Pretty as a Peach

Aug 27, 2010   //   by marymeals   //   Dessert  //  No Comments

The Grunt, The Slump, The Buckle, The Betty, and the Sonker. These are all various regional names for the American Fruit Cobbler. One thing I love about American cooking is that we are very good at improvising. When our families first arrived here, they brought their favorite recipes with them, but not finding the traditional ingredients, they used whatever was available. That’s how they all came about such unusual names. These juicy dishes were often served for breakfast, or even as the main meal of the day, and it was not until much later that they became the delicious desserts we know them as today. What qualifies a fruity baked dessert as a cobbler instead of a crisp is all in its top layer. Cobblers can have a biscuit, cake, or pastry like topping, depending on what’s in your pantry, while toppings on a crisp have a crunchy crumbly texture.  I’m using ripe in season peaches for this recipe and I happen to have all the ingredients for a light and flaky pastry topping. Should be a perfect compliment to that sweet peach filling. Let’s hope the neighbors think so too, as this is my contribution to their end of summer BBQ.

Peach Cobbler
6 cups peaches, peeled, pitted, and sliced
2 tbsp lemon juice
1/4 cup sugar
1tbsp flour
1/2 tsp salt
Pinch of cinnamon
Mix ingredients together in a large bowl. Set aside while you make pastry topping.
Pastry Topping:
2 cups flour
1/4 cup ice cold buttermilk
4 tbsp cold butter
2 tbsp ice water
1 tbsp sugar
pinch of salt
1 egg beat
sprinkle of sugar
The key to making a great tasting pastry is keeping your ingredients as ice cold as possible. Combine flour, sugar, and salt into a bowl. Add butter and cut into the flour mixture with fork or pastry cutter until mixture resembles a coarse meal.  Add butter milk and 1 tbsp of the ice water and mix together. if mixture is too dry add the rest of the water(if it is too wet your can always add a little more flour.) stir to combine,  the dough should start to form. Turn out on a floured surface and kneed dough together with your hands. Once all the flour in incorporated and it has a dough texture, form into a round disc. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill in fridge for at least 30 min.
To assemble: Preheat oven to 350. Pour peach filling into a large square baking dish. On a floured surface, remove pastry from plastic wrap and begin rolling with a rolling pin. It works best to roll pastry in one direction, then turn pastry clockwise and roll, turn pastry again, and roll. Until you reach your desired size and thickness. Using the rolling pin wrap the end of the pastry over the pin and roll the dough up onto the pin. Place the rolling pin at one end of your baking dish and unroll the topping over the filling. Pat topping over the filling and cut a few small slits in the middle for steam to escape while baking. Brush pastry topping with egg and dust with sugar. Bake at 350 for 50 minutes. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream.
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