Nicci Morris

What’s for dessert? Simply Thee Best Peach Cobbler

In Love/Relationships, Nic's Picks, Recipes on September 23, 2009 at 2:47 am

Photo by Suat Eman

Photo by Suat Eman

Some of my favorite childhood memories are linked to my maternal grandmother and the time we spent together in her kitchen. Dear, as my cousins and I call her, did lots of little things in the kitchen that meant the world to me, leaving an indelible impression on my budding little foodie mind. Like the time when she baked sweet potato pies for church, only to find (right as she was about to pack them up to leave) that the crusts on each one had been systematically pinched off. I didn’t even get in trouble. She just laughed her throaty laugh, kissed my crumb-covered face and playfully swatted me on my rear. But my favorite memories from her kitchen are the times when she would bake cobblers, fruit pies or tarts and use the leftover dough, filling and a miniature pie tin to make an individual version of the same thing just for me. I don’t think a child can feel more special than I did back then with my “Nicci pie” and tiny fork in tow.

My grandmother instilled within me a love for family and food and the many ways the two go hand in hand. Tonight I made a peach cobbler, inspired by the scores of deliciously simple recipes (and lessons in love) she’s given me over the years.

Fresh peaches are wonderful in this, but if that’s not an option, Margaret Holmes Osage Peaches are the perfect alternative. They are definitely one of Nic’s Picks. Once you have tasted a raggedy freestone Georgia peach, I doubt you’ll ever want a California cling peach again. This recipe falls squarely in the indulgent category and should be enjoyed sparingly. You cannot eat this all the time and live in Zaftig Zen.

I took pictures of it, but it is beyond difficult to make peach cobbler look good without professional lighting. Trust me when I tell you the pictures do it no justice, so I’ll spare you.

I feel very lucky that my grandmother passed the good-cook gene on to me and that I can share it with you. And I consider myself exceedingly blessed because I can still call her and thank her for it. In fact I think I’ll do that right now…

Simply Thee Best Peach Cobbler

Filling:

2-29 ounce cans of Margaret Holmes Osage Raggedy Ripe Peaches, drained and sliced

1/2 cup peach juice, reserved

1 cup sugar

1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon

½ teaspoon good vanilla extract (it makes a world of difference)

¼ teaspoon lemon extract

¼ teaspoon ground cloves

2 tablespoons cold butter, cut into tiny cubes

*Crust:

2 cups flour

2 tablespoons sugar

Pinch of salt

½ cup shortening

4 tablespoons ice water (temperature matters)

1/3 cup melted butter

2 tablespoons sugar

½ teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

For the filling:

In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients except for butter. Mix gently and set aside.

For the crust:

Combine the flour, sugar, and salt in a mixing bowl. Cut shortening into the flour mixture. When you see it has a mealy texture, gradually add ice water, stirring, just until the dough holds its shape. Roll out on a floured board. Cut half of it and tear it into two large pieces.

Pour the filling mixture into the prepared baking pan. Dot the filling with the remaining butter. Tear one of the halves of the dough into 8-10 smaller pieces and tuck them into the filling. Take the other half of the dough and tear it into 4-5 large pieces and lay on top of the filling. Sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon and bake for 30 minutes or until the crust is golden brown and the filling is bubbly.

*Yes, you could cheat and use a prepared pastry dough… I’ve done it. The filling is so good no one will care.

Enjoy…

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