Friday, August 10, 2012

august is peachy

peaches | photo: Grendelkahn
August is National Peach Month.  Which makes sense considering that this is the time of year when these juicy, fragrant fruits are at their peak.  I am often tempted, when walking into the product section of the grocery store, to purchase some.  When they are ripe and particularly fragrant, even if they are not on my list, I find myself seduced by their luscious perfume into getting just a couple.  I like to serve them with a good cheese, dice them into yogurt, or just eat them fresh, the way they are.

A good source of vitamin C and A, peaches also provide a fair amount of potassium, beta-carotene (which becomes vitamin A), and fiber.  When they are ripe and juicy they are also very hydrating.

There are many different ways to use peaches and to enjoy them.  This particular recipe is from my mom.  It's simple and easy to put together and a perfect dessert after just about any meal.

Frenchtown Cobbler

The biscuit topping is from a July 1997 issue of Gourmet magazine:

5 Tablespoons cold unsalted butter
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 Tablespoons yellow cornmeal
2 Tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

preheat oven to 375 degrees F
Cut butter in pieces
In a bowl with a pastry blender or in a food processor blend or pulse together flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, salt, and butter until the mixture resembles coarse meal
If using a food processor transfer to a bowl
Add milk and vanilla and stir until the mixture forms a dough
Drop topping by rounded spoonfuls onto filling (do not completely cover it) and bake in the middle of the oven 40 minutes, or until topping is golden and cooked through.

The filling is modified from one found in the July/August 1996 Cook's Illustrated

3-4 peaches, peel, pit, and slice thick
2 cups blackberries, rinsed
Mix 2 teaspoons cornstarch, 1/3 to 1/2 cup sugar, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, and  1 Tablespoon brandy
Toss with fruit to coat

Serve with ice cream or lightly whipped cream

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