Wednesday, June 22, 2011
Peach Cobbler and Great Aunt Blanch
Yesssssssssssssss! Not only was yesterday the first day of Summer, it was also my husband's birthday. I whipped up his favorite dessert - a fresh, homemade peach cobbler and all I can say is YUMMMM. After purchasing fresh picked peaches and letting them ripen in my window for several days - warding off 2 year old, 4 year old and 30-something year old scavengers begging to eat them, yesterday afternoon I set out to bake perfection.
One minor road bump. Blanch. What? Blanch who? The only Blanch I know is a great aunt on my dad's side of the family. My recipe called for the peaches to be blanched. Undeterred, I followed the instructions to a 'T' and am now allllllll about blanching! Read on and we'll make a cobbler together and learn a somewhat foreign cooking term named after a lady named Blanch.
Here we go!
Ingredients for peach cobbler-y summertime deliciousness:
4 cups worth of peaches (6 ish peaches?)
1 c. flour
1 c. buttermilk
1 c. white sugar
2 t. vanilla
2 T. brown sugar
5 T. butter
A sprinkling of cinnamon
How to make it:
Start by blanching your peaches. Ummmmm. Ok, this is not hard and by all means makes the peeling part of peaches a breeze! Take a stock pot and fill it with water and bring it to a boil. Sounds easy...Add your peaches (peel and all) and let them boil 3-5 minutes.
Have a large bowl filled with water and ice cubes standing by. After boiling for 3-5 minutes we're going to shock the daylights out of the fruit by carefully removing them from the boiling water and placing them in the ice water. This is where the magic happens - the skin is pulling away from the fruit, which will make your life so much easier in about 3 minutes.
Guess what? You just blanched your peaches! Take them out of the water and use your fingers to gently peel away the skin. It slides right off! Oh the joy - think of the endless blanching possibilities here - peaches, plums, nectarines, apricots. Peeling as you know it, is a thing of the past. It's ALL about blanching.
I then slice the fruit and remove the pits - leaving nice big juicey chunks of peaches sitting in a bowl, waiting for you to add 2 tablespoons of brown sugar, 1 teaspoon of vanilla and a light sprinkling of cinnamon. The peaches are already chock full of sweetness, so you don't need to add as much sugar as some recipes call for. Goodness knows you already put a cup of sugar in the topping! Let's move to that step next.
While the peaches enjoy sitting in their bowl, prepare your cobbler topping. Combine the flour, 1 cup of white sugar, buttermilk and 1 teaspoon of vanilla and stir until is smooth.
At this point, you're ready to assemble and bake! Put the butter in a 9x9 dish and allow it to melt in the microwave for a minute.
Put the peaches and all their juicey goodness on top of the melted butter and pour the topping over them.
Bake for 45-50 minutes until your cobbler topping is cooked through and nice and brown.
Serve in small dessert bowls with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream.