Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Peach Cobbler

Hello, everyone!  Happy Tuesday!  Summer is about half way over, and the peaches are screaming to be used!  Last summer I made brown sugar peach ice cream which was so lovely, and definitely a favorite in this house, but this year, I've been on a bit of a peach cobbler kick.
Isn't it funny how a memory can stick in your head and a food can bring that memory back in a heartbeat?  For some reason, every time I make/have peach cobbler, I'm taken back my childhood home, in the middle of the summer, to one night in particular.
Somehow we had gotten our hands on a huge appliance box (I don't remember getting a new appliance, but I guess we did...I must have been about 6-7 years old), and I had turned it into my fort.  I was on our huge wrap around porch, sitting in my porch while a summer shower was pouring down for about 20 minutes; my mom had made peach cobbler (a favorite of mine, even as a child), she scooped some out for me, and I ran off to my fort to watch the shower.
It is such a strong memory for me, I can even smell the wet cardboard every time I make peach cobbler.  Isn't that funny?
Anyway, I'm getting off topic!  Let's get to making this lovely peach cobbler, so you can relive/make some memories!

Here's your grocery list for this one:
Roughly 5 cups of fresh peaches, peeled and sliced, 10 peaches worked for me
1/2 C brown sugar
1 C gingersnap cookies, finely ground
2 Tbs corn starch
1 tsp cinnamon, optional

1 C All purpose flour
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp Kosher salt
1 C granulated sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla 
1 stick of butter, softened somewhat

Vanilla ice cream, optional

Okay, I went over how to easily peel peaches in my brown sugar peach ice cream post, but I'll go over it again here.  Bring a large pot of water up to a boil, and get a large bowl (I used another large pot) and fill it with ice water, set that aside.

While you're waiting on your first large pot of water to come up to a steady boil, slice a shallow "X" into the bottom of each peach, and set them aside.

Your water should come up to a boil while you're slicing the peaches up, but make sure it is at a strong boil.

Carefully place your "X" sliced peaches in, one at a time, and let the water come back up to a boil.  Once the water is boiling again, let it cook for about 1 minute, before scooping them out, and placing them directly into the ice water to cool.  There's no rush at this point; I put my daughter down for a nap while these were cooling, then ate some lunch, so they sat in the ice water for about 2 hours before I got back to them.  You certainly can peel them as soon as they're cool enough to handle, but you don't have to kill yourself in a race against time to get it done.

The skins of the peaches just slide right off, it took me about 10 minutes to peel 10 peaches.  Seriously.  As you peel them, go on and slice 'em up, and put them in a bowl (or measuring cup, or whatever you have handy).  Since I didn't feel like opening the trash can to toss the peach skins, I just put them back into the pot that I iced the peaches in.

Ugh that's a measuring cup full of summer right there....good stuff!  Set the peaches aside, and put the gingersnaps into the food processor bowl, along with the cornstarch.  I wanted these to be blended really nicely.  Go on and preheat your oven to 350* at this point!

I wanted my peaches to set for just a minute in the brown sugar/gingersnap crumb/cornstarch mixture, to make sure the peaches were well coated, and the peaches were just starting to let off some juices from the sugar.  Again, I didn't want to use another bowl, so I just put the brown sugar and gingersnap/cornstarch mixture into the pot that I boiled the peaches in.  If you're using the cinnamon, I would add it in here; I forgot, but I'll address that a little bit later.  I mixed them well, then added the peaches in, and mixed well again!  I set this aside while I worked on the biscuit topping.

Okay, I had to grab a mixing bowl for this part.  In a medium mixing bowl, put the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar in and mix well.

I have a pastry cutter, but there wasn't much butter here, so I just cut it in with my fingertips, until the butter is about pea-sized.

Once the butter has been cut in, I like to lightly beat an egg in a separate bowl, then mix it into the flour mixture.

You'll have a crumbly dough, and that's what you're looking for.  Get out a 9"x13" baking dish, and grease it up.  You can use butter, but I'm lazy, so I just used some non-stick spray.

Pour your peaches in, and get them into an even layer.  I forgot to add my cinnamon in earlier, so I just gave it a sprinkle at this point, and it turned out just fine!  When your peaches are in a single layer, piece out your topping, a blob at a time!  It's very scientific!  You just want the topping to be covering at least 90% of the peaches.

Bake your cobbler for 45-60 minutes, until the topping is just turning a light golden brown color.  Pull it out of the oven, and let it rest for another 30 minutes.  Don't worry, this will still be screaming hot!  Serve on its own, or with some freshly whipped cream, or, with my favorite, some vanilla ice cream.