A plethora of peaches
July 12, 2016
If you ever wanted any proof that God has a sweet tooth, the astounding fruit this season ought to convince you.
Strawberries, which were pretty weak last year, made up for it in spades; some of the sweetest, prettiest berries I’ve seen in years. Blueberries, likewise, were plentiful and sweet, although it seemed the season was awfully short. Ditto raspberries. And I have already waxed rhapsodic about the blackberries.
I’m getting some exceptional canteloupe now, and I have a watermelon in my fridge I’ll cut sometime soon.
And for the last month, we’ve had peaches at the farmers market. We’re in peach country here, with sizeable orchards to the north and south of us. The cling peaches were first up, smaller, and something of a pain to separate from their pit, but awfully sweet and good. And last week, I found my first freestone peaches at the market.
Lord have mercy. I bought a bag, and then my neighbor brought me a huge plastic container of peaches she’d bought and cut up. Being lazy, I’ve been eating on hers, though I did cut mine up and macerate them with a little sugar, to keep them from going bad.
Still facing an overabundance of peaches, I decided I’d make a peach cobbler.
Now, I like my blackberry cobbler with the dense, rolled-out-and-cut-up pie-crust-style dumplings inside. Not so my peach cobbler. I want it with that soft, sweet, bready crust, suffused with peach juice.
And there’s not much in the world that’s easier to make. If your peaches are already cut up, we’re talking a two-minute prep, tops.
Stir together in a mixing bowl a cup of all purpose flour, a cup (I generally cut it to 3/4) of sugar), a teaspoon of baking powder and a teaspoon of salt, and then stir in a cup of milk (I used 2 percent, as it was what I had) until the lumps are gone. Pour it in an oven proof dish. I generally just use my deep dish pie plate.
Start spooning peaches on top of it. Get plenty of juice as you spoon them up. Add a few extra spoonsful of juice for good measure. You want it juicy.
You can add cinnamon to the dry ingredients. I have, personally, never seen the need to do so.
Melt a half-stick of butter and drizzle over the top.
Stick it in a 350 degree oven for 40 minutes or so, or until it smells so good you can’t stand it any more. Immediately dish you up a bowlful, and top it with vanilla ice cream.
Honey. In terms of flavor return on effort investment, there is no better dessert in the world. I would say it’s the best dessert in the world, but for the others I love so much.
I don’t used cooked peaches for mine, though you can. You can make an apple or cherry cobbler, and those, I cook the fruit first. I suspect I’d do the same with plums; have never tried a plum cobbler. It might even be a good prep for figs (anticipating a trip soon to Hot Springs to get figs!), though there are so many other ways I love them.
H’mmm. Rainier cherries are at Sam’s. I may see a cherry cobbler in my future.
I may gain 10 pounds this summer if you ‘n y’mama ‘n ’em don’t come help me eat some of these desserts.