October 22, 2011

Peach Cobbler

A few weeks ago, I promised to make the dessert for a dinner party. My promise coincided with a desperate desire for warm peaches, and so I said I'd bring peach pie. Sadly, a trip to the DMV ran long (or rather, I guess, ran normal; I've never gotten out of the DMV in less than two hours) and I realized I had no time to make pie dough, refrigerate it, and still produce a full pie by party time. While using frozen pre-made pie dough isn't beneath me, it turns out it is beneath Whole Foods. I was forced to go to Plan B: desperately searching the interwebs for a relatively quick recipe that would still involve hot peaches. I found several peach cobblers that would fit the bill, but they all featured what looked to me like bland biscuit toppings. I wanted the dough portion of my peach dish to be sweet: not as sweet as the peaches themselves, but with enough sugar so that if I accidentally got a crust only bite, I wouldn't be confused about whether I was eating dessert. Surprisingly, it was Paula Deen to the rescue. I have never watched her show, and so I only knew her through caricature. I expected that any recipe of hers would be high on fat and calories and little else. Her cobbler, though, looked like just what I wanted. It featured lots of hot peaches, cooked almost to a halfway jam, and a dough portion that was decidedly sweet. Plus, it featured an odd technique where you melt the butter in a preheating oven and then just pour on the rest of the dough components and the hot peaches. I don't' know what purpose that serves, but it was super easy, and the results were super delicious. You put the peaches on top, but while it all cooks, the dough/butter rises through the peaches so that the dough and fruit are beautifully intermingled. (I regret to say that my pictures don't do it justice. I sort of forgot the whole photography thing until I was in a cab on the way to the party. It turns out it is kind of hard to take good photos with an iphone in a moving vehicle...)

Now, I know it isn't really peach season anymore (sorry, I'm a procrastinator), but because you cook the peaches, I think this would be almost as good with frozen peaches, and having it now (or even in the winter) would be a nice way to bring back a little taste of summer. I would definitely serve this with vanilla ice cream, or maybe some of the home made stuff Franklin has graciously taught us all how to make!

You can keep leftovers in the fridge. I warmed them up for about 5 minutes in a 300 degree oven the next night, and they were still delicious.

- Madison

Peach Cobbler
Adapted from Paula Deen
Total Time: 1.25 hours (with cooking)
Difficulty Factor: 3; Indulgence Factor: 7; Sweetness Factor: 7; Chance We'd Make It Again: 8

7 or 8 large fresh peaches, peeled and cut into slices OR about 4 cups frozen peach slices
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup water
1 stick of butter (8 ounces)
1 1/2 cups flour
2 1/4 tsp baking powder
3/5 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups milk
cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a pot on the stove over medium heat, put all of the peaches and one cup of the sugar, plus all of the water. Once the mixture has started to boil, simmer for an additional 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

While the peaches are simmering, put the butter in your baking dish. (The dish should hold at least 3 quarts, though I'd go with a 4 quart dish to be safe.) Put the baking dish in your heating oven, so that the butter will melt.

As the butter is melting and the peaches are simmering, mix together the other cup of sugar and the flour, baking powder, salt and milk. (Look at you multitasking!).

Once your butter has melted, take the dish out of the oven. Pour in the sugar/flour mix. Pour the peaches on top. If you like cinnamon, sprinkle all over the top. (It makes for a pretty finish, too!) Put the dish back in the oven, and bake for about 35 minutes. The dough will rise through to surface and start to turn golden brown.

Remove from the oven, let cool slightly (or all the way to room temperature if you like), and serve.

2 comments:

  1. I like the idea of the batter rising up through the peaches. This winter I'm going to be experimenting with using frozen fruits in just these desserts--I've heard it can be done and I love fruit desserts too much not to try!

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  2. I've never tried it myself, but my sister made a peach upside down cake with frozen peaches (that she had sliced and pitted before freezing), and it turned out great!

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