22 July 2011
Peach cobbler is just one of the delicious ways I use peaches every summer. I go a little crazy for peaches and buy them, not by the pound, but by the 1/2-bushel box whenever I can. That's a lot of peaches! Enough for cobblers, pies, crumbles, upside-down cakes, shortcake, trifle, jam, ice cream and just eating out of hand, not to mention freezing. Aahh, comfort food!
Not all cobblers are created equal. Some are cakey, some are biscuity, and some are pie crusty. Though I am happy to eat any of them, I always make the pie crust kind because that's the kind my Southern grandma made. Sometimes I do a bottom crust as well (because in my world there's no such thing as too much pie crust), but other times (like when I'm pretending to watch my fat/carbohydrate/calorie intake) I just do a top crust. This time I just did a top crust because I was almost out of flour. I go through a lot of flour!
If you're one of those cooks who doesn't "do" pie crust (My sister-in-law, an excellent cook, doesn't even own a rolling pin!), don't worry. You can make this. Without a rolling pin. Seriously. Just do it. Then come back here and tell me all about it!
(Makes 6 to 8 servings)
1/2 packed cup (2.5 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons almond meal (I use Bob's Red Mill) or flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons (2 ounces) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
3 tablespoons ice water
2 1/2 pounds (about 5 large) organic peaches
1/2 cup sugar
4 tablespoons cornstarch
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon (No, that "1/8" is not a typo!)
1/8 teaspoon mace or nutmeg (I want you to taste the peaches!)
1 Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In medium bowl, whisk together flour, almond meal and salt. If you don't have almond meal, just replace it with flour. Add half the butter and with pastry blender (or large fork or two knives or just your fingers) cut butter into flour until mixture has the consistency of coarse meal. Cut in remaining butter until the butter is the size of small peas. Sprinkle water over flour mixture; stir with large fork.
2 Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured piece of parchment paper and, with your hands, press it out into a 7-inch or so circle about 1/4-inch thick. Doesn't have to be smooth, doesn't have to be pretty. Cut into 6 to 8 wedges (however many servings you want). Refrigerate until ready to use.
Or press it out any old way and cut it into any shape you like, such as I did on my Blackberry Cobbler. Cobblers are supposed to be rustic.
3 Peel peaches (or not, if they're thin-skinned and smooth like these) and slice into a large bowl (I use a 2-quart glass measure). You'll have about 6 cups of sliced peaches. (I slice them like this: Quarter peach, cut each quarter into 4 wedges, cut wedges in half.) In a small bowl, whisk together sugar, cornstarch, salt and spices; add to peaches and mix gently but well. Pour into 8-inch-diameter 2-inch-deep round baking dish that you've sprayed with cooking spray. Place pastry wedges on top.
4 Bake at 400 degrees for about 55 minutes until peaches are bubbling and pastry is nicely browned. Let cool one hour before serving with whipped cream or ice cream.