in trees, each trying to pick the best peaches. At the end of the day, when peaches were picked and paid for, we were allowed to eat one. One bite and I remember the peach juice running down my arm and dripping off my elbow. It was a sweet mess.

Peach season is my favorite part of summertime. I love to bake peach pies with graham cracker crusts and crumb toppings. In fact, I already made a big batch of miniature ones for a bake sale earlier this summer. But lately I've been wanting to try something new to me, and that's a peach cobbler. Also super simple, transportable for summer get-togethers and not much prep or baking time. I found a great recipe via Gonna Want Seconds; the recipe below is based on it with my changes.

Summer Peach Cobbler

what you need (fruit):
approx. 6 cups of fresh peaches - peeled and sliced in preferred thickness
2-3 tbs sugar (I used evaporated cane sugar)
2-3 tbs brown sugar (I used light) 
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg (or just grate some fresh nutmeg over peach slices)
dash of ginger powder
squirt of lemon juice
1 tsp corn starch (to help thicken fruit mixture - can omit)

what you do:

-peel and slice peaches (thick slices or chunks) into a large mixing bowl 
-add all other ingredients, stirring until peach slices are coated with spices and sugar
-pour into glass or ceramic baking dish (8x8 or slightly larger)
-bake the dish of peaches for 10-15 minutes at 375 while preparing cobbler topping (may want to place dish on a foil-lined baking sheet in case of boiling over peach juice)

what you need (topping):
2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup white sugar (I used evaporated cane sugar)
1/4 cup brown sugar (I used light)  
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
12 tbs cold, unsalted butter - cut into small pieces
1/2 cup boiling water
2-3 pinches white sugar - additional to above; set aside to sprinkle on top

what you do:
-in a medium sized mixing bowl, combine all topping ingredients except boiling water 
-cut the butter into the mixture with a pastry cutter or blend with fingers until combined and crumbly texture
-pour in the boiling water and stir just until ingredients come together
-take dish of pre-baked peaches out of the oven and top with the dough (spoon on and gently spread out with fingers or spoon; don't aim for smoothed perfection - leave it a little lumpy)
-sprinkle top of dough with sugar
-place dish back on foil-lined pan into the 375 degree oven for another 30-40 minutes, until the top gets a light golden color
-remove from oven and let cool slightly before serving; great alone or with ice cream!

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