Within the past few years, ever since I had kids, I have an appreciation that I never had before for holidays. I am not just talking about the obvious ones such as Christmas and Thanksgiving, but even the small and subtle ones that I previously always complained about like the Fourth of July and Memorial Day. I am basically just happy with any excuse to get a few friends and/or family together and cook some good food that goes along with the day and time of year. Yesterday, being Labor Day, was a great excuse for such an occasion. My husband fired up our small grill and cooked corn, veggie burgers, and barbeque chicken (for the non-vegetarians) while I made a honey dijon potato salad, vegetarian baked beans from scratch, and one of my favorite late-summer desserts: peach cobbler.
Peach cobbler to me is perfection- warm sweet peaches in brown sugar with a thick biscuit-like crust, served with vanilla ice cream on top. I admit though, I did something I so rarely do, especially when fruit is in season: I used canned peaches. I had a big can of peaches hiding away in the back of our cupboard that has been waiting for a use, so a Labor Day dinner seemed like the best time to break it out. So, as you can guess, this recipe requires very little preparation, making it a perfect last minute end-of-summer treat.
Southern Peach Cobbler
1 large can (29 ounces) sliced peaches in light syrup
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
juice of 1 lemon
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 tablespoon butter or margarine
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 cup sifted all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons sugar
1/4 cup chilled butter or margarine
1/3 cup milk (soy or rice also work)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Drain peaches, reserving syrup. Arrange peach slices in a lightly buttered 1-quart baking dish.
Measure 1 cup of the syrup into a small saucepan; blend in the sugars, lemon juice, spices, salt, butter, and cornstarch. Place the saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil; simmer, stirring, until thickened and clear, about 4 to 5 minutes. Pour the hot mixture over the peaches. Place in the oven while preparing topping.
Sift together the flour, baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 2 teaspoons sugar. Cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add milk and stir until a stiff dough is formed. Drop by spoonfuls onto the hot peach filling. Return to the oven and bake until topping is browned, about 20 minutes. Serve warm, with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.