Monday, July 22, 2024

It’s fresh fruit season - time for a peach cobbler


Last month, I needed to make a dessert for a potluck. I had recently purchased an entire box of locally grown peaches from a lady who goes to our church. The fresh fruit was marvelous, but I needed to use the rest of them quickly. One peachy possibility for the potluck was a peach pie. However, I didn’t want to mess with making the crust for a peach pie, so I considered making a cobbler instead.
My family made fruit cobbler using a drop biscuit recipe. Unlike regular biscuits, drop biscuits have more liquid in the dough. Instead of rolling out the dough and cutting out circles for each biscuit, you scoop up the raw dough and “drop” it onto a baking sheet.
My grandmother had always made cobbler by dropping scoops of drop biscuit dough onto the fruit filling and baking it.
I scoured my cookbooks for a recipe for “peach cobbler." One recipe used canned peaches. No, thank you. I had fresh, ripe, delicious peaches, and I wanted the fruit to shine.
In 1985, while living in a small farming community just outside Dayton, Ohio, I purchased a copy of the Discover Dayton Cookbook. This cookbook was one of the main fundraising projects of the Junior League organization of Dayton, Ohio.
When moving back to Washington State in 1990, I gave away a lot of cookbooks but kept that one because it contained delicious regional recipes unique to the greater Dayton area, where my husband grew up.
I found a recipe for peach cobbler in the index of my dogeared Discover Dayton cookbook. Titled Five Generation Peach Cobbler, it was submitted by Mrs. George L. Word (Paige Early). Her introduction described it as “a luscious standby” that “contributes to the happiness, health, and longevity of our family.” That sounded intriguing.
Her recipe included a peach filling with sliced peaches sprinkled with flour, sugar, and cinnamon. The crust was more complicated. Instead of islands of biscuit dough with peaches peeking through, the recipe required you to cut the shortening into the flour, just like a pie crust, then roll it out. Hmmm…
Because of the crust, it took longer than I expected to make and bake the cobbler, making my husband and I late for the potluck. My peach cobbler was placed at the very end of the dessert table, behind 2 other peach desserts.
Then an odd thing happened. A couple of men served themselves a small piece of my cobbler, then, a few minutes later, they returned to collect a second piece of my dessert. One guy returned for a THIRD helping. What was going on?
I had my answer when I brought the leftover half of the cobbler home with me and tried a bite.
Oh, my. WOW. Best cobbler EVER!
You might be wondering what made it so good. Was it the ripe peaches, or was it the crust? Probably some of both. It’s definitely worth the extra effort of making the rolled crust. Enjoy!

5 cups fresh peaches, peeled, pitted, and sliced
3 tablespoons flour
1¼  cups sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
4 tablespoons butter
Slice peaches into a heavy, greased baking dish, approximately 9 inches around and 3 inches deep. (I used an 11 x 7-inch rectangular glass baking dish that was 2 inches deep. It worked just fine.)
Mix together flour, sugar, and cinnamon, and sprinkle over peaches. Dot with butter.
1 cup flour
½ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 tablespoon sugar
1/3 cup shortening.
(I used butter.)
1/3 cup milk
Sift together dry ingredients. Cut in shortening until mixture resembles coarse corn meal. Pour milk in all at once, and stir with a fork. Roll dough out on a floured board until it is the size of the baking dish – it will be ¼ to ½ inch thick. Place crust on top of peaches. (I rolled my crust onto a rectangular cutting board instead of on the counter, then flipped it over into the baking dish.) Bake in a preheated 425 oven for about 30 minutes. YIELD: 6 to 8 servings.
This recipe is from the Discover Dayton Cookbook, 1984 edition, submitted by Mrs. George L. Word (Paige Early). Many thanks to Paige and the Junior League of Dayton, Ohio.

Dr. Louise Achey, Doctor of Pharmacy, is a 43-year veteran of pharmacology and the author of Why Dogs Can’t Eat Chocolate: How Medicines Work and How YOU Can Take Them Safely. Get clear answers to your medication questions at her website and blog ©2022 Louise Achey



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