Peach Cobbler

So, this post is a little late, peach season is winding down and we’re on to apple season already. I can hardly believe its September! Not only is its September but its already September 4th. I had a small heart attack this morning thinking it was still September 1 and although the humidity still says August, I’m hoping we start to have some cooler Fall evenings soon. Two weeks ago I finally got around to making peach cobbler. I had been thinking about it and wanting to make it for weeks but needed the time and a reason to make it. My parents were coming over for dinner and my mom loves peaches so this was the perfect occasion; I had people to help me eat it, people who I knew would enjoy it!

It may be hard to believe but I’ve actually never made peach cobbler before. I’ve made peach pie, peach crisp, peach crumbles, but never cobbler. This means I needed a recipe. Of course I immediately went online and began searching my usual sites, Epicurious and The Food Network and landed upon Paula Deen’s recipe for peach cobbler. I figured, if anyone can make it a good peach cobbler, its her.

I started the recipe by blanching my peaches and peeling them. If you’ve never peeled peaches before, this is by far the easiest way. All you do is boil a large pot of water and drop in your peaches. I let them boil for about 2 minutes and then move them into a bowl of ice water to cool them down. Once they’re cool, you can cut a small slit in them and pull the skin right off. It’s nice and easy, if not a little messy!

Once the peaches are peeled and sliced, this recipe called for you to boil them, along with sugar and water on the stove for about 10 minutes. I also chose to add in a split vanilla bean to the mixture for more flavor.

This step was key to making the cobbler extra delicious. The boiling peaches, sugar, water and vanilla bean created an incredible sauce, and yes, the whole kitchen smelled divine.

After making the peaches and syrup, place your baking dish with the sliced butter, into the preheated oven. You want the butter to melt completely before you pour in the cobbler mixture.

While the butter is melting, mix up the dry and wet ingredients for the biscuit part of the cobbler. When the butter is melted, first pour in the biscuit mixture, into the butter in the dish. This might seem backwards to you and it is, typical cobbler recipes call for the peaches on the bottom and the dough on top but this one calls for the opposite. The reason is that the dough actually rises up through the peaches and in doing so soaks up all sorts of flavor. It’s SO good!

Top the dough mixture with the peach mixture and do not mix it. Place it right in the oven and bake it for about an hour, until the middle has set.

Serve with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream. I’m telling you, this was the best peach cobbler I’ve ever had. Paula knows her peaches.

Here’s the recipe, adapted from FoodNetwork.com:

Peach Cobbler
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Author: Adapted from Paula Deen
Prep time: 30 mins
Cook time: 1 hour
Total time: 1 hour 30 mins
Serves: 6-8
Ingredients
  • 4 cups peeled, sliced peaches
  • 2 cups sugar, divided
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 vanilla bean split
  • 8 tablespoons butter
  • 1 1/2 cups self-rising flour
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • Ground cinnamon, optional
  • Ground Nutmeg, optional
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Combine the peaches, 1 cup sugar, vanilla bean, and water in a saucepan and mix well. Bring to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat. Stir in 2 pinches of nutmeg and sprinkle with cinnamon, if desired.
  3. Put the butter in a 3-quart baking dish and place in oven to melt.
  4. Mix remaining 1 cup sugar, flour, and milk slowly to prevent clumping. Pour mixture over melted butter. Do not stir. Spoon fruit on top, gently pouring in syrup. Batter will rise to top during baking. Bake for 30 to 45 minutes.
  5. To serve, scoop onto a plate and serve with your choice of whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

 

Mashed Potatoes and Parsnips

Last night I made mashed potatoes and parsnips and they were delicious! I had no intention of making them but a recipe that started with maple apple sausage ended with an inventive meal that I had no intentions of making. It all started last week when I picked up some maple apple sausage at Lancaster’s Central Market. I was planning to use it for breakfast last weekend but things got busy and breakfast never happened.

I was left with maple apple sausage and dinner to make. Initially, my plan was to make regular mashed potatoes and caramelized onions to go with the sausage. I asked Eric to look up a recipe on Epicurious for caramelized onions and he stumbled upon one that included mashed potatoes and parsnips. I had all the ingredients so I changed course and started peeling the parsnips. In the end, everything was delicious and I can’t wait to make this dish again, it also complimented the sausage very nicely.

Start the recipe by peeling and chopping up the potatoes and the parsnips. Put them into a medium saucepan and fill with cold water. Bring to a boil and cook for 20-25 minutes until the potatoes and parsnips are fork tender.

While the potatoes are cooking, throw the thinly sliced onions into a hot pan, add the brown sugar and salt. Reduce the heat and cook on medium until the onions brown and caramelize. Be sure and stir the onions to prevent sticking and reduce the heat if the onions begin to brown too fast. Add a tablespoon of water if they begin to burn. You want them to cook slowly over the heat; this will take 20-25 minutes.

During this part of the process I braised my sausage in chicken broth and then I used that broth to mash up the potatoes and parsnips.

Once the potatoes and parsnips are tender, put them in the bowl of a stand mixer and add about a 1/4 cup of the chicken broth.

Mix up well and then add more broth if the mixture looks dry. Add salt to taste along with the fresh thyme.

Finally, mix in cheese. The recipe calls for blue cheese but I only had gruyere so  that’s what I used.

When the onions are ready, take them out of the pan and then fry up the rest of the sausage in the pan until brown and crispy.

Serve the dish with caramelized onions on top and sliced sausage.

The flavor of the parsnips mashed with the potatoes was really nice and the thyme was a wonderful combination; could be a good idea for a Thanksgiving side dish…

 

Here’s the recipe from Epicurious.com:

Mashed Potatoes and Parsnips
Print
Author: Red Velvet
Prep time: 20 mins
Cook time: 45 mins
Total time: 1 hour 5 mins
Serves: 8
Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 large onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 baking potatoes (such as Yukon gold, about 2 pounds), peeled and cubed
  • 3 parsnips, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth, heated
  • 1/4 cup grated Gruyere
  • 3 tablespoons fresh thyme, chopped
Instructions
  1. Heat oil in a large skillet over high heat; reduce to medium. Cook onions with sugar and salt, stirring occasionally, until onions brown, 20 to 25 minutes. Add a few tablespoons water as you cook to keep onions from sticking or burning. Fill a medium stockpot ¾ full with cold water. Add potatoes and parsnips; bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat and simmer until potatoes and parsnips are fork-tender, 20 to 25 minutes, then drain. Beat 1/4 of potato parsnip mixture and 3 ounces broth in a mixing bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Repeat, alternating between potato-parsnip mixture and broth, until you’ve incorporated all. Fold in onions, cheese and thyme, and serve.

PS – Bailey is home and doing well! It will be a hard few weeks but she’s already seeming better than ever!