I am sad that summer is officially over. Although the temperature today is in the mid 90’s with moderate Alabama humidity, the truth is, it‘s Fall! I meant to post this recipe way back in the summer, but other things (such as, parenting Stephen) took priority. This weekend, we, as a family will officially say goodbye to summer. Tonight, we're going to the County Fair, and tomorrow, we'll be attending a festival at our town Library. Stephen’s favorite part about the festival? The pony rides. My favorite? The used books sale! Yes!
A note about the following recipe, a little about my grandmother and a chat with my cousins about the family cookbook:
My Maw Maw was a fabulous old-time Southern cook, famous in these parts for her cobblers and other Southern specialties. Unfortunately, Maw Maw took most of her recipes and kitchen secrets to her grave with her. This is why I encourage everyone to take part in my not-so-annual family cookbook. I haven’t updated our family cookbook since way before Maw Maw passed on. I started writing it in 1989 and Christmas 1990, I started my family tradition. My intent was to give this book to every woman in my family and update it every Christmas after that. I got a little sidetracked and didn’t continue the tradition until, I think 1995 and then one more addition in 1997. For those family members who keep up with this journal, get to typing and e-mailing! We have a few new cooks in this family now and we need to teach them the tricks of the trade! And, hey … let’s face it ladies, they can probably teach us, “old-timers” a thing or two. Did I just call us, old-timers? I digress. Getting back to the subject of the cookbook --- I speak for all of us when I say, I wish I had Maw Maw’s recipe for … I learned that if you wanted to know Maw Maw’s recipes, you had to hang around with her in the kitchen and make mental notes as she prepared the goodies. I don’t care how many times I asked her for a recipe, her answer was always, “Oh, I don’t know. I don’t really have a recipe. I just add a little of this and that.” One of my favorites was her cobbler. To the best of my recollection, this is her Peach Cobbler recipe. I added a few touches of my own. For example, Maw Maw would never use refrigerated piecrust! But, did they have prepared piecrust in stores in her day? I wonder if she would have taken a shortcut, had one been available? I somehow doubt it. I’ve tried quite a few of them and none compare to her hand-rolled, homemade pie crust. For the record, I can make homemade piecrust, but I don’t have time anymore. I must admit something here. I made this Peach Cobbler and it was very good. I just realized, I didn’t jot down the recipe as I made it up! (doh!) As you read the recipe in the You’ve Got Pictures album, you’ll see that I sound a little like Maw Maw without even trying.
Maw Maw’s Peach Cobbler Recipe (or, not) To The Best Of My Recollection
You will need:
*A basket of fresh peaches HINT: make sure they’re ripe and soft. Soft peaches, sweet peaches. Hard peaches, not so sweet.
*A stick of (real) butter
*Sugar to taste for sprinkling on the crust
* Refrigerated pie crust (or make your own if you wanna make me look bad)
*Vanilla or Almond flavoring, if you like.
Peel and slice the peaches. Cover the bowl and put in fridge all day or over night. They will be very sweet and moist after this step, so don’t add your sugar just yet. To tell you the truth, I don’t think I even had to add sugar to mine.
By now, the fruit should be very moist in it’s own syrup. Taste the peaches (not to the extreme Stephen did. Be sure to save enough for everyone else) This is when you’ll add your sugar and flavoring. Almond flavoring goes better with peaches than vanilla flavoring, in my opinion.
Preheat your oven to 350°
Melt some butter in the bottom of your cobbler dish (about 2 tablespoons) and melt some separately, for brushing the piecrust with. Add about a cup of peaches to the butter and put a piecrust on top. Brush the crust with butter, sprinkle with sugar. Put this in the stove and watch it carefully, not to let it get too brown. You don’t want it to be very doughy. If you don’t brown the crust layers, it’ll be too doughy. This is one of the few things Maw Maw told me about it. After I asked, “Maw Maw, why are you doing that?” when I was about six years old, standing in her kitchen. Again, I digress…
By the time you have finished, your cobbler will have 2-3 layers, ending with the crust, of course. Best served with vanilla ice cream and a cup of Red Diamond® coffee, just like Maw Maw used to make!
In my whole life, I’ve never seen another cobbler done like this. Most others have one crust on the top. By the way, you really want those peaches to be syrupy for this recipe, or it’ll be dry. Just so you know ….
One more reminder to my cousins: Be thinking about your favorite recipes and send them to me, please. As a bonus, let’s all, to the best of our recollection, share Maw Maw’s recipes we were able to pick up from watching her.
For everyone else in J-land, sorry to bore you with the family announcement. But do try the recipe!