I made Peach Cobbler a week or so ago. It was a last minute addition to a weekday dinner, a way to make good use of just a few perfectly ripe organic peaches that graced my kitchen counter.
I haven’t made cobbler in so long that I was surprised by how much I liked it. The biscuit topping was a perfect complement to the warm peaches baked with a touch of nutmeg and a splash of bourbon. We ate every bite. Still, it was a little sweeter than I felt it needed to be.
Of course that meant I had to try again. I went back to the market for more peaches. This time I halved the sugar in the cobbler topping and lightly brushed the top of the biscuits with a sugar mixture just before browning. It turned out just right: sweet yet tangy, lusciously silky and very slightly complicated. Though I cut back on the sugar in the second cobbler, I also topped it with a small scoop of vanilla ice cream, extinguishing any claim to a health conscious makeover while adding a cool creamy contrast to this golden dessert.
These days, my writing has slowed to a crawl. Earlier today, before I had looked through my pictures, and written out the recipe for my Peach Cobbler, I was at the market again. Those piles of peaches in softly blushing yellows have now yielded their space to the rusty pinks and bright reds of crisp fall apples.
Still it is cobbler season and this recipe for a small homespun version is one to remember. It’s worth saving until the next time I find peaches in season, and probably worth adapting to other seasonal fruits throughout the year …
3 large peaches, cut into 16 slices each
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 Tablespoon bourbon (optional)
2 Tablespoons sugar
½ teaspoon cornstarch
pinch of salt
dash of nutmeg
½ cup flour
2 Tablespoons sugar
½ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
3 Tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into 6 slices
2 Tablespoons boiling water
2 teaspoons brown sugar
1 Tablespoon bourbon (or hot water)
Preheat oven to 425F.
Toss sliced peaches with lemon juice and bourbon. Whisk together 2 Tablespoons sugar, cornstarch, pinch of salt and nutmeg. Sprinkle mixture over peaches. Toss peaches until well coated. Transfer peaches to a small (about 1 quart) baking dish. Bake in the middle of the oven for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, prepare the Biscuit Topping:
In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, 2 Tablespoons sugar, baking powder and ¼ teaspoon salt. Cut in the slices of cold butter until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Stir in 2 Tablespoons boiling water just until combined.
When the peaches have baked for 10 minutes remove from the oven and drop the biscuit topping mixture by spoonfuls over them and spread slightly (being mindful that the topping will spread on its own as it bakes.) Bake in the middle of the oven for another 15 minutes.
In a small cup, prepare the Glaze. Stir together the brown sugar and a scant 1 Tablespoon of hot water or bourbon until the sugar has dissolved. When the biscuit topping has baked for 15 minutes, remove the dish from the oven and gently brush the Glaze over the Biscuit Topping. Return the dish to the oven for another 10 minutes or until the topping is golden. Remove to a wire rack to cool.
Serve warm, topped with whipped cream or ice cream, if desired.
Serves 2 – 3