I’ve been waiting for the Locally-Grown Peaches to show up at our market because I wanted to pay homage to my friend, Marlene Cornelis’ recent cookbook review of Nigella Bites. Because, per her persuasion, I picked up that book and have been enjoying it immensely. Read her excellent review, and get the recipe for Apple & Blackberry Kuchen, which I was going to make with these peaches.
I couldn’t make that delicious-looking Kuchen today, because when my husband saw the peaches, he insisted I make my signature dessert, which he can never get enough of. This is, in his opinion, the perfect peach cobbler. Today, I scaled down the recipe to serve 2 because it’s best right from the oven. (The ingredient list for 6-8 is at the bottom of this post.)
If you can’t get local, fresh peaches, used canned. Really. Peaches from far-away orchards are picked so unripe, they don’t even taste peachy.
Start by mixing up dough for a tiny crust.
- Stir together 1/2 cup all purpose flour, 3/4 teaspoon baking powder, and 3/4 teaspoon sugar.
- Using a pastry cutter or 2 knives, cut in 2 tablespoons lard and 1 tablespoon butter.
- Add one tablespoon beaten egg and 2 tablespoons milk.
- Stir until all the flour is moistened and form into a ball. Wrap and refrigerate.
And make a light syrup.
- In a small pot, stir 1/3 cup granulated sugar into 1 cup water. Bring to a simmer then remove from heat.
Now, skin and slice the peaches.
- Pour boiling water over 2-3 locally-grown peaches and let sit for 5 minutes.
- Shock them in some cold water, then cut an X in the top and slip of their skins.
- Tip: Hold on the the peach with a paper towel while slicing little crescents away from the pit, letting the fall into your perfect little baking dish (one that holds approximately 2 cups).
Sauce the peaches.
- Sprinkle over the peaches 3/4 teaspoon instant tapioca, 1 tablespoon brown sugar, a dash of cinnamon and 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract.
- Pour the syrup over to almost fill the dish (you probably won’t use all the syrup) and give a good stir, to distribute the dry ingredients all through the dish.
- Cover and allow to sit at room temperature for 30 minutes. The tapioca will refuse to be rushed. If you’re impatient, you will end up peach soup instead of peach cobbler.
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F, and make the crust.
- Tearing off small pieces of the pastry, flatten them into your fingers to make uneven thin disks, roughly 2-inch diameter.
- Place the pieces on top of the filling, overlapping slightly to form a cobbled-looking crust.
- Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon turbinado sugar and bake for 25-30 minutes, until golden.
Cool for 20 minutes and serve with vanilla ice cream, please.
To serve 12 — the Crust: 2 cups flour; pinch salt; 1 tablespoon baking powder; 1 tablespoon sugar; 1/3 cup (3 ounces) lard; 3 tablespoons (1-1/2 ounces) butter; 1 egg; 1/3 cup milk. (This will make two crusts; if you’re only serving 6 freeze half.)
The Filling for 6: In a 1-1/2 quart baking dish, combing 1 (29-ounce) can sliced peaches in syrup; 1/4 cup brown sugar; 1 tablespoon tapioca; 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon; 1 teaspoon vanilla extract; 1 teaspoon raw sugar. (Double recipe and use a 3 quart dish for 12.)
Do you prefer to bake large or small or not at all? If you don’t bake, how DO you satisfy your sweet tooth?