Monday, August 4, 2008

peach cobbler promises

peach cobbler, originally uploaded by doesinheadlights.

I wanted to make cobbler mostly because the peaches at the supermarket were huge, smelled strongly of peachiness, and were under a dollar a pound. I checked out a number of cobbler and crisp recipes, but found most of the proportions were not quite what I was looking for (too much sugar, not enough sugar, sweet crusts). In the end I used the simple JOC method (i.e. prepare fruit filling of your choice, top with biscuit dough of your choice, brush with butter, sprinkle with sugar, bake). The most arduous part of this process is blanching and peeling the peaches. My mother said she would have left the skin on, and I'm inclined to believe that doing so wouldn't be a bad idea.

simple peach cobbler

6 large peaches (about 3lbs)
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
3-4 tablespoons flour (or cornstarch)
1 3/4 cups ap flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons dried buttermilk
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
3/4 cup cold water
butter for the pan and topping
sugar for sprinkling

Preheat oven to 425.

Boil plenty of water in a saucepan large enough to accommodate fat summer peaches. In the meantime, wash the peaches and prepare an ice water bath large enough to accommodate them. When the water is boiling, drop the peaches in for 30 to 45 seconds, and remove to ice water. Remove after 30 seconds to a minute. Peel by hand or using a paring knife.

Pit each peach and cut into several wedges. Place wedged peaches in a large bowl and toss with granulated sugar, brown sugar and flour or cornstarch. Set aside.

Sift together flour, baking powder, salt and powdered buttermilk. Cut the unsalted butter into the flour until the mixture resembles coarse bread crumbs. Pour in cold water and stir the mixture gently until combined. Add more water if necessary, but dough should be sticky and dense.

Butter a large casserole, eight small ramekins, or some combination of the above (I used a small casserole dish and four small ramekins). Spoon the peach mixture into each. Top with loosely formed balls of the dough. Brush or spoon butter all over the top, and sprinkle with sugar. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until the topping is golden brown and the filling is bubbly.

Serve with excellent vanilla ice cream.

Yields 8-10 generous servings.

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