In late June, on her way home from Georgia -- a state known for its peaches -- a friend stopped at a roadside stand and bought several baskets of peaches fresh from the orchard. My family was the lucky recipient of one of those baskets. The peaches were juicy and delicious and we enjoyed peeling and eating them out of hand. A few days later at a 4th of July party, I spotted a peach cobbler on the dessert table and knew exactly what I was going to do with the remaining few peaches.
Almost every church or school cookbook has a recipe for fruit cobbler. A lot of times, the recipe has the word easy, simple, or like the one I'm sharing today, quick in the title. All three are appropriate adjectives for this easy to make dessert, but I think versatile would be a better description.
Although the recipe I'm sharing is for peach cobbler, you can substitute other fruit for the peaches. In fact, you can use fresh, frozen or canned fruit in the recipe. If you're using canned fruit, be sure to use some of the juice or the cobbler will be dry. If you're using fresh fruit, taste the fruit to see if you need to add additional sugar. If so, add a little at a time until the fruit reaches the desired sweetness.
Start by melting a stick of butter or margarine. Instead of melting this in the microwave, I put the butter in the baking dish and set it in the oven while it's preheating.
The butter melts without me having to do anything and it keeps me from dirtying another dish.
The sugar, self-rising flour, milk and vanilla are stirred together to make the batter. If you don't have self-rising flour, you can substitute all-purpose flour and add 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon baking powder. Once the ingredients are combined, pour the batter over the melted butter. Do not stir the two together!
If you're using fresh peaches, here's an easy way to keep the cobbler from being dry. Put the peeled and sliced peaches in a saucepan and heat them on low heat for about 10 minutes.
When heated, the juice seeps from the peaches. This sounds counterproductive, but it's actually the secret to a very moist cobbler, since the juice is distributed over the entire cobbler.
Spoon the peaches on top of the batter. Pour the juice left in the pan all over the top of the cobbler. Do not stir!!!
The peaches will sink to the bottom and the batter will rise to the top and make a crust.
The cobbler is delicious by itself, or served a la mode with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top. Either way you serve it, it's just peachy!
*One cup all-purpose flour, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon baking powder may be substituted for self-rising flour.