Peach Cobbler

One of my dearest frolleagues (friend and colleague) and an ardent follower of this blog once pointed out that the best way to eat seasonal fruit and veg was essentially just leaving them as is. For example, if tomatoes are their peak in the Summer, just slice them and eat them with a little salt, pepper, and olive oil, at most  most, and if cherries are at their best, he reasoned, it would be best to eat them fresh, no need to stem and pit and bake them in to a pie (he was skeptical when I told him I had taken to roasting cherries for Cherry and Goat Cheese Crostini -- in hindsight, I can sort of see his point). In his book, the less one does, the better, and I certainly agree -- let cherry-ness or the tomato-ness or the blueberry-ness shine when they're at their best, no need to confuse the natural flavor with other ones. 

And yet.

If you're of the same idea then, I guess you wouldn't want to take a bunch of seasonal, at-their-best peaches, slice them, toss them with a little lemon juice, and bake them until even juicier and sweeter, now would you? You would probably also be against topping the aforementioned peaches with a cake-y, buttery, topping, the perfect vehicle to absorb all those lovely peach juices and add a little texture contrast, just barely sweet in order to let the peaches shine. I'd go as far as to presume as well then that serving this warm out of the oven with a generous scoop of vanilla ice cream would be a bad idea too, right? You would thus probably not be a fan of the resulting Peach Cobbler, and would most certainly have no problem turning down a serving of it for dessert, correct?!

Hmmm. 

I've come to conclude that sometimes, just sometimes, less isn't necessarily always more, and that occasionally, a few little touches here and there can actually take something that is already great to other levels of greatness, albeit slightly fancier, more elaborate ones. Peach Cobbler (a dessert from the American south, if you're not familiar) exemplifies this, taking already delicious summer-y peaches and dressing them up a little, elevating them from simple summer snack to perfect summer dessert. This recipe (from my culinary bible, Bon Appetit) is just what a cobbler should be -- its simple and straightforward, peach-centric and downright delicious, plus it was a cinch to make and was in the oven before I knew it. Because when you have a dessert this good, the last thing you want to do is have to wait too long to eat it, right? 

A couple of notes: You could probably add a handful of raspberries or blueberries or strawberries to this cobbler to make it a Peach Berry Cobbler. Feel free to add a little cinnamon to the peaches or topping if you want too. Serve this warm with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream and you won't regret it, or eat the leftovers cold out of the fridge like my sister and I did -- its surprisingly refreshing when its over 100 degrees out. 

Looking for other Summer fruit desserts? I've got this Blueberry Pie, these Blueberry Pie Bars, this Plum Cobbler with Cinnamon Biscuits, this Summer Berry Cake, these Strawberry Chocolate Shortcakes, this Blackberry Cheesecake Galette, and these Raspberry and Blueberry Shortcakes. Want other recipes with peaches? I've got this Peach Raspberry Buckle and this salad with Peaches, Burrata, and Arugula. For good measure while we're on the topic of cobblers -- this savory Cherry Tomato Cobbler with Gruyere Biscuits.

PEACH COBBLER

Ingredients:
6 large peaches, cut into wedges (not too thick or too thin -- see my photos below)
1/4 cup (50 grams) sugar
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon cornstarch

1 cup (130 grams) flour
1/2 cup (100 grams) sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 stick (12 tablespoons, or 168 grams) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1/4 cup (59ml) boiling water

Directions:
Preheat oven to 425 Fahrenheit (215 degrees Celsius).

In a medium bowl, toss the peaches together with the sugar, lemon juice, and cornstarch. Pour the peaches in to a lightly buttered 2-qt. baking dish. Bake the peaches in the oven for about 10 minutes to give them a head start.
Stir together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Blend in butter with your fingertips or a pastry blender until mixture resembles sand (or, if its super hot out where you are like it was in Rome when I made this, the resulting mixture will look more like a dough as the butter will melt faster than you can blend it in). Stir in the water until just combined -- the mixture should look like a batter now.
When the 10 minutes are up, remove the peaches from the oven. Drop spoonfuls of topping over them, then use a spoon to spread the mixture evenly over the peaches. Put your cobbler back in the oven and bake until the topping is golden brown, about 25 minutes. 
Let the cobbler cool for at least half an hour before eating to let the juices and peaches set a bit. Serve warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Serves 4-6.


Recipe from www.epicurious.com.











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