I have always been the first to enjoy shortcuts in recipes. If I have an ingredient canned instead of fresh, I can usually justify its use if there isn’t time to go to the store (let’s face it: there never is) or if it’s going to take a long time to prepare. Cooking, especially baking to me, is kind of like painting a room a brand new color: you see all this possibility and it feels like a great idea until you’re about half way finished and then you are so over it. Anyone else ever feel like that? Anyone? Anyone? …Bueller?
Where was I going with this? Oh yes, I live in America’s peach-heartland. I am a Georgia Peach. But I have a confession: I didn’t actually start eating peaches until I was in my late 20s. It was in the elementary school cafeteria line that I was given a plastic cup of those rubbery peaches swimming in syrup. I took one bite and decided that I may be a Georgia peach but I was certainly not going to eat them.
Fast forward yeaaaaaaars later and I noticed the intoxicating scent of a basket of peaches for the first time that my great uncle Fred brought to my mamaw. That fresh sweet aroma was enough to make me give peaches another chance. And I’m so glad I did because if you’ve ever taken a bite out of a fresh peach, you know it puts you in a state of bliss.
Don’t you wish this was a scratch and sniff image?
Anyway, I told you all of that to tell you this: canned peaches have no place in a pantry. I’m all for shortcuts, just not with peaches. Skinning peaches can take some time and a little finesse but it is oh so worth it.
This is our first year eating as much locally grown food as possible which means we are eating all of our produce seasonally for the first time ever. I have never felt more appreciative of my food as I do now, knowing it’s only available at a certain point in the year and if I want it through the winter months, I have to buy in bulk and store it for those cold days.
Peaches, however, have always been something I’ve enjoyed only while they’re available locally because nothing can top a Georgia-lina peach at the peak of season. No matter how you can them, nothing compares to fresh off the tree.
A few days ago I came home to a basket full of great uncle Fred’s peaches on my doorstep. It’s the little things, y’all. It made my entire evening to have that basket straight from the farm to my table.
There’s a window of opportunity for fresh peaches. Too early and they don’t have the rich flavor or right texture. Too late and you have a basket of mush on your countertops. Peaches are the avocado of the American South.
I put the basket on my counter and the day the entire kitchen smells like peaches is my window of opportunity.
This week I decided to stick with a Southern Classic.
Here’s our ingredients:
- 6 peaches, peeled and sliced
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup boiling water
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- 4 tbsp butter
- 1 cup self rising flour
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1/4 tsp salt
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Go ahead and say a little prayer because it’s 90+ degrees outside and here you are turning on an oven.
- Peel and slice your peaches. I usually put my peaches in boiling water for about 45 seconds and then plunge them into cold water filled with ice cubes to help with the peeling process because they can be stubborn. I find after a hot and cold bath, it peels off easy like a sunburn. I’m sorry, don’t let that comparison ruin your appetite.
- Combine all your filling ingredients into an oven proof skillet and bring it to a boil on your stovetop. Lower your heat to bring to a simmer and stir it well for 5-10 minutes.
- Remove your skillet from the heat and pour the peaches into a bowl.
- Melt the 4 tablespoons of butter in the skillet over low heat. Meanwhile, mix the remaining topping ingredients in another bowl. (Sorry about the dirty dishes. You won’t be mad about ’em once you taste this cobbler) Make sure you get all the big lumps out and then pour it in with the butter in the skillet.
- Add your peaches and liquid filling over the top.
- Pop that bubbly skillet in to the oven for 50 minutes (or until golden brown and firm enough that batter is set).
You get to choose if you eat it warm or cold, with or without ice cream/whipped cream!
I prefer fresh out the oven with no toppings …but I’ve also been known to rock a piece straight out of the refrigerator the following morning.
There’s nothing like making a dish with food fresh from the farm straight to your table.