The South is known for a lot of delicious summer harvest’s but my favorite is the tender, juicy, aromatic fruit called the peach. Most people think that Georgia and the Carolina’s are the best peach producing states, but I’m here to tell you that Alabama soil can make a darn good peach too. I’m fortunate to live in an area where local peaches are easily obtained. You can find me whipping up peaches in appetizers, dinner, dessert, and drinks but my favorite way of using a summer rippened peach is in a dessert called cobbler.
Here’s what you’ll need to make peach cobbler.
1 cup flour
1¼ cups sugar, divided
¾ cup milk
1 tablespoon baking powder
¾ cup butter (1½ sticks, divided)
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
6 fresh peaches (skinned and sliced) or 4-5 cups frozen peaches
When there’s more than one peach to peel, I like to use a blanching method to remove the fuzzy skins of the peach. It makes the job of peeling them very easy and it also allows less waste of the juicy peach itself. The process works best with ripe peaches and here’s a few good signs to judge a ripe peach.
1.) The peach should be firm, but yield to your finger when you press it. If it’s too hard and doesn’t yield to the touch it’s not ripe.
2.) Look for peaches that have a yellow side. If they’re vaguely green, they’re not ripe.
3.) Smell the stem. If it smells like a peach, it’s usually ripe. Unripened peaches generally won’t smell yet.
4.) Make sure the peaches don’t have any mushy spots, bruises or mold. These signs can state that they are overripe.
Once you’ve selected your peaches start the blanching process by bringing a pot of water to a rolling boil. Add the peaches to the boiling water, making sure they’re all covered in water. Allow them to boil about 30 seconds. Start timing as soon as they’re all submerged. Don’t wait for the water to boil again before timing the 30 seconds. If the peaches are not as ripe as desired, leave them in the hot water for a few more seconds before removing them.
After 30 seconds, remove the peaches from the boiling water and plunge them in ice water to stop the cooking process.
You can then disrobe the fuzzy peach skin like a zipper. Being careful not to send your peach flying across the room like a missile. They’re slippery little bombs!
Your peaches should look like this. How easy was that! Now you can slice them and prepare making the cobbler.
Put a ½ stick of butter (4 tablespoons) into a cast iron skillet. (You can also use a 9 x 11 dish). Heat the skillet in a 350 degree oven until the butter is melted. This should only take a few minutes.
While the butter is melting combine 1 cup flour, 1 cup sugar, 1 tablespoon baking powder, ½ cup melted butter and ¾ cup of milk in a bowl.
Mix well and set aside.
When the butter has melted in the skillet remove it from the oven, allowing it to cool slightly before adding the sliced peaches.
Stir the peaches around, making sure to coat all of them in butter.
Combine ¼ cup sugar and ½ teaspoon of ground cinnamon.
Shake it to make sure the sugar and cinnamon are combined well.
Sprinkle about 1 tablespoon of the mixture on top of the peaches. Reserving the remainder for later.
Pour the wet mixture over the peaches. Use a spoon or spatula to spread it evenly.
Sprinkle the remainder of the cinnamon sugar on top of the wet mixture.
When you’ve covered it all in the cinnamon sugar mixture place the skillet in a 350 degree oven and bake for 45-60 minutes. Allow it to cool, then scoop yourself a big ole’ helping of this summer delight. Garnish it with a few sliced peaches or add a scoop of vanilla ice cream to send it over the top!
*Note: This cobbler is delicious with peaches but it can also be substituted with apples, pears, blackberries and blueberries to name a few.
Indulge and Enjoy,