Friday, August 22, 2008

Baked Goods That Ooze

Cobbler is the perfect summer treat, especially with homemade ice cream. Yum. This cinnamon-flecked wonder takes fifteen minutes to prepare, 20 minutes to bake, and is the ideal vehicle for a handful of aging peaches.

I decided to bake it up with the addition of a pint container of wrinkling gooseberries. I've never seen gooseberries before, so of course I had to get them. They weren't wrinkled at the time, just green-lined orbs of promisingly bright fruit. But the only recipes I could find online were for canned gooseberries, not fresh. I decided to take a chance and fold them in with my peaches. And though they cooked up to look like green raisins (not entirely appetizing), they replaced the splash of tartness usually added with a squeeze of lemon juice. Unfortunately, some of them, unfairly dated by my delayed use — oops!, were slightly too tart.

It's absolutely unnecessary to add gooseberries to your recipe, but it's nice to know that a few summer berries won't ruin your cobbler. Even the too tart old geese couldn't wreck it.

Peach & Gooseberry (or not) Cobbler

In a saucepan over medium heat, measure 3/4 tsp cornstarch, 1/4 c. brown sugar (or honey, I didn't have any), 1/4 cup water, 1 T butter and a generous sprinkle of cinnamon. If you're not using any berries, also add a squeeze of lemon juice, about 1 tsp. Wash, peel and slice 3 large peaches directly into the pan. When the mixture thickens and the sugar has dissolved, remove the pan from the stove. If using berries, add 1 cup berries (blackberries are delish) to the pan. Stir, then pour the mixture into a 8" or so square pan.

Use a large bowl to make the topping. Add in 3/4 cup flour, 2 T sugar, 3/4 tsp baking powder, and a pinch of salt. Cut 2 T of cold butter into the dry ingredients using a pastry cutter or your fingers. Make a well in the center of your ingredients and add 3 T milk and 1 egg. Mix the batter altogether and use a spoon to clump it over the peaches. It won't cover entirely, which lets the cobbler juices run out while it bakes. Smooth the batter as much as you can, then sprinkle cinnamon over the top. Bake at 350ยบ for about 20 minutes, until the cobbler topping is puffed and golden brown.

Cobbler is delicious hot, but still great warm. I eat it as quickly as I can without burning my tongue, and preferably with lots of vanilla ice cream.

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