“A party without cake is just a meeting” – Julia Childs
Whether you’ll admit it or not, we all have our foodie dirty laundry. Those comforting dishes that flood us with memories and nostalgia. Dishes we wouldn’t be seen ordering in a trendy café or be caught serving to guests in our homes. The dish I crave when I’m sick or craving pudding or just missing my family, is my mum’s peach cobbler. Deep into Winter when there were no apricots left on our trees and the dreary fruit isles had nothing but tart, floury apples, my mum would turn to Koo for inspiration. Amongst my mother’s small arsenal of dishes that she wields for special occasions, are firm family favourites like creamy fudge, slow roasted melt in your mouth lamb shanks, the best apricot chicken, mango trifles in the Summer and cobblers baked until the fruit juice and batter have bubbled away to form a tray of irresistible toffee heaven. Which is why I want to share with you our simple peach cobbler family recipe.
Note: This dessert is moreish and the gluttony is better enjoyed with company so I always double the recipe and bake it in a larger baking dish, your baking time will go up to 1 1/2 hours, with another half an hour to 45 minutes at a reduced temperature for extra gooey factor.
If you are using fresh fruit, then your amount increases to 4 cups of fresh fruit slices, which you will need to poach in
4-5 cups water
1 cup light brown sugar
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp cinnamon
Poach uncovered until just soft but still holding their shape, the reduced liquid can now be set aside to be used just before baking.
½ cup salted butter
1 cup self-raising flour
1 cup light brown sugar
1 cup full cream milk
3 cups fresh or tinned peach slices or halves (reserve the liquid)
2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tsp good vanilla paste or extract or 1 fresh vanilla pod scraped out
Combine the flour, sugar and cinnamon in a mixing bowl, pour over the milk and the vanilla. Mix until you have a runny batter.
Melt the butter in the microwave and then pour into a 30 x 20cm ovenproof baking dish.
Pour the batter over the melted butter, don’t worry, it will look strange and some of the butter will rise and start to solidify because of the cool batter.
Now gently drop in your peach halves and slices in, space them out across the dish and don’t worry about pieces sticking out, the batter will rise and cover them in a glorious golden blanket of buttery pudding.
Now pour over 5 tablespoons of the reserved tinned peach juice or poaching liquid if you have used fresh fruit.
Bake uncovered in an oven preheated to 170ºC for 45 minutes – an hour. The top should be beautifully crunchy and golden and the inside moist but cooked. If you aren’t pressured for time, the secret to making this dessert a show stopper is to turn the oven down to 140ºC and let it bubble away for an extra half an hour – 45 minutes which allows time for the fruit juices and butter and sugar to slowly turn to toffee.
Serve with good vanilla ice cream or mascarpone for silky richness, creme fraiche cuts through the sweetness if you have a more sophisticated palate than us insatiable pudding mongers.
All Dishes and Ingredients from Woolworths SA
This article and its images first appeared on They’re Wonted