Tuesday, October 12, 2004

O Luscious Fruit

 Posted by Hello
I found this recipe in an article about novelist Dori Sanders. The following month a subscriber raved about the Easy Peach Cobbler so I naturally had to try. I followed the recipe exactly with a few little tweaks. (I had never cooked with real live peaches before so the first steps of the recipe-which called for peeling the fuzzy skin off-were a bit daunting).
The scent of peaches and spices filled the whole house while I was making this.

Dig out your 13" X 9" baking dish.
Preheat the ovento 375F. Boil water in a large pot and prepare a bowl of ice-water,
Put 1 stick of unsalted butter in dish and melt in the warming-up oven. (Watch closely, don't let it brown!)
Cut an "X" in bottom of 5 to 6 medium firm-ripe peaches (abt. 1 & 1/4 lb.)
Plunge them in boiling water for 10 seconds. Scoop out with a slotted spoon into a bowl of ice water.
Peel off skin with a sharp knife, beginning from scored bottoms. Halve peaches, then pit and slice into 1/4 inch slices.
Transfer to a heavy saucepan, and add 1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice and 2/3 cup of sugar. Boil for 4 minutes, stirring now and then; remove from heat.
Whisk together 1 cup of all purpose flour, 1 cup of sugar, 1 tbsp. baking powder, and 1/4 tsp. salt. Whisk in 1 cup of whole milk (not lowfat or skim) just until combined.
Pour batter over the dish with melted butter without stirring.
Sprinkle 1/4 tsp cardamom, a dash of cinnamon and a couple of grates of whole nutmeg over the peaches.
Pour peaches over batter, again without stirring.

Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and the fruit is bubbling. Let cool in pan until warm about 25 minutes, before serving.

-After the peaches boil for exactly 4 minutes (more than that & you'll end up with peach mush) a lot of juice cooks out of the fruit; I decided to use only a third of that. I think that made the cakey topping have more "body".
-The original recipe calls for cinnamon and nutmeg. I decided to use cardamom and just a bit of cinnamon and nutmeg.
-Don't worry about how it looks before putting in the oven. It looks luscious when it comes out.

This is the dish that I imagine Ada would have made for Inman if he had returned to "Cold Mountain."
The kids want an encore for the Thanksgiving dessert.