Kick off summer peach binge with cobbler
In his song “Spanish Pipedream,” John Prine hands out advice for a leading happy life: After blowing up your TV and throwing away the newspaper, he throws in a positive note: eat a lot of peaches.
I’ve given some thought to his first two recommendations but have happily conceded to the consumption of peaches as an easier route to follow.
Growing up, my family did eat a lot of peaches. Making the rounds of York County orchards, we tried each variety as it became available. My mother’s favorites were Red Havens, while my father preferred Flamin’ Fury. They never bought just a peach and certainly never bought them from the supermarket. I don’t think the term “foodie” existed in the 1950s an ’60s. If it had, though, my family would have qualified for the label.
Because it was close to our house, a favorite place to buy fruit was a small stand in Loganville. Started in 1948, Brown’s is now a 200-acre fruit and vegetable emporium, famous for its bakery as well as its produce. Local cognoscenti head for the backroom, where you can buy seconds that surpass anything in the supermarket. The workers there are friendly and well versed in the fruits they sell. Samples are provided upon request.
The peach harvest is just beginning, but in a few weeks it will be in full swing. The first peaches of the season are of the cling variety — that is, the stone adheres to the peach. Toward the end of July and through August, freestone peaches will be available. My advice is to try them all and find your favorite.
If you come home with a half-bushel or two, start your summer peach binge with a cobbler.
6 large peaches peeled and cut into wedges
1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 cup flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
11/2 teaspoons baking powder
6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1/4 cup boiling water
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Toss the peaches with sugar, lemon juice and cornstarch in a deep dish pie plate. Bake in the middle of the oven for 10 minutes.
While peaches bake, make the topping. Stir together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Blend in the butter with your fingertips until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Stir in the water until just combined.
Remove the peaches from the oven and drop spoonfuls of topping over them. Return the dish to the oven and bake until the topping is golden, 25 to 30 minutes.
— Julie Falsetti, a York native, comes from a long line of good cooks. Her column, From Scratch, runs twice monthly in The York Dispatch food section. Reach her with questions and comments at firstname.lastname@example.org.