Fresh Peach Cobbler
Serves 6 to 8
What says late summer better than a beautiful fresh peach cobbler. Now, I am a cobbler purest. People call all sorts of things cobblers, but ... it’s not a cobbler unless the top crust is made of biscuits. Why? Because the bumpy surface formed by the biscuits was thought to look like the stones of a cobbled street.
First you will need fresh, fresh perfectly ripened peaches. That may be a bit difficult in this day of agro-industry. And face it, if the peaches, like tomatoes, were picked at their perfection of perfect ripeness, after they had suffered the rigors of packing and shipping they would be a sorry sight by the time they reached the market. By necessity, large growers have to pick the fruit under ripe. So, if you have access, you are better off going to a growers or farmers market. Of course if you just happen to have a tree or have a friend with a tree, then ... well, you are in for a treat.
First, you will need to peel the peaches. You can of course peel them with a knife or a vegetable peeler but you are going to take some of the peach along with the peel. It’s best to slip the skins.
The following is an indefinite, farmhouse recipe. In other words, the measurements are not precise. Hey, peaches aren’t precise. Some are bigger, some are smaller, some are riper, some not so ripe, some are sweeter than others. Precise measurements might not work under all conditions.
10 to 12 fresh peaches
Sugar to taste
½ teaspoon almond extract
A few gratings of nutmeg or about ¼ teaspoon pre ground
The juice and zest of half a lemon
2 tablespoons of cornstarch or 4 tablespoons of all purpose flour
Egg wash – (1 raw egg lightly beaten with 1 tablespoon of cold water)
Raw, Turbinado or Demerara sugar
Preheat oven to 500° or 550°. Make the biscuit dough and chill while you prepare the peaches.
Slip the skins off the peaches. If they aren’t ripe enough for the skins to slip easily, just peel them with a knife or vegetable peeler. Remove the pits and slice the peaches into thin, bite size pieces. I like to cut them into eights then cut each of those pieces in half lengthwise. Place the sliced peaches into a mixing bowl and sprinkle with sugar to taste. * Add the almond extract nutmeg and lemon, stir gently and taste. Adjust seasonings. Sprinkle the cornstarch or flour over and mix gently but well.
Pour the seasoned peaches into a baking dish. A standard pie pan will be too small. I use a rectangular ceramic baking dish that is about 8 or 9 by 12 inches.
Remove the biscuit dough from the refrigerator, pat or roll out to be about one inch thick. Using a 2 to 2 ½ inch round cutter cut out biscuits and place them on top of the peaches. Leave about half an inch between each biscuit. Paint the surface of the biscuits with egg wash and sprinkle lightly with raw sugar.
Place in the preheated oven and turn the heat down to 350°. Bake until the biscuits are golden brown and the peaches smell like heaven, about 35 to 45 minutes.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool. This is delicious served at room temperature and it is heaven served warm with thick cream poured over it or with a scoop of really good vanilla ice cream.
Hell, you can go back on your diet tomorrow and walk an extra mile.
* For those needing to restrict their sugar intake, I have had great success substituting Splenda for sugar. And, use the regular Splenda, not the one for baking because it has sugar in it, so ... what’s the point.