Isn’t there just something wonderful about peaches? The warming color. The aroma oozing through the velvet skin. The juice that requires three napkins before it soaks into your new sundress. Or how about just the word peach? I’m peachy keen. Life’s a peach. You’re a peach.
Peach also remains my favorite character to play in Mario Kart. Call me a girl for wishing I could race through Moo Moo Farm wearing a pink dress.
Beyond my 13 year old adoration for Nintendo 64, my absolute favorite thing about peaches is finding the right one. Much like finding your soulmate, biting in to a perfectly ripe peach can take a bit of hunting and fishing. We’ve all taken the leap into peach heaven only to spit out a mealy mess. It looks so good on the outside, yet can be sour to the core. Much to my dismay, this makes many of my friends declare that they do not like peaches. Even I may have let those heinous words slip from my mouth as I threw a falsely gorgeous globe into the compost.
But when you find the right one, the heavens open up and golden stars and floating rainbow cubes flow all around.
The summer is perfect peach-eating weather, their pink and golden hue matches the July sunset outside, and especially because they are outrageously on sale at Stop & Shop. But I do not want to be disappointed on my walk home from the store with a bad-peach-bite. Nor do I want to be disappointed while I am actually at home and basking in the AC. My trick: bake it.
Baking fruit always takes any disappointment away. Even the mealiest of apple caramelizes into the perfect pie. Tossed with a little cinnamon and sugar, the natural sweetness escapes in the heat of the oven and spreads throughout the house and your nose. I should probably stop gushing, but the scent still lingers as I’m writing this post.
The recipe I used is adapted from Smitten Kitchen’s Peach Blueberry Cobbler, though sans blueberries since I believe them to be the scum of the earth. While the peaches tartness shone through the sticky natural glaze, the other star was the crust. I was told I must try this by my college roommate, who gushed over the specialness a little cornmeal could add to what is often a piece of biscuit sitting atop bubbling fruit. And I must agree, the dish was real southern comfort in a bowl, with a slight sweet grit from the cornmeal that just made the peaches sing.
Peach Cobbler (adapted from Smitten Kitchen) (serves 2)
For the Peaches:
2 peaches, peeled and sliced into about 16 slices each
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon flour
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
For the Topping:
1/3 all-purpose flour (I used Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Mix)
1/8 cup fine stone-ground cornmeal (yellow or white)
1.5 tablespoons sugar
3/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1.5tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1/4 cup milk
Preheat oven to 425*
Toss all the ingredients for the peaches together and place in a small pie dish.
Mix together dry ingredients for the crust. Crumble the cold butter into it and mix with your hands until the butter is the consistency of breadcrumbs. Add the milk and stir until combined.
Pour the topping over the peaches and bake for 25 minutes. Serve with vanilla ice cream.
I’ve made my decision. From now on I would like to look at the world through peach colored glasses.