Fresh peaches are such a treat and now is a great time to get them. To tell if they’re ripe, smell the spot where the stem is (was). If it smells peachy, it’s good.
A few years ago I went to see Katie Lee Joel do a cooking demonstration at the Viking Cooking School (formerly Loaves and Fishes) in Garden City. At the time she was married to Billy Joel but in case you hadn’t heard, it didn’t work out. Big surprise there.
She was gorgeous and friendly and lovely. I bought her cookbook and one of my favorite recipes is the peach cobbler. The topping is more like a biscuit than a crumble and the focus is really on the peaches. Unfortunately, there is a typo in the recipe so I’ve had to make some executive decisions. The ingredient list calls for one and one quarter cups of sugar, but the directions only have you use one cup. I think the biscuit could be a little sweeter so I decided that the extra quarter cup should go there.
The cookbook is decent, but you can definitely tell that it’s her first one. For example in this recipe it says 4-5 peaches, peeled and sliced. Ok, how thick should they be sliced? Thinly sliced? Thick wedges? Also, peaches are practically impossible to peel, so how about a trick (which I included below, courtesy of Ina Garten)? If you like southern food, it’s worth a read, otherwise, you can just borrow mine.
1.25 cups of sugar
1 cup of flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup of milk
4 tablespoons butter, melted
1 tablespoon of cornstarch
3/4 cup of boiling water
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
To prepare the peaches, bring a large pot of water to a boil and drop the peaches in for 30 seconds. Take them out and put them in a bowl of very cold water to stop the cooking. When they’re cool enough to handle, the peels should slide right off. WARNING: Naked peaches are very slippery! Be careful when you’re slicing them. Slice the peaches into 1/2 inch wedges. Place them in an 8×8 or 9×9 baking dish.
In a medium bowl, whisk together 1 cup of the sugar, the flour, the baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Add the milk and melted butter and mix together. Evenly pour the batter over the peaches.
In a small bowl, whisk the remaining sugar with the cornstarch and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Sprinkle it over the batter. Evenly pour the boiling water over everything. This will mix with the dry ingredients to make a nice sauce for the peaches.
Bake for 50-60 minutes until the top starts to brown. Serve warm. I’ve had it for breakfast for the past three mornings – it’s fruit!