Monday, August 13, 2012

Happy National Peach Month!

Yes, yes I know.  We're already halfway through August and I'm just NOW getting around to celebrating National Peach month.  I think this may be my favorite month because peaches are one of my favorite fruits.  They're so versatile and can be enjoyed in both sweet and savory forms.

I had originally set out to make this pound cake, but when the time came to bake the cake, I suddenly became very lazy!  One of my favorite ways to enjoy peaches is in the form of a cobbler, so I Googled some cobbler recipes and came across one from Paula Deen.  I stopped my search right there - I mean, it's Paula Deen and I was looking for a Southern comfort food after all!

This recipe came together really quickly.  I modified the recipe slightly by adding some bourbon (!) and raspberries.  I would definitely make this recipe again and am really looking forward to dessert tonight!  :)

Peach Cobbler (slightly adapted from Paula Deen)

4 cups, peeled sliced peaches (I used about six medium sized peaches)*
1 1/2 - 1 3/4 cups sugar, divided
1/2 cup water
A good glug (1/4 cup) of bourbon (like Jim Beam)
8 tablespoons (1 stick, 1/2 cup) unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups self-rising flour (see here for a substitute)
1 1/2 cups buttermilk or milk
1-2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla
Pinch of sea salt
1 pint raspberries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Combine the peaches, 3/4 cup sugar, and water in a saucepan and mix well. Bring to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and add the vanilla, salt, and bourbon.
Put the butter in a 3-quart baking dish and place in oven to melt.
Mix remaining 3/4 - 1 cup sugar, flour, and milk slowly to prevent clumping. Pour mixture over melted butter. Do not stir. Spoon fruit on top, gently pouring in syrup. Sprinkle top with cinnamon.  Bake for 30 to 45 minutes; Batter will rise to top during baking.
To serve, scoop onto a plate and serve with your choice of whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.  Or just face-plant the cobbler...  Once it's cooled, of course!

*Tip on peeling peaches: Boil water (I just use a tea kettle).  While water is boiling, score each peach by making an X on the bottom.  Place the peaches in a bowl and pour the boiling water over them.  Let the peaches sit in the water for a few minutes, until they are cool enough to handle.  You can also fill the bowl with some cold water to help make them cooler to handle.  Peel by starting at the X.  The peel should come off pretty easily.  This is a great trick for tomatoes too!

Here are some other great ideas for peaches:
Peach salsa
Peach BBQ sauce
Peach and gorgonzola pizza (SO good when grilled!)