For the past few years I have been inundated with people asking me if a peach is ‘cling-free’ or not. I would like to take a few moments here to explain the two main types of peaches. When your family has a peach tree in the back yard you do not care whether the pulp slips off the stone with ease or not! You are just plain grateful for ‘free food’, as I used to call our home grown foods.
There is no taste difference in freestone (Cling-free) and cling peaches. Only the farmer growing them can tell the difference in their appearance. Cling peaches are usually the ‘early’ peaches. They’re used more in canning and jamming. Freestone peaches appear a bit later in the season. Freestone or cling-free release from the stone with ease. Remember now, no taste difference. The entire time I was growing up I never heard the term cling-free used, freestone, yes.
This analogy is a bit like the discussion on which type of apples you use in an apple pie? Again, when the trees on your property are producing fruit you don’t go out and purchase apples. You use what you have. When I first moved to Kansas City I would hear people talking about the types of apples they used in a good pies I frankly didn’t get it! If I did have a choice, it would be granny smith and Macintosh.
When it comes to making peach cobblers there are many formats to pursue. The recipe I’m using is the first one I ever made because it didn’t require a pastry crust. I still enjoy it today, fresh from the oven, with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. As a beginning cook I was mesmerized by the way the fruit went through to the bottom of the pan. The part you may want to play with is the amount of sugar in the dish. You can definitely pull back as you like. Also during this season I’ve seen folks mix in blackberries or blueberries with the peaches. You can also use the cobbler recipe and do 100% blueberry or blackberry. Rum is also very nice when used with peaches. Sometimes pecans can be added to the peaches to add a more southern flair.
Wowzers, I am getting hungry! Right now I am convinced if I had a bag of peaches the temptation would win and I would be in the kitchen baking!
Our son, Phillip, is done with a summer class and strength training and has now embarked on a fun filled summer. I am actually ‘jealous’ that he gets to go to the pool every day, or out on the lake, or on a mountain bike trek. He’s having lunch out with friends, and doing what young people should be doing, enjoying life.
Don’t forget work, he’s hitting season #3 at the deli/restaurant.
I hear we have some pretty high temperatures headed our way over the next few weeks. Hit those outdoor chores early and stay in while it’s hot. Cook early in the mornings and not so much during the day. Those are my closing tips friends.
Simply yours, The Covered Dish. www.thecovereddish.com.
Simple Peach Cobbler
1/2 cup (1 stick) salted butter
1 cup milk
1 cup flour
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
Pinch of salt
2 cups fresh sliced peaches
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4-1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup granulated white sugar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees, spray an 8 x 8 baking dish with vegetable spray.
Place butter stick in bottom of baking pan and melt in oven. While melting blend together the 1 cup flour, 1 cup sugar, salt and baking powder. Whisk to blend and stop. After butter is melted pour batter mixture over the butter and do not stir.
Slice peaches thin and add the lemon juice, cinnamon (if desired) and white sugar; stirring to blend. Evenly drop the sliced fruit over the batter, again, do not stir. Place in pre-heated oven and bake for 35-45 minutes until cobbler is golden brown.
Sometimes lots of peach slices are showing and other times I’ve had only the dough portion showing on the top. Serve with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream. This recipe doubles into a 9 x 13 quite easily.
Options: If you added pecans I would sprinkle them over the butter before the batter. Due to their weight they may not drop through to the bottom, with the peaches.
If you like the flavor of rum add a tablespoon or two with the peaches. Should you consider a blueberry cobbler try using almond flavoring with the fruit or perhaps lemon and lemon zest.