Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Southern Peach Cobbler

Peach season has arrived. Peaches may be my favorite fruit of all time. Fuzzy skin and all, I will quickly devour it down to the stone. My mother used to buy the huge basket from truck stands and it was my personal goal to eat them all before they went bad (never happened). I made my first peach cobbler a few years back. I soon realized making a whole pan was deadly. As I ate it for every meal that day (no lie). So it makes good sense to me, just to make a smaller version. Thank you Small Batch Baking. Once again, I have picked up this book from the library scouting out small scale versions of my favorite large baked goods. Don't throw away grandma's recipe yet, you'll need that for the you next potluck meal. But in the mean time, this one is a great replacement if you are just feeding one or two people.

As always, this book advocates individual servings. But I actually have a little corningware dish that is perfect for baking it together. You need a very small dish, or two 1-cup ramekins. I know you'll make it work. The crust was really good, I just might put a tad more butter in it next time (maybe 1.5 tbs instead of 1tbs). In fact, instead of putting it all on the top. I made two discs and rolled them out to width of my dish. That way I'd have the gooey crust on the bottom and the crispy crust on the top. My crust didn't brown that well, so next time I might put an egg wash on it. I also made my life easier by making the crust in my new food processor. If you don't have one it's fine, just follow the directions of the recipe as it states.

This didn't take much time to put together. I peeled and sliced peaches while watching TV. And made put it together in one or two commercial breaks. I sliced up 2 cups worth (instead of just slicing 3 peaches). My peaches were rather small, the season just started after all. Dennis was off watching baseball with some friends, I opted to stay home and watch The Tony's. He did appear magically at my door as soon as it came out of the oven. We spooned the last of my homemade ice cream onto it and drizzled it with caramel, and I sat down and ate my dinner.

That board is amazing. I just rolled it out to a tart size.

The crust mix, thanks to my new food processor.
As you can see, perfect little cobbler dish.

Southern Peach Cobbler
(Serves Two)

Unsalted butter, at room temperature for greasing baking dishes.

For the Filling:
3 ripe peaches, or 2 cups thaw frozen peaches
1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons firmly packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon cornstarch
Pinch of ground cinnamon

For the Topping:1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
Pinch of salt
Pinch of ground cinnamon
Pinch of ground nutmeg
1 tablespoon cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
2 tablespoons cold whipping (heavy) cream
1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar.

Baking Dishes Required:
Two 1 to 1.5 cup ovenproof bowls or ramekins, or one 2-cup souffle dish or casserole.

1. Place a rack in the center of the oven and preach the oven to 375F. Lightly grease the baking dishes and set them aside.

2. Make the Filling: If you are using fresh peaches, peel them and cut them in half. Remove the pits and cut the pieces into 1/2 inch slices. Place the peaches and the lemon juice in a medium-size bowl, and toss to mix. (If using frozen peaches, omit the lemon juice). Add the brown sugar, cornstarch, and cinnamon, and toss well to coat the peaches. Spoon the peaches and juices into prepared baking dishes, dividing the filling between them.

3. Make the Crust: Place the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a medium-size bowl and whisk to blend well. Add the butter pieces and too to coat the butter with the flour mixture. Rub the mixture with your fingertips until the mixture is crumbly. Add the cream and toss with a fork until the dough is combined.

4. Turn the dough out onto a lightly flour surface and knead it a few times to smooth it. Form the dough into a disk and roll it out, forming two 1/2-inch-thick pieces the shape and size of the top of the baking dishes. Place the dough pieces on top of the filling, and sprinkle each one with 1/4-teaspoon of sugar. Bake until the top is golden brown and the juices are bubbling, 25-30 minutes.

5. Remove the dishes from the oven and let them cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Serve the cobbler warm (with ice cream!).

Don't be fooled, we ate that too.
The filling, before I mixed it up.

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