Friday, July 18, 2008

Peachy Peachy Peachy… Mimi’s Peach Cobbler

For my birthday this year, a very special lady thought of me while she was in Savannah. She sent me the best present a baker could hope for… a Paula Deen Autographed Cookbook with all her baking secrets from her Southern Culinary Mecca, and a “The Lady Can Cook” apron, also signed by Paula. Of all my wonderful birthday presents … those were certainly my favorite. What could be more Georgian than peaches, and what could be sweeter than cobbler; unless the recipe comes from a wonderful person you have been blessed. Cheers, to you Mimi!

4 cups peeled and sliced peaches (about 8 large peaches, or you can used the more homely canned variety, just reduce the sugar by ½)
2 cups sugar, 1 for the peaches, 1 for the batter
1/2 cup water
8 tablespoons butter, a full stick
1 1/2 cups self-rising flour
1 1/2 cups milk

Crank your oven to 350 degrees. Take a large baking dish, at least 3 quarts, and place it in the oven with a stick of butter to melt. I recommend a shallow casserole Pyrex dish so that you have loads of crispy topping.

Cut your very ripe peaches in half, slip your fingers under this skin and slowly peel the fruit away from its jacket. When the fruit is naked, turn them on their belly and slice evenly. In a medium saucepan, add the peaches and cover with 1 cup of sugar and ½ cup of water with a lid over medium high heat. In ten minutes or less what started out as humble peaches will have transformed into a delectable glistening peach honey, which seems almost a shame to bake. (Even at 7 in the morning I was thinking about taking this golden concoction and making an ice cream sundae. I didn’t, I had egg whites instead … but one day.)
In the mean time, make yourself useful, and mix up in a small bowl the milk, sugar, and self-rising flour. Something so simple, but trust me it is wonderful.

Now here is the funky part, take your melted butter pan out of the oven. Cautiously and smoothly pour the batter; it will bubble in the butter. Now, add your peaches at a snail's pace with a spoon so that they are evenly laid out, and pour the syrup over top. The chemistry in this recipe was so much fun to watch the peaches sink down to the bottom as did the syrup and the bubbling batter and butter come to the top.

Bake at 350 for 30 minutes and the whole house smells delicious. It is a lovely, lovely, lovely, little dish and one I am sure to make again, you should too.

Thank you, Paula, for the great recipe. Thank you, Mimi, for the wonderful cookbook. Thank you, Mama, for the dishes and teaching me how to bake. Thank you Lord, for the beautiful peaches and all the wonderful women you have put in my life.

Much love and happy baking.