Peach Cobbler

Peach CobblerBaby, it’s Cold Outside

Memorial Day Weekend is upon us, and I gotta say, I can’t quite wrap my head around the fact that the official start to Summer and the Summer grilling season is here. Perhaps it’s because it feels more like February than May. ( Seriously? Can we shut the fan off now? Thanks.) This time last year, I was at a baseball tournament melting into the bleachers. Fast forward to the tournament this weekend and we’ll be wrapped up like we’re at an outdoor hockey game.

It goes without saying that I just can’t get excited about firing up the BBQ. I look outside and think braised short ribs not baby back ribs. I can, however, get behind dessert. Weather doesn’t matter when it comes to dessert, and if you look really close, you will notice that the peaches and nectarines are in the market. We’ve received some of the first loads of Fitzgerald Peaches in the store, which is always a happy day. I’m dying to make something with ‘em.

My plan for Memorial Day is: figure out what sort of dinner we are going to have once we know the baseball schedule, and make a peach cobbler. Whether you BBQ or not, anytime is a good time for peach cobbler…or peach crisp…or peach tart…or peach pie…you get my drift. Nothing goes better with peach cobbler than a Memorial Day BBQ except maybe some good vanilla ice cream—although you won’t hear me say no to peach cobbler for breakfast either (ice cream included).

Peach Cobbler
Adapted from King Arthur Flours.
Yields 12 servings

This version is made from fresh peaches baked with a sugared biscuit topping. Tapioca flour or Instant ClearJel are both good choices for thickening. Either, unlike flour or cornstarch, keeps the fruit’s juice clear and its flavor true. The resulting color (and flavor) is spectacular.

10 to 12 cups (3 quarts) pitted, sliced peaches (add a nectarine or two for extra flavor)
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 cup sugar
3 tablespoons Instant ClearJel or 1/4 cup tapioca flour or 1/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour

2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 cup almond flour (optional)
1/2 cup sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup milk
1 large egg
1 1/2 teaspoons almond extract
3 to 4 teaspoons coarse sugar, cinnamon-sugar, or sticky bun sugar, for sprinkling on top

For the filling
Peel the peaches, slice, and add the melted butter and lemon juice. Toss to coat the fruit. Whisk together the sugar and thickener, then sprinkle over the peaches. Toss gently with a spatula until coated, then turn the mixture into a lightly buttered 9 x 13-inch pan.

For the topping
In a medium-sized mixing bowl, whisk together the flour(s), sugar, baking powder, and salt. In a separate bowl, or in a measuring cup, whisk together the melted butter, milk, egg, and almond extract. Combine the wet and dry ingredients, mixing just until thoroughly combined.

Dollop the biscuit topping in blobs on top of the fruit (3 across and 4 down in a 9 x 13-inch pan), leaving 1/2-inch or so between dollops. Fill in the in-between spaces with smaller dollops of any leftover dough. Sprinkle with sugar.

Bake the cobbler in a preheated 425°F oven for 20 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 375°F, and bake for an additional 25 minutes, or until the biscuits are golden and the filling is bubbly. (Be sure to bake until the biscuits are a deep golden brown, otherwise the biscuits in the center may be under-baked.)

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