Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Southern Peach Cobbler

Before they're all gone, I wanted to have just a few more peaches. We didn't eat them out of hand in the first couple of days, so I decided to try a new recipe for Peach Cobbler. Now, I like cobbler in nearly every form imaginable. Apple probably is my favorite, but lots of other fruits can stand in and make me happy.

But, it was a week or so ago I was reading one of my favorite blogs, Culinary Concoctions by Peabody, and she wrote up a detailed post about marrying a southern gent, and how she's collected cobbler recipes for a long time. She liked some things about one recipe, but other things about another. Finally, she found one with the right texture, worked with it and subsequently came up with her own version combining all of the recipes from a bunch of "southern ladies," she said. With that write-up (kind of like the home kitchen answer to the Cook's Illustrated treatises on recipes), I had to try it. I don't think I had quite enough peaches, but she mentioned that the recipe is forgiving that way. I've simplified the directions just a little bit and hope I haven't changed the recipe significantly.

Her blog has an error about the amount of cinnamon (one teaspoon vs. one tablespoon), so I just had to improvise and use my best judgment. She doesn't have an email address to contact her, and somebody else posted a comment asking about the error, but she hasn't answered or fixed it yet. So, that's why I had to just make a management decision. That meant using 1 tablespoon of cinnamon. Which is a lot. Plus, I couldn't find the pecans in my freezer, so used walnuts instead. Pecans would certainly be more southern, but there are very few nuts in this dessert anyway.

Peabody mentioned that before she married her southern gent, what she knew about peach cobbler was just peaches, some kind of topping, then bake. But this has a kind of cake to it, and the peach slices slide down into it somewhat. I really liked the edges of the cake - a little bit crunchy, then with the smooth, moist cobber and peaches in the middle. I'd suggest each serving get a little bit of the edges (less peaches there).

Now, I must interject here, that I do like cinnamon. A lot, actually. But I'm very particular about what I use. No store bought for me. (You can, this is just picky me who thinks she knows a lot more about cinnamon than the average cook. I really may not know more, but I know what I like and don't like, that's all.) I buy my cinnamon from Penzey's. Have for years. Cassia cinnamon is what you usually find in the grocery stores. But I'll tell you, Penzey's cassia is one strong cinnamon. I use their Indonesian Korintje Cassia mostly. A few years ago I bought their Vietnamese cinnamon, which I believe Penzey's says is the highest quality and the "best." I didn't care for it at all. I also have Ceylon cinnamon from Penzey's too, which has citrus overtones, but is less strong tasting than cassia. In this cobbler I used the Indonesian Korintje Cassia because I knew the cinnamon taste would be a welcome highlight. If cinnamon is going to be a minor flavor, I use the Ceylon. Otherwise, it's the Korintje type. And because Penzey's cinnamon is so much stronger tasting than store-bought, I reduced the amount called for in the recipe - by about 1/5 I'd guess. If using regular cinnamon, just use the full tablespoon. Oh, and by the way, Penzey's does have some stores around the country. Mostly they're in the northeast, but there's now a store here in California, in Torrance. Thanks to my friend Cathy for that tidbit. Next time I'm driving that direction I'll definitely stop in there.

My recovering foot was so tired by the time I got this made I didn't take time to whip any heavy cream, so I just drizzled it with the heavy cream instead. It was fine. More than fine. Delicious, in fact. I'd make this again, no question.

Southern Peach Cobbler
Recipe: adapted a little from Culinary Concoctions by Peabody (blog)
Servings: 8
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon cinnamon (or less, to suit your taste)
1 tablespoon baking powder
3/4 cup milk
2 1/2 cups peaches -- peeled, sliced
1/3 cup brown sugar -- packed
1/4 cup chopped nuts -- pecans or walnuts
1. Preheat oven to 350.
2. Place butter in an 8x8 pan and put into the oven until it's completely melted. If it happens to get brown (not burned, mind you) that's fine too. That takes about 4-5 minutes. Remove from oven while you gather the other ingredients.
3. In a medium sized bowl combine the 3 T. of sugar and the cinnamon. Stir until they're thoroughly mixed. Then add: the one cup of sugar, flour, baking powder. Stir until combined, then add the milk. Stir until it's thoroughly mixed with no streaks of flour showing. Spoon the batter on top of the melted better but do NOT stir it in. Just scoop in and make it as even as possible.
4. Place the sliced peaches on top as evenly as possible.
5. Combine the brown sugar and nuts and sprinkle that over the top.
6. Bake for 40 minutes, or until the top turns a golden brown. Serve warm or at room temperature, with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.
Per Serving (excluding unknown items): 363 Calories; 15g Fat (35.9% calories from fat); 4g Protein; 56g Carbohydrate; 2g Dietary Fiber; 34mg Cholesterol; 199mg Sodium. Exchanges: 1 Grain(Starch); 0 Lean Meat; 1/2 Fruit; 0 Non-Fat Milk; 3 Fat; 2 1/2 Other Carbohydrates.
To view a PDF recipe, click on title at top.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This recipe for cobbler sounds wonderful. As soon as I have company over that doesn't mind nuts in their food, I'm making this for dessert. Thank you for sharing! Mrs.Gordon in Phx,AZ