Sunday, August 25, 2013

Peach Cobbler

“A Georgia peach, a real Georgia peach, a backyard great-grandmother's orchard peach, is as thickly furred as a sweater, and so fluent and sweet that once you bite through the flannel, it brings tears to your eyes.” by Melissa Fay Greene, ‘Praying for Sheetrock’

This book was a finalist for 1991 National Book Award and a New York Times notable book. The setting takes place in Georgia. Want to know more about this book follow the link to reviews which are quite favorable.

I will agree with the author about the Georgia peach. Once you have had one you never forget their fragrant, juicy, sweet taste. Unfortunately, when I set out to try this recipe there were no Georgia peaches available. I know it can be difficult to find them in Minnesota and when they do come in it is for a short period of time. 
You may find this hard to believe but I have never made peach cobbler before. The choices on the Internet seemed boundless. After extensive reading it seemed like the cobbler crust recipes varied in ingredients.  All recipes used cold butter in the crust with the directions cut the butter with a pastry cutter or your fingers to make it a texture like coarse crumbs.   Some recipes listed buttermilk or hot water for the liquid ingredient.
I settled on using buttermilk because it is one ingredient I have always had success with no matter what the recipe. I did cheat a bit by using the Cuisinart to mix butter into dry ingredients rather than a pastry cutter or fingers and that technique worked just fine. The important thing to remember about the cobbler crust dough is not to overwork it. Mix the dry ingredients with the buttermilk only till just combined for a soft dough.
One other point to mention was when dropping dough on hot peach mixture do not worry about having it all cover the peaches since the dough spreads out when cooking. It is important for the spoonfuls of dough to go on peaches that are hot.
An important part of this recipe is using a hot oven at 425.
A trick for getting skins easily off peaches is to submerge them in boiling water for 30 seconds and then plunge them in a bowl of cold water with ice cubes. 
The final result was everything I had hoped for and it was hard to stop with just one serving. Ice cream is a must for this dessert.
Peach Cobbler
recipe adapted Television Food Network 2013
Use a 9 inch glass pan or a 1-1/2 quart shallow baking dish as shown in the photo
Cobbler filling
  • 6-7  cups of peaches (I used 7 large ones)
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 TB. cinnamon
  • 1-/1/2 tsp. vanilla 
  • 3 heaping TB. flour
Cobbler Crust
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 2 TB. brown sugar
  • 4 TB cold butter, cut in small pieces
  • 2/3 cup buttermilk at room temperature
1/4 cup white sugar mixed with cinnamon (might not need all of it)
  • Preheat oven 425
  • Generously grease a shallow 1-1/2 quart baking dish 
  • Place sliced peaches in dish, sprinkle with brown sugar. cinnamon. flour and vanilla
  • Mix gently and spread evenly again in the pan
  • Bake 10 minutes
  • Meanwhile combine all dry ingredients for cobbler crust in a bowl
  • Cut in butter with pastry cutter or your fingers to make the texture like coarse crumbs (shortcut use Cuisinart)
  • In large bowl stir buttermilk into cobbler crumb mixture and stir for a soft dough
  • Remove peaches from oven and drop rounded spoonful of dough on top
  • Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar mixture over the top of the cobbler dough
  • Bake until fruit is bubbly and crust topping is golden brown and puffed-about 20 minutes

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