Do you like peaches? I do. At least, I do when they are de-furred. String beans, kiwis, peaches: what’s up with the fuzzy exteriors?
When 2.0 and I stood before some peaches at the market, he told me he really didn’t like them. (Has the fur has been throwing him off too?) So I told him I’d make a cobbler – that I’d change his mind. He said, “I don’t think so.” And I thought to myself: you couldn’t be more wrong.
It’s a dance we do: 2.0 says he doesn’t like something, I tell him he does, he eats the something I have made for him, admits that I was right, and asks for seconds. I know this man. I know his tastes. Why can’t he just trust me? It reminds me of a man I once dated who was convinced that I was trying to kill him with spicy pasta. No lie. I told him that when he said he liked spicy food, I took him at his word, and that if I had actually wanted to kill him, I would have stabbed him in the eye with say, his fork. Four red pepper flakes is an extremely inefficient route to take…
I knew that as soon as 2.0 saw the peaches and brown sugar being mixed together that I had won the battle. “Maybe you’ll try some,” I said. “Yes, maybe I will,” he replied.
And, as always, I was right. The brown sugar and peaches in this cobbler get fragrant, sweet and caramelly, and the soft doughy topping gives it all some balance. I ain’t no farmer, but I’m pretty sure peaches are in season right now.
. . .
recipe: The Food Network (Kristina Williamson), with additional notes by yours truly
For the filling:
- 4 cups peeled* and sliced fresh peaches – about 8 or 9 peaches, depending on size
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 tablespoon flour
* Wash your peaches, then score the underside with an “x” using a sharp knife – don’t cut too deeply. Blanch the peaches in boiling water for about 60 seconds and then dip in an ice bath. You should then be able to remove the skins, peeling back from the points of the “x”. If blanching a large number of peaches, I recommend doing so in batches. I find that some of my peaches require a little more than 60 seconds in the boiling water to loosen the skins – you can gauge depending on ripeness. Start with 1 or 2 peaches, and then do the batch.
For the crust:
- 1 cup flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 3 tablespoons brown sugar
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
- 2/3 cup buttermilk
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar, for topping
- whipped cream or ice cream for serving (optional)
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
Combine all dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, baking soda, brown sugar) for cobbler crust in a bowl, and set aside. Generously grease a 1 1/2-quart shallow baking dish.
Place the sliced peaches in the dish and sprinkle with brown sugar, cinnamon, vanilla, and flour. Mix gently with your hands (okay, you could use a spoon), and spread evenly in the baking dish. Bake for 10 minutes.
While the peaches are cooking, cut the butter into the awaiting dry crust ingredients with a pastry cutter or your fingers, to make the texture like coarse crumbs. Add the buttermilk and stir to form a soft dough. Remove the peach mixture from oven and drop rounded spoonfuls of dough on top. Then sprinkle the top of your cobbler with the remaining tablespoon of brown sugar, and return to oven.
Bake until the fruit is bubbly and crust topping is golden brown, about 20 minutes. Serve warm with whipped cream or ice cream.